Mental Effects

Problem Statement

The study will survey the mental health effects that the railroad workers who are working on the locomotives that are not well equipped with the relevant air conditioners in summer months. The research will attempt to tie the mental illnesses that an individual may be exposed to when working in adversely hot conditions to the temperature imminent in the locomotives that they are using. The research aims at gathering accurate data that will support the argument on the mental effects on the workers. The study focuses on the human element but more specifically on the scientific element of the situation.

Research hypothesis

The primary objective of the study is to illustrate the perverse railroad carriers imminent in United States; its importance and the potential mental health risk that are associated with employees being allowed to freely operate passenger and freight trains that are not installed with air conditioners on their engines. In addition, the study will aim at educating the public on the potential dangers that they are exposed to when they allow their employees to work in these trains under adverse conditions. Individuals usually drive on the railroad drive often as well as individuals living in the neighborhoods with the tracks being nearby them. Therefore, the study will show that high temperatures cause mental disorders.

Literature Review

Currently, there are many locomotives that operate and are well equipped with the air conditioners. The problem arises where there are no defined guidelines that have been put in place to ensure that theses locomotives (that are equipped with air conditioners) should be used as lead unit in the course of summer months. For instance, one train may contain at least six engines and only four of the six engines are equipped with working air conditioner. The crew, under normal circumstance, sits on one engine and this engine might be among the ones with faulty air conditioners.  In addition, other locomotives may have the six engines but none of them is installed with the air conditioner. Studies conducted by Brotherhood of the Locomotives Engineers indicates that during summer that cab temperatures were measured to be over 95 degrees Fahrenheit which is approximately 90 percent higher than the normal temperature.

The Brotherhood of the Locomotive Engineers (BLE) conducted a study which was aimed at analyzing the temperatures that are imminent in the locative cab. The vital objective of the study was to determine the hard facts on the mental effects that high temperatures inside the cab will cause rather than just analyzing the carriers complain on the high temperatures on the cab. It is important for the project to have a clear representation and tabulation of the field data concerning the topic in an attempt to adequately support the claim put forward. This survey was conducted nationwide, therefore the survey provided gives validity to the assertion that mental problems have been perceived to be adverse especially to the conditions that are super normal.

According to the research undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO), many workers in the employed in the locomotives especially in the cab section have been reported to have problems when coping with the normal life’s stress, an individual cannot work effectively and productively, and under normal circumstances he/she cannot contribute anything to the society.  By tying the topic to public safety, prudency is determined. Early symptoms that are characterized by heat exhaustion include fatigue and possibly dizziness which may get serious when making decisions and thus irrational behavior. The mental impairment imposes poor judgmental decisions and adverse reactions in most of the times.


The population which the survey will administer incorporates the white color workers with a large variance in the age. The survey will incorporate participants between the ages of 21-65 years old. There will be no gender or racial discrimination as the survey will cut across both the genders and the racial background. All participants will fit either to upper middle class or the middle class category. Their income will be from $50000-$90000 per participants and in case one is married the relative income will be high.

The survey will involve a sample of employees who work in the various locomotives during the summer period. Measurement will be taken on temperatures in the region to ascertain the exact and valid temperatures in the locomotives cab.  The research will incorporate both the survey and measurement methods in an attempt to show the factual side and the human side of the problem (Wayne, 2008). By use of tape measure, I will take the measurements for waist high in the place where the locomotive engineer sits, waist high in the place where the conductor sits, and at the center of locomotive’s cab.  I will undertake measurements of the temperatures of various sites in the locomotive. Thermometer will be used to correctly measure the temperatures in the locomotive and record them in degrees Fahrenheit.

The study design that I will use will be the questionnaire in which the employees in the locomotives will b e requested to correctly fill and return them to me. I will also solicit respondents on the duty locations in the case of train crews. The study design aims at determining the feelings the employees have when they are working in the locomotives without the efficient air conditioners. The vital independent variable will be the crew’s status.  There is no relevant depended variable as at this period.


The results form this study will be tabulated and an affirmative inference about the consequential impact of the high temperatures in the locomotives that are not equipped with air conditioners have on the mental health of the individuals. The test statistics that will be used is the t-Test where the data collected will be analyzed in order to ascertain whether the hypothesis I am testing is valid or not. The t-test formula is given in appendix (fig. 1)

Accordingly, the degrees of freedom (df) for this study will be taken form the varied groups of individuals with the concern being on their age groupings. The alpha level, in social studies, is usually taken to be .05 in regard to the rule of thumb thus, the study will articulate to the this value of alpha. The degrees of freedom will be determined by summing up the number of individuals then subtracting two. I will use the standard table (which is usually available as appendix in the statistics tables). The null hypothesis will be determined whether to reject or accept it.


My findings from this project will probe for a clear understanding of the mental health effect that locomotives without air conditioners poses to employees in the sector. I expect the findings to critically show a clear comparison between the temperatures inside and outside the locomotive. The temperature inside the locomotive is expected to be sixteen to thirty two degrees hotter. This will go along way in improving the profitability in the sector as most of the train crews tend to ignore their work during summer period in an attempt to enjoy the cooler environment perceived to be outside the locomotive.  Articulation to the air conditioners in the locomotive engines will reduce the cases of mental health disorders that have recently been reported in the region.

The limitations of the study is that not all of the employees will be willing to provide accurate answers and may think that the information towards their dissatisfaction with the working environment may leak  to their immediate bosses which may lead to termination of their employment. The participants may be biased and may have hidden agenda when responding to the questions in the questionnaire.