International Dimensions of Ethics Education Case Study Series
The Bhopal case is an in-depth study of the industrial accident at the Union Carbide factory in India that immediately killed 2,000 people, injured another 200,000 to 300,000 more, and immediately raised questions about plant safety and corporate responsibility around the world. Includes seven detailed appendices: A.) Chronology, B.) Stakeholders and Level of Responsibility, C.) Economic/industrial climate of India, D.) Union Carbide Corporation, E.) Issues in Chemical Processing, F.) Assessing Responsibility: The Legal/Regulatory System, G.) Assessing Responsibility: The Engineers and Scientists, and H.) Technical Expertise and Managerial Responsibility.
The situation summary is a 7 page document detailing the industrial accident at the Union Carbide factory in India that immediately killed 2,000 people, injured another 200,000 to 300,000 more, and immediately raised questions about plant safety and corporate responsibility around the world.
Bhopal_TOC.pdf (123 kB)
This file outlines the contents for the entire case study. It should serve as a cover page if all materials are printed out and act as a guide for instructors in choosing which appendices to assign.
Bhopal_AChrono.pdf (74 kB)
Appendix A, the chronology, is a 17 page document outlining the events leading up to and following the plant explosion. Dates outlined range from 1956 to 2007. The chronology is also color-coded to aid in identifying city and state measures relating to Bhopal, relevant Indian business legislation, casualties, and changes in economic conditions.
Bhopal_BStake.pdf (271 kB)
Appendix B is designed to encourage students to consider the perspectives of various stakeholders associated with the Bhopal disaster including the government, the UC Corporation, and the victims. It also includes suggested outside readings and the following materials: 1.) H-O-T Analysis of Industrial Accidents Applied to Bhopal Gas Leak, 2.) Stakeholder Orientations in Industrial Disasters Table, 3.) Stakeholder Effects and Responses Table, 4.) Comparison of Features of MIC plants in West Virginia and Bhopal, and 5.) a student exercise: Identifying Responsibilities.
Bhopal_CClimate.pdf (261 kB)
Appendix C will provide students an overview of the economic and industrial climate in India at the time of the Bhopal disaster. The appendix includes 1.) IDEESE essay on India’s Approach to Economic Development, 2.) Excerpt from Report of the 9th International Symposium on the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases in the Chemical Industry, " Chemical Industries in India, summer 1984", 3.) Excerpts from and Comments on Union of India Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1973, 4.) The Government of India, Planning Commission, 4th Five-Year Plan, and 5.) Government of India Tenth Five Year Plan: 2002-07.
Bhopal_DUCC.pdf (132 kB)
Appendix D provides details on the Union Carbide Corporation including how the corporation is organized, what safety issues they were aware of at the Bhopal Plant (1982) and their West Virginia facility (1985).
Bhopal_EChem.pdf (168 kB)
Appendix E is designed specifically with scientists in mind. It addresses the toxicity of chemicals at the Bhopal Plant, the types of hazards in manufacturing and using industrial products, the types of hazards in product use and consumption, and outlines notes on making the chemical SEVIN.
Bhopal_FLegal.pdf (183 kB)
Appendix F examines the policy changes and litigation resulting from Bhopal disaster. It includes a Note on Indian Supreme Court decisions regarding the Bhopal disaster, Western European and United States policy information about chemical plant hazards, and links to several relevant Supreme Court decisions.
Bhopal_GSciEng.pdf (132 kB)
Appendix G uses excerpts from legal proceedings to create "Contrasting Views of Responsibility for the Bhopal Disaster" and to assess the levels of responsibility for engineers and scientists involved in the UCC and Bhopal Plant.
Bhopal_HMang.pdf (161 kB)
Appendix H uses IEEE and ASME Codes of Ethics to assess what levels of responsibility professional societies consider managers to have. The essay "Engineers and Managers" by MJ Peterson explains what options managers have when faced with an ethical dilemma.