CHILEAN MINING ACCIDENT ETHICAL RESPONSE
Posted by: Write My Essay on: November 20, 2017
Like any form of bad news, the delivery to family and coworkers of the 33 employees who were trapped in the San José Mine in Chile needed to be taken with extreme care, as it has severe ethical consequences. The challenge is with satisfying the sensitivities of everyone involved. Of course, there will be those who will want as much told to them as possible, and then there will be others who might not be able to handle such devastating news in stride.
Before I continue, I want to tell the reader why I chose this ethical dilemma: It is because I have an uncle who is a miner. I wondered what it would be like to be a member of the family receiving the news that their relative is stuck in a collapsed mine. I then wondered what it would be like to be the person from the company who is responsible for informing the family.
I believe it is best to tell the families as much as possible about the tragedy. While this can hurt a lot of people, the majority will want to know how their loved one is doing, despite the bad news. This is consistent with the greatest good for the greatest number of people — Utilitarianism. Family may become upset if the company isn’t completely forthcoming. If more information comes from another source and the company hasn’t disclosed that knowledge, then there will be many upset people. However, in a situation such as this, there is not much that can be said that is outside of the media is already reporting.
It is important to remember that the families are grieving the possible loss of a family member. They are likely hanging on any word about the condition of the workers. It is important to keep the lines of communication open. Because there are 33 workers, this is a reasonable number to be able to facilitate the response to questions from the families. However, it is prudent to let everyone know that information will be communicated via the company’s website as quickly as it is discovered. Notices should also be mailed and emailed.
At the same time as these families are grieving, they should be made aware of the possible financial compensation they will receive due to many workers not being able to support their families. This mine is in Chile, which is a poor country, with many people reliant on every penny earned. Without a working member of the family, they could be without food and other necessities.
The company should offer support for the families in the form of counselling. This is something insurance would likely cover anyway. There should also be a follow-up phone number and email address for the families to call if they have any questions. The company’s website should be updated at least daily with information about any progress with the case. An open line of communication will help ensure that the message was delivered. If anyone has any problems that need to be addressed, they can contact the company. Each employee and family member should be contacted over the phone or in person to ensure they are aware of the situation in the initial correspondence.
Both the families and the workers would also need a list of all the employees who were trapped in the mine. Without this list, both parties are left wondering about whether their family member or close co-worker was in the mine when it collapsed. During the ordeal, the families should be notified about what measures are being done to help the miners. Following these guidelines, and being as forthcoming to the families as possible, would in line with Universalization, as honesty could be applied as a universal rule and society wouldn’t suffer because of it. In fact, society would likely flourish with such a rule.
MSNBC. (2010, Aug. 8). Trapped Chilean miners told rescue could take months.
Nelson, A. (2010, Sept. 7). Chilean miners trapped, but citizens approve government response.
The Christian Science Monitor.
The New York Times. (2010, Oct. 13). Chile Mining Accident. Retrieved from