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The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Essay

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1. An example of cost to the stakeholders by Massey actions is first of all, putting their life at risk. Employees risk their lives every day by making the decision to go into the mines without being provided safe environment. Yes, the employees knew what the safety problems were, but had to overlook them in order to keep their jobs and provide for their families. A second example of cost is how the employees had to put their health at risk. Investigators found that the mines did not have enough ventilation to provide with clean and fresh air. The ventilation system was supposed to remove coal dust and other dangerous gases.

None these safety processes were taken place. When autopsies were performed to the victims, medical evidence showed that 71 percent of the victims showed clinical signs of black lung disease. The black lung disease can be caused by breathing in airborne coal dust environments. An example of the benefit to stakeholders was that Massey provided many jobs to the community. The second example is that the company of Massey was very generous to the community. By providing scholarships, partnered local schools and provided emergency support when natural disasters occurred.

2. The Massey energy behaved ethically in the virtual method because they had good values and characters by providing their community with support. Examples are, scholarships, helping schools, and helping the community when natural disasters occurred. They were unethical in the utilitarian method because to save cost and produce more they over looked the benefits in investing in safety measures. At many times the employees would complain to the managers about the safety and the employees were intimidated and put back to work as if their safety did not matter, since all they cared about was producing coal which meant dollars. Massey was very unethical in the rights method. This was their biggest problem of all, respecting basic human rights by putting the employee’s lives in danger in exchange economic power. Massey was unethical in the justice method because although they provided well-paying job it was not enough to offset the danger they were put through. In one year Massey increase their revenue from 1.2 billion to 2.7 billion in one year.

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3. We believe that the Upper Big Branch disaster was caused by the company itself by not following the proper safety procedures. They cheated MSHA by providing false records of accidents. They also cheated by letting the companies’ managers know that inspectors were on the way to inspect, which is a violation of the law. By not following safety procedures like using the proper ventilation fans many chemical fumes stayed in the air and when the machine sparked it caused the explosion by killing the miners.

4. It is simple to reduce chances of disasters by following mine safety. MSHA provides safety inspections four times a year without notice. This will help the company see what they need to work on and what is being done right. Also congress established the U.S Bureau of Mines which conducts research on health and safety for the miners. Also the Coal Act which was established in 1969 will protect miners by charging penalties to companies that do not follow the law. They act also compensates the miners that were disabled by the black lung disease. The companies proper procedures to have a safe working place is by having managers have monthly safety meetings to make sure that everyone is following protocol. All companies should have a union so their employees can be protected from unfair treatment or being intimidated to express when they feel their life is at stake by being in an unsafe situation.

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