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Engineers can do a lot to discourage and prevent occurrence of suicide incidences in tall structures, bridges and skyways. They should design tall buildings, structures and bridges, in such away to make suicide a bit difficult and save lives. For tall structures and bridges, engineers should design them in such a way that a room is left where the occupants can spot, counsel and save vulnerable individuals attempting to commit suicide. Engineers should design such rooms in a way that the occupants will be able to reverse suicide attempts amongst vulnerable individuals (Dyble 23).
Engineers should also place warning signs and boards near bridges and tall buildings so that individuals intending to attempt suicide can get scared or discouraged. For instance, high level bridges should be installed with warning boards, and a hotline phone number to discourage idlers, and those intending to commit suicide. This action should be taken in consideration with both new and existing buildings, bridges and other risky structures (Tad 112).
When setting up tall structures and bridges, engineers should make use of nets and other forms of barriers, to prevent and discourage suicide attempts. Since many attempts to commit suicide are basically made on impulse, it is vital to try and restrict access to the sites, where such actions are likely to occur (potentially lethal means of suicide attempt). This is actually a form of interrupting those individuals determined to end their lives through suicide; and therefore preventing or discouraging them from proceeding with their plans.
Since most of suicide incidences on bridges and tall building occur as a result of jumping, engineers should prevent or discourage such actions through the following means:
First, they should install barriers, nets or any other protective measures on motor skyways, bridges and buildings where suicidal incidences have been recorded. This strategy should be enforced by provision of helpline numbers located where such actions are likely to occur (notorious spots).
Secondly, engineers and contractors in charge of building and designing of multi-story buildings, car parks and similar structures, should be encouraged by the council to consider possible suicide risks and put in place appropriate preventive measures. Engineers should also consider such measures when constructing new bridges and skyscrapers (Steel 298).
When constructing buildings, engineers should restrict access to windows or balconies in places such as hospitals. This will prevent any efforts by vulnerable individuals to attempt suicide by jumping over the window or balcony. Lastly, engineers can take the responsibility of training railway constructors to learn how to spot and help those attempting to commit suicide on railways lines. In this aspect, barriers or guard rails should also be constructed along the railway line to keep off such individuals, or discourage them from moving near the railway line (Tad 113).
I think it is the moral responsibility of engineers and contractors in charge of construction of bridges and tall structures to do everything possible and prevent or discourage people from using these sites for attempting suicide. The philosophy of engineering ethics requires engineers to apply every means possible to ensure that their work poses no risk to the life of human beings (during construction and after construction). According to the code of engineering ethics, it is the moral responsibility of engineers to ensure that all structural set ups are safe and protective to the population in use. By installing barriers and other means of preventing/discouraging suicidal attempts on bridges, tall buildings and skyways; engineers will be working within their moral responsibility in consideration with the engineering code of ethics/conduct. However, we can not forget to mention that, apart from such actions being the moral responsibility of engineers, they also have a task to accomplish in terms of management and maintenance of roads, bridges and buildings to ensure that such structures meet their physical intended purpose (accommodation, office work and rapid flow of traffic).
It is quite expensive and demanding to install devices and procedures to discourage or prevent suicidal acts on bridges, skyways and tall buildings. Considering bridges, engineers in collaboration with other departments may require between 50,000 to 500, 000 US Dollars to install devices and procedures that will discourage individuals intending to use the sites to commit suicide. Besides being expensive and labor intensive, the devices and procedures does not guarantee total prevention or discouragement to suicidal attempts. The procedures and devices only reduce the possibility, and the rate at which people may attempt to commit suicide at the sites. Some of these barriers or devices are heavy and may pose a safety risk to the users of the bridges. For instance, the idea of introducing barriers on the Golden Gate Bridge has been quite controversial due to the fact that, such barriers may be too heavy for the structure. Procedures such as installation of telephone lines on the site require extra labor costs, as well as close supervision. It requires a 24hr working staff to be able to respond to any emergency calls being made concerning the site (Steel 301).
For multistory buildings and car parks, installation of safety barriers and procedures that may discourage and prevent suicidal attempts is quite expensive. Engineers performing this work may require more that 500, 000 US Dollars to accomplish the task. The entire cost of installing such procedures and devices depends on the size and height of the structure or building. The devices and procedures can only be effective if they will be installed in such a way to prevent accessibility to the openings, such as windows or balconies, where most of suicidal attempts occur. Procedures such as spotting and counseling vulnerable individuals are quite cumbersome, and demanding on the side of the staff members.
