2 Overview Objectives of Session: Format: Materials: This pack has been designed to accompany the Ethics Toolkit in facilitating an Ethics Workshop. It has been developed by the 2012/13 President’s Apprentices to assist civil engineers in identifying the ethical consequences of their work, enabling them to fulfill their professional duties to the public, the environment and to society.Objectives of Session:To debate and capture opinions on a range of ethical issues in engineeringTo introduce the Ethics Toolkit as a resource to aid ethical decision makingTo demonstrate the diverse nature of ethics in the construction industryFormat:Groups of less than 10 peopleIf there are several groups, each should have a chairperson to lead and direct the workshopThe proposed workshop programme is 45 minutes longMaterials:ICE Ethics Toolkit (one copy for each group member)Powerpoint presentation with Case StudyWorkshop Fact Sheet (see examples at back of this booklet)Why not tailor this workshop to suit the needs of your group. Try creating your own Case Studies and attempt to solve them with the Decision Making Flowchart.If you have any feedback please let us know via the Ethics Website
3 Workshop Programme 0-5 Mins 5-15 Mins 15-20 Mins 20-30 Mins 30-40 Mins IntroductionWhat is Ethics? (see Ethics Toolkit)Tailor the introduction to suit the workshop theme (Fact Sheets may help stimulate discussion)Refer to recent events in your company, industry or wider societyEncourage the group to propose ethical challenges in engineering(It may be useful to list these on a board for reference)5-15 MinsCase Study and Option 1- Case study can be used to suit theme of workshopAsk the group to identify relevant ethical issuesAs per Option 1, encourage the group to propose potential courses of action15-20 MinsIntroduce Options 2 and 3Present Options 2 and 3 to the group as potential courses of actionAsk the group to list the ethical consequences of each option20-30 MinsIntroduce Decision Making Flowchart to GroupWork with the group to apply Options 2 and 3 to the Decision Making FlowchartAre the ethical consequences of Options 2 and 3 now more apparent?Is it evident which option is more ethically correct? Would the group choose either option?30-40 MinsApply Option 1 to FlowchartRefer to options proposed by group at the start of the workshopNow try applying these options to the Decision Making Flowchart40-45 MinsConclude WorkshopBriefly recap on lessons learntEncourage group to use the Flowchart to identify and tackle their own ethical challenges
4 Case Study 1 – Procurement Your manager asks you to prepare a tender document for the design stages of a large infrastructure project. The design brief from your client has specified a preference for a construction method that uses sustainable technology in order to meet the client’s ‘green’ targets on the project.You discover that nobody within the company has experience of this method and using a subcontractor would be too costly to the project. You bring this to your manager’s attention and are advised to finish preparing the submission without directly addressing the lack of experience in the text. It is suggested that the method will be researched in further detail if the tender is successful.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You decide the best course of action is to do as your manager asks. He has much more experience with the procurement process and the associated risks, it’s his decision to make not yours. In any case one of the core attributes of being an engineer is to continually improve and update your technical knowledge. What ‘s learnt on this project can be used on future projects too.Option 3To the disappointment of your manager, you decide not to complete the task as requested and advise that it is referred to another team member. You feel your managers decision is prioritizing profit over integrity and professionalism. All engineers have a duty of care to only perform work they are qualified to do. There is a risk that the project will not achieve the required sustainable credentials and your bid takes advantage of the mutual trust with the client.
5 Case Study 2 – Duty of Care You are managing a programme evaluating the condition of your client’s wide-ranging high risk asset base. You have an established professional relationship with the client and your line manager stresses that we would like to maintain this because you are interested in bidding for future work from them.The ranges of asset types and materials have proved to be more considerable than you initially anticipated and programmed for. The project is overrunning and the client has criticised the depth of analysis used in your assessment, attributing the delays to this. The client puts pressure on you to finish the project quickly and asks you to simplify the assessment process, but you have concerns this will lead to inadequate characterisation of risks.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You do as the client asks, after all he is the one paying you to do it. Maintaining client relationships and securing future work is of paramount importance to the performance of the business and keeping jobs. Your past experience allows you to take intelligent action to deal with the risks and still deliver a competent service.Option 3You advise the client that in order to accurately undertake your scope of services, for which you are liable, you must continue with the same diligence. Your manager is disappointed with your course of action and is concerned it will result in a loss of future business. You feel that the work would be negligent and that the lure of future work is a form of bribery.
