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JAMES J. DAVIS, Secretary


JVT M 7 0
BUREAU OF LABOR S T A T IS T IC S /.....................I l 0 * * f t f 9









25 C E N T S P E R C O P Y

In addition to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and
those in the Territories, there are 43 State organizations in the United
States having the functions of bureaus of labor statistics.
The original bureau was organized in Massachusetts by virtue of
an act approved June 23,1869. The first commissioner of the Bureau
of Statistics of Labor of Massachusetts was Henry K. Oliver, who
served until June, 1873, when he was succeeded by Carroll D.
Wright, who held the position of Commissioner until the United
States bureau was organized in 1885. It will thus be seen that bureaus
of this character have been in existence more than half a century.
No functions of the Government are more widespread or are accom­
plishing more, considering the tremendous financial odds, than are
the various bureaus of labor statistics, yet the work of no State
organizations or functions is less understood or less appreciated
than that of these bureaus. This is partly due to the fact that they
have for the most part so little funds that they have not been able
to attract the attention to themselves that other organizations more
fortunately equipped have succeeded in doing. However, if one
compares the economic literature, both periodical and university text­
books, prior to 1869 with that of to-day, one will realize that it is
from the material gathered through bureaus of labor statistics that
most of the real facts have been secured.
Realizing that the functions of such bureaus were not known—not
appreciated nor understood—Massachusetts has for some time been
introducing lectures on the functions of its bureau (now incorporated
into a department of labor and industries) into the schools of the
State, and even has been able to get so far as to have reasonable in­
formation in regard thereto incorporated into the curricula of a num­
ber of other institutions.
During the summer school season of 1928 the State of New York
through Industrial Commissioner James A. Hamilton was able to
put a course of lectures on the various functions and purposes of the
New York State Department of Labor into the required work of the
university summer schools. These lectures w
^ere prepared by the
chiefs of the various divisions of the New York Department of Labor
and delivered in the following universities: University of Rochester,
Syracuse University, College of the City of New York, New York
University, and Columbia University.
Believing that it is important that the people of the United States
should know what a State department of labor is and what its func­
tions are, these lectures (as delivered) are being published in the
belief that such publication will be a real contribution to the knowl­
edge of what is being done through this source to advance economic
education in this country. It is not claimed that every State is



doing either similar work or the same amount of work that is being
done in New York. The purpose of this publication is to show by
practical example what State bureaus of labor statistics can do if
given a chance.
Statistical methods as now understood and as distinguished from
mathematics have been developed beginning with the Massachusetts
bureau in 1869 and continued in the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics. To-day a large number of universities in the United
States and Europe have in their curricula a course in statistical
methods based, in so far as they are not confused with mathematical
theories, upon the method developed in the American bureaus. This
bulletin is published therefore as a contribution to the study of
statistical methods as applied to industrial and economic problems.
Other States that are doing work commensurate with that por­
trayed here or as good as their opportunities will permit are Arizona,
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illi­
nois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mary­
land, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,
Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and



Stew ar t,

United States Commissioner of Labor Statistics.

The New York Department of Labor and the industrial life of the State. ,
1 -1 8
Official statistics and their service for business_____________________________ 19 -2 7
How does general medicine and surgery differ from industrial?___________ 2 8 -3 4
Industrial hygiene— Preventive medicine in industry______________________ 3 5 -4 9
How the industrial code is made_____________________________________________ 5 0 -5 6
The functions of the industrial board______________________ ,_________________ 5 7 -6 5
The inspection bureau and its meaning to industry________________________ 66 -8 1
Workmen’s compensation_____________________________________________________8 2 -9 4
The relation of women in industry to the accident ratio_________________ 9 5 -1 0 2
Fitting the young worker to the jo b ______________________________________ 103-112
Legal aspects of labor problems___________________________________________ 113-124
Prevention or settlement of industrial disputes__________________________ 125-134
Prevention of accidents in industry_______________________________________ 135-146
Diet and clothing as factors in production________________________________ 147-159





NO. 479


By J a m e s A . H

a m il t o n ,

P h . D ., LL. B., I n d u s t r i a l C o m m i s s i o n e r .

RIOR to 1913 the functions of the department of labor were
confined essentially to enforcement of the provisions of the
labor law for protection of employees with respect to health,
safety, and certain other matters, including in connection therewith
investigation work relating to the conditions of labor in the State,
and promotion of peaceful industrial relations between employers
and employees. By chapter 145 in 1913 a very important enlarge­
ment of the functions of the department occurred by provision for
establishment by it of rules and regulations for carrying into effect
the statutory provisions of the labor law, “ applying such provisions
to specific conditions and prescribing specific means and methods or
practices to effectuate such provisions.” This new function was
essentially that of legislation, the law providing that the rules and
regulations just referred to should have the force and effect of law
and constitute the industrial code of the State. It was to perform
this new legislative function that the industrial board was created.
This legislative function has continued in the department of labor
until the present time.
The constitution and function of the industrial board as established
in 1913 continued without important change until 1915. In 1915, by
chapter 674 of the laws of that year, which became effective on May
22, the industrial board was merged in, or succeeded by, the in­
dustrial commission of the State. That act consolidated the pre­
viously existing workmen’s compensation commission with the
department of labor and put at the head of the department, exercising
all its functions, the industrial commission. The industrial com­
mission thus succeeded to the legislative functions of the previous
industrial board combined with the administrative functions of the
department previously exercised by the commissioner of labor and the
judicial functions of the workmen’s compensation commission in the
settlement of claims for compensation under the workmen’s com­
pensation law. This organization of the department’s functions in
the hands of the industrial commission continued until 1921.




By chapter 50 of the Laws of 1921, which took effect on March 9th
of that year, a redistribution of departmental functions and a re­
organization of the responsible departmental machinery was made.
The legislative and judicial functions were entirely separated from
the administrative functions of the department and assigned to the
industrial board, the administrative functions being assigned to the
industrial commissioner. This assignment of functions has continued
until the present time, and the separation of functions likewise has
continued the same, except as follows: Chapter 427 of the Laws of
1926, which inserted article 10 of the new State departments law of
that year (which is the article of that law governing the department
of labor) and which became effective January 1, 1927, adds a new
requirement with respect to the legislative functions of the depart­
ment by providing that any new rule or amendment or repeal of a
rule of the industrial board shall not be effective until approved by the
industrial commissioner.
Under the law of 1913 the industrial board consisted of five mem­
bers, including the commissioner of labor as chairman and four asso­
ciate members. No qualifications of associate members were set up
in the statute. Under the law of 1915 the industrial commission
consisted of five members, with the single specification as to qualifi­
cations that not more than three should be members of the same
political party. The law of 1921 provided that the industrial board
should consist of three members without specification of qualifica­
tions. Chapter 427 of the Laws of 1926, which increased the number
of members from three to five, specified that two members should
represent employers, two should represent employees, and one should
be an attorney. These specifications, however, were modified by
chapter 166 of the Laws of 1927, which did away with the require­
ment as to representation of employers and employees and left only
the provision that one member must be an attorney.
I. Outline of Functions
The department of labor has two general statutes to administer
and two general classes of functions corresponding to those laws.
Those statutes are the labor law, which is chapter 31 of the Con­
solidated Laws, and the workmen’s compensation law, which is
chapter 67 of the Consolidated Laws. The department’s functions
under the former are administrative and under the latter are judicial
and legislative.
Corresponding also in a general way to these laws and functions
are two broad divisions of departmental machinery. The industrial
commissioner and the various bureaus under his direction constitute
the administrative section of the department, while the industrial
board is the judicial and legislative section of the department.
A. Administrative Functions
The administrative functions of the department are very well
summarized in section 21 of the labor law which defines the general
powers and duties of the industrial commissioner. As there listed,
these administrative functions include the following:
To enforce the provisions of the labor law and of the industrial



2. To perform the administrative, but not judicial duties, under
the workmen’s compensation law.
3. To cause proper inspections to be made of all matters prescribed
by the labor law or by the industrial code.
4. To cause investigations to be made of the condition of women
in industry.
5. To inquire into the cause of all strikes, lockouts and other
industrial controversies, and endeavor to effect an amicable settle­
ment thereof, and to create within the department a board to which
a controversy between an employer and his employees may be
submitted for mediation and arbitration.
6. To propose to the industrial board such rules or such changes
in such rules as he may deem advisable.
7. To provide for the establishment and maintenance of public
employment offices for the purpose of securing employment for men,
women, and children.
8. To make investigations, collect and compile statistical informa­
tion, and report upon the conditions of labor generally and upon all
matters relating to the enforcement and effect of the provisions of
the labor law and of the rules thereunder.
9. To enforce any lawful municipal ordinance, by-law, or regulation
relating to any place affected by the provisions of the labor law, not
in conflict with the provisions of the labor law or of the industrial
10. To investigate the condition of aliens relative to their employ­
ment in industry.
B. Legislative and Judicial Functions
The legislative and judicial functions of the department exercised
by the industrial board are defined by sections 27 and 28 of the labor
law and may be summarized as follows, partly quoting from the
The legislative duties are to make, amend, and repeal rules for
carrying into effect the provisions of the labor law, applying such
provisions to specific conditions and prescribing means, methods, and
practices to effectuate such provisions.
Such rules of the board have the force of law. Two classes of
rules are provided for.
(a) One class is for proper sanitation, and guarding against and
minimizing fire hazards, personal injuries, and diseases in all work
places under the labor law. In providing for such rules the law
declares a broad policy “ that all places to which the labor law applies
shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted
in all respects as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to
the lives, health, and safety of all persons employed therein, and fre­
quenting the same, and that the board shall from time to time make
such rules as will effectuate such policy and intent.
(b) A second class of rules is authorized by a provision that “ when­
ever the board finds that any industry, trade, occupation or process
involves such elements of danger to the lives, health, or safety of
persons employed therein as to require special regulation for the
protection of such persons, the board may make special rules to guard
against such elements of danger by establishing requirements as to



temperature, humidity, the removal of dusts, gases, or fumes, by
requiring licenses to be applied for and issued by the department as
a condition of carrying on any such industry, trade, occupation, or
process, by requiring medical inspection and supervision of persons
employed or applying for employment, and by other appropriate
The judicial functions of the board are “ to hear and determine
all claims for compensation under the workmen’s compensation law. ”
II. The Extent of the Department’s Field
In a State of the size of New York, the work of such a department
is a really vast undertaking. A few figures will illustrate this.
The number of industrial or business firms affected by the laws
which are administered by the department is in the neighborhood
of 200,000. The number of wage earners affected by its work
approaches 3,000,000. These firms and employees are in every
variety of enterprise including factories, stores, offices, restaurants,
hotels, railroads, mines, quarries, and building construction. The
work of the department extends to every part of the State which
means that it covers a geographical territory of over 47,000 square
III. The Organization of the Department
With functions so varied and important and with a field of work
so large as those outlined above, there must naturally be extensive
machinery in the department to meet its wide responsibilities. This
machinery may be briefly outlined as follows:
The industrial commissioner is the head of the department and is
appointed by the governor. The industrial board consists of five
Under the industrial commissioner are the following general offices,
bureaus, or divisions:
Deputy commissioner.
Secretary of the department.
Bureau of inspection.
Division of industrial codes.
Engineering division.
Bureau of industrial hygiene.

Bureau of statistics and information.
Bureau of women in industry.
Bureau of workmen’s compensation.
State insurance fund.
Division of self-insurance.
Bureau of industrial relations.

