Section IVCritical Thinking: Methods and Practice David C. Roskelley, MSPH, CIH, CSP R & R Environmental, Inc.
Objectives: • Examine several ethical dilemmas and encourage participation (easier to more challenging scenarios)
Scenario #1 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.
Do You: A. Ignore your desire to obtain input from a professional peer because it could be considered an ethical breach of your clients confidentiality. B. Discuss the project without disclosing confidential details such as the name of the company, individual names, proprietary or other. C. Discuss in full disclosure with a professional peer who is unrelated to the project and lives thousands of miles away. D. Consider publishing your quandaries in the next edition of the Synergist.
Scenario #2 You witness what you feel is a clear violation of the code by one of your professional peers who is a CIH.
Do You: A. Contact ABIH, NASA, DOT, NRC, OSHA, EPA and/or AIHA and report the incident. B. Submit a written allegation of a breach of ethical duty or professional responsibility to the chair of the JIHEEC. C. Call the AIHA President to personally complain. D. 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.
Scenario #3 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.
Do You: A. Accept the offer and ask if he wouldn’t mind throwing in a sleeve of balls and a hat. B. Investigate your company’s policy on accepting vendor gifts and determine the best course of action with your supervisor. C. Decide to accept the offer, but only if you can pay for your own green fees and dinner. D. Accept the invitation but insist that the bill be paid in cash instead of a credit card to avoid leaving a “paper trail”.
Scenario #4 As an IH at a chemical manufacturing plant, you are faced with having to perform air sampling for an intermediate chemical for which there is no standard sampling method.
Do You: A. Search for a sampling method that is statistically significant, peer-reviewed and recognized by the profession. B. Use a non peer-reviewed sampling method that was developed by the plant lab assistant named Vinnie. C. Use a standard sampling method developed for another intermediate chemical produced at your plant. D. Contact an outside industrial hygiene laboratory for advice and direction. Source: Joint Industrial Hygiene Ethics Education Committee (JIHEEC) Presentation Files
Scenario #5 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.
Do You: A. Wonder why you chose to be a consultant and run out of the building screaming. B. Keep your mouth shut and pretend it never happened. C. Ignore the insurance carriers threats and immediately notify the occupants to vacate the premises. D. Contact a close friend, attorney and/or mentor and ask for additional advice and direction.
Scenario #6 You are drinking at a professional conference with a close IH colleague. In an inebriated state he feels the need to unburden years of guilt upon you. He mentions that he completely falsified his ABIH CM worksheet back in 1998. It had slipped through the cracks without an audit. In fact, he was working in another field unrelated to IH from 1994-1999. You always wondered how he had managed to maintain his CIH status and now you knew……
Do You: A. Keep on drinking and pray you can’t remember the conversation in the morning . B. Contact ABIH, NASA, DOT, NRC, OSHA, EPA and/or AIHA and report the incident. C. Run screaming from the bar and wonder why you have friends like this. D. After sobering-up, explain to your friend that you feel what they have done is wrong 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.
Additional Scenarios for Consideration • Please see attached handouts
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