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Engineering ethics consists of values and behaviors that relate to the conduct of engineers with respect to wrongness or righteousness of engineering actions and motives of their actions. Engineers have defined a code of ethics that guides their actions. One such organization that dictates the code of ethics for engineers is the National Society of Professional Engineers. The body has defined cannons for engineers. One of the most common cannon is holding a paramount safety, health and welfare of the public in all engineering practices.
The cannon states that an engineer’s judgment can be overruled when human life is endangered or threatened due to the engineering activity to be undertaken. As a civil engineer, when am compromised with such situation, I will notify the client or the employee in writing and the relevant authority about the same. As an engineer, I will only approve engineering works or documents that conform to engineering standards. When dealing with a client, I will only disclose information, data and facts after prior notification and approval of the client unless it is necessary or public interests are threatened. I will adhere to the cannon as the safety in engineering works is important in preventing and mitigating workplace accidents and deaths. Most workplace accidents occur due to failure to observe safety measures such as; improper dress code, operating machines that one is not familiar with or allowing unauthorized people at the control rooms.
The cannon is important for many reasons. Observing the cannon ensures that the workers and the public are safe from harm resulting from the engineering activity. It also helps in avoiding personal and business damage and large bills resulting from accidents by employing safety tactics in the working environment. The cannon also raises employee’s awareness at workplace about the potential health and safety hazards they face. By observing it, workers get to know the importance of maintaining health and safety measures such as putting on earplugs to protect them from excessive noise common in the engineering firms that can damage their eardrum leading to hearing problems.
The cannon also helps in putting the public interest first before commissioning of any engineering project. An engineering project should offer a solution to the public and not result in a conflict. For instance, putting a mega building on a forest reserve is not ethical as it interferes with the environment that is at the heart of public interest. As an engineer, I will ensure that I do my best to become a distinguished engineer while at the same time observing this and other cannons.
As an engineering student, my goal is to graduate with a solid foundation in technical skills, science, and mathematics needed in the industry to design and analyze civil infrastructure systems. In doing so, I will ensure that I adhere to all ethics and engineering standards to obtain engineering licensing and accreditation that will enable me to offer my services to any part of the world. I understand that I will be torn between ensuring safety, health and public welfare in my projects and the large financial motivations from the clients but I will uphold high levels of integrity at all times. In addition to that, am hoping and working hard to ensure that I obtain necessary academic qualifications for employment in the field of civil engineering and eventually assume leadership roles in the profession.
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