engineer in tunnel

Course description

In Engineering Ethics: Social Responsibility vs. Legal Liability , you'll learn ...

  • The dangers of excavation work and the methods used to prevent trench collapses
  • Why the engineer's legal and moral responsibilities don't necessarily end when design deliverables are issued
  • The ethical considerations of social responsibility versus legal liability


To meet the Ohio Board's intent that online courses be "paced" by the provider, a timer will be used to record your study time. You will be unable to access the quiz until the required study time of 50 minutes has been met.

Credit: 1 PDH

Length: 14 pages

As many as 300 Americans die each year from trench collapses. Although safety measures are available to prevent most of these deaths, regulations do not always mandate the use of the most effective, and perhaps more expensive, measures. This topic is the basis for an interesting case study involving the ethics of making cost versus safety tradeoffs.

This course looks at how trenching, one of the oldest types of construction work documented in history, has become the subject for an ethical debate on social responsibility versus legal liability. In completing the course, the reader is challenged to form his or her own opinion about the ethical questions of this case with the help of opinions quoted from the work of several engineering ethics scholars.

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Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 10 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Training content

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • A brief history of trench digging and the use of trench boxes
  • The engineer's responsibility once the design is handed over to a contractor
  • The role of the engineer vs. the contractor in ensuring the proper use of trench support systems
  • A review of the engineer's social responsibility for public safety
  • The relevance of social and legal concerns to the ethical use of trench boxes


This course costs $ - Contact PDHengineer to learn about discounts and upcoming offers

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Professional Engineers have trusted PDHengineer to provide high-quality PDH courses since 2003. A large library of PDH courses and live, interactive webinars means that engineers can find PDH course material covering all of the major engineering disciplines. Plus, all PDHengineer...

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7915 FM 1960 West, Suite 130
77070 Houston Texas

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