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Legal and Ethical Considerations of Whistleblowing for Engineers

[+] Author Affiliations
Douglas L. Oliver

University of Toledo

Paper No. IMECE2005-79557, pp. 239-246; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4230-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


According to the ethical codes of many engineering professional societies, engineers have an ethical duty to the public. For example, the ASME Code of Ethics states that engineers “shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” Licensed engineers (PE’s) have additional legal duties to the public imposed by state licensing agencies. Engineering regulations and ethics codes have been interpreted by many to include the duty to report illegal or unsafe conditions to governmental authorities. This paper investigates whistleblowing as it relates to engineers. This troublesome topic is investigated considering the ethical, legal, and practical implications for engineers who blow the whistle.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Engineers



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