来源： 浏览： 发布日期：2019-11-20 10:18
「Question No. 30」
The brief passage (Argument):
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 author assumes that the manufacturing jobs at Quiot are the same as those at Panoply Industries, including the operation procedures, materials and machines, standards of products. However, all or some of those factors may be different at the two plants, and jobs may be therefore different. Since different jobs may expose workers to different levels of risk, for example, workers at Quiot may need to deal with hazardous materials during production whereas workers at Panoply Industries may not, it may be the content of the job, rather than the length of each work shift, that causes the greater number of on-the-job accidents at Quiot.
The author also assumes that the on-the-job accidents at Quiot are those accidents mentioned by the experts. It may not be the case, however. Since the experts’ conclusion is about only “many” accidents rather than “all” accidents, accidents at Quiot may not be included in the “many” accidents mentioned by the experts. In this case, it may be unfair to attribute accidents at Quiot to fatigue or sleep deprivation.
Even if the reason for the accidents at Quiot is due to fatigue and sleep deprivation, the reduced time of each work shift cannot guarantee workers’ adequate sleep. However, the author, at this point, assumes that the hours cut off the current time scheme will be used for rest or sleep. In fact, they may be used for entertainment instead, which would also consume workers’ energy or take up their bed time.
There is another assumption that Quiot’s productivity depends solely on the number of on-the-job accidents and that other factors that also decide a factory’s productivity do not apply to Quiot’s case. That is a questionable assumption, because there is no evidence indicating this situation. In other words, if those other contributors are not ruled out in Quiot’s case by concrete evidence, it is likely that their existence is unfavorable to the company’s productivity. In addition, the author fails to consider that the shorter shift may on one hand reduce the number of accidents and one the other hand reduce productivity. Since workers may work less during the shorter time, they may produce less.