Engineering Ethics - Responsibility for Safety
So far, we have come across many reasons why an engineer needs to be responsible. Responsible engineers follow codes of ethics to avoid unnecessary problems. The problems mainly arise in two different ways. One of them is when you can rate and the other is when you can't. A mistake made by an engineer at work can lead to huge losses.
An engineer is supposed to assess the risks of his experiments. Disasters do happen sometimes, although enough care is taken, as shown in the examples given in previous chapters. But knowing all the possibilities, if an engineer neglects the precautions, the results can be truly disastrous. So, let's try to analyze the importance of safety in engineering.
Safety and riskue
The terms security and risk are interrelated. It is amazing to know that what may be safe enough for one person may not be so for someone else. This is due either to different perceptions of what is safe or to different predispositions to harm.
For a better understanding, let's explore security and risks in more detail.
According to William W Lowrance, the famous consultant of the time, safety was defined as " A thing is certain if its risks are considered acceptable . "
To be clearer about this, let's consider three cases.
This is the first case where we seriously underestimate the risks of something. Purchasing an unbranded electric dryer in a local market without any warranty may eventually send us to a hospital with severe electric shock or burn. When purchasing this dryer, as defined by Lowrancid, this is fairly safe, as the risks are deemed acceptable.
Let the second case be where we grossly overestimate the risks of something. If we suddenly know that consuming carbonated drinks like cola is the cause of cancer for 5% of cancer patients worldwide, then we start wo rrying considering Cola as a poisonous drink. So in this case, according to Lowrance's definition, Cola becomes unsafe the moment we have deemed the risks of its use unacceptable to us.
That the third case is a situation in which a group does not judge at all whether the risks of a thing are acceptable or not.as defined by Lowrance, it is the position where the thing is neither safe nor dangerous in relation to this group. Just as the use of the products of some brands is considered safe, while others are not where nothing seems to differ.
Safety is often expressed in terms of degree and comparisons. Words like fairly safe and relatively safe are used when an individual is being judged on the basis of established values and it is further decided that the risks of anything either are more or less acceptable compared to the risks of the other thing. For example, considering road travel to be safer than air travel.
Any work which could cause us harm and which is not considered safe can be interpreted as a risk. According to a popular definition, " A risk is the possibility of an unwanted and dangerous event occurring . " According to WilliamDr Rowe, potential for the realization of adverse consequences of imminent events .
Risk is a broad concept covering many different types of adverse events. When it comes to technology, it can also include dangers of personal injury, economic loss or environmental degradation. These in turn can be caused by a delay in the completion of work, faulty products or systems or economically or environmentally damaging solutions to technological problems.
With advancements in technology, people are now aware of it all going into a process.isques are understood as those which can be identified. Overall, public perception has also undergone a change.
Acceptability of risk
Lowrance in its definition considered safety an acceptable risk. Let's tie that in and see William D. Rowe's definition below, " a risk is acceptable when the people involved are generally no longer afraid of it '.
Influential factors which lead to such apprehension are -
If the risk is accepted voluntarily.
The effects of knowledge on how the probabilities of harm (or benefit) are known or perceived.
Whether the risks are related to the job or other pressures exist that cause people to overlook the risks.
If the effects of a risky activity or situation are immediately noticeable or are within reach.
If the potential victims are identifiable beforehand.
The acceptability of the risk depends on the types of risks such as voluntary and unintentional risks, short and long term consequences, expected probability, reversible effects, risk thresholds, deferred and immediate risk, etc.
We have a better understanding of risk acceptability in our following sections.
Willfulness and control
In our day-to-day life, we encounter many things of this kind where the extent of the risks might or might not be small. The person who breaks a red signal tends to be in an accident, but is at risk. A person who lives near a landfill is prone to health problems, but neglects. A boy who drives a vehicle at high speed cannot count on the brakes working perfectly. But these people take voluntary risks bythinking they can control .
In this way, they may well display the unrealistic confidence characteristic of most people when they believe they are in danger of being under their control. Fans worry less about the risk they might face and therefore overlook the dangers lurking behind them. The risk of being affected is unpredictable in such cases.
Effective risk assessment information
Acceptance of risks also depends on how the information needed for decision making is present. A person can be motivated to break safety rules by explaining the higher probability of success, while the same person can be demotivated from such a task, by explaining the probability of failure and its fatal effects .
