The Ethical Dilemma Of Industrial Engineers Essay

2100 Words9 Pages
Industrial Engineers often face the ethical dilemma of attempting to balance costs with quality and safety. Company management pressures Industrial systems engineers to design processes that are cost efficient, time constrained, and produce a high quality output. This puts the engineer in a tricky balancing act in which they are trying to make every stakeholder happy. Taking risks in order to create cost efficient solutions is not specific to only industrial engineers but applies to all disciplines of engineering, making this topic a relevant discussion. However, this conflict is especially true in a manufacturing setting where industrial engineers thrive, machine operators are often overworked, companies make products in high stakes, large batches, and the range of quality acceptance is growing ever smaller. A relevant example is the engineer who was designing a chemical plant in Mexico. In order to achieve the correct viscosity of the paint stripper, the engineer asked the plant operator to babysit the chemical mixture and manually release the valve when necessary. Engineering management’s decision puts the plant worker at a safety risk in order to achieve a tighter quality and standardization of the chemical stripper production process. Ultimately, this resulted in the catastrophic death of the plant worker and the destruction of the plant. Although there is a wealth of information already published on this topic, I will analyze this topic by applying Immanuel Kant’s duty
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