Carlos has recently finished his engineering degree and has been hired by a firm, Tencasa, that currently focuses on structural design projects but wants to expand its range of services to include hydraulics projects. Carlos has a six-month contract and, after that, the company will decide whether they keep him as an employee of the firm.
It is Carlos’ first job and he will be in charge of Tencasa’s new hydraulics division. After a month, Carlos has not yet been in the field, but this situation changes. Carlos’ boss tells him that they have found a project, but it has to be completed in less than a month. The project consists of building a storage tank and several pipelines that connect with the water supply system for the town of Lliria, near Valencia (Spain).
The project seems straightforward, but Carlos spends all weekend studying and reviewing the entire project and its calculations. Under direction from his boss, on Monday morning Carlos picks up three Ecuadorian workers and goes to the town to begin work on the project.
During the first week the work is clear-cut, and the project progresses quickly.
Carlos spends a lot of time with the workers — having lunch, working side by side with them, or simply talking. In time he realizes that the three workers are illegal immigrants. One used to be a schoolteacher and the other two were musicians. He also learns that the workers do not have any type of worker’s compensation or other medical insurance. They tell him that they earn three or four times the wages they earned in Ecuador and their families depend on this money. Further, they realize they do not have any medical insurance and that construction work carries some risk to their health.
Carlos sympathizes with the workers and becomes increasingly concerned about safety on the construction site as well as the potential liability associated with a government investigation related to hiring illegal immigrants. However, Carlos balances this concern with the realization that the men need to earn money and support their families. Besides, the workers are doing a good job.
During the final week of the project, the main task is the completion of the storage tank. This tank is a concrete structure, which should be completed in five days. As the three Ecuadorian workers have no experience in working with concrete, Carlos is concerned about their ability to safely and correctly complete the project. He thinks Tencasa should increase jobsite safety measures and/or hire appropriately-qualified workers to complete the tank construction.
Carlos meets with his boss and recommends that Tencasa hire qualified workers, implement additional jobsite safety measures, and legalize the Ecuadorian workers (thereby making them eligible for worker compensation benefits). Carlos’ boss smiles upon hearing the proposals and gives Carlos an ultimatum: Carlos must finish the project with the workers he has. Furthermore, Carlos must forget the Ecuadorians’ situation because they should be grateful they have a job, and if they are not grateful, there are plenty of other workers who would happily take their place.
Carlos does not know what to do. On the one hand, he knows that an accident could happen during the tank construction and he feels it is not fair to risk the health of the workers. But on the other hand, he knows that the Ecuadorians want their jobs. In addition, if Carlos successfully completes this job on time, he can get a permanent contract with the firm.
What should Carlos do?
Some observations on engineering practice in Spain as compared to the United States:
One difference between engineering practice in Spain versus the United States is that in Spain, there is no limitation on engineering practice due to the engineer’s age. Young engineers can design, build or supervise a project if they have been hired for that. Hence, in very big companies which carry out large projects, it is normal to find a senior engineer with several young assistants who carry out the
whole project, while in small companies with small projects, young engineers are in charge either to design or to build the construction.
In contrast, engineering licensure laws in the United States would not allow a young engineer so much freedom. Rather, a young engineer in the United States (identified as an “engineer intern” or “engineer-in-training”) would be required to perform all engineering work under the direct supervision of a more experienced, licensed engineer. With respect to professional responsibility, the engineer who supervises the work would be legally responsible for the work; such a heavy responsibility would not be given to a recent engineering graduate. These types of internships typically persist for a minimum of four years, and only after obtaining the professional engineer’s license would an individual be allowed to do projects on his/her own.
Another difference between Spanish and United States engineering practice is that in Spain there are three partners in an engineering project: the designer, the builder and the supervisor, and all of them should be engineers. The designer designs the project, the builder constructs it, and the supervisor ensures that the builder does everything as it has been specified. The builder and the supervisor must be different entities (persons), but the designer can serve dual roles; that is, be both designer/builder or designer/supervisor. In fact, the designer is frequently the supervisor of his/her project.
This is not typical for public works projects in the United States. Because of the highly developed division of labor, it would be unusual for an engineer to both design and construct a project. These are separate job functions, and usually the engineer would only do the design. Other persons; that is, building contractors, would do the construction and these persons would not necessarily be engineers. And in many cases, a different engineer might perform a quality control function on behalf of the project owner during the construction process, but even this role does not strictly parallel the supervisor function found in Spanish engineering practice.
Paper Details 8
Engineering Ethics in Spain Read the case study on Engineering Ethics in Spain: The Risky Tank (see attached files for case study document). In our increasingly global world, you may encounter situations working with or in other countries that may be an ethical problem. For this assignment, make sure you discuss the following. · Identify and explain at least two ethical issues in this case study. If exploitation is one of your issues, explain the extent to which the conditions for exploitation are met in this situation based on the textbook. (At least two paragraphs or two slides.) · For each ethical issue you identified, address/analyze the issue using one of the tools found in Section 8.4 Boundary Crossing Problems and determine what action or inaction Carlos should take in relation to that issue. Be sure to explain why this seems to be the best ethical decision for that issue. (At least two paragraphs or two slides per issue.) · Summarize what Carlos should do by tying together your previous responses. (At least one paragraph or slide.) · Use a table to show the positive and negative outcomes of Carlos’s actions and who the outcomes impacted. One idea for a table might be as shown below. (One table) *you may choose differently
For your submission, you will need to provide your own thoughts on the assignment, but in third person.
Two pages, plus title page, and references (Word document). APA, use Times New Roman or Calibri, font size 12, one-inch margins, double-spaced. Don’t forget to cite inside the paper. Be sure to include references at the end.