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There are so many cases which have happened in last 100 years where building collapsed. Similar is the case of the New World Hotel which is situated in Singapore. This incident took place on 15th March 1986 where the building just collapsed instantly taking lives of 33 people and injuring many people[ CITATION Sul14 \l 1033 ]. There are always some ethical factors involved in the incepting to make the poor structures. It is very important to have good professionalism and ethics while creating anything like New World Hotel as it is related to the loves of many people if some mishap happens. This case study involves the relevant factors that are related to the ethics of this incident. A brief business analysis of the case and ethical findings about this ethical case of discussed.
Singapore is the Asian country which is populated approximately with 4 million people. As it has a growing market, the construction of the skyscrapers is expected to happen every now and then. The New World Hotel was constructed in the year 1971 and it was located in Little India which was 6 km away from the downtown of Singapore. It had 6 stories and it was 24 meters high. That was considered to be the tallest buildings in Little India when it was compared with the other buildings in the area. It had 36 concrete columns that supported 6 floors made of concrete which weighed 6000 tons. The building consisted of the parking lot, bank branch, night clubs etc. The remaining floors were occupied by the New World Hotel. The last and the upper most floors were occupied by the mechanical tools like water tanks and air conditioners etc[ CITATION Alv13 \l 1033 ].
The history of the building was good before this incident happened. However, there was a case of leakage of poisonous gas occurred in the year 1975. And every person managed the recovery from the sickness with no loss of lives at all. The pipes were checked and given for the approval for continuing its operation as there was no deadly case found[ CITATION Sta87 \l 1033 ].
Then one day, New World Hotel suffered from a failure when it collapsed instantly around 11 am and this resulted in the deaths of 50 people. Approximately 17 people were rescued and 33 were killed. All the response units with the Air force and Army were informed and asked to dispatch immediately when the collapse happened to move the people who got buried under the concrete. There were many theories claimed which were the cause of the collapse. Wee Kim who was the president of Singapore ordered the investigation team for finding out the actual cause of the collapse. After the investigation, it was found out that there was no external force which caused this collapse but it was just the poor structural design which supported the building t o collapse as the building weighed so much.
Ethical Factors Related to the Collapse
Duty Ethics states that certain duties must and must not be performed irrespective of the good or bad the acts lead to while right ethics focus on the action which is against the moral rights. Not like the utilitarian approach which focuses on the well being of society on the whole, duty and right ethics focus more on the person[ CITATION Vee03 \l 1033 ]. It is actually the duty of the engineers to make sure that public is safe. A proper designing must have been done by the engineers before the construction. 33% of the mishap must not have occurred in the new world hotel if the designing of the architecture was right. Engineers always have the right to exclude everything that is not correct for the particular building. These decisions are acceptable if the ethical and moral rights are not being violated[ CITATION Ire07 \l 1033 ].
Virtue ethics is known for differentiating the actions, whether it is good or bad. Everything is based on the character traits which supports the act[ CITATION Lie15 \l 1033 ]. This is majorly related to one’s personality. This may seem a little not relevant with the engineering ethics yet if seen keeping a different perspective, it becomes tough for individual to change its behaviors. The prevention of the dead load calculation in the design of the building could be viewed as the subordinate because that is the major reason for the collapse of the hotel. Engineers can ask for the advice of some other professional engineer is they are doubtful of the design themselves[ CITATION Lov11 \l 1033 ].
Managing the Unknown
Managing the unknown is not just the skill in engineering field but it can be applied to everything. If people are ready to manage with the unknown, the risk can easily be reduced as the trouble caused by the unknown varies. A few days ago of collapse, when setting up for evening, the night club hostess heard some noises and saw crack in one of the columns. The abnormalities were confirmed as safe on next day. The person who confirmed the abnormalities lead this event of collapse. If he would have been ethical in his duties, he would at least have checked the building thoroughly and the collapse would not have happened[ CITATION Ran14 \l 1033 ].
Whistle blowing defined the disclosure of the illegal or unethical doings in the firm done by the staff for the public. There are 4 different whistles blowing such as external, internal, anonymous and acknowledged. All the forms serve the same purpose that is reporting the unethical acts towards someone who can take the action for that[ CITATION Joa07 \l 1033 ]. Even the small detail in the field of construction from designing to the type of material used are important for making sure of the safety of the building’s future. In the case of New World Hotel, the mistakes at the time of design stage have caused the hotel in collapsing. The mistakes in the design were noticed by the coworkers according to the investigation yet no one reported about it to the higher management accounting [ CITATION Kri16 \l 1033 ].
Benefits and Risks Involved
Benefits: There are no benefits usually in the collapse of the building. Yet one can say that the only benefit in the collapse was that the building could have been filled with 100’s of people but only 33 lives were taken due to this incident. The second employee benefit that happened was that this became a warning for all the other construction companies which might have been using poor concrete for building the structures. There was a research done that in the decade of 90’s, people became more conscious of using good concrete so that any mishap like New World Hotels does not happen.
Risks: The only risk that is involved in this collapse was the threat to the company which was responsible for building such poor structures. That company came under the threat of having no more orders for the construction.
Link to Parties Involved
When this sort of incident happens where a complete building collapses, there are a lot of people involved in the causes[ CITATION Olu13 \l 1033 ]. Majorly all the stakeholders who were responsible in producing the building were involved with the collapse of the building. Then all the search parties and the rescue parties were involved. The rescue parties consisted of the Army people as well as the Air force of Singapore as the president of the country was also involved in this case because it was a huge case.
It is always a duty of multiple people to do their work according to the code of ethics of the particular field they are working in. Some of the ethical mistakes were there when it comes to discussing the case of the new world hotel. On moral ethical grounds, the engineers should be desperate to take care of the architecture which is being constructed under their surveillance[ CITATION Kre07 \l 1033 ]. The design engineer was not convinced with the design and had his doubts yet he did not go to another senior to clear his doubts. Knowing the fact that this building would accommodate 1000’s of people every day. This was morally very wrong. Secondly, there were cracks seen in the building a few days before. Yet the engineers cleared the issue saying that there is no issue with the building. This can said to be the major reason for the collapse of the building.
Summary and Conclusion
On March 15th in 1986, the New world hotel collapse happened and it was one of the deadliest event occurred till then. A rescue team was sent with the army and the Air force for saving people’s lives. 33 people still were dead due to this collapse and 13 got injured badly. The investigation suggests that miscalculation of the building load was done. This report analyses the complete case and finds out the unethical issues which were related to this collapse. The engineers breached some code of ethics in engineering and that was the main cause of collapse. The report also suggests the unethical findings which are related to this event. In the conclusion, one can say that an engineer must never breach the code of ethics and there is a need for them to understand the seriousness of the result which can cause the violation of the code. Rather they must stay firm with their ethics code and make sure that the actions they make are morally right and are for the well being of the public.
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