The paper "Firm Fined over Worker's Fingers" is a perfect example of an assignment on journalism and communication. This refers to a BBC News item d October 13, 2009. The issue under discussion is an engineering firm fined for safety breaches. Stephen Beare, a self-employed contractor, had been appointed for flooring work for Botley Roofing Ltd. Beare had gone to check the temperature inside an asphalt mixer, a product manufactured by Tex Engineering Ltd. Beare knocked a wooden batten for propping the lids of the mixer into the machine and tried to recover it but lost his fingers and thumb in the process.
This accident is the second incident since 2001 which has occurred with this type of machine. Tex Engineering has been ordered to pay £ 14,884 for violating the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act (BBC News). According to the Health and Safety Executive Inspector, this has been a preventable incident, which is perhaps the reason why the verdict has been against Tex Engineering. Accidents happen at engineering sites. However, ethical deliberation should be based on careful deliberation. The verdict of any ethical dilemma should emphasize the broader benefits of the society rather than the individual.
Rules for safety are set for engineers and manufacturers alike. No doubt, Tex Engineering has been responsible for the design and warning labels for the mixer users so that accidents such as the above does not happen; nevertheless, the statistics for such an accident is rare. On the other hand, according to Beare, he "instinctively" grabbed the batten whereas he could have let it be. His "instincts" have resulted in a significant fine for the company.
This could have been prevented too if Beare had been more careful in his thought processes. As a skilled worker, he should have realized the danger of putting his hand in the mixer. He has paid dearly for losing his fingers. But why does Tex Engineering has to pay money for the same? It may be easy for the law to quantify guilt related to a company than an individual, but sometimes the issue may stem from lack of attention and heed to warnings of the individual rather than by the company.