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Chapter 4 1 CHAPTER 4 – ETHICS AND SAFETY CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 1 CHAPTER 4 – ETHICS AND SAFETY CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 1 CHAPTER 4 – ETHICS AND SAFETY CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

2 Chapter 4 2 An Ethical Dilemma - Example  Southland Prestressed Concrete (SPC) company has been awarded a contract to build an ultramodern multistory shopping mall.  “The University Mall” is the largest contract SPC has ever undertaken.  In order to win the contract SPC’s Vice President had to a agree to a completion date, that if not reasonable, is at least going to be challenging.  In addition, all exposed concrete surfaces must be sprayed with a specified paint that is highly toxic and difficult to apply. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

3 Chapter 4 3 An Ethical Dilemma - Example  SPC’s subcontractor has never used this particular type of paint before.  Personal protective equipment and other engineering controls can minimize the potential hazards, but all precautions must be stringently observed with absolutely no shortcuts.  The manufacturer of the paint recommends 3 full days of training for all employees who will work with the paint.  The recommended training cannot be provided soon enough to fit into SPC’s expedited schedule for this job. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

4 Chapter 4 4 An Ethical Dilemma - Example  In a secret meeting, SPC’s executive managers decide to purchase the necessary personal protective equipment, use the toxic paint as specified and forgo the recommended training.  In addition, the executives decide to withhold from employees all information about the toxicity of the paint.  Safety engineer was not invited to the secret meeting however the decision made during the meeting were slipped to him anonymously. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

5 Chapter 4 5 An Ethical Dilemma - Example  Safety engineer faces an ethical dilemma: –If he chooses to do nothing, employees might be inappropriately exposed to a highly dangerous substance. –If he shares what he knows with the subcontractor, he might be called upon to testify about what he knows; a step that could cost him his job and threaten his career. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

6 Chapter 4 6 Definitions CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety  Ethics – the study of morality within a context established by cultural and professional values, social norms, and accepted standards of behavior  Morality – the values that are subscribed to and fostered by society in general. –Ethical behavior falls within the limits prescribed by morality.  Ethical questions are rarely black and white. They typically fall into a gray area between two extremes of right and wrong. –Personal experience, self-interest, point of view, and external pressure often cloud this gray area even further.

7 Chapter 4 7 Guidelines for Determining Ethical Behavior CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety  Guidelines are needed when trying to sort out matters that are not clearly right or wrong.  It is necessary to distinguish between the concepts of legal and ethical. –Just because an option is legal does not necessarily mean it is ethical.  Guidelines for determining ethical behavior assuming that the behavior in question is legal. –“Morning After Test” How will you feel the morning after? –“Front Page Test” Would it embarrass you if it were a story on the front page of the newspaper?

8 Chapter 4 8 Guidelines for Determining Ethical Behavior –Mirror Test” How will you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? –“Role-Reversal Test” Trade places with the people affected by your decision and view the decision through their eyes. –“Common-Sense Test” Listen to your instincts and common sense. If it feels wrong, it probably is. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

9 Chapter 4 9 Guidelines for Determining Ethical Behavior  Blanchard and Peale suggest their own testing for deciding ethical choice in a given situation: –Is it legal? If an action is not legal, it is also not ethical. –Is it balanced? If an action is balanced, it is fair to all involved –How will it make me feel about myself? If a course of action is in keeping with our own moral structure, it will make you feel good about yourself. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

10 Chapter 4 10 Five P’s of Ethical Power CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety 1. Purpose: Individuals see themselves as ethical people who let their conscience be their guide and, in all cases, want to feel good about themselves. 2. Pride: Individuals apply internal guidelines and have sufficient self-esteem to make decisions that may not be popular with others. 3. Patience: Individual believe right will prevail in the long run, and they are willing to wait when necessary. 4. Persistence: Individuals are willing to stay with an ethical course of action once it has been chosen and to see it through to a positive conclusion. 5. Perspective: Individuals take the time to reflect and are guided by their own internal barometer when making ethical decisions.