There are further divisions within some of the bureaus which
added to the above would make a total of about 40 administrative
organization units in the department.
The department is organized geographically by division of the
State into 5 districts. In each district is a general office of the depart­
ment. These district offices are located in New York City, Buffalo,
Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. The general offices of the depart­
ment are in New York City.
Mention should be made of two bodies provided for by law and
appointed by the governor composed of unsalaried members who
act in the capacity of advisors to the industrial commissioner. One
of these is the industrial council. The law provides that five of its
members shall be known to represent the interests of employers and
five the interests of employees. The council is to consider matters
submitted to it by the commissioner and advise him thereon, may



recommend to the commissioner changes in administration, and is
to cooperate with the civil-service commission in holding examina­
tions for positions requiring special knowledge or training.
The other advisory body is the advisory committee of the State
insurance fund. This is composed of representatives of firms insured
in the State fund. Its duties are “ to consider the condition of the
State fund and to examine into the condition of its reserves, invest­
ments, and other matters relating to the administration of such fund.”
IV. The Cost of the Department
To perform the foregoing functions over its state-wide territory,
and through its necessarily extensive machinery, requires of course
a large expenditure of money. During the last fiscal year, the year
ended June 30, 1927, the total expenditures of the department were
$2,330,820.93. The main items making up this total were:
Salaries________________________________ _______________$1, 868, 530. 72
Traveling expenses_________________ _________________
148, 066. 83
Printing____________________________________ _________
71,204. 56
Supplies and furniture_______________________________
60, 763. 82
63, 349. 84
55, 682. 74
63, 222. 42

It is important to observe that one large portion of the expenses of
the department is not met by appropriations coming from taxes.
This is the expense of administering the workmen’s compensation
law. By express provision of law this expense is paid by the insur­
ance carriers, or self-insured employers, who must pay the compen­
sation for wage loss and the medical benefits to which injured em­
ployees are entitled under the compensation law. This expense is
divided among the different payers of compensation each year pro
rata according to the amount of their compensation payments in the
given year. In the year ended June 30, 1927, the total expense of
compensation administration amounted to $1,131,319.52. This was
equal to 48 per cent of the total expenses of the department for that
year, and leaves the other expenses paid by the taxpayers of the State
at $1,199,501.41.
Enforcing the Labor Law and Industrial Code
Among the duties of the industrial commissioner as head of the
department of labor which were enumerated, two stand out as con­
stituting the principal functions of the department. One of these is
enforcement of the labor law and industrial code; the other is admin­
istration of the compensation law.
It will be well at the outset to explain in a word or two what is
meant by the industrial code and its relation to the labor law.
The labor law itself sets up various general requirements as to
health and safety in work places. It also empowers the industrial
board to supplement such general requirements by more detailed
regulations fitted to particular conditions in order to make them
at once both more effective and reasonable. For example, the law
requires in general that all machinery “ shall be properly guarded/'
but in the same section provides that the industrial board may make



rules “ to carry into effect” that provision. The board has done
this by establishing a set of rules specifying just what kind of guard
shall be provided for each kind of machine. In a similar way rules
to make other general provisions of the law effective have been
established. All these rules together constitute the industrial code.
It is no light task which is laid upon the department to “ enforce all
the provisions” of the labor law and industrial code. This is indi­
cated by the fact that the regulatory provisions of the law for the
protection of employees comprise 14 articles of the statute with 174
different sections, and that over 900 different rules have been estab­
lished by the industrial board to carry those provisions into effect.
There are not only a multitude of provisions to enforce but a
tremendous number and a variety of places in which they must be
enforced. This is indicated by the number of work places inspected
in the last fiscal year (which ended June 30, 1927) which was as
Mercantile establishments__________________________________
Licensed tenements__________________________________________
Buildings under construction_______________________________
Steam boilers_________________________________________________
Magazines for explosives____________________________________
Tunnels under construction_________________________________



Total__________________________________________________ 202, 155

The ordinary process of enforcement under the labor law is first an
inspection to find out in what points, if any, the law or industrial code
is not being complied with. The noncompliances shown by the
inspectors’ reports are then made subject of an official order by the
department to the employer, or owner of the premises, to comply
with the law. Under this process the orders issued by the depart­
ment afford a measure of the extent of violations of law which have
to be corrected. In the last year the total number of orders issued
amounted to more than 300,000.
This great volume of orders covered, of course, a great variety of
points of law or industrial code rules found not complied with by the
inspectors. A very large proportion of them related to administrative
matters such as posting of laws or notices, keeping of records, etc.
These matters in themselves, of course, do not affect health or safety
conditions which it is the purpose of the labor law to safeguard in
work places. They simply aid in the proper observance or enforce­
ment of strictly regulatory requirements. They are, of course,
necessary to that end and the great number of orders concerning these
administrative requirements serves to illustrate the complexities
which have to be handled in enforcement work.
When inspections have been made, violations or nonobservance of
the law have been recorded and by orders the responsible parties
have been notified what they must do to comply with the law, the
process of “ enforcement” has really been carried only through the
first stage. There remains the second part, which is to see that the
orders are actually carried out. There are two steps in ordinary
procedure used in this part, namely, (1) visit by inspector to ascertain
if orders have been complied with and (2) prosecution in court for



punishment by fine when compliance with orders is refused. There
is also another mode of enforcement available by law to the industrial
commissioner in connection with certain matters which are of such
a character as to call for immediate action, namely, peremptory
stoppage of work until conditions are remedied.
When the number of compliances secured in a given year is com­
pared with the number of orders issued the most striking fact revealed
is that in the vast majority of cases there is no necessity to resort to
punitive measures. In the case of the orders relating to administra­
tive matters this is practically 100 per cent true, in most instances
compliance being secured at the time of inspection. But in the
positive regulatory orders also the proportion of compliances to
orders is so high as to permit only one conclusion, namely, that the
great majority of employers or owners of premises, whatever may
have been their oversight or carelessness originally, will comply
with the warning upon being shown what has to be done. This
simply signifies that making the safeguards of the labor law
realities in work places is very largely a matter of education, as well as
compulsion. Illustrating this point is the fact that last year out of
the 116,305 definitely regulative orders in factories, in 102,994 the
subsequent inspection visit showed compliances.
But there is also the recalcitrant employer or owner who refuses to
comply upon order and compliance visit only. With him, not only
because he endangers the safety or health of his employees, but also
because he represents unfair competition with law-abiding employers,
compulsion of a more drastic kind must be employed by prosecution
in court as provided by the law. In the last year it was necessary to
institute prosecutions in 4,054 cases. Fines were imposed aggregating
A figure of special interest in connection with prosecution is the large
proportion brought for violation of laws concerning work of children,
women, and minors. Over half of the prosecutions instituted last
year were for such violations. This reflects the policy of the depart­
ment of labor to deal especially strictly with violations of the law
concerning those matters.
What has been said thus far outlines the procedure and gives some
indication of the nature and size of the present task of enforcement of
the labor law in this State. The task as it is now represents the
present stage of a growth which has been going on for 40 years in
this State. It began in 1886 when the first factory act was passed.
It is highly suggestive of the growth of the State’s efforts to insure
that work and work places shall be wholesome and safe to compare
the points covered in that first factory law with what the present law
and rules cover as to factories. That first act covered only the
matters of the age at which children might be employed and the hours
which women and minors under 18 might work. To-day a factory
inspector has to see that, in addition to much more complete regula­
tions concerning employment of children and hours of work of
women and minors, the following matters affecting all employees are in
accordance with law:
Matters of sanitation, including toilet facilities, cleanliness of
rooms, ventilation and heat, lighting, place for meals, drinking water,
foot rests, and seats.



2. Accident prevention, including guarding of elevators, guarding
of machinery, safety of electric switchboards, etc., safe stairs, plat­
forms, etc., lighting, window cleaning, and first-aid appliances.
3. Fire protection, including structural conditions as to exits, doors,
stairways, fire escapes, and partitions; clear means of egress, fire
alarms, fire drills, removal of waste, gas jets, smoking, sprinklers,
number of occupants, and fire extinguishers.
4. One day of rest in seven.
5. Payment of wages as required by law.
Along with this growth in number of regulations there has been a
large increase in this 41-year period in the number of work places to
cover. Comparison can be made only as to factories. The census
of 1880 showed 42,739 manufacturing establishments in the State,
but in 1927 the inspectors covered 66,319 such places. More signifi­
cant than this is the growth in number of employees in the factories.
The census of 1880 showed 531,533 while in 1927 the inspectors found
1,420,321 at work in factories.
So this great system of regulation has grown in size and thorough­
ness evincing a growth in enlightened public sentiment supporting
it and enlarging it for the conservation of human life in industry.
Administering the Workmen’s Compensation Law
For more than 14 years now the State of New York has had a
system of compensation for industrial accidents. Under this system
employees injured by accidents, or by certain occupational diseases,
which arise out of and in the course of employment, or their dependents
if death results, must be paid by the employer, or his compensation
insurance carrier, a percentage of the wages which the injured person
was earning, while he is disabled from work, if the disability is over a
week, or, if he is killed, to his widow as a life pension, and to dependent
children up to a certain age, and it may be also to other relatives if
dependent upon him.
This compensation system is administered by the department of
labor. There are two broad divisions of work in this administration,
one judicial in character, the other administrative in the strict sense.
The former consists of the deciding of questions of difference as to
whether an injured employee is entitled to compensation and how
much he is entitled to. The latter includes all the work of preparing
cases for decision. The judicial work of deciding cases is performed
by the referees in the department of labor or by the industrial board
w'hich is also a part of the department. The administrative work is
performed by the bureau of workmen’s compensation.
To get a more definite picture of what is involved in the handling of
a compensation case let us follow through the principal steps which
have to be taken.
An accident happens. It may or may not prove to be compensable
and if compensable it may range in all degrees of seriousness from
one causing no lost time or medical expense to one resulting in total
disability or death or involving long medical or surgical treatment.
The first step in determining what is due the injured man is to secure
the necessary reports of the case from the employer, employee,
and physician or surgeon. The second step is to examine these records,
and if necessary prepare the case for hearing by a referee in the first



instance or the industrial board on appeal from referee’s decision.
This may include not only clerical examination but field investigation,
or medical examinations by department medical advisors. The third
step is the arrangement and holding of hearings by the referees or
industrial board and notifying the interested parties of their awards
when made. The fourth step includes checking up of promptness of
compensation ^payment. All of these steps involve attention to
many details in each part of the process. These four steps on the
purely administrative side might be designated as reporting, examin­
ing, hearing, and check-up of payment.
Such is, roughly outlined, the administrative work involved in a
compensation case.. An idea of the volume of work to be handled
in New York State may be gotten from the following facts for the
fiscal year ended June 30, 1927.
The total number of accident reports filed by employers was
518,297. A large majority of these represented only trivial or minor
injuries not entitled to compensation, but that total figure will give
some idea of the potential size of the job in the first two steps of
administration above noted; that is, reporting and examining.
To give an indication of volume for the third step, hearings and
notices, it may be noted that 173,535 cases (either for accidents
reported in that year or cases pending at the beginning of the year)
were put on the calendars for hearings; that 414,125 hearings were
held, and that cases were closed to the number of 187,368. This is
equal to an average per month of more than 14,000 cases indexed
for hearing, more than 34,000 hearings, and more than 15,000 closed
cases; or at an average daily rate of nearly 500 cases for hearing,
nearly 1,200 actual hearings, and more than 500 closed cases.
Turning to the fourth step in compensation administration, check-up
of payment, which under the law is principally of first payment, the
total number of cases closed in which compensation was awarded in
the year (excluding disallowed cases) will serve to suggest the volume
of work, and that total for last year was just short of 100,000.
One further figure reflecting amount of work may be cited. As
above indicated, preparation of cases for decision by referees or the
industrial board involves extensive medical examinations and advice
as to.,extent of disability by the department’s medical examiners.
The amount of this fundamentally important work for proper adjudi­
cation of claims may be suggested by the fact that last year over
50,000 such examinations were made.
The judicial work of the department in compensation cases is per­
formed in the first instance by the referees. Every claim for com­
pensation comes before a referee for hearing and decision. In this
way it is made certain that every injured wage earner secures all of
the compensation or medical benefits to which he is entitled under
the law. The referees hold hearings in all the principal localities
of the State so that the interested parties may be inconvenienced as
little as possible.
After hearing all the parties desiring to be heard and any witnesses
presented by any of them, examining the evidence, and if necessary
securing advice of department medical examiners as to extent of
disability, the referee makes an award deciding whether, and how
much, compensation is due. Notices of this are sent to the parties