Hence, options perceived as generating firm gains will tend to be preferred over those whose gainsare perceived as risky or only probable. Focusing on business losses will tend to be avoided in favor of those whose chances of success are perceived to be probable. In short, people tend to be more willing to take risks to avoid perceived business losses than they are to gain only possible gains.
Risks associated with the job
In some jobs where workers are exposed to chemicals, radiation and toxic gases, etc., they are not informed of the probable risks that workers would face in carrying out their work . These are such dangers where toxic environments cannot be easily seen, smelled, heard or otherwise smelled.
Workers in such places are simply tied to their job and what they are told to do. The state of health of an affected person in such environments is notcan be neglected as this will be the future state of colleagues.
Magnitude and proximity
It is unfortunate that most of us only realize the magnitude of risk when we or the person is in our close proximity or a member of the family, is affected. A group of 20 friends including us, if he is hit or narrowly escaped death, affects us more than the incident happened to a group of 50 strangers, in a group of 1000. This proximity effect occurs in perceptions of risk over time as well.
Future risk is easily averted by
The attitude of "out of sight , out of mind ”.
The assumption that predictions for the future should be discarded using lower probabilities.
The belief that a counter - the measure will be found in time.
UThe continued enthusiasm that drives us to do such a task without thinking is really dangerous. Either the attitude that everything is under control and nothing is going to happen or neglecting the number of accidents that have occurred is also risky. It is important that engineers recognize these widely held perceptions of risk in their work and take them into account in their designs.
The study of risk analysis covers other areas such as risk identification, risk analysis, risk assessment, risk assessment, suggestions on risk control and risk mitigation. In fact, risk analysis can be deeply discussed in view of a risk management study. The risk management study also includes the transfer of residual risks, risk financing, etc.
A risk analysis in stages comprend -
Evaluation of failure modes and frequencies from established sources and best practices.
Selection of credible scenarios and risks.
Fault and event trees for
Calculation of consequences-effects with work from models.
Individual and societal risks.
ISO risk contours superimposed on diagrams for different scenarios.
Probability and frequency analysis.
Risk criteria established for countries, organizations, standards.
Comparison of risks and risk criteria.
Identifying the risk beyond the boundary of the location, if any.
Risk mitigation measures.
It all depends once again on the faThis is where the risk s versus the benefit of doing the job with some risk. The extent to which it is beneficial to take risks also takes into account the actions of a person in going out of safe limits.
Risk and benefit analysis
As the famous saying goes “A ship in port is secure. But that's not what ships are built for. The risk is quite common to accept. The most common risk we all take is driving a car in traffic. While we are unsure of the perfect functionality of the braking system and the timing of other drivers' responses, we take risks. The determining factor seems to be their perception of their individual capacity to manage the risky situation.
Just like in the example above, people mainly calculate the risk / benefit ratios, while accepting the risks. Risk / benefit analysis is done based on types such as those mentioned below.
The risk to arise in the future is fully known after fully develops. It is called Actual future risk .
If the idea of risk is developed using current data, it is called Statistical risk .
The risk that is analytically based on system models structured from historical studies is called Projected risk .
The risk that is intuitively perceived by individuals is called Perceived risk .
If the risks of traveling an airplane-to-airplane is considered for the 'observation, then the acesurance theft. the company may observe it as a statistical risk, while the risk the passenger faces is the perceived risk and the Federal Aviation Administration faces a projected risk. Therefore, the idea of accepting the risk and the idea of the benefit / risk ratio motivate the individual.
The risks we typically face can be reduced to a large extent in a stepwise alysis. as mentioned below -
- Define the problem.
- Generate multiple solutions.
- Analyze each solution to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Test the solutions.
- Select the best solution.
- Implement the chosen solution.
- Analyze the risk in the chosen solution.
- Try to solve or go to the next solution.
The approach togovernment
Risk management needs to be seen in a broader perspective when sudden disasters strike due to lack of proper care and assessment. The government, which has the responsibility to take care of all the public, must take risks. The government's approach to the public is to save as many lives as possible.
The two main approaches of government are -
For example, at the time of a flood or fire, the government of any place should aim to protect as many lives as possible rather than seek an advantage or protect certain property. This will count as a successful attempt to deal with the risk.e if the authority is able to protect its population even after the destruction of property.