6 Case Study 3 – Health, Safety and Wellbeing You have just started working as the sole structural inspector on a residential construction site. Upon your first few visits to the site you notice a blatant disregard for health and safety, with project staff working in treacherous conditions.You raise the issue with the contractor who assures you that you will always have safe access to the point of inspection and that the inspector before you never raised any concerns. In any case the project is behind schedule and speed of construction must be prioritised.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You decide to continue with the inspections and ensure that you officially record your correspondence with the contractor. The project team onsite seems to have adapted to the lack of health and safety measures and no incidents have been reported to date. You call the previous site inspector who concurs with your rational. Once the project has recovered the delay in program you will raise the issue again and ensure your requests are met.Option 3You refuse to perform any inspections until complete health and safety measures are implemented, which essentially brings all construction activity to a halt. The contractor and client voice their frustration and threaten to have you removed from the job. You remain adamant that you must prioritize the welfare of all members of the project team. You advise the client that if any incidents were to occur, the consequences would be much more serious than a delay in program.
7 Case Study 4 – Health, Safety and Wellbeing You notice that a junior colleague appears to be suffering from significant stress levels as a result of a high level of responsibility on a very sensitive project. Over a brief discussion with your manager, you learn that the project is under-resourced and that your colleague has barely slept for over a week. Your manager appears reluctant to commit more resources to the job as the profit margin is already quite low and the division within the business is struggling.Your manager mentions that many young engineers would grasp at the chance to take on this level of responsibility so early on in their career and that this is a fantastic opportunity for your colleague’s career progression. Your manager mentions that your colleague is delivering the project successfully and in any case there are only a few months remaining on the contract.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You do nothing. Your colleague has always been bad at dealing with stress and unfortunately the company can’t be expected to bear the costs of this, especially in times of recession. How a person conducts themselves and manages their work is just as important an attribute as technical competence, and it is their responsibility to improve on this.Option 3You confront your manager. You are worried that your company doesn’t have more of a proactive stance with regards to the well being of its employees. You could subsequently end up in a similar situation and are concerned at the lack of support. Maintaining well-being is an important aspect of health and safety within the workplace.
8 Case Study 5 – Sustainability You are working as a civil engineering consultant based in the UK. Your company has recently won a bid for a large-scale infrastructure development in a remote international region. Your personal opinion is that the development is unnecessary and hasn't been properly justified due to the lack of a national sustainability framework or public review body. You question how sustainable the project is and whether it fits with both your personal work ethos and that of your company.You raise this with your line manager who understands your concerns. However your manager stresses the importance of the project to developing a relationship with the client and for the company’s global reputation. Your manager explains that doing business must take priority in times of recession.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You decide to accept your managers comments and continue to work on the project. If your company doesn’t accept the project, then another company will, and nothing will have been achieved. At least in this way you can ensure that it is as sustainable as possible and use it as an opportunity to educate the client. In any case, the economic situation is poor and a lot of UK companies rely on work from emerging markets, so these are the sacrifices that need to be made to stay in business.Option 3You ask your manager to remove you from the project. The attitude that ‘profit comes first ‘is a major problem in the construction industry. Sustainability is still seen as a luxury rather than a necessity and companies need to show leadership if this status quo is to be changed. Hopefully your actions will cause the management team to reflect on their decision to bid for the project and could change their approach for future work winning.
9 Case Study 6 – Sustainability You are on your company’s Board of Directors and currently deciding whether to bid for work associated with the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. The Board is divided. Some completely disagree with the principle of Qatar hosting the world cup due to the blatant disregard for the environment through such vast infrastructural development.However, others refer to the economic and social components of sustainability being beneficial to Qatar. Qatar is attempting to use its resources and this global event to establish itself as a progressive nation and as a catalyst for its own societal development.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2Is it really ethical that so much money and resource is spent on a single event, especially considering that so many other countries already have these facilities? Can your company really claim to think and act sustainably if it seeks involvement in such eccentric development? This is an opportunity for the company to show its commitment to sustainability and set an example to others.Option 3Is it ethical to take the moral high ground in dictating how other countries should spend their money and seek to develop? Especially considering that the UK went through the same process during the Industrial Revolution and not a second thought was given to the environment. In any case, given the volatility of the current economic climate, it would be unreasonable to reject such secure work.
