Ethics in the Workplace - Research Paper Example

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The reporter casts light upon the fact that the recent Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in which around 25 people were killed and much more are still missing raised many ethical questions about the safety of mine operations in America today…
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Ethics in the Workplace
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Ethics in the Workplace - Upper Big Branch Mine
The recent Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in which around 25 people were killed and many more are still missing raised many ethical questions about the safety of mine operations in America today. Around 12 days before China also reported a major mine accident in which around 25 people were dead and thirteen people were missing. In short, mine accidents are growing across the world which shows the lack of safety measures taken in this sector.
Michael Cooper and Ian Urbina written on Today’s (9 April 2010) New York Times that the operator of the West Virginia mine was warned by federal officials just over two years ago that it could be cited for having a “pattern of violations”. But the mine escaped the stepped-up enforcement even though it continued to amass violations, federal records show. They also reported that the mine operators were notified by about 204 violations by the Mine Safety and Health administration (Cooper & Urbina, 2010).
The above report clearly shows that both the mine operators and the authorities were aware of the problems and still took no serious actions to rectify it. In other words, the lives of the mine workers were given least value by the authorities and the Upper Big Branch Mine operators. Mine works are considered to be one of the most dangerous works in the world because of the complexities in conducting underground operations.
Bob Drogin and Nicole Santa Cruz have written on Los Angeles Times dated: 06 Apr 2010 that the Massey Energy Co., the mine owner...Officials said they didn't yet know the cause of the accident. They also reported that the federal inspectors who have inspected the company earlier found lot of violations and have fined the company more than $382,000 for repeated serious violations (Drogin& Cruz, 2010). The argument of the company management that they don’t know the reason of accident itself shows that how less seriously they are addressing such a serious accident. They are deliberately trying to hide the fact that the company was caught and fined on many occasions for safety violations. They never learned lessons from their earlier mistakes.
Both the company and the authorities are equally responsible for this accident. Loopholes in the governmental rules and regulations on mine operations were also contributed heavily to the Upper Big Branch Mine accident. Authorities even though enforced some fines, never tried to take any strong actions against the company. The authorities could have asked the company to close down their operations till all the safety measures were in place. They failed to do so and satisfied with some routine inspections and fines. The company on the other hand was aware that the authorities may not implement any strong actions against them and continued playing with the human lives.
In short, both the management of the Upper Big Branch Mine and the authorities like The Mine Safety and Health administration are equally responsible for the above accident.
1. Cooper Michael & Urbina Ian, (2010), Mine Operator Escaped Extra Oversight After Warning , Retrieved on 09 April 2010 from
2. Drogin Bob and Cruz Nicole Santa (2010), 25 miners killed in West Virginia explosion [USA], Retrieved on 09 April 2010 from Read More
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