and compensation is to be paid accordingly. Payment of compensa­
tion does not have to wait for any award unless there is a controversy
as to the right to compensation or the amount. In the undisputed
cases, which the great majority of them are, the law provides that
payments shall begin within 18 days after disability begins. In
these cases, however, there is ultimately a hearing by a referee to
make sure that the claimant has received all that is due him.
If either party in a case, employer or his insurance carrier who
assumes the liability for such payments, or the injured employee,
is not satisfied with a referee’s decision, he may appeal the case
either to the industrial board if question is raised as to the facts,
or if a question of law is involved either to the board or to the appel­
late division of the supreme court of the State.
The judicial work of the board consists of the review of cases so
appealed. As a matter of fact, only a small minority of the cases
are taken to the board. In the last fiscal year, while the referees
closed a total of over 182,000, the cases which were before the board
for review numbered approximately 12,000, which is a ratio of about
one case appealed to the board to 15 decided by the referees. Of
the cases which go to the board, a large majority do not require
formal hearing there. These are disposed of either by denial of the
review outright or by sending them back to the referees for further
hearings. Of the cases before the board last year, 80 per cent were
so disposed of.
When the board has decided a case, it is settled unless an appeal on
some question of law is taken to the court. In the latter instance,
the final step in the determination of compensation claims is the usual
argument before the court and decision by the latter as in any civil
Having outlined the process of handling compensation cases for
the purpose of determining right to compensation and amount
thereof, there are two other matters connected with compensation
administration to be noted to give a complete review of the latter
subject. One of these is promptness of payment, the other is security
of payment.
The workmen’s compensation law takes cognizance of the fact that
if its full purpose of relief to injured employees is to be realized not
only just determination of what is due, but prompt payment thereof
must be assured. The law accordingly lays down certain require­
ments on this point, which may be summarized as follows:
If a case is not “ controverted,” that is, “ if the employer or insur­
ance carrier does not controvert the injured workman’s right to com­
pensation,” payment of compensation must begin within 18 days of
the beginning of disability. As there is a 7-day waiting period in
New York, this means that the first payment in uncontroverted cases
is required to be made within 4 days after the first week’s compensa­
tion is due. If a case is controverted, upon the making of an award,
payment must be made within 10 days thereof. If a case is appealed
after award, however, such appeal operates to suspend payment
pending a decision.
The law not only sets up these requirements but prescribes penalties
if they are not observed. If an employer or insurance carrier fails to
make a compensation payment within 18 days after it becomes due,
he is required to pay to the injured workman or his dependents an



additional 10 per cent of the amount then due. Such a penalty, it
will be seen, has two advantages—it virtually fines the employer, and
it reimburses the injured workman for the delay in receipt of his
compensation. In addition to imposing penalties for failure in
promptness of payment, the law confers power on the industrial com­
missioner to require an employer or insurance carrier to make a
deposit with him “ to secure the prompt and convenient payment”
of compensation, out of which he may himself make payments to the
Finally, having made prompt payment a specific requisite, and
having backed this up with legal penalties, the law also adds an
important point as to procedure to make all this effective by requiring
that action on payments must be reported to the department of labor.
Employers or insurance carriers must immediately report to the
industrial commissioner when compensation payment has begun, or
must within the time limit set by law for first payment file notice of
controversy giving the reason why compensation is not being paid,
and if for any reason compensation payments are interrupted, and
when they cease, notice to that effect must be sent to the industrial
Lastly, it is necessary for success in practice of a compensation
system that not only shall compensation be justly determined and
promptly paid, but that it shall surely be paid. The amount of
compensation in serious cases may be so great as to be beyond the
financial ability of the employer, particularly those running small
businesses, to pay it. To meet this possibility the law requires that
every employer who is liable to have to pay compensation, to either
take out insurance to cover that liability or become “ self-insured,”
as it is called. If an employer insures, he may secure his compensation
insurance either in the State insurance fund or in a private stock or
mutual company. If he desires to be self-insured, he must satisfy the
industrial commissioner of his financial ability to pay compensation
and to make the matter entirely secure must place securities in the
custody of the industrial commissioner in such amount as he shall
require, which may be applied by the commissioner to payment of
compensation should the employer himself fail to do so.
One final word as to how the cost of compensation administration
is taken care of. It is not paid for out of State appropriations which
come out of moneys raised by general taxation. It is divided up
each year pro rata among all the employers or insurance com­
panies, who pay compensation according to the amount of com­
pensation they have had to pay in the year in question. Thus the
expense of administration, like that for compensation itself, is trans­
ferred to industry, where it becomes a part of the cost of production
and is ultimately borne by society at large as consumers of the
products or services of industry and business.
Industrial-Accident Prevention
Whenever one views the situation in New York State as to indus­
trial accidents and their prevention, broadly and from the point of
view of all industries combined and the State as a whole, and over a
period of the last few years, he is bound to be impressed with two
7679°—28----- 2



things. On the one hand, he will experience a feeling of encourage­
ment as he observes the fact that never before have so many different
agencies been engaged in endeavoring to bring about prevention of
accidents and never before have so many and so highly developed
methods for prevention been employed.
But, on the other hand, his optimism is likely to receive something
less than a shock when he begins to examine how far the efforts of
all the public and private agencies have succeeded in stemming the
tide of industrial casualties. It is true that here and there in indi­
vidual enterprises particularly, or in single lines of industry, notable
reductions in accident occurrence are found to have rewarded earnest
and intelligent efforts to reduce it. But, taking the field as a whole
and contemplating the grand total of accidents and their cost as the
mountain which must be moved, the striking thing is how large the
mountain still looms. Let us glance at some of the figures for the
last fiscal year of the department of labor, the year ended June 30,
In the calendar year 1927, the total number of accidents reported
to the department of labor was 521,624. This includes all degrees
of injuries from the merest scratch occasioning no lost time up to
fatal cases. But if we take only cases serious enough to cause dis­
ability of over one week the number is impressive enough. In the
last fiscal year of the department, which ended June 30, 1927, the
number of such cases for which final awards of compensation were
made was 98,984. Of these 1,042 were death cases; 41 were perma­
nent total disabilities; 18,518 were permanent partial disabilities;
and 79,383 were temporary disabilities of over one week.
The compensation cost of these cases is likewise imposing. In
the above cases compensated in the last fiscal year, no less than
$28,186,003 of compensation was awarded, not including medical
benefits which runs to several millions more. Of this compensation
total there was awarded for deaths $6,980,588; for permanent total
disabilities, $547,620; for permanent partial disabilities, $14,044,685;
and for temporary disabilities $6,613,110.
Truly, in spite of all our safety efforts to date we still have an
enormous task of accident prevention before us.
One of the ways by which the department of labor endeavors to
reduce the toll of accidents is through its bureau of inspection.
Safety inspectors are constantly in the field calling at factories,
workshops, mercantile establishments, and other work places pointing
out possibilities of accidents arising from dangerous practices upon the
part of workers from unguarded machinery, from inadequate lighting,
and many other sources. By advice, by instruction, and by issuance
of orders, when necessary, many accidents are averted.
The bureau of industrial hygiene of the department of labor also
has a corps of safety inspectors who investigate accidents with a
view to the determination of their causes and the best method of
prevention. Printed bulletins summarizing their findings and rec­
ommendations are issued and distributed to employers, safety
workers, and other interested persons. The bureau of industrial
hygiene has also produced a number of safety films. These are based
upon actual working conditions as found in factories and other work
places, and have aroused great interest wherever exhibited. In
them the workers themselves are the characters and a safety in­



spector of the bureau is the casting director. These films have been
exhibited before large numbers of workers by means of two lecturing
units who take them into the field, visiting not only the cities but
many smaller places as well. This conception of popularizing the
work of the department and enlisting the cooperation of others in
accident prevention led to a series of lectures in the winter of 1926-27
by the industrial commissioner and his heads of bureaus before
teachers in the continuation and vocational schools of New York
City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady, and Oswego. The
requests for these lectures came from the educational authorities
of the State and of the cities, and was a gratifying testimonial to the
worth of the labor department’s work in accident prevention and
other matters as well. Teachers came to these lectures not only
from the cities named but from outlying districts as well. The
instruction and information thus imparted to teachers can not but
be passed on, in some degree, to the boys and girls under their care
who are so soon to take their stations in the ranks of industry.
The accident statistics carefully compiled by the department’s
bureau of statistics and information are eagerly sought by safety
workers as a solid basis for discovery of most promising points of
attack on the accident problem. Based upon statistics of the com­
pensation cases closed in New York State, the largest industrial State
in the Union, nonmachinery accidents are far greater than the number
of machinery accidents. Indeed, the proportion runs as high as five
to one. Ordinarily accidents are connected in our minds with
machinery, but there are many other types of industrial accidents.
Nearly every industry has associated with it its peculiar dust, its
peculiar fume, or its peculiar gas, and sometimes one industry will
have associated with it all three—dust, fume, and gas.
Some of these dusts, fumes, and gases are harmful. For example,
lead dust from any of the innumerable industries where lead is han­
dled produces a disease known as lead poisoning; silica dust (from
granite), with its sharp-pointed, minute particles, when inhaled, pene­
trates the lung tissue and sets up a slow inflammation known as sili­
cosis; carbon monoxide gas injures the red blood corpuscles in the
blood in a manner not entirely unlike the injury which would be sus­
tained in a more mechanical way; in like manner the metallurgical
fumes, unless conveyed away from the operators, would prove a
source of serious irritation to the respiratory system.
Therefore the labor department assists its work of accident preven­
tion with the prevention of the diseases caused by some industries.
This is done by requiring the installation of exhaust systems to con­
vey dust, fumes, and gases away from the operators to the open air
or to some receptacle.
The value of this work has been so great in the past, and the better­
ment of the condition of the workers as a result of relieving them
from inhaling these various deleterious substances has been such that
I am convinced that the decrease in tuberculosis is in part due to this
protection afforded the great army of workers in industry.
Not only is this dust, gas, and fume removal a health-saving meas­
ure, but in some instances it saves money. For example, the recovery
of ground limestone from ball mills, elevators, and conveyors; the
trapping of valuable metallurgical smoke; the recovery of enamel
dust in connection with sign making; the recovery of material in



boxing and barreling; and the recovery of valuable dusts from floors
through vacuum-cleaning devices.
In dealing with the great problem of industrial accidents work­
men’s compensation is only a palliative; the real cure is in accident
The State Free Public Employment Offices
Employers and wage earners in New York City know that the
State department of labor has supervision over working conditions
in factories and mercantile establishments, and when they see a fac­
tory inspector they know something about the importance of the
work and what he is doing to serve their interests. They know, too,
that the bureau of workmen’s compensation is a part of the State
department of labor, and whenever a worker has the misfortune to
be injured he is told something more about the functions of the depart­
ment. And so it is with the bureaus collecting statistics, making
special studies of women and children in industry, settling strikes
and other labor disputes, etc.
The question is often asked them, Why is it that so many
employers and wage earners in New York City know so little
of the fact, or have never even heard, that the State department
of labor has a division of employment which finds jobs each year
for more than 150,000 men, women, boys and girls? These
State public employment offices have been in existence for more
than 12 years and in that time have served more than one
million and a half persons in the various large cities of the State
through a chain of employment offices extending from New York
to Buffalo. Of course, thousands of employers who have been
visited by the representatives of the public employment offices
and who have requested workers from them know something about
their work; tens of thousands of wage earners who have received
employment without the payment of a fee of any kind know well that
the public employment offices are performing a real service for them.
However, as our representatives know when they make their calls,
there are thousands of employers who know very little about the
work of the public employment offices and there are also wage
earners who have been in the habit of paying a week’s wages as a fee
to a private employment agency and they, too, will be glad to know
that the State labor department maintains offices where many per­
sons obtain good jobs, without charge. If you were to visit Albany,
Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, all of which are large cities, you could
ask almost anyone you might meet on the street where you could go
to get a job and you would be told that there was a State public
employment office. In the cities of Dunkirk, Elmira, and Bing­
hamton, it is almost unusual for an employer to hire his help except
through the public employment office, because he has learned by
experience that the right person is sent to him. Employers in New
York City who have made use of the employment offices here are
glad to say that very satisfactory workers are supplied to them and
wage earners who get jobs through the employment offices often
say that the jobs obtained in this way are usually better in pay, in
working conditions, and in duration of employment than the jobs
they find in other ways.



