You are an engineer in a plant outside a small community. You work during normal hours, but are on call afterwards; the plant operates continuously. There are some large vessels in the plant that contain hazardous vapors. Although your company has an excellent safety record, several groups in the community have expressed concerns over the danger it poses, and have published letters to the editor in the local paper every month or so. In the middle of a winter night, your plant manager calls reporting that several feet of snow which have accumulated since yesterday have caused a section of the roof in the plant to collapse. Little more is known yet, but as an engineer you are expected to help. You are the first person the manager has called, and they need to know what step to take next. Considering public opinion, how much must you know before notifying the public? What would be your next step in this case? How can you react in a safe manner while saving your as well as the company’s face? 10 marks

Mentor’s comment-

  • In the introduction, briefly explain the case study.
  • In the body discuss the key points-technical as well as managerial that you should get information about in order to give proper and adequate information to the public. Explain how you will approach the issue as an in-charge of engineering department. Also mention what information shall you divulge to the public so that it serves the legal and ethical purpose but at the same time saves yours and as well as the company’s reputation.
  • Conclude with a balanced approach.

 

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