10 Case Study 7 – Equality Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Your company has successfully put considerable effort into promoting female recruitment in recent years, however this has generally been focused on less senior positions within the company and no women have ever sat on the Board of Directors.A vacancy has arisen within the Board and your colleague has put herself forward for the role. You overhear other colleagues talking of their concern that the candidate is not experienced enough for the role. Concerns are growing that if chosen for the role she will perform poorly and this will reflect upon all female staff within the company, impacting their potential progression.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You decide to support the promotion of your colleague. You feel that with the right support, she can develop the experience required and become a valuable member of the board. Her promotion will encourage younger female employees and demonstrate the companies commitment to equality.Option 3You decide not to support the promotion of your colleague. Promotion, especially to such a prestigious position, should be based purely on merit. By considering other factors, the company is actually demonstrating bias and inequality. If the company wants to increase the number of women in higher positions, it needs to start from grass roots, and encourage more women to choose careers in engineering in the first place.
11 Case Study 8 – Equality Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 You have been asked by your manager to oversee the recruitment of 5 new graduates. As you are reviewing the applications, you notice that only 3 women have applied for the job, compared to over 20 men. You begin by shortlisting the applications based on merit alone and realise that only 1 of the women actually meet the experience requirements, compared with 12 of the men.Your manager has previously advised that you consider the new Engineering Diversity Concordant the company has agreed to. It must now demonstrate its commitment to addressing the gender, ethnicity and disability gap in the profession. A colleague advises that you select 2 women and 3 men for the role and that any inexperience can be quickly made up for on the job.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You decide to follow your colleagues advice. The ratio of men to women in the company is currently 80:20 and in agreeing to the Engineering Diversity Concordant, your company must be proactive in developing a more diverse workforce. This will lead to a more balanced team and graduate uptake is the best way of encouraging more women into the industry. As a prominent civil engineering consultancy, the company must be seen to lead the way on such campaigns.Option 3You decide to ignore your colleagues advice and base the entire decision on merit alone, in the knowledge that this could even result in no women being selected. You feel that the workforce diversity in your company should reflect that in the industry. The gender, ethnicity and disability gap shouldn’t be confronted in the recruitment process, but at grass roots levels.
12 Case Study 9 – Bribery Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 You are working as the director of a small civil engineering firm and have began bidding for work overseas due to the volatility of the domestic market. In one instance, you travel abroad to meet a client and to agree the final contract on a sizeable project which would provide a secure pipeline of work for the next 18 months. When finalising the terms and conditions of the contract, the client verbally advises that you make a small contribution to his development fund.Not wanting to forget your ethical principles or lose the opportunity to do business, you politely challenge the proposal. The client fully appreciates your reluctance however he advises that it is common practice in this country and advises that sometimes minor compromises must be made to do business. In any case the contribution would be insignificant compared to the number of jobs it will save in the company.For each of the options shown below, work through the Decision Making Flowchart with the group.Option 1Encourage the group to propose courses of action they would consider taking.Option 2You decide not to make the contribution. You are aware of the implications this will have on your company’s survival however you would prefer to do no work, than unethical work. Although this transgression would appear to be quite minor, it can very easily be the start of a slippery slope where Ethics is pushed further and further back in the agenda. Your location should not change your ethical stance and commercial needs alone should not dictate company policy. You are determined to continue searching for secure, ethical work.Option 3You decide to make the contribution. As long as you are consciously aware of the ethical transgression, then it is ok. You will continue to challenge further incidents and are determined for this not to weaken your ethical resolve. You have a duty to your employees; to lose much needed work and to severely jeopardise job security could be considered more unethical than minor accounts of bribery. As the industry evolves to meet the needs of emerging markets, the cultural relativism of ethical principles means compromises must be made to do business.
