Disaster Relief: Public Safety and Public Opinion after a Plant Emergency
Introduction and Scenario
This project centers around the following scenario. Two people with relevant experience were interviewed to gain their reaction to this situation.
You are an engineer in a plant outside a small community. You work during normal hours, but are on call afterwards; the plant operates continuously. There are some large vessels in the plant that contain hazardous vapors. Although your company has an excellent safety record, several groups in the community have expressed concerned over the danger it poses, and publish letters to the editor in the local paper every month or so.
In the middle of a winter night, your plant manager calls reporting that several feet of snow which have accumulated since yesterday have caused a section of the roof in the plant to collapse. Little more is known yet, but as the engineer you are expected to help. You are the first person the manager has called, and they need to know what step to take next.
My principle interests were:
- Considering public opinion, how much must you know before notifying the public?
- How can you react is a safe manner while saving face?
- What can be done to regain trust?
Cite this page:
"Disaster Relief: Public Safety and Public Opinion after a Plant Emergency"
Online Ethics Center for Engineering
National Academy of Engineering
Accessed: Sunday, May 19, 2013