Posted: January 9th, 2017

Given the current company climate, you know that any recommendation for Chemical Z will probably be met by some resistance

Assignment option A You are Sam, a graduate process engineer who has been working in a local company ‘GreatChem’ for a year on the part of the manufacturing plant which makes Product A. Now you, Sam, have transferred to a different part of the plant where Product B is made. For several years the company has been using Chemical Y as a catalyst in the manufacture of Product B. Chemical Y is carcinogenic, although studies supporting this claim have only recently been published. Without taking elaborate safety precautions, workers handing chemical Y would be exposed to sufficient quantities to risk cancer. However, the disease takes up to 20 years to show itself. The company has tried to implement safety procedures and controls, but workers routinely ignore these. The safety procedures slow down the manufacturing process and the workers frequently cut corners to meet the quotas for Product B. There is another chemical, Chemical Z, which is not carcinogenic, but is as effective a catalyst as Chemical Y. However, Chemical Z is considerably more expensive, the economic environment for Product B is tough, and ‘GreatChem’ is looking for savings and efficiencies. In the next quarterly planning meeting, you, Sam, have been tasked by your line manager to alert the ‘GreatChem’ to the existence of Chemical Z and to recommend EITHER that Chemical Y is kept or that Chemical Z is adopted. The other members of the team who will be present are a senior engineer, a manager, an industrial engineer who supervises the manufacturing process, and a marketing specialist. Given the current company climate, you know that any recommendation for Chemical Z will probably be met by some resistance. As Sam, what recommendation will you make and why? You should refer to a relevant code of conduct or ethics, and explicitly take account of appropriate ethical theories or frameworks when presenting the case for Chemical Y or Z. The written report must not exceed 600 words. Include the text of your chosen code of ethics as an Appendix (which will not be included in the word count).

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