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14 March 2013

Duties & Obligations towards the


Toward Humankind

Toward life, health, safety, property and the environment

Equity, Whistle blowing
Being knowledgeable & honest

Duties towards Humanity

The Code of Ethics specifies that fundamentally

Professional Code specifies that

In all aspects of their work an engineer must

respect their obligations towards humanity.
The principal function of each order shall be to
ensure the protection of the public.

This makes clear that the profession exists to

protect humans.
Obligations toward humans arise from laws

Criminal, civil and administrative laws

Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms

Obligations are directly related to laws

especially the Canadian Charter of Rights &
Freedoms & Quebecs Charter of Human
Rights & Freedoms
Fundamental Freedoms

Conscience/religion, expression, peaceful

assembly & association.

Democratic Rights
Mobility Rights
Legal Rights
Equality Rights

Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms

Equity & Freedom from Discrimination

Discrimination of any form is prohibited

based on

Equality Rights of the Canadian Charter of

Rights & Freedom
Quebec Charter of Human Rights &
Professional Code
Code of Ethics for Engineers

No professional may refuse to provide

services to a person because of their
race, colour, age, sex, religion, national

Prejudice, Discrimination, & Harassment

Prejudice: An opinion formed without taking

time and care to judge fairly, often based on
incomplete and stereotyped information.
Discrimination: Treating people differently
because of some particular social attribute
such as race, gender or religion.
Harassment: This is a particular type of
discrimination. It occurs when a person is
subjected to unwanted behaviour that
offends, demeans or humiliates.
source (APEGGA 2005)

Forms of Discrimination

Direct Discrimination discrimination that is

directed against person on the basis of prejudice.

Adverse Effect Discrimination discrimination that

happens as a result of applying a rule or policy

Systemic Discrimination a discrimination that is

rooted in accepted ways of doing this in a
business, profession or occupation. This tends to
prevent categories of people from achieving their
goals. Ex: glass ceiling.
source (APEGGA

Forms of Discrimination
Forms of
Discriminat Discrimination


Issues for

Glass Ceiling



Issues for




Issues for

dinal Barriers

Insensitiv Ridicule


Canada is considered a cultural mosaic mix of

ethnic groups, languages and cultures that co-exist.
Multiculturalism in Canada is an official policy that
reflects an equal acceptance of races, religions,
languages and cultures.

Preservation and enhancement of multicultural heritage

in Canada - aim of Charter of Rights & Freedoms.
Multiculturalism act of 1988 protects aboriginal rights,
rights to enjoy their cultures, use of other languages
other than English and French,

Fostering Diversity

Diversity is the variety in different social

categories such as gender, race,
ethnicity, age, religion, national origin or
sexual orientation.
Why foster diversity?

for a multicultural society,

in the spirit of mutual understanding in the
to allow everyone to develop their abilities.

Duties towards Life &


In all aspects of their work, the engineer

must take into account the consequences of
the performance of his work on the
environment and on the life, health and
property of every person. (Code of Ethics
of Engineers)

Responsibility to favour technological solutions

that are compatible with this criterion.
Use ethical reasoning when faced with
opposing considerations.

Duty to be Honest

The engineer shall express their opinion on

matters dealing with engineering only if such
opinion is based on sufficient knowledge and
honest convictions

An engineer must be impartial in their relations

between the client and the contractors, suppliers

An engineer must safeguard their independence at

all times to avoid situations of conflict of interest.

Whistle blowing

When an engineer is responsible for the

technical quality of engineering work in an
organization and their opinion is ignored, the
engineer must clearly indicate in writing to the
company, the consequences that may result.
When a person considers that certain works are
a danger to public safety, s/he must notify the
Order or the persons responsible for such work.
(Whistle-blowing Clause)
Whistle blowing is a delicate action and Going
Public should be the very last option.

Thinking about Honesty

Engineers are expected to be honest
but what does that mean?

What is Honesty?

Honesty is the correct representation of

ourselves, our actions and our views.

Honesty is the act of truth-telling

Honesty is the act of following scientific
Honesty is the act of avoiding inappropriate
Honesty is the act of showing respect to
colleagues in a professional relationship

Honesty in the Workplace

Honesty understood as the basis for success

in the workplace.

Managers, colleagues, contractors, suppliers

and clients play a role in your success.
They are collaborators and not competitors in
your success.

What is our interdependence with a coworker?

What is the persons role in my success?

Identify mutual interests with this person
Do I want to work with this person in the

Case Study 1: The Deadline

Ruskin Manufacturing has guaranteed Parker Products that it will
deliver a complete order of small machines by the tenth of the
month, a Friday. Parker had already extended its deadline once. This
time, Parker insists, the date must be met. Tim Vinson, head of
quality control at Ruskin, had been confident that the deadline
would be met, but on the eighth he learns that a new component
used in the machines is in short supply. He thinks of several options:
1. Approve breaking up and regrinding the remaining supply of the
old component that was being replaced. This could probably be
accomplished in time, but the speed at which it would have to be
done raises concerns about impurities in the process.
2. Approve using the old component in place of the new one. The
product would still function well, and it would be unlikely that
Parker would ever detect the difference. Although Parker would
not be getting exactly what it ordered, the product would meet
minimum safety standards.
3. Discuss the problem with the design engineer and see what they
Which of these options most recommends itself? Can you think of

Case Study 2: Things dont work out

Because Vinson approved substitution of the old
component, the order is completed on time. However,
several months later Parker returns several of the
machines to Ruskin from the order Vinson completed.
Parker complains that the machines in this part of the
order are not functioning as efficiently as the others.
When a Parker technician disassembled several of the less
efficient machines and compared them with one that was
working well, she discovered that each of the less efficient
ones has a key component that differs from the
components in the properly functioning machine. Parker
asks for an explanation. Word now comes to Vinson that
he is expected to appear at a meeting with the Vice
President of Ruskin and a Parker representative. What
should he be prepared to say at the meeting?