Essay topics: 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.
In this argument, the vice president of Quiot Manufacturing advocates that Quiot Manufacturing should shorten the work hour of their workers. Although this might seem reasonable at first glance, it is in fact ill-conceived. The reasons are stated as follows.
In the first place, the vice president argues that Quiot Manufacturing had 30 percent more on-the-job accidents than at the nearby Panoply Industries plant because Quiot Manufacturing asked their employees to work more hours than Panoply Indistries plant's employees. Although this is entirely possible, the vice president offers no evidence to substantiate this crucial assumption. It is very likely that Panoply Industries plant has other strategies to decrease their on-the-job accidents. An appropriate example is not very far to seek. Panoply Industries plant might supply safer machines for their workers to operates. Beside, they may ask their worker to scrutinize and follow safety SOP. The assumption is definitely flawed unless the vice president can explain why these and other possible scenarios are unlikely.
In the second place, the vice president argues that some experts say that significant contributing factors in many on-the-job accidents are fatigue and sleep deprivation among workers. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that this is neccesarily the case, and the vice president does not provide evidence to confirm this assumption. It is quite possible that these experts does not rule out other possible factors during their experiments or questionaires. To illlustrate this point clearly, let us take a look at the following representative example. The age of the participants of these experts' experiment may range from teenager to elders. The experiment may biased due to overlook the ability of the certain ages. Unless accounting for or ruling out the possible factors, the vice president cannot bolster the recommendation.
The last but not least important, even if the evidence turns out to support the foregoing assumptions, the vice precident just simply argues that Quiot should shorten each of their three work shifts so that employees will get enough sleep to reduce the number of on-the-job accidents. The vice president does not provide any conculsive evidence to draw this conclusion. It is reasonable to doubt that this assumption will not happen in reality. It is just possible that employees at Quiot will not produce outcome as the vice president expects. For example, the workers may not be concentrated to their work after prolong rest time. Moreover, the workers may go to drink or perform other entertainment other than get to sleep. To reach the cited conclusion, the vice president must explain either why none of this alternatives is available and why none of them is able to sustain.
In sum, the vice president's argument is not based on valid evidence and sound reasoning. The vice president should scrutinize other evidence while comparing to Panoply Industries plant's statistic and rules out other possible factors while citing the experts opinions. Taking other possible consideration into account will help the vice president to draw a better conclusion.
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