Published on March 9, 2014
Hazard and Risk Assessment Ethics in Industrial Hygiene National Conference in Industrial Hygiene February 14, 2014 Maharshi Mehta, CSP, CIH International Safety Systems, Inc., Washingtonville New York, USA www.issehs.com
Agenda Introduction to Ethics in Industrial Hygiene Current Situation Elements The need – Professional – Personal Religion and ethics – Place of worship (temple, synagogue, mosques VS Workplace) – Gods Vs Stakeholders Benefits - Case Studies Conclusions ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Current situation Exposure control decisions seem to be made based on erroneous data at 50%+ workplaces – One or more of reproducible, representative and reliable data missing Issues with sampling and analytical methods Greed has no lid – Knowingly results are delivered what company or client is looking at some of the workplaces – Financial gains at the cost of integrity ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Issues with sampling and analytical methods Collect more samples in limited time – Exposure numbers, no indicating on what is contributing to exposure Reproducibility – 1 sample Reliability – Calibration – Laboratories analyzing samples Representativeness – Sampling durations Focus on monitoring and not on exposure controls ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
The Need-Professional Impact on Stakeholders – Employee Reputation – ABC Environmental company in China Trust Financial and standard of living Business Growth – word of mouth ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
The Need-Other Impact on Family, Society and Nation Family – – – – Values in children and other family members Bonding and benefits of bonding Friends Ever widening virtuous circle Nation – Erosion of values – Economical impact Impact on individual – – – Effective utilization of latent ability Peace of mind Growth ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Gods VS Workers and Family ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Temples Vs. Workplaces and Homes-True Haven ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Examples All Around Us - Cost to Shareholders Enron collapsed in 2001 – costing shareholders $74B and prompting Sarbane-Oxley Accounting Regulation. WorldCom-$11B.
How Do Professionals Use a Code? As “The Law?” -- (Enforceable v. not enforceable?) As a “set of guidelines?” As a means to set a baseline standard of practice? As a way to raise the level of practice?
Code History Originally Adopted – Early 80’s Revised – Mid 90’s – Cannons with Interpretive Guidelines – Joint IH Ethics Education Committee (JIHEEC) March 2006 Meeting – ABIH, ACGIH, AIH, AIHA & JIHEEC ABIH – Legally Enforceable Code of Ethics – May 2007 – Diplomates, Applicants & Examinees
A guideline for professional ethical decisions Not a black and white set of rules Not a replacement for good judgment http://www.abih.org/downloads/ABIHCodeofEth
IH Ethical Misconduct Examples Borrowing from another’s proposal Deliberate failure to control data quality Failure to protect confidential data Release of results of study before peer review Avoiding competition by refusing to share data Research designed to favor a specific result Fabrication of data Deliberate failure to disclose sources of support
Ethical Dilemma Exposure assessment for formaldehyde in manufactured housing is contracted and scheduled for a specific week with an industrial hygiene consultant. The contract is for the collection of the data only. The hygienist will not have access to the analytical results or be involved in writing the report. The client changes the date twice for reasons not explained. The industrial hygienist arrives on site ready to conduct the study, but it begins to rain. Rain is projected for the entire week of the study and the relative humidity is projected to be between 85-95%.
A call to the laboratory and the sorbent tube media manufacturer confirms that the high humidity environment will skew the results low if the data is used. Upon informing the client of the current circumstances for performing the exposure assessment, the client complains that the hygienist is being too cautious and should collect the data anyways.
What are Potential Responses? Refuse to collect any further samples Collect and submit the samples and contact the laboratory to report field conditions Collect the samples and report nothing Collect the samples and require that the client submit them to the laboratory
What are the Likely Outcomes of the Responses? Integrity of the Samples Integrity of the Client Role of the Laboratory and Media Manufacturer Long-term Responsibility – Social Justice Issues
Ethical Dilemma You are bound by a contract to protect the confidentiality of the project for which you are hired. Because of the complexity of the IH issues, you wish to obtain input from a professional peer regarding the technical aspects of the project.
What are Potential Responses? Ignore your desire to obtain input from a professional peer because it could be considered an ethical breach of your clients confidentiality. Discuss the project without disclosing confidential details such as the name of the company, individual names, proprietary or other. Discuss in full disclosure with a professional peer who is unrelated to the project and lives thousands of miles away. Consider publishing your quandaries in the next edition of the Synergist.
What are the Likely Outcomes of the Responses?
Ethical Dilemma You witness what you feel is a violation of the code by one of your professional peers who is a CIH. She agrees with her boss to date a safety review earlier than it was conducted, so it lines up closer to when the issue was identified.
