Prepared by: Rohit Dobaria
An Overview <ul><li>Early hours of  Dec. 3, 1984, Bhopal. </li></ul><ul><li>Poisonous Methyl isocyanate  (40 – 43 tonnes) ...
<ul><li>The company manufactured  “Servin” ( Carbaryl) </li></ul><ul><li>It was  America’s 37 th  largest industrial  corp...
<ul><li>No precise conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly  three  causes – </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment failure  </li></ul><...
<ul><li>Some evidence show that Union Carbide was aware of  some of the deficiencies at the Bhopal plant. </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>The Indian government  openly  blamed  Union Carbide for  the  tragedy. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a speculation ...
<ul><li>The plant  was permanently closed. </li></ul><ul><li>Some compensation  awarded to the victims and their families....
<ul><li>Considering  what  you have learned, what do you think happened  at Bhopal? </li></ul>Question : 1
<ul><li>Approx.  43 tones of  MIC  was filled in tank no. 610C . </li></ul><ul><li>The maximum allowable limit  for  the t...
<ul><li>The refrigeration system was designed to cool the liquid at the temperature of zero degree celcius. </li></ul><ul>...
<ul><li>Do you think that Union Carbide did not exhibit social responsibility by designing the plant less than fail safe, ...
<ul><li>The technology used at Bhopal plant  was inferior. </li></ul><ul><li>The maintenance and safety standards were low...
<ul><li>Water curtain/spray could rise upto 13 meters  while the gas evolved at the height of 33 meters. </li></ul><ul><li...
<ul><li>This has led to loss of thousands of lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Also the company paid only $ 470 million as an amoun...
<ul><li>Would you hold Union Carbide ethically responsible for the death of thousands of Indians?  If so, explain. </li></...
<ul><li>Yes, the Union Carbide was ethically responsible for the death of thousands of people. </li></ul><ul><li>The safet...
<ul><li>In spite of this many number of incidences the  company did not took any step to  rectify the situation. </li></ul...
<ul><li>What, in your judgement is the possibility that either Indian management was less vigilant abouut their safety res...
<ul><li>A series of incidences of gas leakage took place during the period of  1981-1984 in the plant. </li></ul><ul><li>I...
<ul><li>A research conducted by the U.S. officers  regarding the sabotage  had shown  that there was no such involvement o...
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Union carbide fights for its life

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Union carbide fights for its life

