Essay topics: (Amended)
6. The following appeared in a memo from a vice president of Quiot Manufacturing.
"During the past year, Quiot Manufacturing had 30 percent more on-the-job accidents than at the nearby Panoply Industries plant, where the work shifts are one hour shorter than ours. Experts say that significant contributing factors in many on-the-job accidents are fatigue and sleep deprivation among workers. Therefore, to reduce the number of on-the-job accidents at Quiot and thereby increase productivity, we should shorten each of our three work shifts by one hour so that employees will get adequate amounts of sleep."
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
The vice president of Quiot Manufacturing recommends to curtail working hours in order to lower the frequency of job accidents and to improve productivity. The president assumes that shortening one hour of each work shifts can be an effective policy, because it can guarantees for workers to have enough amounts of sleep. However, the vice president’s prediction needs two more explanations to make his recommendation sustainable.
First, the vice president’s argument is based on an unwarranted assumption that the workers of Quiot Manufacturing will spend the additional private hours on solely to take a rest. Even if the board of the company clearly announces the intent of applies the new policy to its workers, the workers might not use their extra free times for having more sleep. The employees might feel free to use their additional private time on other activities which are not helpful in alleviating fatigue. For example, with the implementation of the new working hour protocol, the employees will be able to have more opportunities for socializing with peer laborers. Involving this kind of socializing activities seemingly conciliate stress. However, if only a few of workers begin to more frequently visit a local bar, play video games, or watch movies late at night than they used to do, the effectiveness of the new protocol would be significantly limited. Rather, it can be concluded that the new work shift regulation has undeniable side effects.
Second, the vice president expects that the same favorable result would occur at Quiot Manufacturing by applying Panoply industries’ policy. However, his prediction is dependent on the unwarrantedly assumption that numerous factors which might affect the frequency of job accidents are vastly identical between two companies. For example, the work course of Quiot Manufacturing might basically involve with more risky process than Panoply does. Or Panoply’s more updated and expensive working facilities might be fundamental factor alleviating the dangerousness of job conditions. The author of the passage should provide the evidence rendering these factors negligible.
Third, the vice president simply ruled out other methods reducing fatigue and sleep deprivation effects. There can be other applicable approaches which can effectively suppress fatigue level of the workers. For example, having a staff lounge prepared with beds and refreshments for field workers can be a good solution without sacrificing work hours. To the argument sustainable, the author should present the evidence that reducing working hours is the only possible solution.
In conclusion, the vice president’s argument is not persuasive because it is based on numerous untenable assumptions. Such assumptions might be: the workers spend their additional hours only for having a rest; working conditions between Quiot Manufacturing and Panoply Industries affecting the possibility of accidents are identical; no other applicable approaches for lowering fatigue level exist.
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