- Very briefly mention the facts of the case.
- Mention the ethical concerns/dilemmas.
- Discuss course of action.
The above case pertains to a ropeway mishap in a tourist place, stranding many tourists in the mid-air, besides, sustaining few deaths. The reason for this mishap is a technical glitch, caused mainly due to poor maintenance oversight and also due to breaching the carrying capacity. This has tainted the company’s reputation.
Ethical issues :
- Showing reluctance in daily maintenance is a dereliction of duty. It compromises professional integrity and competence. It shows a lack of aptitude. Such a callous behaviour of the field manager has costed few valuable lives.
- Operating ropeways beyond the carrying capacity points to the preference for sheer institutional profiteering over the life-security of the riders. This shows a lack of compassion & empathy towards the plight of the riders.
- Both of these undermine the greatest virtue, i.e. preservation of life.
- Due to the bad name earned, it will cause erosion of public trust in the company. Henceforth, tourists will be less inclined to take the rides, leading to revenue losses for the company.
Course of Action that can be taken :
- A detailed enquiry will be ordered to probe the incident. This will reveal the more actual and underlying causes behind the mishap.
- Pending enquiry, the Field Manager will be released from duty on charges of negligence. A separate case will be instituted against him. This will send a stern warning to all the employees that dereliction of duty can land them into trouble.
- An ex-gratia payment will be given from the company to the family of the deceased. Also, medical expenses of those injured will be borne by the company. Also, a public communique will be issued from the company with words of apology and undertaking of moral responsibility for the unfortunate incident.
- Apart from regular maintenance works, periodic safety audits will be mandatorily conducted to report on any possible defects in the infrastructure. Defects if found, must be immediately addressed.
- A detailed Standard Operating Procedure and Contingency Plan will be drafted to deal with contingent situations.
- An oversight mechanism will be created to see that rides are operated within the rules specified. A help-line number will be opened, where tourists can directly report their grievances or any breach of rules or any emergencies. This help-line number will be publicly displayed in the Charter.
- Ethical sensitization will be introduced in the training modules of the Field Managers & Field staffs.
Thus, all these steps may avoid the occurrence of such unfortunate incidents in the future. These will also repose the public & administrative confidence in the company to some extent.