Employers sometimes ask, “ Do you get jobs only for laborers or
unskilled workers or can you supply me with stenographers, book­
keepers, and other clerical workers?” Wage earners may say, “ I
have been told that you find very good opportunities in the commer­
cial world and in industry for boys and girls, but do you get jobs for
mechanics and other skilled workers?” To these questions I am
glad to say that our records show that our employment offices receive
applications for work from every type of workers in every trade, com­
mercial pursuit, or profession that one might mention. Only when
there is an unusual shortage of workers do we fail to supply the em­
ployer with the exact kind of workers he desires. On the other hand,
we do not always find employment for those with special professional
qualifications, for high-grade executives, and for persons whose
services are not in demand every day. The principal reason for not
placing more of these persons at high salaries is that employers in
New York City sometimes do not ask us for this kind of help under
the mistaken impression that we can not furnish it. Our upstate
offices obtain a comparatively large number of positions for profes­
sional and technical workers at good salaries. If employers will only
telephone or write to the State department of labor employment
offices whenever they need help they will be as well pleased with the
services as are those employers who are already making use of it.
Some employers who first called upon the employment office in New
York City 12 years ago continue to use the offices and sometimes
when our placement workers telephone to them and ask them if they
can make room for an exceptionally good clerk or mechanic they are
told by the employer that they rarely have any vacancies because the
wage earners sent by our offices are capable, that they have workers
who stick to their jobs because they are satisfied with them. Some­
times applicants will call at the employment office and will state that
they have not been in the offices for four or five years because they
have held the last job from the employment office for that time and
they only lost it because the firm moved out of town, on account of a
fire, or some other cause not connected with the applicant’s fitness
for the job.
So much in general about the offices. Now let us note specifically
just what benefits such an employment office system offers to em­
ployers and to workers. First, then, a message to employers.
1. You save time.—You need not interview a large group of job
seekers until you pick a desirable person— and then dismiss disap­
pointed ones, who, perhaps form an unfavorable impression of your
concern. We select one or more of the best applicants for you to
2. Your labor turnover is reduced.—We select the right man for the
right job, which he accepts because he wants steady work.
3. Your production is facilitated.—Shortly after you telephone us
for a worker, a competent worker is sent, and production is resumed
on the idle machine. When workers are scarce, our 12 offices comb
the State with our clearance system and find your man—without
taking him from another employer.
4. You are saved worry and expense.—We caution you about illegal
work and hours when sending you women and children. They leave
our office with the “ proof of age” when necessary. Ask us about
the labor and the compensation laws.



You receive universal service.—Our employment offices are the
only ones that can supply men, women, boys, and girls in all occu­
pations. Emergency workers to substitute during vacations, or for
a day, week, or month, are always available.
Turning now to the point of view of the worker, the public em­
ployment offices afford him the following advantages:
1. The wages on the new job are his own. A private employment
agency usually exacts the first week’s wages as its fee. The State
charges no fee.
2. The most desirable job, from the many vacancies listed which
he is capable to fill, is selected for the applicant—the job he can,
and really wants to hold.
3. Work conditions, wages, duration of job, and other conditions
are not misrepresented. No fee motive is present; and honest
effort is made to match the man with the job and satisfy both the
worker and the employer.
4. Collecting the opportunities from every section of the city in
the centrally located employment office saves the applicant time
and money necessary for a personal visit to many employers.
5. Temporary work is found for him when there is dullness in his
own trade. His idle time is shortened.
6. Vocational guidance, trade information, and suggestions con­
cerning suitable employment are given to men and women who
wish such advice.
The latest special development in the work of the State employ­
ment offices is service for placement of school-teachers. Special
arrangements have been made in the 12 public employment offices
operated by the State department of labor to furnish competent
teachers, whenever requested, to educational institutions. Applica­
tions are received from teachers desiring positions not only in ele­
mentary and secondary schools but also in colleges and universities.
A teacher who obtains a position through a teachers’ agency usually
pays a fee ranging from $50 to $100 and a similar fee is paid each time
for many years whenever a new position is secured through the
agency. No fee of any kind is charged by the public employment
bureau of the State department of labor.
When a request for a teacher is sent to this bureau, not only will
the appointing official of the school help teachers to save large sums
of money now being paid in fees but he will also have a larger selection
of competent applicants from which to choose. As the list of em­
ployment offices indicates, every section of the State is represented
and the combined application files of 12 offices are available.
The fact that no fee is charged induces many teachers to apply who
can not afford or do not wish to pay comparatively large sums to
obtain a position.
Colleges or normal schools are located in many of the cities in which
there are public employment offices and our superintendents have
the assistance of the principals and deans in recommending the most
suitable graduates for a special vacancy. The aim of our teachers’
service is to secure without charge satisfactory positions for teachers
and to supply schools with competent teachers.
Much of the shifting of teachers each year is due to inefficient
placements. Many teachers accept positions for which they are not
specially fitted or in inconvenient locations because they have no



other choice. Other teachers are chosen because there are few appli­
cants available on the files of the teachers’ fee agency.
Request for teachers, and applications from teachers for positions
may be made at any time during the year either to the nearest em­
ployment office or to the chief of the division of employment. School
officials and teachers are welcome at all times at our employment
offices. Teachers seeking positions are requested to write for the
special application form for teachers.
One of the interesting by-products of the work of the public em­
ployment offices is the indication its records afford as to the course of
unemployment in the community. When there is plenty of employ­
ment the number of positions employers wish to fill naturally increases
and number of workers seeking positions decreases. Conversely
when employment decreases those numbers both move in the opposite
directions. Accordingly the course of the ratio between positions
offered by employers and persons seeking positions at the public
employment offices furnishes a useful barometer, as it were, of the
trend of employment and unemployment. This ratio is usually
expressed in the form of the number of workers seeking places per
100 places open.
Women in Industry
If the men and women of 30 or 40 years ago who were conscien­
tiously trying to stop the onrushing of women’s activities could study
for a moment the figures which illustrate the trend of their employ­
ment in New York State they would die of apoplexy. Here we find
women by the hundreds of thousands engaged in practically every
trade and occupation; working as longshoremen, as stevedores, as
chauffeurs, as plumbers, as electricians, as plasterers, teamsters, and
even as undertakers. These Victorians would be equally disturbed
at the number of women who are now engaged in practicing law, or
who have become lumbermen and fishermen. The whole trend of the
employment of women is toward wider activity and a greater variety
of interest.
In the past, before there were such things as factories and shops
and offices, women in their homes were the producers of the world.
They helped to produce everything that was eaten and worn and
used in their community. As the factory system developed and
machines were invented, these things were taken out of the home
and little industrial units were formed in one or two rooms, to pro­
duce the things which had formerly been done in the home. As indus­
try has developed, women have left their homes in larger and larger
numbers and followed the machines into the factories and now, instead
of two or three people gathered together in one little room or one
little shop, we see one roof covering thousands of men and women.
The evolution of industry has led to the increased demand for
woman’s labor. What to-day needs physical strength and long
apprenticeship may be to-morrow within the capacity of a 16year-old girl. New machinery is directly favorable to the employ­
ment of women, and in the last 25 years the employment of women in
New York State has practically trebled. To-day in this State alone
we have over 1,000,000 women who are working for wages. In the
past, women have been chiefly employed as unskilled or semiskilled
operators. In addition to the large number still employed in this



capacity, now we find them in the thousands doing skilled work in
furniture, in steel and iron, in clay and stone and glass. While we
have long been accustomed to women in the field of literature,
music and art, it is rather surprising to learn that there are in New
York some 3,000 artists, 1,000 editors and reporters, 1,000 physicians,
and 100 clergymen; that the number of women lawyers in 1920 was
twice that in 1910; that finance long considered a nonfeminine sphere
claims 400 women as bankers, 950 as real estate agents, not to men­
tion the large number of architects, chemists, electrical engineers, and
designers. The fact is that the woman of to-day who has school or
college degrees does not, as the woman of 40 and 50 years ago or
even 25 years ago, wish to settle down to a life of dependence and lei­
sure, but rather wishes to make her contribution toward the economic
life of the country and to broaden her interest through the rubbing
of shoulders with people in the professions and trades.
The development of the employment of women is not due wholly
to the desire of women themselves to enter trades and professions,
but is due also to the fact that industry and the professions are very
much interested in having women accessible for work. The manu­
facturers and employers realize that they need woman’s work and
they are reshaping the policies of their own factories in order to meet
the needs of women. As for example, in a small industrial town
where it is not possible to secure a sufficient number of single women
to work in one of the factories, the manager is employing married
women. He realizes that in order to have them and keep them he
must arrange his hours so as not to conflict with their domestic
duties. The factory does not open till noon on Mondays and. is
closed all day Saturdays. This is typical of what is going on in many
industries to-day in order to secure woman’s labor.
The fact is that the woman of to-day goes to work either because of
economic pressure or because work interests her. Her income may
not be necessary to meet the everyday needs of her family life, yet
she feels that their standard of living and of life can be raised by her
contribution to the family income. This is true of women in all
The woman employed in one of our steam laundries says that, yes,
her husband makes enough to support the family but she wants
something more for her children than she herself had. She wants a
longer period in school for them and more recreation. The same
point of view is expressed by the professional woman who goes out to
work side by side with her husband. These women see the home, not
as a circumference, but as a center of family growth and development.
Tb some, of course, going out to work means an escape from the
daily drudgery and routine of housework, but whatever the force
that is absorbing women more and more into professional and
industrial life, the fact remains that they are going out as coworkers
with their husbands and brothers in increasingly large numbers.
The opportunities for the employment of women were never so
great as they are to-day.
Women by their own ability and capacity for work are breaking
down the century-old prejudice and they are coming into their own.

