Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Construction Engineering Ethics

Any job or career position has its code of ethics that govern the correct behavior and actions that employees should obey. My field, Civil Engineering, has its ethical guidelines that should be followed daily and in its entirety. The role of this field in society is building infrastructure. My future career position as a Construction Engineer, specifically, would mainly build homes, offices, or other business buildings. This position incorporates the following ethical responsibilities, obligations, and considerations throughout the process of constructing a project.


I must assess the environment to verify that the working conditions are safe at all times. This will avoid hurting the welfare of my fellow employees by ensuring that they will be able to perform their job in non-hazardous conditions. This precaution applies to my clients as well. I have to ensure that the structure that my clients will be occupying will not collapse and will be strong enough to withstand extreme conditions. This will help the inhabitants of the build be safe from the very structure they live or work in. I owe this same responsibility to the public that may be within the perimeter of the build. I must confirm that the building has great structural integrity or durability. This is essential because I can protect the people who are passing by or live nearby and allow them to feel safe around the structure. In the article “Code of Ethics" by the National Society of Professional Engineers, safety is the first ethical responsibility listed among many. This expresses the importance and seriousness of the ethical responsibility of safety. When a building lacks the durability that it should provide, lots of people can get injured or killed. This was the case of the Ronan Point Apartment Tower in East London on May 16, 1968. According to the article "5 Civil Engineering Failures and What They Taught Us" by Eric Green, the apartment building experienced an explosion, which caused a corner of the building to collapse. Four people were killed in this tragic accident, caused by “faulty joints, shoddy building, and a lack of structural support.” This historical event failed in regards to the ethical responsibility of safety.


I must treat all fellow employees and employers equally and avoid favoritism. Employees should be treated fairly, regardless of race, gender, religion, age, etc. This guide would be implemented during the process of hiring a new employee or when promoting another employee. Everyone deserves an equal chance when it comes to opportunities. The same principles apply when working with fellow employees to achieve a certain task or objective. Everyone’s ideas and contributions should be considered and not be easily dismissed due to bias or discrimination. Equality also plays a role when deciding how much to pay an employee for their work. This rewards employees that complete the same tasks with the same wage or the same benefits that another employee receives.


I must remain truthful to all members of the corporation. This includes giving honest feedback and constructive criticism to fellow employees. Employees should be corrected politely when they are wrong and taught to perform their task better. This applies to the relationship that I would have with my employer as well. I must accept all feedback as a way of learning from mistakes and improving my skills. This will provide a healthy relationship between employees and employers and it will also have a positive effect on not only the employees, but also the corporation as a whole. Honesty should also come into play when addressing any data or concerns to the members of the corporation or to the public, even if it conflicts with my superiors’ agendas. Another point of application is when receiving unearned benefits, like money or other items from others in the workplace. Accepting these forms of bribes or becoming corrupt violates the idea of honesty within the corporation.


I must treat all employees and employers with respect. No one should be mistreated or talked to in a disrespectful way. The working environment should be kept to professional standards. This will prevent conflicts between employees in the workplace that would otherwise create unhealthy relationships. These unhealthy relationships in turn would affect the corporation in a negative way, should employees not want to work together, resulting in less productivity and possible loss or replacement of the employees in question. Respect would also be shown to the possible clients of a project. This will obviously make it easier to do business with potential clients and prevents a loss of customers for the corporation.

The position of a Construction Engineer in the field of Civil Engineering contains a few ethical guides. However, these guides play a large role in the career of the engineer. Failure to acknowledge these ethical responsibilities can cause damage to your corporation, your fellow employees, yourself, and to countless innocent people. That is why these ethical responsibilities should always be considered when working with others, communicating ideas, and building a structure.

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1 comment:

  1. Luis,

    Great blog on the job of a civil engineer, however I did find some mistakes that I think you should correct.
    The first one is, “[This should be The] role of this field in society is to building infrastructure.” Secondly, “This will [remove > to] avoid hurting the welfare of my fellow employees by ensuring that they will be able to perform their job in non-hazardous conditions.” Thirdly, “When a building lacks the durability that it should provide, lots [add > of] people can get injured or killed.” Fourth, “Everyone deserves [a > an] equal chance when it comes to opportunities.”

    I also liked that you provided an example of unethical engineering regarding the Ronan Point Apartment Tower. This blog shows that when engineers do cut corners, other people pay for the engineers mistakes with their lives.