What is the Do No Harm principle and how is it used in determining Safety versus Acceptable Risk? What is the difference between Corporate Liability and Strict Liability? How does it relate to safety? What are the ways in which the Do No Harm principle can be used in the ethical amelioration of pollution?
for many reasons, but at the same time it does not free the owners from any responsibility against society. It has its moral obligation and duties, the fulfillment of which is required for ethical business environment throughout the world. In the twenty first century the need for business ethics has become distinctly recognized, and the first principle to depart from is the Do No Harm principle. Not to harm those whom the actions affect is the main moral obligation of corporations. It means that it is much more effective to keep from acting than to make something evil, even if this evil is unconscious or unintentional. Businesses are certainly blamed for acting immorally, but they are justified by the myth that they do it not by a desire to participate in evil. A concern for making profit makes them close their eyes to most of other conditions and factors, and the consequences of their actions on other stakeholders are often ignored or disregarded. However, it is the corporation’s main moral duty to take responsibility for actions towards the society or the general public. As De George states, “The manufacturer has a duty to its customers to protect their safety and it fails in its duty when it does not take sufficient care in its product design”¯ (277).
Each professional field, each production and business is connected with different kinds of risks. But when decisions are taken, all the risks are considered and weighed. The risk is acceptable when the negative impact is expected to cause minimum harm. And each participant of the production process should be aware of risks he or she is going to take, and nevertheless each of them has a right for safety, even it is the most dangerous profession in the world. Management is responsible for lives and health of their staff; for the quality of products they offer to their customers; for the reputation and authority of the company against their partners, owners, shareholders, and society on the whole. Each employee is also taking a piece of responsibility for all those components, but the extents are different. It is typical that the more responsibility, the more the risk, but not always. Sometimes the workers of the lowest level are the most endangered category of employees, and they have the right to be aware of the risk they are involved in and provided with more safety. At the same time, the risks are often proportional to rewards. However, the owner is at constant risk too. He is at risk to lose his capital, to become a bankrupt, to be eaten by competitors and so on. The risk factors are therefore carefully examined before taking decisions. After all, “the employee must have good reason to believe that by going public he will be able to bring about the necessary changes. The chance of his being successful must be worth the risk he takes and the danger to which he exposes himself”¯ (De George 162).