B y E u g e n e B. P a t t o n , Ph. D ., D

ir e c t o r ,

B ureau


S t a t is t ic s


I nfor­

m a t io n

The Value of Labor Statistics
HE topic assigned for this lecture embraces an extremely wide
scope. The output of statistical material at* the present time is
enormous. Both public and private agencies have come to
realize the value of statistical research. Research work is being done
along a multitude of lines, and, in order to reduce the results to work­
able form, a great amount of time and effort is devoted to tabulation
of what may be called the raw material. The final task is then entered
upon— that of analysis of the tabulated results. This final step is of
the utmost importance. If the analysis and consequent interpreta­
tion of the tabulated material is not properly done, false impressions
will be conveyed and the value of the entire statistical investigation
will be negatived. Erroneous conclusions in statistical analysis lead
either to inaction or to wrong action relative to the problem under
investigation. When such a situation develops, the latter end of that
investigation is worse than the first, and better would it have been
had it never been born.
It was stated a moment ago that, both in the private and in the
public field, statistical activity is pronounced. To a large extent, the
World War must share the responsibility for this development. It is
not, of course, meant by this to intimate that statistical investigation
and analysis was born during, or as a result of, that conflict. Statis­
tical study and its value have been recognized for a long time. Ap­
preciation of its value was, however, relatively limited as is attested
by the long current stock jokes at the expense of statisticians with
especial reference to their veracity. The point should not be over­
stressed, but there has been in recent years what may be termed a
rebirth of interest in statistics.
Illustrative of the wide variety of statistical material now available
and of service to business men is the monthly publication entitled
“ Survey of Current Business” issued by the United States Depart­
ment of Commerce. This survey is devoted to business statistics
and contains data not only from Government departments, including
foreign as well as State and Federal departments, but from com­
mercial and trade associations, technical periodicals, and private
Very little of the material is original with the department issuing
it. The function of the publication is to assemble statistical material,
already in existence but widefy scattered, and render it readily acces­
sible. A recent issue listed reports from more than 40 private organ­





izations, from 36 technical periodicals, from more than a hundred
commercial and trade associations, as well as the official State and
Federal reports of the United States.
Similarly, the Statistical Abstract of the United States, an annual
volume, provides in handy form the available statistical information
compiled by Government departments and also a number of private
organizations. The titles of the separate divisions in a recent issue
of this publication are revealing as to the wide scope of the statistical
material there assembled: Area and population; defectives, delin­
quents, and dependents; vital statistics; immigration and emigra­
tion; education; public lands and national parks; climate; Army,
Navy, civil service, pensions, etc.; National Government finances;
State, city, and local government finances; money and banking;
wealth; business finance; prices; wages; Postal Service; telephone,
telegraph, and cable systems; electric light and power; public roads
and motor vehicles; steam and electric railways; waterways; foreign
commerce, both home and noncontiguous; irrigation and drainage;
farms and farm products; forests; fisheries; mineral products; and
manufactures. More than 800 separate statistical tables are thus
Both of the above-named publications are of great service to busi­
ness men in planning production layouts, campaigns, purchasing
of materials, and other features incident to business operations; and
to other kinds of organizations as well, social, philanthropic, religious,
and educational, such information is indispensable. A trustworthy
statistical basis is essential to the intelligent operation of any organi­
zation. Increasingly true is it in modern life that intelligent planning
is essential to success in any line of endeavor, and statistics provide
the groundwork for such planning.
Many other illustrations could be cited of statistical reports having
a direct bearing upon business and its operations than the two already
mentioned. These will serve, however, as illustrations of what
Government offices are doing in the matter of statistics to be used as
a guide for business.
Obviously, the field as suggested by the topic at the head of this
paper “ Official Statistics and Their Service for Business” is too large
to be covered at one time. It seems advisable, therefore, to speak
more in detail of one portion of the field, and, naturally, that with
which I am most familiar—namely, labor statistics.
Founding of the Bureau of Statistics
In May, 1883, the New York State Legislature by chapter 356 pro­
vided for the establishment of a bureau of labor statistics. It is
interesting to note the reason for the creation of this bureau, the
personnel of which consisted at the beginning of a “ commissioner of
statistics of labor” and one clerk with salary appropriations of $3,700
and expenses of $3,000. The act stated in section 2 that “ The duties
of such commissioner shall be to collect, assort, systematize, and
present in annual reports to the legislature, within 10 days after
the convening thereof in each year, statistical details relating to all
departments of labor in the State, especially in relation to the com­
mercial, industrial, social, and sanitary condition of workingmen,
and to the productive industries of the State,”



From this beginning there has developed the entire New York
State Department of Labor with total appropriations for the year
ended June 30, 1928, in excess of $2,500,000 and a working staff of
1,036 persons.
Growth of the Bureau
The bureau of statistics, or bureau of statistics and information,
as it has *been termed since 1913, has also increased in the variety
and extent of the information which it has been called upon to furnish,
and there has also been an increase in the personnel and consequent
necessary appropriations to perform the functions required of it until
it now has 60 persons on its staff with a salary budget amounting to
nearly $100,000.
The first report of the bureau of labor statistics was on prison labor
in New York State; the second on child labor. The third report
presented the results of studies on wages and home conditions of
workingmen; strikes; boycotting; arbitration; foreign labor; reduction
of hours of labor; labor organizations; and a final section containing
recommendations upon each of these subjects.
These early reports, prepared by a bureau without adequate facili­
ties, were yet sufficient to induce the legislature to enact the factory
law in 1886 with an inspection force (inadequate to be sure) to enforce
the long-standing compulsory education law which had replaced the
still earlier truancy act. In that same year, 1886, the legislature
created the bureau of mediation and arbitration.
The establishment of these two latter bureaus is a good illustration
of the service rendered by statistical investigation. Facts were
brought out by investigation and presented in such form as to compel
action. The replacement of complacency with existing conditions
by the real facts in the case provided a basis for intelligent remedial
Creation of the Department of Labor
These three bureaus—statistics, inspection, and mediation and
arbitration—continued to function separately until 1901. In that
year they were consolidated into the department of labor, which,
with greatly enlarged scope and powers, functions to-day as the
enforcing agent for the entire body of labor legislation, including the
labor law, workmen’s compensation law, industrial codes, and a
number of other related statutes.
Present Work of the Bureau
Without attempting to give a detailed history of the bureau of
statistics during the period from 1883 to the present, all of which is a
matter of public record in the department reports, nor of its efforts
to determine from time to time what investigations and reports would
prove most serviceable to the citizenry of the State, let us rather point
out some at least of the fields of work, now covered by the bureau,
with an explanation of how they came to be decided upon as fit
subjects for investigation and the service which they render to the
people of the State.



Employment and Pay-Roll Statistics
One of the leading fields in which the bureau now collects and pub­
lishes statistical material is that of employment. For many years
the bureau had collected returns as to the extent of employment and
of unemployment chiefly among organized workers. The informa­
tion was secured by mail and by personal visits from the secretaries
of trade unions. These served a useful purpose in the absence of
more extensive and reliable data. But there were serious objections
which militated against their acceptance as conclusive on either
In the first place, the figures so secured were not representative of
unorganized workers, and for that reason failed to give a well-rounded
measure either of employment or unemployment. Unorganized
workers, who constitute the great bulk of employees in certain trades,
were not represented in the returns, and those occupations and locali­
ties in which organization was incomplete or partial were not ade­
quately represented.
Again, especially in the larger unions, the secretaries did not have
the facilities for an accurate determination of the extent, either of
employment or unemployment.
For these and other reasons the New York Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics was led during the industrial depression of 1914-1915 to devise
another method for securing dependable statistics upon the extent of
employment. This was in direct response to a deeply felt and widely
expressed need for such information. The mayor’s committee on
unemployment in New York City in a written inquiry addressed to
more than 2,000 employers asked for figures, taken direct from their
pay rolls, as to number employed during one week in December,
1914, and the corresponding week in 1913. Returns made by em­
ployers themselves from their own written pay-roll records would,
it was felt, be a direct measure of the decline in employment between
the two dates.
As a result of this step, Dr. L. W. Hatch, chief statistician of the
New York bureau, who had much to do with this committee’s in­
quiry, planned and put into execution in New York State a system
of monthly collection of employment and pay-roll reports from manu­
facturing employers. These reports, dating back to June, 1914, and
maintained to the present, constitute the pioneer step in the regular
collection of such figures by any bureau, and undoubtedly represent
the most dependable current measure of manufacturing employment
and earnings New York State has ever known. The value of the
figures has since been enlarged by breaking them up so as to show
employment and weekly earnings separately for men and for women;
separate showings for the leading industrial districts in the State and
for the leading industries in each district. Series of index numbers
have been developed by months over a period of 15 years showing
index numbers of factory employment, of factory pay rolls, of aver­
age weekly earnings (the latter also in absolute amount), together
with a separate chart and accompanying figures for each of the lead­
ing industrial districts. Along with this appear the figures on cost
of living collected and furnished by the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics.



The information so obtained and published currently has been
found by employers to be of great service to them. Dependable data
as to employment, earnings, and cost of living are of great value to
individual employers in the conduct of their operations. By com­
parison of collected and interpreted returns from other employers
in their own line of industry and in their own and other competing
localities they can learn their* relative status as compared with the
group. Such information has increasingly cumulative value, and the
fact that it appears currently frees it from the prejudice and sus­
picion of bias that inevitably accompanies material gathered in haste
by conflicting interests in an industrial dispute.
This labor-market information, as it is generally termed, is of use as
barometric material as to future industrial developments. Naturally
the bureau of statistics can not, as a matter of policy, feature the
material in our publications in this manner except cautiously, if at
all. But trade journals, financial organs, industrial publications of
all sorts, and the daily press make extensive use of the material as a
guide to the future course of business, and industrial forecasters, a
tribe which has had remarkable growth in recent years, make large
use of it.
Building Permits and Public Employment Office Returns
In addition to the returns above described, coming direct from
employers, the bureau furnishes currently two other specific sets of
figures bearing upon the employment situation. One of these is
monthly reports as to the number of permits issued for building con­
struction in 23 cities, together with the estimated cost of such con­
struction. This information is presented so as to indicate separately
the amount of residential building, with the number of families
provided for, the amount of industrial and commercial building, and
the amount of public building work. These figures, while not so
close a measurement of actual employment as are returns from pay
rolls, serve as an indicator of the trend of employment in the building
Employment Office Returns
The public employment offices, operated in nine cities of the State
by the department, are designed to bring persons who are out of
work and seeking employment into contact with employers who are
seeking workers. The range of occupations covered by these em­
ployment offices is wide, and constant effort is made to familiarize
and popularize employers with the employment service and to induce
them to take advantage of it.
The reason for mentioning them here is to point out that each
month, in connection with the employment and pay-roll figures, the
bureau of statistics presents a summary of their operations. The
total number of persons registered seeking work, the total number
of workers called for by employers, and the number of workers
actually placed in jobs is given, and this information is further shown
for separate industries or occupations, and also for each of the nine
offices. The information is also classified by sex.



