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Exposing Workers To Plutonium Essay

1548 words - 7 pages

To: Board of Directors, Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant/Department of Energy
From:Hire Consultant, Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant/Department
of Energy
Re: Exposing Workers to Plutonium
Date: March 1, 2012

Introduction

Ensuring employee health and keeping the companies expenses at low cost is necessary, also it is important employees are informed of the potential health risks when accepting the job. It is important for a plant to inspect the work place and surrounding areas for safety of employees and the community. The plant did not inform the workers or neighboring communities about the potential health risk from the plutonium contamination. The plant also failed to monitor ...view middle of the document...

In September 1999, the Clinton administration announced to spend millions of dollars to compensate workers harmed by exposure at the plant, and for environmental cleanup in the region.

Ethical Dilemma

The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant/Department of Energy is faced with the dilemma that they had a failure to disclose the levels of pollution to the workers and not monitoring workers health for any problems. This is clearly a case of morality issues, since the plant and department of energy were not morally honest with the workers and the community about the effects of radiation. Now, the question is whether or not the plant should be trusted in ensuring workers health and environmental clean-up and be given another chance, they held to the fact that exposure amounts were small without performing tests. They were ethically and morally wrong by not taking enough precaution to protect the employees and the community from health risks.

Ethical Issues

The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant/Department of Energy failed to inform the workers about the potential health risks. The plant was under the assumption that the amount of radiation exposure was small and not enough to harm anyone. Since the plant failed to perform tests to determine the actual levels of exposure, it caused workers health issues, some of them leading to experiencing higher risks of cancer. The plant/department of energy was completely dishonest with the employees by not informing them of potential health risks, monitoring the levels of radiation, and ensuring the employee’s health. They were also dishonest with the neighboring community by not informing them of the radiation contamination in private water wells, and the dumped contamination in landfills and fields.

The plant had no right to deceive the employees and neighboring communities by hiding the effects of radiation, it was morally unethical and unfair. It is not only a liability to the plant/department of energy, but there intention to do what’s best for employees was not justified completely. As using Kant’s “best-known principles of obligation is “never treat another person merely as a means to your own goals”” (Pg. 7); would imply to the plant/department of energy for not being honest. It is a moral failure for the plant/department of energy to fail to disclose the possible risks even if they thought that the risks were not that significant.

Alternatives

The alternatives to course of actions that the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant/Department of Energy can take are either monitoring levels of exposure and screen workers for possible health problems resulting from exposure more frequently, maybe every couple months, or informing the community and employees about the risks of radiation contamination and providing mandatory health plans to all the employees.

Monitoring levels of exposure and screening workers for possible health problems resulting from exposure more frequently would be one...

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