What are Potential Responses Contact anyone you can think of along with ABIH, and/or AIHA and report the incident. Submit a written allegation of a breach of ethical duty or professional responsibility to the chair of the JIHEEC. Call the AIHA President to personally complain. Explain to the peer that you feel they are acting unethically and give them an opportunity to correct the situation before taking further action. If it remains unresolved then you could submit a written allegation of a breach of ethical duty or professional responsibility to ABIH.
Ethical Dilemma You are invited by a vendor who provides a majority of your industrial hygiene laboratory services to play golf and have dinner at an “exclusive” country club.
What are Potential Responses? Accept the offer and ask if he wouldn’t mind throwing in a sleeve of balls and a hat. Investigate your company’s policy on accepting vendor gifts and determine the best course of action with your supervisor. Decide to accept the offer, but only if you can pay for your own green fees and dinner. Accept the invitation but insist that the bill be paid in cash instead of a credit card to avoid leaving a “paper trail”.
Ethical Dilemma As an IH consultant you are asked by a major insurance carrier to sample for mold in a residential setting. One of the home’s occupants is recovering from cancer and recently had a bone marrow transplant. Moderate to extensive visible mold is present throughout the home and you recommend relocating the family. The insurance carrier disagrees and asks you “to keep your mouth shut” or they will take legal action.
What are Potential Responses? Wonder why you chose to be a consultant and run out of the building screaming. Keep your mouth shut and pretend it never happened. Ignore the insurance carriers threats and immediately notify the occupants to vacate the premises. Contact a close friend, attorney and/or mentor and ask for additional advice and direction.
Challenges encountered-Ethical Approaches adopted Filter fell off during sampling operator connected upside down Calibrator did not function – only 3 days in Australia Middle man ask for % of the total project cost After leaving company, professionals learns about environmental violations Collect 10 samples/day by calling operators in lunch room and remove samples at the end of day Spray welding exposure below limit-of Cr3 and Ni elemental – potential for hexchrome insoluble Ni exposure to exceed OEL exits, recommend RPE, Toluene exposure likely to exceed somewhere in Europe Pharma clients ask not to mention exposure is above OEL in report Friend for 20+ years ask not to write about system not working just list exposure above limit for new operation ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Case Study: Construction Safety EHS professional in financial crisis finally gets job in middle east Manager sends letter to all EHS managers has full authority to even close the work for safety violations and calls EHS professionals in office and conveys – sit in the office don’t go out we will give you salary-relax and enjoy What would you do? Mobile Crane is to be used at site without testing – Managers threatens EHS person you will loose job if you insist on testing, what would you do? ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
How Good People Make Tough Choices, Rushworth M. Kidder,1995 Business Ethics, Richard De George “Ethical Issues for Industrial Hygienists: Survey Results and Suggestions”, Laura A. Goldberg & Michael R. Greenberg, March 1993 AIHA Journal “Observations of Ethical Misconduct Among Industrial Hygienists in England”, Burgess G. L., Mullen, D., AIHA Journal (63) March/April 2002 ABIH Executive Director, Lynn O’Donnell, 2011 Data http://www.abih.org/downloads/ABIHCodeofEthics.pdf Lectures shared by Jeff Throckmorton, David Roskelley, Barbara Weeks, Pam Greenley, Steve Rucker
Beyond Reading - Action JIHEEC Mission: “Promote an awareness and understanding of the enforceable code of ethics published by the ABIH” Not an enforcement group or resolution board Publishes case studies of ethical dilemmas in the Synergist
Business Ethics: Codes Premise – Business integrity earns respect and brings peace in our lives – Transparency and ethics have positive impact on generations to come Codes – Do not give, receive bribe in any form cash, favor, kind, gift, % commission – Do not compromise on identified risk in reporting, among other things – Ensure sound basis – Offer to take client out for lunch/dinner once, do not push. Offer to pay for lunch/dinner, do not push, go “Dutch”
Confidentiality Codes Significance – Most Sensitive information – Client’s trust on us Do not communicate verbally or in writing what you saw at site especially process details and findings with any one out side ISS and in ISS with affected persons only Data protection: Password when you are not around in your laptop, no one should have access to your hard disk, place relevant information in centralized storage and delete from file Digital images: – – – – Obtain permission Do not take if it does not serve purpose Avoid taking entire process large area, take what you want Do not show images to ANYONE. Delete them once purpose is served – Keep only good images and provide to Chirantan or centralised storage and then delete all images
One can make decent leaving even by following business ethics-Then ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Now ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Conclusion Listen to inner voice and implement ©International Safety Systems, Inc. www.issehs.com
Praxisorientierung . Das Schrifttum zu Business ethics versteht sich häufig als Handreichung für das praktische Leben und ist oftmals appellativ.
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