Most significant, perhaps, of the figures is the one computed each
month comparing the number of workers registered with the number
of places for which workers are sought. This index number is an
indicator for the districts served by the offices as to the state of the
labor market.
The three items discussed above—namely, employment and pay­
roll statistics, employment-office returns, and building permits—taken
together indicate the current trend of industrial activity. They
do not constitute a complete picture by any means, and the bureau
fives in hopes that it will bs able to present a more nearly complete
picture. But as it is, it is rendering a real service not alone to business
but to the workers and all classes of citizens.
Work of the Federal Bureau and of Other State Bureaus
The collection of employment and pay-roll statistics was begun by
the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shortly after such work had
been started by the New York bureau. President Harding’s Confer­
ence on Unemployment in 1921 brought out that there was no adequate
basis for a statement as to the extent of unemployment in the nation
as a whole. A committee of the American Statistical Association was
authorized in 1921, on the measurement of employment. This com­
mittee later published a report recommending that all Federal and
State bureaus collecting statistics of employment furnish such statis­
tics to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for coordination
and publication. It was further recommended that each State collect
for itself the necessary information for its own purposes and supply
to the United States bureau so much of its data as necessary for a
national record.
Publication in the form of index numbers including at least two
specific pieces of information—namely, total number on the pay roll
and total amount of wages paid to those on the pay roll—was recom­
mended, as well as more refined data such as separation by sex, labor
turnover, and other items wherever and as soon as practicable.
In recent years, a number of leading industrial States have inaugu­
rated a system of employment and pay-roll reports, so that com­
parable data is now available from a large part of the highly indus­
trialized regions of the United States. These States cooperate with
the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics by furnishing it with a
sufficient portion of their records so that combined they constitute a
national index. Incidentally, employers are saved the labor of
making out duplicate reports by this cooperation. Also, the United
States bureau, being spared the effort of collecting returns from the
cooperating States, has its energy released for securing such reports
from States where no system of collection is in effect. As a result the
volume of returns received by the Federal bureau from the cooperating
States and from those collected direct is so large that a truly impres­
sive picture of the extent of manufacturing employment in the
country, as a whole, is presented.
These figures are drawn upon for practical purposes of legislative
guidance, as witness the report upon unemployment made in February,
1928, by Industrial Commissioner Hamilton, of New York State, to
Governor Smith. This report was based largely upon the labormarket returns received by the bureau of statistics and information,



and the governor was quick to urge speeding up of an extensive public
building program for partial relief of the situation. Shortly there­
after Congress called for a statistical statement as to employment
conditions, and the report furnished by Secretary of Labor Davis
was based upon the employment reports collected by the United
States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A sample of the schedule used by the New York bureau in collecting
employment and pay-roll information appears 011 this page.
Forms differing in detail but containing the same essentials are in
use by the United States bureau and by the bureaus of several States.




Bureau of -Statistics and Information

A lba n y , N. Y ., October 15,1927
G entlemen :

To obtain for public information monthly figures as to changes in employment and wages, this Department requests
you to submit the data called for below. No information of any description as to individual firms will be made public.
This report should be submitted immediately.

Very truly yours,

Industrial Commissioner

Confidential Report on Employees and Wages
October fell.


must be taken from pay rolls or other records.

Number of Employees on Pay Roll

Please check
payroll period




I wV


2 wlcs.
| m o.

Ending Oct._______

Use that pay roll in which, the 15th o£


Operating time during period reported— hours per week...
Kindly note:
Changes in wage rates between September 15th and October 15th.
Increase— Per cent.------------------ Decrease— Per cent-----------Labor troubles
Branch factories opened or closed
New products

No. of employees affected...

Total Wage* Paid to—





Accident Statistics
Another major field with which the New York bureau of statistics
is concerned is that of accidents compensated under the New York
workmen’s compensation law. Forty-three of the States and the
District of Columbia now have a compensation statute. In connec­
tion with such statutes, it should always be borne in mind that the
chief end of compensation legislation is not to make payment for
injuries sustained (praiseworthy though that be) but to prevent
accidents. Prevention is always better than compensation.
The statistical work done by the bureau in this connection is
designed to develop not only the size and serious nature of the
industrial accident problem, but to point out the places where accident
>revention is most needed and where the greatest saving of human
ife and suffering, as well as money, may be effected. Forwardlooking and right-minded employers have long since learned this
lesson and look to official bureaus to furnish information, correctly
tabulated and properly analyzed, which will serve as a guide in
accident prevention.


Size of the Industrial Accident Problem in New York State
The number of accidents reported to the State department of labor
for the last five years is given below:
Year ended June 30—





Increase over
previous year

53, 001
76, 896

A part only of these accidents are serious enough to receive com­
pensation under the law. The number of compensable accidents—
that is, those which caused a loss of working time in excess of two
weeks up to January 1, 1925, and in excess of one week since that
date—were as follows for the five years ending June 30 of each


_5 8 ,0 7 8
_72, 983
„ _________________________________________ 7 6 ,2 1 6
_99 ,6 7 3
______________________ ___________________________ _9 8 ,9 8 4



Guide for Accident Prevention
In order to attack the problem intelligently, it must be known
where these compensated accidents occurred. Summarized accord­
ing to fields of industry, the accidents compensated were as follows:
Year ended June 30—

Manufacturing_________________ ______________________
Construction______________ __________________________
Transportation and public utilities________________ .
Trade __________________________________ - ____________
Service__ _________________________________ __________
Other_____ __________________ _____ _____________________
Total. _________ __________

___________ _________




26, 429
10, 230
10, 973
1, 569

32, 533
13, 361
13, 654
1, 915

31, 254
15, 632
13, 561
6, 759
1, 980

41, 245
20, 464
17, 627

39, 837
16, 666

58, 078

72, 983

76, 216

99, 673

98, 984


Expressed in percentages of the total number of compensated
accidents in each year, the following is revealed:
Year ended June 30—
Manufacturing_________________ _______ ______ ________
Construction_____________________________________ __ _
Transportation and public utilities_________ _______ __
Trade__________ __________________ _____________ ______
Service________ _____ ______________ ____________________
_____ _____________________________________




20. 5
17. 7
9. 1

40. 2

These tables indicate several things. One is that accidents in
manufacturing have decreased in relative importance as compared
with accidents in other industries. In the past, the greatest efforts
have been made in this field and they have borne fruit. But accidents
in construction work have been increasing relatively and indicate
the need of more extensive accident prevention work in this field.
The chief aid which statistics can serve in accident prevention lies
in information as to the causes of accidents. Some 800 separate
causes of accidents are tabulated by the bureau, classified into
groups by industries. Space is lacking to reproduce even a summary
of such figures but, in general, it may be stated statistical analysis
has demonstrated the enormous part which education may play in
accident prevention. The mechanical causes of accidents have been
made clear and influence brought to bear upon employers to remove
these by safeguarding of machinery, providing safe work places, by
furnishing proper tools and proper instruction in their use, and in
many other ways.
At the same time statistical analysis has demonstrated that the
human element plays a greater part in causing accidents than the
mechanical element. Safety education, both of employer and worker,
has been shown by statistics to be the chief need in accident prevention.
The New York Bureau of Statistics expends a large part of its
energies in the recording, analysis, and publication of departmental
activities. This is necessary and proper but less of its time is given
to research and publication which would be of direct interest to the
general public than is desirable.

----- 3


By R



w i,

M . D ., C

h ie f


e d ic a l

E x a m in e r

Industrial Medicine and Surgery
O M Y mind the subject of industrial medicine and surgery
implies emphasis upon the careful study of the etiology of
trauma, upon the temporary and permanent disability in
their relation to trauma, and upon the ultimate partial or permanent
defects resulting from trauma, as they affect the earning capacity of
the individual.
If we refer to the American literature prior to 1914, it is astonish­
ing to discover how little has been written on this subject; therefore,
the question would be proper, why the sudden activity in this field
after 1914? The answer to this question is as follows:
It is peculiar, yet nevertheless an absolute fact, that events must
occur before the mind acts, and then the event is analyzed as to
its relationship to the economy. If the event is harmful, by virtue
of our ingenuity and acquired knowledge, we prevent its recurrence
and if the event is of benefit, we endeavor to make full use of it.
The event which preceded the challenge to the medical profession to
pay special attention to industrial surgery and medicine was the pass­
ing of a law to protect the injured workmen, who prior to the enact­
ment of the law were neglected from a medical and legal compensatory
point of view.
With these few preliminary remarks, having differentiated for you
between industrial surgery and medicine, as compared with general
surgery and medicine, I wish to call your attention to the fact that
the paper which you are to discuss at this moment is based upon an
observation of a tremendous material, possibly exceeding more than
the examination of 100,000 injured persons who have received their
injuries in their various vocations.
The conclusions here presented are based upon examinations of
men and women, whose injuries have been due to accidents occurring
in their industries, and who, at the time of their physical examinations,
have had either the remaining evidence of the injury, or the defects
consequent upon such injury. We see the cases most frequently after
they have been discharged from their surgical care. These patients
present at that time either the remaining evidence of injury, or the
defects which result from such injuries. The question may be
asked, “ Can you state from the remaining defects how the injury
occurred, and what was the nature of the injury?” Whether there
has been an involvement of the superficial tissues or underlying
deeper structures, as bones or viscera, nature leaves a distinct




landmark, namely a cicatrix, and if these cicatrices are carefully
studied, it is often possible to state the causes and the type
of the injury. One must differentiate between the fine, linear,
nonpigmented, movable scar, indicative of a superficial wound which
healed by first intention; the scar which is adherent to the underlying
tissues, and is evidence of slight inflammatory reaction; the scar
which is more adherent to the deeper tissues, and is evidence of an
infection; and the nonmovable, indurated scar, adherent to the
important underlying structures, thus interfering with the mobility
of the parts involved. This last scar is evidence of serious infections
of the underlying tendons. There remains to mention the deeper
indurated adherent scar which is attached to the bones, and is
evidence of infection and suppuration, with destruction of underly­
ing tissues.
Causes of Injury
Injury to the human body occurs in one of three ways: First, the
human body is the movable object, and is projected against the
stationary object; second, the human body is the stationary object
and a movable body impinges upon it or against it; and third, man
injures his body with the very tools, utensils, and mechanical appli­
ances which he himself has created. I should define a trauma, or
accidental injury as one which occurs suddenly, is unforeseen, and not
willfully contributed to by the individual who is injured.
Causes of Accidents
Accidents are frequently attributable to the posture which the
workman must assume in his vocation. This posture differs, of
course, greatly in the various occupations. It is instructive to con­
trast accidents which occur to men who work above ground, with
those occurring to men who work under ground. In the man who
works above ground, and, in particular, the man who works at great
heights—typified by workers in the various building trades, more
especially structural ironworkers exposed to falls by reason of the
insecure and narrow platforms upon which they must stand, the
injury either causes immediate death in consequence of the destruc­
tion of very important vital tissues, or if the injured man has sufficient
resistance to overcome the immediate traumatic shock, there remain
permanent, partial, or complete irreparable defects. On analysis of
these cases, we find that the individual receives either a fracture of
the vault or base of the skull, with its serious consequences, or a
fracture of the upper part of the spinal column.
The semistooping posture of the man who works in excavations
or in tunnels, while using pick and shovel, exposes the lower part of
his spinal column. Such a man is therefore most frequently injured
in consequence of heavy objects falling upon his back, and is thus
exposed to serious crushing injuries to the lower spinal column and
pelvis, and to muscular strains of various sorts, at or about the
sacro-lumbar region. The disability resulting from injuries in this
class of cases is of long duration and is very often irreparable.
There remains to discuss another class of working people— those
who produce, and who in the course of their occupations manipulate
tools, instruments, and mechanical appliances and who are exposed