11 Chapter 4 11 Ethical Behavior in Organizations  Trevino suggest ethical behavior in organizations is influenced by individual factors and social factors.  Individual Factors: –Ego Strength Ability to undertake tasks and cope with tense situations –Machiavellianism Attempt to deceive –Locus of control Workers’ perspective on who controls their behavior (Internal or External)  Social Factors:  Gender, age, work experience, influence of people, etc.  People learn appropriate behavior by observing the behavior of significant role models. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

12 Chapter 4 12 Construction Professionals and Ethics  Knowing what is ethical is easier than actually doing it.  Construction professionals should, 1.Set an example 2.Help employees facing ethical questions in decision making 3.Help employees undertake the chosen ethical option.  One of the following approaches can be adapted: –Best-ratio approach –Black-and-white approach –Full potential approach CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

13 Chapter 4 13 Best-Ratio Approach  Pragmatic option  Sometimes referred to as situational ethics.  People are basically good  Under certain conditions, people may be driven to unethical behavior.  Construction professionals should do everything possible to create conditions that promote ethical behavior and try to maintain the highest possible ratio of good choices to bad.  When hard decisions must be made, the appropriate choice is the one that does the most good for most people. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

14 Chapter 4 14 Black-and-White Approach  Right is right, wrong is wrong.  Circumstances are irrelevant  Construction professional’s job is to make ethical decisions and carry them out and, in addition to help employees choose the ethical route.  When difficult decisions must be made, construction professionals should make fair and impartial choices regardless of outcomes. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

15 Chapter 4 15 Full-Potential Approach  Decisions are made based on how the outcomes affect the ability of individuals to achieve their full potential.  People are responsible for realizing their full potential within the confines of morality.  Choices that can achieve this goal without infringing on the rights of others are considered ethical. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

16 Chapter 4 16 Approaches  Decisions made may differ, depending on the approach selected.  In the case study of Southland Prestressed Concrete (SPC) company, –If the safety engineer applies the best-ratio approach, he may decide to keep quiet, encourage the proper usage of personal protective equipment, and hope for the best. –If he takes the black-and-white approach, he will be compelled to confront the SPC’s management team with what he knows. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

17 Chapter 4 17 Company’s Role in Ethics  Construction companies, have a critical role to play in promoting ethical behavior among their employees.  Construction professionals cannot set ethical examples alone or expect employees to behave ethically in a vacuum.  A company’s role in ethics can be summarized as: 1.Creating an internal environment that promotes, expects, and rewards ethical behavior. 2.Setting an example of ethical behavior in all external dealings. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

18 Chapter 4 18 Creating an Ethical Environment CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety  Companies create an ethical environment by establishing policies and practices that ensure that all employees are treated ethically and then enforcing these policies.  Companies can create an ethics policy –“J. R. Makin Construction Company will conduct its business in strict compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, corporate policies, procedures, and guidelines. We will conduct all business with honesty, integrity, and a strong commitment to the highest standards of ethics. We have a duty to conduct our business with both the letter and the spirit of the law.”

19 Chapter 4 19 Setting an Ethical Example  Companies that take the “do as I say, not as I do” approach to ethics do not succeed.  Employees must be able to trust their company leaders to conduct all external and internal dealings in an ethical manner.  Companies must support employees who make ethically correct decisions. –In the case study of Southland Prestressed Concrete (SPC) company, higher management must stand behind the safety manager if he decides to confront the management team. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

20 Chapter 4 20 Handling Ethical Dilemmas CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety  Steps of handling ethical dilemmas: 1. Apply the guidelines to determine what is ethical. 1.Use the simple tests 2.Goal is to identify the ethical choice. 2. Select the Approach 1.Consider the best ratio, black-and-white, and full potential approaches 2.Personal makeup, expectations of the company, degree of company support affect the decision. 3. Proceeding with the Decision 1.Proceed in strict accordance with the approach selected 2.Consistency is critical when handling ethical dilemmas.

21 Chapter 4 21 Whistle-Blowing CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety  Whistle-blowing – the act of informing an outside authority or media organ of alleged illegal or unethical acts on the part of an organization or individual.  Problems with whistle-blowing: 1.Retribution 2.Damaged relationships and hostility 3.Loss of focus 4.Scapegoating

22 Chapter 4 22 OSHA and Whistle-Blowing CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety  Employee protection provisions –Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) –This statute makes it illegal for an employer covered by the act to discharge an employee or otherwise discriminate against an employee in terms of compensation, conditions, or privileges of the employment because the employee or any person acting at an employee’s request performs a protected activity.  Employers covered by the ERA include the following: –Licensees of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or an agreement state (including applicants for a license) –A contractor or subcontractor of a licensee or applicant –A contractor or subcontractor of the Department of Energy

23 Chapter 4 23 OSHA and Whistle-Blowing  Key provisions to the ERA: 1.Every employee has the right to raise a safety concern 2.Unlawful acts by employers in the form of intimidation, threatening, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, or discriminate any employees 3.Complaints by an employee or representative may be filed up to 180 days of the action. 4.Enforcement – if the employers cannot provide clear evidence of no violation, OSHA performs an investigation. 5.Relief – if found in violation, the employer must provide appropriate relief in the form of reinstatement, back wages, compensation for injuries, and attorney’s fees and costs. CEE 698 – Construction Health and Safety

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