For the skyways, the cost of installing suicide prevention devices and procedures is quite variable. The cost will entirely depend on the length of the skyway to be constructed. However, the approximate cost of installing such devices and prevention procedures may range between 100, 000 to 400,000 US Dollars. These preventive devices and procedures are effective in terms of alleviating the frequency of suicidal incidences. The procedures and devices do not guarantee total prevention or discouragement of suicidal attempts (Cassady 119).
I think that the results of installing devices and procedures to prevent or discourage suicidal attempts on bridges, tall buildings and skyways are justified and worth the price. Human life is precious and valuable in such away that, it can not be compared to any price. Even if it will cost a million US Dollars to save a single life, then let it be so. All human beings have the right to protection of their life, and everything possible should be done to ensure that they enjoy such rights.
Specifically, considering the skyways, bridges and multistory car parks; it is worth to install these prevention devices like grills and safety guards. Some of these devices may prevent or control unintentional deaths that come as a result of road accidents (motorists), pedestrians and other potential users of these structures. In case the pedestrians and motorists skid off the bridges and skyways, these devices are likely to prevent/protect them from falling off the structure.
Installation of devices and procedures likely to prevent or discourage suicidal attempts is an expensive exercise which is likely to cost taxpayers’ money. In order to ensure smooth flow of this installation exercise, I will sell the idea to the tax payers, voters and public officials as follows:
Considering the taxpayers, I will make them understand the need to invest resources in installation of these devices and procedures by giving them an explanation on the likely outcomes/results. This will make them understand the need and the purpose of spending their money. I will also present a viable budget to the taxpayers to clear any droughts concerning how their money will be spent. This step will enhance accountability and build the reputation of the intended exercise. Once the taxpayers acknowledge the importance, the urgency and the accountably associated with the exercise, they will readily support this idea.
The voters are the most hard to convince group of individuals in relation to this particular idea. Voters require a strategic and well planned manifesto of the project so that they can endorse the idea to the whole public. I will sell this idea to the voters by presenting a manifesto which clearly elaborates on the urgency and importance of the project. I will encourage and motivate them to vote for the exercise so that the public can start realizing its full benefits. Although some voters are likely to inquire about the limitations, I will convince them that the benefits are actually far much better than the limitations involved.
I will also have to sell the idea to the public officials, since they are the ones to authorize the project after endorsement by the voters or members of the public. Public officials are the representatives of the members of the public and one of their responsibilities is to represent the interests of public members. However, they have to be convinced of the viability and importance of the project before they can authorize. I will sell this idea by convincing them about the important and the likely benefits associated with the project. Not only will the individuals attempting to commit suicide benefit from the idea, but also the public at large (Starnes 53).
In case the suicidal rates increase despite all these elaborate precautions, my logic and my professional conduct will remain the same. However, I will have to change my views concerning the issue so that the best approach can be taken. My professional conduct is the key determinant of my career and thus my logic. These two will not change because they are directly related to my personally as a human being and what I do for my life. However, as a human being, I am entitled to give varying views and suggestions towards varying situations. Views and suggestions contribute to the ultimate solution of a problem at hand. Therefore, my views concerning prevention and discouragement of suicidal attempts will change as follows:
Failure of prevention devices, procedures and other precautions mentioned above to reduce the rates of suicides calls for other alternatives. In my opinion, I will consider a social or moral approach to the issue other than physical devices. Public campaigns and rallies can be set up to preach against suicidal attempts and discourage public members from engaging in such acts. Publications and media can also be another alternative to influence and advocate against suicidal attempts and provide alternatives for individuals intending to commit suicide. Counseling centers can also be put in place to cater for distressed people and those showing signs of giving up their lives. Moreover, members of the public should be encouraged to help such individuals, who may be close to them, and discourage them from engaging in the act. They can also motivate them and bring them forward to the counseling centers, where they can obtain help and get advised accordingly (Starr 59). This means that the public members have to take the moral responsibility and the initiative to reduce rates of suicidal attempts.