The primary mistake made by the engineers involved seems to have been a pervasive attitude of total apathy for the safety or wellbeing of their fellow man. I think the choice they all made to pursue the manufacture of chemical weapons as a career may be the first clue they weren’t generally concerned with the greater good of all mankind. These men were not simply employed at the plant, they were the managers in charge. This gives them not only the task of designing and producing chemical weapons, but the responsibility of overseeing the safety of their employees at the very least. This apparently was unimportant to them as they took no precautions for their safety, employees who had no hazardous materials training were ordered to handle and dispose of chemicals about which they had little or no knowledge. The facility had corroded containers, leaky pipes, and reactive materials stored side by side. This situation alone demonstrates the three engineers’ complete disregard for the health and welfare of anyone working on site and everyone in the surrounding areas and communities as well.
I think both their subordinates and their superiors can be absolved from much responsibility for the situation at the Pilot Plant. The workers at the plant were there to do a job and follow the instructions of management. With any job an individual must trust that all reasonable safety precautions are observed. After all; if the workers had the education required to know what the dangers were, they would be managers, they wouldn’t just be workers. The commanding officers of the program likewise are released from major responsibility in this case because they also were not chemical engineering professionals, they hired these three men because they were. The Army put the authority and responsibility in the hands of trained individuals to manage the facility properly, which they failed to