13 Fact Sheet – Wellbeing in the Workplace The following statements* may be useful in encouraging discussion on Case Study 4:The total number of cases of stress in 2011/12 made up 40% of all work-related illnesses.Between , an estimated 13.5 million working days were lost as a result of work-related stress absence.The main causes of work-related stress are work pressure, lack of managerial support and work-related violence and bullying.There is evidence showing links between cardiovascular disorder and working long hours. Research suggests that almost 20% ofaccidents on major roads are sleep-related, responsible for 500 deaths per year, of which 40% involve commercial vehicles.Around half of employees leave paid work at their job before 2 years of employment.Compressed workweeks (such as working 10 hours per day over 4 days per week) tend to be associated with positive effects,such as increases in job satisfaction and performance.The average worker has 4.5 sick days per year, causing absenteeism to cost employers £258 per day.A study found that obese workers were 66% more likely than normal-weight workers to call in sick.According to Government advisors, every £1 spent on workplace wellbeing can yield £3-6 in gained productivity and efficiency.1 in 20 people are doing the recommended amount of exercise per week. Adults need to be active for at least 150 mins/week.Nearly 1 in 7 workers in the construction industry have a serious alcohol problemReferences:Health and Safety Laboratory -Health and Safety Executive -Think! -Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine -Office for National Statistics figures -Sustrans -*The ICE does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the statements, which were sourced in October 2013.
14 Fact Sheet – Qatar World Cup The following statements* may be useful in encouraging discussion on Case Study 6:Qatar is one of the highest energy-users per capita, but has a strategy in place to minimise its carbon footprint from energy and water use based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change guidelines and other standards.The project has a Target Zero Policy and Ethics Policy to ensure health, safety, environment and stakeholders are considered.Doha's average summer high is 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and the winter high can approach 80. The city thus spends vast amounts of energy to air-condition its high-rise hotels, skyscrapers, stadiums and other buildings.Aside from tapping aquifers, Qatar relies on energy-intensive desalination plants for its freshwaterQatar allows no hazardous waste to enter its borders, part of its 17-year commitment to the Basel Convention.In 2002, the Qatari government created a special chamber to "hear and decide on the crimes against natural resources of water and the environment.“Qatar aims to get more and more independent from oil and gas and hosting the World Cup is another big step forward to it.9 of 11 stadiums will be built from scratch. The 90,000-seater main stadium will be one of the world’s most sustainable arenas.Solar panels will be used to power the artificial climate control inside the stadiums.Qatar is expected to spend £138 billion on hosting the World Cup, with over half spent on building new transport networks.Hundreds of thousands of football fans will fly to Qatar using Qatar Airways, one of the youngest and most efficient fleets.References:Aljazeera America -US Qatar Business Council -The Guardian -Meyer Reumann & Partners -Huffington Post -*The ICE does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the statements, which were sourced in October 2013.
15 Fact Sheet – Gender Equality The following statements* may be useful in encouraging discussion on Case Study 7 and 8:26 Institutions have signed up to the Engineering Diversity ConcordatThe UK needs 1.28 million STEM professionals by 2020.Women make up 8% of engineering professionals in the UK, half being registered CEng.In China, a third of engineers are women.13% of engineering undergraduates are female in the UK, one of the lowest proportions in Europe;this is low compared to 18% of female undergraduates in the US.13% of Board Directors of FTSE 100 STEM companies are women, compared to 17% in non-STEM industries.1 in 5 FTSE 100 STEM companies have no female board representation.In 2012, two STEM companies were top 5 ranked FTSE 100 companies for highest percentage of women on Boards.1 in 4 women entering the engineering profession leaves after the age 30, while only 1 in 10 of their male counterparts do.There are 7% less unemployed men than there are women in the UK, yet men contribute 60% more income tax than women.There are many other industries outside of engineering that have a high proportion of women employees, e.g. in the UK 90%of psychology graduates and 70% of newly-qualified doctors are female.In 2009/10, the discrepancy between a civil engineer’s mean basic salary was £50,056 for men and £35,152 for women.References:Royal Academy of Engineer –WISE -Engineering Council –Women and Technology -The Guardian –The Metro –The Engineer –*The ICE does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the statements, which were sourced in October 2013.The Engineer –Institution of Civil Engineers –The Independent –ThomasNet -The Poverty Site -HM Revenue and Customs -
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