Risk and Liability in Engineering

1. How does the National Society of Professional Engineers Code of Ethics promote safety, health and welfare to the public/society?

When engineers’ judgment is dismissed under circumstances that are dangerous to life or property, they should notify their employer and any other authority as it may be supposed to be to ensure safety of the people and also their property. This will also help to safeguard the welfare of people and society at large. On the other hand engineers should approve only the required engineering documents that are in conformity with the applicable standards.

Engineers are not supposed to expose facts, data, or information without the notice of the client or employer except when it is authorized or required by law, also they should not permit the use of their name in business ventures with any person or a firm that they believe is engaged in fraudulent transactions, this will tarnish their names, in this case the welfare of the public is protected.

In the case of any alleged violation of the Code of ethics the Engineers who may have knowledge of the same should report thereon to appropriate professional organizations concerned, and when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required.

2. Analyze the situation of substantial risk. Discuss the ethical and safety issues involved and steps taken to resolve those issues.

Substantial risk means a strong possibility, as contrasted with a remote or even a significant possibility that a certain outcome may occur or a certain circumstance may be there. It is risk of such a kind and degree that to disregard it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a sound minded person would exercise in such a situation.

Willian Lemessurier had designed a 59- story building to be built over a church because the church had property at the corner of the building. The building had four supporting columns in the Centre of the building rather than the corners of the building. The construction of the first flour begun equivalent to nine stories then a university student called Lemessurier that the design was wrong but he said that it was the professor who did not know the design problem. He later realized that he had made a wrong design since the wind would make the building to collapse.The engineer then took action of correcting the mistake which could have placed his reputation and the financial status of his firm at substantial risk.

The Principle of Beneficence which states that we have an obligation to bring about good in all our actions, has been applied in this issue whereby the engineer decided not to use the property of the church and also ensure that he went to consult whether he had done the right thing by putting joints at the centre of the building. Engineer also wanted to maintain the reputation of his firm.

The Principle of no maleficence which states that we have an obligation not to harm others is also used in this issue. The engineer learnt that the building would collapse so he took a positive action to correct the building so that there is no harm caused to the people of Citicorp.

It was ethical and also matter of safety for the engineer to correct the construction of the building hence did not increase the risk of harm to others. Though it cost him some dollars he decided to minimize the harm that could be caused by the quartering winds to the public. The hurricane season was not also far so the engineer made sure that he took the correct measures to guard the safety of the people of Citicorp.

The engineer went to inquire about the story building from a building project in Pittsburgh, and found that the original specifications for a full-penetration welds was not followed, then he made sure to go and do correction because the joints made at the center of the building could not withstand the wind. This was a good step and safety that the engineer took and is also ethical.

I think the engineer should have made a brought research and consultation before starting the story building so that he can avoid all the unnecessary wastage of time and also resources. He should have looked for the best materials that would be able to build a strong building.

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