Premium Essay

Unioncarbide Case1

In: Business and Management

Submitted By aelle84
Words 850
Pages 4

Case Summary
This case tells the story of poor decisions and lacking competencies of the people working with the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. On December 3, 1984 there was a chemical leak at the plant that clouded over a nearby town causing thousands upon thousands of deaths and injuries. The chemical was methyl isocyanate (CH3NCO) that was used as a chemical in manufacturing pesticides, when mixed with water this chemical can become lethal. There was an investigation done and it was determined that the leak was an act of sabotage by a disgruntled employee. The Indian government, along with victims of the chemical leak, went after Union Carbide with lawsuits. In 1989 a settlement was reached and Union Carbide paid $470 million to the Indian government that they were to distribute among the victims.

1.a) Issues Identified
Improper staffing – After a down turn in the Indian economy, UCIL decreased the amount of training and the MIC unit operated with half the number of workers the design called for.
Negligent safety concerns – Union Carbide Corporation only completed two safety audits at the Bhopal plant. The supervisor at the plant had delayed reaction time to the leak. Also, many of the backup safety devises were down for maintenance.
Lack of communication – The workers were not completely informed of the gas stored in the tank. Also, the nearby community was not informed of the safety concerns of the high rick for living nearby or what to do if there is a leak.
Falsified records – To cover up the cause of how the water entered the tank, records were falsified.
1.b) Issues Explained
Improper Staffing – The down turn in the economy caused UCIL to make decisions to cut staffing in order to save money. The MIC unit was designed to have 12 workers per shift. With...

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