  1. 1. Prepared by: Rohit Dobaria
  2. 2. An Overview <ul><li>Early hours of Dec. 3, 1984, Bhopal. </li></ul><ul><li>Poisonous Methyl isocyanate (40 – 43 tonnes) </li></ul><ul><li>leaked from Union Carbide plant. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 2000 people died & thousands injured. </li></ul><ul><li>(Exact data still not available. Approx. 1 person </li></ul><ul><li>dies every day because of effects of the gas.) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>The company manufactured “Servin” ( Carbaryl) </li></ul><ul><li>It was America’s 37 th largest industrial corporation & 3 rd largest chemical maker. </li></ul><ul><li>It had always been a stable company. </li></ul><ul><li>High safety records, Growth and Financial stability. </li></ul><ul><li>But within a day of tragedy the company’s stock prices dropped by 27%. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>No precise conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly three causes – </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment failure </li></ul><ul><li>Human error </li></ul><ul><li>Sabotage </li></ul><ul><li>However one lawsuit against the Company claims the corporation for its negligence in designing the plant. </li></ul><ul><li>The technology used at Bhopal plant was inferior to the technology used in America & Europe. </li></ul>Causes Of Disaster
  5. 5. <ul><li>Some evidence show that Union Carbide was aware of some of the deficiencies at the Bhopal plant. </li></ul><ul><li>Two years prior to the tragedy, the company inspectors from U.S. found 10 major deficiencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Next year the Bhopal plant confirmed that all the problems had been solved. </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. inspectors did not return to India to confirm this. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The Indian government openly blamed Union Carbide for the tragedy. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a speculation that the disgruntled managers at the Bhopal plant might have sabotaged the system. </li></ul><ul><li>The gauges supposed to warn – not functioninng properly at that time. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The plant was permanently closed. </li></ul><ul><li>Some compensation awarded to the victims and their families. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Considering what you have learned, what do you think happened at Bhopal? </li></ul>Question : 1
  9. 9. <ul><li>Approx. 43 tones of MIC was filled in tank no. 610C . </li></ul><ul><li>The maximum allowable limit for the tank was 50%, but the tank was filled up to 87% (43 tones). </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate cause of the pressure build up was the exotherimic reaction caused by contamination of water into tank 610C. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to pressure build up the safety valve was opened and gas escaped into the atmosphere. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The refrigeration system was designed to cool the liquid at the temperature of zero degree celcius. </li></ul><ul><li>But the refrigeration system was shut down and water was poured around the tank to cool it. So the temperature was not maintained at zero degree celcius. </li></ul><ul><li>On the day of disaster the water leaked into the tank causing build-up of pressure and temperature. </li></ul><ul><li>Pouring was continued. </li></ul><ul><li>To prevent the tank from exploding the safety valve opened and released the gas. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Do you think that Union Carbide did not exhibit social responsibility by designing the plant less than fail safe, if at all ? </li></ul>Question : 2
  12. 12. <ul><li>The technology used at Bhopal plant was inferior. </li></ul><ul><li>The maintenance and safety standards were lower compared to the U.S.& Europe plants. </li></ul><ul><li>The company’s motive was to earn more profits. </li></ul><ul><li>Almost none of the safety systems at the time of disaster were functioning. </li></ul><ul><li>The Vent gas scrubber was designed to take feed rate of 190 pounds per hour at 35 degree C at the pressure of 15 psig.But at the time of disaster MIC poured through at the rate of 40,000 pounds per hour at 200 degree C and 180 psig. </li></ul><ul><li>The vent gas scrubber contained inadequate quantity of caustic soda. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Water curtain/spray could rise upto 13 meters while the gas evolved at the height of 33 meters. </li></ul><ul><li>The mandatory refrigeration for MIC unit was shut down for three months to save money. </li></ul><ul><li>Other plants in U.S. & Europe had a safety system automatically control with manual back-up devices.But they were manual at Bhopal. </li></ul><ul><li>There were not any emergency planning measures and local authority knew nothing about the dangers of MIC. </li></ul><ul><li>Union Carbide was aware of all these deficiencies but in order to cut the cost no measures were taken to improve the condition of the plant . </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>This has led to loss of thousands of lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Also the company paid only $ 470 million as an amount for compensation against $ 3000 million demanded by the government of India. </li></ul><ul><li>From this amount each victim received $ 500 (only seven cents per day). This was a very little amount which equals to the amount needed for one cup of tea and a piece of bread. </li></ul><ul><li>So in true sense the Union Carbide didn’t exhibit corporate social responsibility. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Would you hold Union Carbide ethically responsible for the death of thousands of Indians? If so, explain. </li></ul>Question : 3
  16. 16. <ul><li>Yes, the Union Carbide was ethically responsible for the death of thousands of people. </li></ul><ul><li>The safety system used in the plant was sub-standard. Also the parts used were of poor quality and older technology. </li></ul><ul><li>A series of incidences of gas leakage occurred in previous years. They are : </li></ul><ul><li>Dec 1981- A worker was killed while handling phosgene. </li></ul><ul><li>Feb 1982- 25 workers were hospitalized following leakage in pipes carrying chlorine, MIC and HCl. </li></ul><ul><li>Dec 1982- Massive leak of chlorine gas -16 affected. </li></ul><ul><li>1983-84- The events of leakage continued. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>In spite of this many number of incidences the company did not took any step to rectify the situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, the plant did not give vital information about the storage and handling of hazardous & dangerous material. </li></ul><ul><li>Effect of MIC on humans and the antidote treatment was not known to the medical fraternity and such knowledge if available was not disseminated to the emergency services. </li></ul><ul><li>There was an absence of proper warning system in the plant. </li></ul><ul><li>Economy measures, overriding safety concerns. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>What, in your judgement is the possibility that either Indian management was less vigilant abouut their safety responsibilities or some one was responsible for committing sabotage? </li></ul>Question : 4
  19. 19. <ul><li>A series of incidences of gas leakage took place during the period of 1981-1984 in the plant. </li></ul><ul><li>Issue of danger to Bhopal from a pesticide plant was raised in the Legislative Assembly of the state. </li></ul><ul><li>An accident investigation committee examined the issue and concluded that the plant was fail safe. </li></ul><ul><li>The Labour Minister stated the assembly,”A sum of Rs.25 crore has been invested in the plant. The plant in not a small stone which can be shifted elsewhere. There is no danger to Bhopal nor will there ever be.” </li></ul><ul><li>This sort of negligence was responsible for the tragedy. So government was responsible. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>A research conducted by the U.S. officers regarding the sabotage had shown that there was no such involvement of a worker. </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. officials left India without submitting the report to government of India. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Thank You

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