Short essay on bhopal gas tragedy


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This caused no actions to be taken in educating the labors about the importance of safety in the factory, fining those who do not abide the ethical codes while working in the company or operating the machineries so as to avoid any unwanted circumstances to happen. As a result, the Bhopal disaster had occurred. Last but not least, even if the main objective of the company or personnel that sets up factories which deal with chemical, nuclear or toxic substances is to obtain a massive income or significant raise in economic growth, the occupational health and safety in the factory must be preserved despite its cost.

Furthermore, a safe and healthy working environment will increase the quality and quantity of productions. Responsibility for safety is the most important aspect and highest ethical priority of any industry. Engineers must avoid catastrophic failure which could result in loss of property, damage to the environment of the user of that technology, and possibly injury or loss of life.

The safety, health and welfare of the employees, employers and even the public are of utmost important. There should also be a proper emergency response plan.

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However, most of the safety systems in the plant were not in operating order. The vent gas scrubber designed to neutralize the gas was shut down as it was deemed unnecessary during periods when production was suspended. Even the tanks storing the MIC gas were overloaded as they were not to be filled more than 60 percent of capacity based on carbide manuals.


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The purpose of this is to allocate extra space to dilute the gases in case of emergencies. In addition, the emergency dump tank was already occupied by the large amounts of the chemicals. Next, the water pressure was too weak to spray the escaping gases from the stack as it was feet high and the water could only reach feet into the air. Other than the safety measures or standards that were not achieved, another aspect of responsibility of safety would be that the workers were not given proper education on the safety procedures despite the high illiteracy rate of the local citizens in Bhopal and lack of training in handling the industrial equipments and machineries.

They were hired to do hard labor because of the low labor cost if compared to well-trained labors without illiteracy [2]. Besides that, the safety instructions and rules and regulations hand outs were written in English, all the more reason to provide a proper system in educating and training the inexperienced workers. The facts and analysis stated have clearly and obviously proven that the UCIL and the engineers of the chemical plant have failed to ethically adhere to their responsibilities to safety and their negligence had ultimately cost others to pay the maximum price. In other words, risks were clearly printed all over the place including the quality of the workers, but completely neglected as there was no engineering code of ethics.

This whole disaster started from the lack of risk assessment. The root of this problem was in locating the site for the factory in first hand. In every plants or construction projects, there will be an engineer behind the scene evaluating the compatibility of the location to withstand any disastrous accident that could happen resulting from human errors or machines faulty.

Ethically, a good engineer should be able to foresee the future impact of setting up this factory at the chosen location and provoke the proposal to set up this factory in the first place. It was proposed that the factory to be built exactly 4. In saving the cost of production to gain more income, they insist on picking the place closer to the town center to cut down the cost of transportation even though it is too dangerous for the local citizens who live nearby.

They had put the environmental ethics and their concern for humanities aside in making this decision. The main source of income for the local citizen in Bhopal was farming and plantation. But when the factory was set up near the Bhopal town, the soil, water and air, basically the environment was polluted. In fact, the findings of a study made at the factory site after the disaster had proven that the soil in the surrounding area was polluted long before the disaster happened [6].

Basically, the lives of the citizens were already put at risk long before the disaster. The action of approving the proposal for the site of this project was professionally unethical for an engineer.

Paragraph on Bhopal Gas Tragedy

A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation or morality for an act in another. This is present in the Bhopal disaster when the UCIL had the aspect of severe minimization of costs to obtain higher profits as its main motive and priority. This indirectly lowered the quality of man power, specialization, skill level and morality of workers of the plant of which has its contributions to the disaster.

After the year , safety practices were adverse due to the conflict of interest. In the evening of December the 2nd, the periodic washing operations proceeded at around 9. This was not detected, and washing continued till after the third shift which comes on at around This resulted with a highly volatile and exothermic reaction which was possibly catalyzed by the ferrous corrosion of the tank lining.

Approximately It was also unethical for the worker to report to the wrong superior.

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However, he still could not be blamed as there were no proper educational courses for response protocol or code of conduct conducted for the workers in the plant. The supervisor should have adhered to the standard or general safety protocols and evaluated the risks upon finding out about the malfunction. He should have made proper judgment based on proper moral principles before making that decision.

If he would have made the right ethical call and the periodic washing was put to halt, the whole disaster would have been avoided. Furthermore, after the disaster breakdown, the director of UCC in UCIL packed up his belongings and moved back to America, denying the breakdown at the factory was related to him or his company. He stated that the breakdown was caused by the human errors which came from the workers at the factory and not the management nor the top personnel [2].

The action of the chairperson of UCC abandoning the tragedy and put the blame on the low-class workers is professionally unethical. They took advantage of the illiterate and uneducated workers of the factory to run away from the blame [6]. Ever since the incident occurred, the citizens all over the world especially in developed nations like America, Europe, Japan and Australia have been more aware of the safety precautions practiced in the factories that manufacture chemical or hazardous substances.

They started to acknowledge the importance of education especially in safety matters.

Important lessons learnt from Bhopal incident would be that professional ethics, responsibility for safety and risk assessment are the most important aspects that should be practiced in every establishment. Non-existent of the subjects mentioned will lead to a disastrous damage to the factory, economy, environment and the civilization.

We strongly believe that more ordinances and acts should be implemented by the world government to ensure the safety of the people. Aside from having strategic and constructive plans, ordinances and acts, they should put more efforts in enforcing the law to ensure the absence of corruption in the enforcement bodies. The incident, known as 'Oppau Explosion', occurred when a tower silo storing 4, tonnes of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate fertiliser exploded.

In mids, the world came to know about an industrial pollution known as 'the Minamata disaster', effects of which came to light more than three decades after the incident. The disturbing story began in the s when a Japanese company started dumping of mercury compounds in the bay off Minamata, a western Japan town.

But only after three decades, locals began to notice something wrong. They found themselves being affected by a strange illness which came to be known as Minamata disease. It is estimated that over 3, people suffered various deformities, showed severe mercury poisoning symptoms or died from the mysterious disease. In April , China witnessed one of its worst disasters when a blast at a coal mine, Honkeiko, at Benxi in Liaoning province claimed lives of 1, miners. In December , a dense acid-infused smog shrouded London and brought the city to a standstill for four days.

According to official estimate, more than 4, people died from the immediate effects of the toxic air on their respiratory system, while 8, additional deaths were later attributed to the smog. Sulfur dioxide in the air was believed to be the main culprit.

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The main pollutants were believed to be by-products of coal burning which was said to have reached "exceptional levels". In April , an explosion aboard a docked ship loaded with 3, tons of ammonium nitrate fertiliser in Texas City killed at least people and injured 3, In July , an accident at a chemical plant in Italy's Seveso town released toxic dioxins into the atmosphere, killing thousands of animals. It also led to culling of about 70, animals to prevent dioxins from entering food chain.

A recent study published in journal 'Environmental Health' found that people living in the Seveso area have experienced an increased risk of developing cancer. There were also several oil spills that sparked environment concerns in the latter half of the past century. The incidents included the blowout of an undersea oil well off the Gulf of Mexico, Shell Oil refinery explosion in Louisiana and the explosion on a North Sea oil production platform in Britain the same year.

The latter, known as Piper Alpha disaster in which people were killed, is still rated as the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms both of lives lost and impact to industry. There have also been scores of nuclear accidents, including the Kyshtym disaster in Mayak, Russia and the explosion in Russian nuclear submarine Kursk that killed all crewmen on board in August

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