Solved Ethics Papers

Q11. Accidental Death of a Drunken Factory Worker

Q11. You are the head of the Human Resources department of an organisation. One day one of the workers dies on duty. His family demands compensation. However, the company denied them compensation because it was revealed in an investigation that the worker was drunk at the time of the accident. The workers of the company went to strike demanding compensation for the family of the deceased. The chairman of the management board has asked for your recommendation.
What recommendation would you provide the management?
Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the recommendations. (250 words, 20)
The death of a worker in an accident within the premises of the company is a serious matter. It may be due to the negligence of the staff or due to the improper functioning of the machines, or due to the lack of safety measures adopted by the company. If the rules provide that no compensation is to be given to workers who are drunk, it should also be the responsibility of the management to ensure that a drunk person does not enter in the factory. A drunk worker may cause an accident, not only harming himself but also may endanger the life of other employees. Hence, a drunken employee working inside a factory is a lapse on the part of the management too.
The second important aspect is to find out if the fault lies with the worker who had met with an accident, due to drinking or for any other reason. If the accident is due to the fault of the management, the worker must be recommended compensation in any case.
However, even if the mistake was that of the worker, the issue must be dealt with in a humane and compassionate manner. The management should show large heartedness and grant compensation to help the family. You must thus propose compensation.
The demerits of granting compensation are:
• Financial cost to the company due to the compensation payment.
• Breaking its own norm would reduce the credibility of the management.
• Workers may strike again to force the management to provide illegal benefits.
• Some workers may come to office drunk in future and cause further accidents. (265 words)
Q11. Accidental Death of a Drunken Factory Worker
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