to the various injuries to the upper extremities which result in conse­
quence of mild or serious infections in temporary or permanent
disability. These defects in this class of workmen are the cause of
greater industrial loss than is produced in the workmen in the occu­
pations previously mentioned. These conclusions may be emphasized
by the fact that out of 54,034 cases we have examined, 2,271 were
infections, mostly involving the upper extremities.
With regard to injuries and infections to the upper extremity, we
may set it down that the more serious infections and their grave
ultimate defects, follow most often small punctured wounds. Obser­
vation of my own large clinical material has failed to reveal a very
serious general infection following an extensive lacerated wound, as
compared to the previously described smaller wounds, since in large
wounds there is no retention and nature takes care of drainage.
Let us describe first an ordinary injury which we daily see in
clinics, and which ought to be of insignificant importance if adequate
treatment is applied, namely, paronychia, or inflammation at or
around the finger nail. This is an ordinary inflammation consequent
upon some slight wound, which although sometimes painful, requires
only the elevation of the cuticle from the nail, proper drainage, and a
wet antiseptic dressing. It should heal without any functional defects
of the parts involved, if the surgery is adequate and not needlessly
The next infection is of greater importance, namely, panaritium or
felon. This is an infection which occurs most often over the flexor
surface of the distal phalanx of the finger, more especially of the
index finger. It is generally in consequence of a puncture by
some sharp instrument, most often a needle, and therefore occurs
most frequently among tailors or needleworkers. The injured person
may pay no attention to the injury at first, as the wound is very
minute, but within 48 hours, if an infection has set in, there is severe
throbbing pain and enlargement of the tissues of the flexor surface
of the distal phalanx. The slightest pressure over the infected part
causes pain, and sometimes the pain is referable along the forearm
up to the region of the axilla.
To understand this infection and its consequences more thoroughly,
we must recall that the flexor tendon of the distal phalanx is attached
to the base and does not go below that. If it be remembered that
phalanx wounds which are the causes of infection, are most often
near the tip, and therefore do not involve the flexor tendons, it will
be realized why this infection is most frequently a local infection of
the tissues of the distal phalanx only. This infection requires ade­
quate deep incision down to the phalanx, with proper drainage, and
frequently remains localized at the primary site of infection and does
not extend beyond it. The final result of these infections is always
an involvement of part of or the whole of the distal phalanx, which
either suppurates through the original incision, or else after a certain
time a sequestrum forms, which either escapes through the original
incision, if such has not entirely closed, or a small bone sinus persists
as long as there is a loose sequestrum. In the latter case, the wound
has to be reopened and the sequestrum removed. These infections
are very painful at the beginning, and require a surgical disability
up to eight weeks. There most frequently results either a temporary
or permanent defect, or there is a loss of part or all of the distal



phalanx, or in consequence of the suppuration, there is an adherent
indurated scar, with some involvement of the distal phalangeal joint.
The infection last described is and ought to remain a local infection,
provided the surgical treatment is adequate and the maximum defect
ought to be from the standpoint of compensation equivalent to the
loss of one-half of the index finger. Only then is the defect more
serious when the defect occurs in old people. Our observation of
these same infections in the aged has shown that there developed
marked fibrous changes at the interphalangeal and metacarpo­
phalangeal joints, with serious functional defects. This complica­
tion is not an extension of the infection, but is due to immobilization
during the period of infection, which evidently acts as a contributory
cause of the secondary deformity. Another complication in the aged,
following this local infection, is a limited mobility in the shoulder
joint. I am not at present prepared to state the causes of this
The infection of the distal phalanges is most often a local condi­
tion, very rarely involving the tendons, as these are attached to the
base of the phalanges. This latter fact explains why the infection
resulting from a punctured wound beyond the distal phalanx becomes
more serious as the extension of infection travels along the tendons
to and beyond the palmar fascia, constituting a very serious compli­
cation. The cases of this last mentioned infection which the writer
has seen have resulted without exception in serious partial or total
permanent deformities, in which the functional defects involved
part or all of the hand.
There is a very virulent infection which follows punctured wounds
situated on the flexor surface of the thumb or little finger, most
frequently at the proximal phalanges. To understand this serious
infection, it is advisable to recall the anatomical topography of the
flexor tendons and synovial sacs in the forearm and hand. The
flexor tendons of the hand are three in number, the flexor longus
pollicis, which is the flexor tendon of the thumb; the flexor sublimis
and the flexor profundus digitorum which are the flexors of the other
four fingers. These flexors are covered by a synovial sac, which
begins in the forearm above the annular ligament, goes beneath the
annular ligament and is attached to about the middle of the four
metacarpal bones, where it terminates in a blind pouch, with the
exception that it sends a fasciculus which covers the entire flexor
tendon of the thumb as far as its attachment, and also the entire
flexor tendon of the little finger. It is due to this communication
of the synovial sac with these tendons and to its close relationship
to the annular ligament that a punctured wound involving the flexor
tendon of the thumb and little finger causes such intense suffering
and the serious infections that extend along the hand and forearm,
with their serious ultimate functional defects.
Our experience has taught us that this infection occurs most often
among tin workers, butchers, and those who use pointed knives in
opening fish or in shucking oysters. It occurs also among scrub­
women. The history and symptomatology of this infection are as
follows: Within 6 or 12 hours after the alleged minute injury,
which consists most frequently in a small punctured wound, either
over the flexor surface of the thumb or little finger, the patient suffers
severe pain in the entire hand at and above the wrist joint. The



site of injury is very minute and at this time does not show evidence
of an infection. Pressure over this site of injury is not painful now,
and even the most careful examination reveals no evidence of a local
pus focus. The patient appears to be very ill, has a high temperature,
and sometimes a chill. The most important physical sign of the
infection is the semicontraction of all the fingers and the inability to
extend them. An attempt to force extension causes severe pain
along the flexor tendons into the forearm. In consequence of
the general condition of the patient and this semicontraction of
the fingers he tries to secure relief. Failure to find a local pus
focus makes it very difficult to institute the proper treatment. It
seems to be the consensus of opinion of surgeons that early operation
is advisable. Such was also the opinion of the surgeons of the older
schools here as well as abroad, for they were cognizant of the serious
complication and serious deformities consequent upon the infections.
They advised early large incisions along the tendons of the flexor
longus pollicis or along the tendons of the flexor sublimis digitorum
of the little finger up to the annular ligament and also incision into
and drainage of the synovial sac to the side of the annular ligament.
Some suggest that incisions go through the annular ligament exposing
the flexor tendons of the forearm.
In my own employment of this treatment during clinical work for
many years, my results as to the relief of pain and ultimate functional
mobility of the hand were very bad. In common with other surgeons,
I found it often necessary to reoperate on these cases until a pus focus
could be located, which is most frequently situated beneath the palmar
fascia at or about the thenar or hypo thenar eminence. These very
bad results which I have described, I see to-day in the course of
examination of a very large clinical material.
As a result of careful attention to this subject during the last 20
years and from the observations of later clinical work, my belief is
that this extensive functional deformity of the hand, wrist joint, and
lower forearm can be prevented by converting the septic infiltrative
focus into a local pus focus before operating. The best procedure is
the application of continuous heat applied over a moist dressing.
The continuous heat causes an artificial hyperaemia with a resulting
increased local phagocytosis, which causes the early breaking down
of the infiltration, converting it into pus. Under such a preliminary
treatment preceding surgical interference, and lasting about 4 to 6
days, it is possible to locate the pus focus, and then with proper and
adequate incision, to lay it open and drain it. Drainage—not bak­
ing—must be emphasized. Since following this treatment the results
have been better; that is, instead of a contraction of all the flexor
tendons which was formerly observed following the early extensive
incision I now find that this modified treatment jeopardizes only one
flexor tendon—which is destroyed by the pus focus—and therefore
results only in a contraction of one or two fingers. It is also no
longer necessary to reoperate, as formerly, because adequate incision
and drainage of the local pus focus are sufficient.
To prove that this treatment is based on experience and has merit
in its practical application, one need only refer to the treatment of
Professor Bier, which is also only a passive hyperaemia, and has been
vaunted in septic infiltration as doing the same thing as the treatment
above described.



As for future treatment of this infection, it requires surgical care
for months, and the cases that we see in our examinations, which rep­
resent this type of infection and which are treated by various surgeons
in different institutions, present themselves with the same irreparable
defects which I saw years ago in my clinical work. The deformities
seen now are equivalent almost always to the loss of the entire hand,
from a vocational standpoint of view.
As this concludes our consideration of the infections which involve
the flexor tendons in consequence of minute injuries and therefore
cause the various degrees of functional defects of the most important
part of the body, namely, the hand, we must refer to our experience
of the so-called surgical plastique, which is performed on these cases
with the intention of restoring the function of the hand. Where the
defect in mobility results from an indurated scar adherent to the
underlying tissues the results, after competent surgical interference,
are fairly good, but where the immobility results from the destruction
of the tendons themselves, surgical interference although producing
a better cosmetic effect has, in the cases that I have examined, not
been very beneficial from the standpoint of functional mobility of
the hand. The bad results are very often accounted for when the
defect of mobility is not only in the tendons but where there are also
changes in the phalangeal joints which can not be overcome by surgical
Infections involving the extensor surface of the hand and forearm
are most often of vocational origin and are produced by irritating
substances—sometimes chemical, sometimes metallic—causing the
so-called furunculoid or pustulo-vesicular infection. We find them
among people working in furs and dyes. They are not easily amena­
ble to treatment, recur often, and need not only local treatment,
but require autogenous vaccine treatment as well. We have lately
had opportunity of studying these cases among munition workers,
in whom this pustulo-vesicular infection occurs in consequence of
irritation by small metallic particles which are saturated with an
oily substance. The infection is painful and in some cases may
cause secondary metastasis and prove fatal. We have also seen a
few cases of anthrax among workingmen who come in contact with
hides or infected wool, and whose infection was most frequently on
the side of the face near the angle of the lower jaw. We have ob­
served that early incision of the pustule and vaccine treatment benefit
most of these cases. We have also seen two cases of actinomycosis
of the face, resulting from the workmen’s contact with hides. The
infection was preceded by a local trauma of the skin. The infections
in both cases were over the tissues of the malar bone.
Remarks on General Infections
Local infections of the tissues of the extremities, which are fol­
lowed by pus foci, with or without a lymphangitis or a lymphade­
nitis, although serious from a surgical point of view and requiring a
long surgical disability, with certain functional defects of the part
involved, are very seldom complicated by general systemic infec­
tions. It is the minute local infections, without formation of pus
foci, ushered in by a chill, high temperature, and other symptoms,
which constitute the serious systemic infections that jeopardize the
life of the patient.



