To help make a connection between business research and its use in the real world, this course will use an iterative course project. Throughout the term, you will serve as the health and safety director for Sun Coast Remediation (Sun Coast).
Sun Coast provides remediation services to business and governmental organizations. Most of their contracts involve working within contamination sites where they remove toxic substances from soil and water. In addition to the toxicity of the air, water, and soil their employees come into contact with, the work environment is physically demanding and potentially contributory to injuries involving musculoskeletal systems, vision, and hearing. Sun Coast genuinely cares about the health, safety, and well-being of their 5,500 employees, but they are also concerned about worker compensation costs and potential long-term litigation from injuries and illness related to employment.
Health and Safety Director Task
Sun Coast hired you last month to replace the previous health and safety director, who left to pursue other opportunities. This is a critical position within the company because there are many health and safety-related issues due to the nature of the work. The former health and safety director was in the midst of analyzing these issues through the implementation of a research project when she left the organization.
Throughout the term, you will use your knowledge of research methods to bring the research project to fruition. You will conduct a literature review, develop research questions and hypotheses, create the research design, test data, interpret data, and present the findings. Each unit will accomplish one of these tasks. It has already been decided that the business problems will be best addressed using a quantitative research methodology. You will not collect any data for this project. The former health and safety director had already collected the data, which is provided for you in an Excel spreadsheet.
You will conduct the data analysis using Microsoft Excel Toolpak. View these links for information: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/load-the-analysis-toolpak-in-excel-6a63e598-cd6d-42e3-9317-6b40ba1a66b4 and https://www.excel-easy.com/data-analysis/analysis-toolpak.html
Sun Coast Remediation Course Project Sections
Since this is a quantitative research study, there are specific steps that should be followed. The following is a template that will help you develop your project. (It is also provided as a template in Unit VII.) Use this information to guide your completion of the course project.
Table of Contents
Include the table of contents here. There is a tool for creating a table of contents in the References tab of the Microsoft Word tool bar at the top of the screen. Remember to delete this text and the instructions from the previous page before you begin.
The executive summary will go here. The paragraphs are not indented, and it should be formatted like an abstract. The executive summary should be composed after the project is complete. It will be the final step in the project. Delete this text before you begin.
Sun Coast Remediation Course Project
Note: The following introduction should remain in the research project unchanged. Delete this note before you begin.
Senior leadership at Sun Coast has identified several areas for concern that they believe could be solved using business research methods. The previous director was tasked with conducting research to help provide information to make decisions about these issues. Although data were collected, the project was never completed. Senior leadership is interested in seeing the project through to fruition. The following is the completion of that project and includes the statement of the problems, literature review, research objectives, research questions and hypotheses, research methodology, design, and methods, data analysis, findings, and recommendations.
Statement of the Problems
Note: The following statement of the problems should remain in the research project unchanged. Delete this note before you begin.
Six business problems were identified:
Particulate Matter (PM)
There is a concern that job-site particle pollution is adversely impacting employee health. Although respirators are required in certain environments, PM varies in size depending on the project and job site. PM that is between 10 and 2.5 microns can float in the air for minutes to hours (e.g., asbestos, mold spores, pollen, cement dust, fly ash), while PM that is less than 2.5 microns can float in the air for hours to weeks (e.g. bacteria, viruses, oil smoke, smog, soot). Due to the smaller size of PM that is less than 2.5 microns, it is potentially more harmful than PM that is between 10 and 2.5 since the conditions are more suitable for inhalation. PM that is less than 2.5 is also able to be inhaled into the deeper regions of the lungs, potentially causing more deleterious health effects. It would be helpful to understand if there is a relationship between PM size and employee health. PM air quality data have been collected from 103 job sites, which is recorded in microns. Data are also available for average annual sick days per employee per job-site.
Safety Training Effectiveness
Health and safety training is conducted for each new contract that is awarded to Sun Coast. Data for training expenditures and lost-time hours were collected from 223 contracts. It would be valuable to know if training has been successful in reducing lost-time hours and, if so, how to predict lost-time hours from training expenditures.
Sun Coast’s contracts generally involve work in noisy environments due to a variety of heavy equipment being used for both remediation and the clients’ ongoing operations on the job sites. Standard ear-plugs are adequate to protect employee hearing if the decibel levels are less than 120 decibels (dB). For environments with noise levels exceeding 120 dB, more advanced and expensive hearing protection is required, such as earmuffs. Historical data have been collected from 1,503 contracts for several variables that are believed to contribute to excessive dB levels. It would be important if these data could be used to predict the dB levels of work environments before placing employees on-site for future contracts. This would help the safety department plan for procurement of appropriate ear protection for employees.
New Employee Training
All new Sun Coast employees participate in general health and safety training. The training program was revamped and implemented six months ago. Upon completion of the training programs, the employees are tested on their knowledge. Test data are available for two groups: Group A employees who participated in the prior training program and Group B employees who participated in the revised training program. It is necessary to know if the revised training program is more effective than the prior training program.
Employees working on job sites to remediate lead must be monitored. Lead levels in blood are measured as micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL). A baseline blood test is taken pre-exposure and postexposure at the conclusion of the remediation. Data are available for 49 employees who recently concluded a 2-year lead remediation project. It is necessary to determine if blood lead levels have increased.
Return on Investment
Sun Coast offers four lines of service to their customers, including air monitoring, soil remediation, water reclamation, and health and safety training. Sun Coast would like to know if each line of service offers the same return on investment. Return on investment data are available for air monitoring, soil remediation, water reclamation, and health and safety training projects. If return on investment is not the same for all lines of service, it would be helpful to know where differences exist.
After providing a brief introduction to this section, students should include the literature review information here. Important Note: Students should refer to the information presented in the Unit I Study Guide and the Unit I Syllabus instructions to complete this section of the project. Delete this before you begin.
After providing a brief introduction to this section, students should include research objectives here. Students should compose short, direct statements about the objectives of the study. Research objectives should relate to the problems that have been identified above, and there should be one objective for each problem as shown in the example below. Important Note: Students should refer to the information presented in the Unit II Syllabus instructions to complete this section of the project. Delete this before you begin.