The world over, engineers have a direct and significant influence on the quality of life people experience. And as a member of the engineering profession, you should adhere only to the best principles and values – integrity, honesty, fairness, and equity, and perform your duties to the highest standards of professional excellence.
The National Society of Engineers’ Code of Ethics lays down certain rules, which all engineers should abide by – the Fundamental Canons, which pertain to:
- Watching out for the health, safety, and the best interests of the public
- Provide services only in those fields in which your competencies lie
- Publish statements which are truthful and unbiased
- Steer clear of fraudulent and deceitful acts
- Provide the most honest services to your employer and clients
- Your conduct and work ethic should not tarnish the reputation of the engineering profession
So, when it comes to making all those hard decisions, you must adhere to the stringent standards that all people in this profession do. While there is a long list of ethical requirements, the below two points encapsulate the entire code perfectly:
1. Don’t compromise on safety
Regardless of which field of engineering you are in, at some level, you are responsible for people’s safety. In order to avoid tragedies, disasters, and scandals that have plagued the engineering profession for decades – from aeronautical space disasters like the Challenger disaster, the Bhopal gas plant catastrophe in 1984, which claimed 15,000 innocent lives, to the Atlanta Parking Garage Collapse in 2010, it is paramount for engineers to keep the welfare of people as their number one priority while performing their job.
2. Don’t step outside the boundaries of honesty and integrity
While you may work alone or as part of a larger team, your clients and company depend on you to act in an honest manner with regards to all aspects of your job. By that same yardstick, you become the trustee and agent of the people you work for and those who employ you. So, avoiding all misleading and dishonest tactics such as any conflict of interest, and exercising proper ethical judgment during the course of your work, is crucial.
And there’s one more thing –
Insure your future
While it is vital you keep other’s safety and welfare in mind, it is also equally important that you consider yours.Irrespective of your area of specialization and expertise, paying great attention to detail forms an integral part of your job. However, since the current business environment is extremely competitive, clients are becoming more exacting in their demands. Unfortunately, not all errors might come under your radar, and clients can resort to legal action if they are dissatisfied with the results, even if it just based on perception; which is why it is vital you acquire engineers professional liability insurance. In addition to the coverage paying your legal expenses and other related costs, it might even cover your settlement amounts if a claim is successful, depending on which plan you opt for.
So, while you contemplate about how you’re going to creatively solve today’s big technological problems or design and develop tomorrow’s new innovative solutions, remember – mitigate the risk of any problems that could raise their ugly heads and put you in the soup further down the line. Work smart and secure your future earnings with insurance. You won’t gamble on people’s future. Why gamble on yours.