Remarks on Haematogenous Infections
By haematogenous infections we understand those which enter the
general system through the circulation and either manifest themselves
immediately during the acute infection or may remain dormant for
many months.
A suppurative infection of any part of the body may have healed
entirely from a surgical point of view, and the individual may not
show evidence either by physical signs or subjective symptoms that
he suffered from a general infection as a sequel of his original infec­
tion. Such an interim may be a long one until the same person
meets with a secondary accident to a part of the body distant from
his original infection, which had occurred a long time prior. This
secondary injury causes a locus minoris resistentise and a nidus for
the development of the bacteria which were entirely inactive up to
the time of this secondary injury.
The writer can cite many such examples long since seen in clinical
experience, and again lately in the examinations made for the work­
men’s compensation commission. It is possible to activate not
only a previously dormant hsematagenous septic infection by an
injury, but also a dormant tuberculosis or a syphilitic infection.
This is of considerable importance, as they are often points of diver­
gence in discussions and disputes between physicians representing
the injured man and the insurance carriers. The question is often
brought up whether certain serious infections are attributable to a
secondary injury or to a prior infection. The writer’s own conclusion
is that, whether the injured person has had syphilis or a latent tuber­
culosis, or a hsematagenous infection in consequence of a previous
infection, if as a result of an injury, his dormant general infection
is activated, and in consequence thereof he is disabled he is entitled
to compensation for his disability, and if such an infection results
in death the death is compensable.
A word about the duration of disability from a surgical and voca­
tional point of view of these infections, in their relationship to the
workmen’s compensation laws, might be apposite. In ordinary
uncomplicated paronychia the usual surgical disability is up to
about four weeks, and there is no permanent vocational disability.
In panaritium or felon, involving only the distal phalanx, the surgical
disability may last as long as 10 weeks, and the vocational defect
may be equivalent to the loss of half the finger. In the other serious
infections of the hand, beginning either in the thumb or little finger,
there may be a surgical disability for as long as six months, and a
vocational disability equivalent to the loss of the greater part of the

B y L e l a n d E. C o f e r , M . D ., D

ir e c t o r o f t h e

B ureau


I n d u s t r ia l H

y g ie n e

What Is Industrial Hygiene?
NDUSTRIAL hygiene is that branch of medical science which
involves the medical, economic, and social condition of the
workers in industry; in other words, it looks after the general
health and efficiency of the workers in industry. Industrial hygiene
in a large sense involves not only the relation of labor to capital but
the relation of man to man. The man of means is able in a great
measure not only to select his own hours of work and the character
of his work place, but also to buy the best food and to obtain rest,
fresh air, and sunshine, all making for health and happiness. The
employee, on the other hand, is of necessity forced to work under
conditions as he finds them and as his power is limited he sometimes
requires the assistance of the State to see that his rights are
The creation of labor-saving devices for machinery tends on the
whole to the betterment of the condition of the worker in every way,
but, on the other hand, the worker must be charged with the operation
of this machinery and he himself will ever remain the most delicate
piece of machinery of all, and from the standpoint of humanity as
well as business the greatest economy in the long run will center in
the care and conservation of this piece of human machinery—the
Some of the large industries have perfected most elaborate and
complete industrial hygiene departments which leave nothing to be
desired so far as the care they maintain over the health of their
employees is concerned.
Some industries, on the other hand, pay little or 110 attention to the
welfare of their employees, while there exists a middle type of indus­
tries which are blamed for conditions affecting the health of their
employees when in reality some of the bad conditions are due to
unsanitary home surroundings or to other causes for which the
employers are not responsible.
It is the province of industrial hygiene to adjust these conditions,
but I warn you that you must not expect a member of the medical
profession to do more than practice industrial hygiene as a part of his
practice of public health in general.
For example some one besides the surgeon or medical internist
must supply the hospital buildings, operating rooms, laboratories
and nurses’ homes necessary to the saving of lives on a large scale.
So it is with industrial hygiene, both the employer and the worker
has his part to play in the game of health and safety in industry.
The employer must provide what the medical man recommends,





and the worker must supply his intelligence and cooperation in the
use of whatever is supplied for his protection against disease and
Why Do We as a Nation Need Industrial Hygiene?
Because you must agree that since the Great War our country
is becoming more and more an industrial nation, with all that that
statement implies, and in consequence certain changes in our incomes,
living, manners, customs, and ideals are everywhere evident. Certain
it is that those who do not adjust themselves to the new order of
things are likely to awaken, to say the very least, to the realization
that they are not keeping up with the times.
It seems to be an accepted fact that little or no change has occurred
in the general structure of human beings since those days long past
when the human race came into existence. Nor is there evidence
that much change has taken place in what might be termed our
fundamental human nature. But when the question arises as to the
modifications which the race has undergone as the result of changes
in environment there is another story to tell. For during the 100
years just past, changes have taken place far greater in extent than
in the whole period intervening between the beginning of historic
times and the present.
Many and various are the reasons given for these changes, too
many by far to recount here, but it seems reasonably certain that
one of the principal underlying influences is the gradual replacement
of the man power of the old times by the machine power of the new.
Which is in effect saying that the changes are due to the gradual but
steady broadening of the scope of industry, and its development in
turn into groups of highly organized specialties or sciences requiring,
paying for, and obtaining the best talent in the land in order to
produce the best commodity for the lowest cost. Somewhat recently
during this period of evolution labor has been organized, labor
legislation has been passed, especially with respect to child labor.
Then another set of collateral changes have pervaded industry,
such as artificial light, chilled air or heated air, dry air or moist
air, artificial ventilation, quick transportation, special Idnds of
clothes for certain workers, newspapers, amusements, etc.; then
changes in food, such as the introduction of tea> coffee, sugar, alco­
hol, and tobacco. Then during the past 15 or 20 years industrial
hygiene has developed as a recognized branch of sanitary science.
It is easy to see how these changes, taken as a whole, have reacted
all along and are now reacting upon the mental and physical charac­
teristics of everyone, especially those engaged in industrial pursuits.
Why Should Anyone Be Interested in Industrial Hygiene?
Because, whoever he is, whether rich man, poor man, beggar man,
thief, doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief, his livelihood depends upon
industry in one way or the other. Whether in war or in peace,
he must put up a good industrial fight or he goes under. The on­
coming capitalists, scientists, artists, and artisans, or, in other words,
the children, if they are to compete industrially with other nations,
must do so by adding to their knowledge some of the principles of
health and life preservation in industry.



In What Terms Should One Think of the Diseases of Industry?
Thejfirst thing to be done is to overcome the idea, indulged in by
physicians as well as laymen, that industrial hygiene is a detached
branch of public health which is peculiar to industry, and which is
therefore looked out for by the industrial physician, and which there­
fore does not need the attention of anyone else.
The rapid evolution in industry is causing new poisons to be
exchanged for old in the arts. The lungs are called upon to inhale
new and strange irritants, the muscles are forced to new movements,
and the nerves to new sensations and strains. The diseases pro­
duced, while not necessarily new, and while presenting no new
pathological changes, come to us new as to etiology and in the group­
ing or association of symptoms, and therefore accompanied by de­
mands upon us for originality as to prophylaxis.
I purposely repeat myself when I say that no longer can the
physician look upon the industrial diseases in a detached manner as
if they are a set of maladies in a class by themselves, to be found in
circumscribed groups of workers.
The medical profession as a whole is divided for the purposes of
studying and practically applying industrial medicine, into two groups,
one group comprising that large army of physicians who are in private
practice, the other group being that very small band of medical men
who are either plant physicians or medical officers in the service of
the Government, State, or municipality who are engaged in industrial
hygiene work.
These two groups of physicians naturally see industrial medicine
from almost opposite viewpoints. That is to say, the private prac­
titioner views industrial medicine from within outward because
patients come to him with symptoms familiar enough to him, but
there is something lacking, such as aetiology or history. On the other
hand the medical officer who is hired by the Government, State, or
municipality to rid industry of diseases caused by it must proceed
from without inward, having as his main guide the industry and the
diseases or symptoms which he should find as the result of contact
with the agents used in such industry.
Examples of the approach of these two classes of physicians to
industrial diseases will now’ be given: First, let us take the private
Recently, a physician after treating without apparent improvement
a patient with grave gastric disturbance and intense irritation of the
optic nerve, called in consultation another physician who happened
to have had wide experience in industrial medicine. After listening
to the symptoms the first question the consultant asked w concern­
ing the patient’s occupation. Upon being told that it was that of
undertaker, the consultant knowing that formaldehyde is used in
embalming said, “ I thought from the first it was a case of formalde­
hyde poisoning.” The separation of the patient from exposure to
formaldehyde, which he used in his capacity as an undertaker, was
followed by complete recovery.
A distinguished authority in New York on diseases caused by in­
dustry was consulted by a very beautiful woman who was suffering
from a disfiguring eruption over her neck and shoulders. This
woman’s social life called for her frequent appearance in the evening



in gowns with very low neck, but being unable to dress according to
her wishes on account of the skin eruption she consulted a number
of doctors for relief, even going abroad for the purpose, but without
benefit. Finally, she consulted the expert in industrial diseases who
immediately recognized the eruption and immediately knew that
the lady’s hair dye was at the bottom of it. The eruption he knew
w caused by a certain aniline dye which was formerly made in
Germany and was noted for the brilliant blue-black luster which it
produced but which was barred by law because of its dangerous, even
fatal, qualities.
I will not dwell on what the lady said when the expert declared the
hair dye guilty, nor will I decide whether the expert might not have
been more gallant to the lady if he had let her keep her hair dye and
also her eruption. But he was a cold, honest man. The result was
gray hair but a restoration of this lady’s fair skin as soon as the
eruption was cured.
The reverse of this failure to recognize the eruption of aniline is
illustrated by a case recently occurring where five physicians agreed
that a worker in an aniline factory was suffering from aniline poisoning.
The case was then seen by a physician familiar with aniline poisoning
who pronounced it as not due to aniline, but who made the diagnosis
of sleeping sickness.
A patient was observed a few days ago w complained of suffoca­
tion, coughing, dizziness, nausea, severe headache, and dimness
of vision. A careful inquiry elicited that the patient used “ banana
oil” (amyl acetate) as a spray in which to suspend colors and agents
or powders for gilding picture frames, etc. Removal of the cause was
followed by quick recovery.
Even the familiar or classical industrial poisonings such as lead
poisoning will sometimes prove embarrassing unless the practitioner
is either very sagacious or else is familiar with the peculiar pallor of
the beginning case of lead poisoning.
A very wealthy and fashionable woman consulted her physician
recently over a group of symptoms which so baffled him that he called
in consultation another physician who happened to be familiar with
the clinical picture of lead poisoning. Close questioning as to the
patient’s habits revealed the fact that her hobby was to sand paper
old paint surfaces of old furniture and to apply fresh paint. In other
words, she had the same lead poisoning that dry rubbers of paint
surfaces and automobile-body finishers are liable to.
Blumgart of the Harvard Medical School has recently completed
some experiments 011 dogs which show that the absorption of lead by
the upper air passages in the form of pulverized lead carbonate is
rapid and of a magnitude far in excess of the maximum toxic dose.
A very unusual case of occupational disease was observed recently.
A young man formerly very vigorous and ruddy applied for treat­
ment. His case was pronounced as one of marked anemia, but no
cause could be ascribed for the condition. Finally, the young man
admitted that his sole occupation was to furnish blood for transfusion
Let this case be considered “ sublime” in order that the following
case can follow and by contrast be termed “ ridiculous.” A man
made formal claim for compensation for wood alcohol poisoning on



the ground that while working at a circular saw he fell unconscious
due to inhaling the vapor from the wood dust or sawdust.
The practical application of industrial medicine to the diseases
and conditions caused by industry takes a variety of forms from the
elimination of a dangerous agent and the substitution of a safe one,
to the careful daily watching of workers in harmful substances for
certain symptoms to appear after which they are at once temporarily
removed from their dangerous environment. Before going further
I will cite an example of each of these recourses to illustrate the kind
of service which may be considered as ideal, and which scientific
research in industrial hygiene can make possible.
The example of the elimination of a dangerous substance and the
substitution of a safe one occurred recently when a certain corpora­
tion using considerable benzol retained a physician and chemist to
find a solvent which would prevent the recurrence of the consider­
able number of cases of benzol poisoning which had recently occurred.
The result of study and experiment was the discovery of an innocuous
substitute for benzol as a solvent and the result has been the elimina­
tion from the industry in question of benzol poisoning.
An example of keeping workers under observation for the first
appearance of symptoms and removing them temporarily from danger
is the recent work of Doctors Minot and Smith.
Tetrachlorethane is used by airplane wing varnishers, artificial
silk makers, and airplane tapers. Exposure to its vapors causes a
number of distressing symptoms such as abnormal fatigue, head­
ache, vertigo, jaundice, etc. Before Doctors Minot and Smith
demonstrated that tetrachlorethane poisoning could be discovered
in its early stages by blood examination, workers exposed to this
agent would not heed certain premonitory symptoms such as dis­
content, grouchiness, fatigue, etc., and would continue work until
they were forced to lay off, with consequent loss of wages and dis­
organization of their work.
Doctors Minot and Smith demonstrated that an increase of
mononuclear cells keeps almost exact pace with the appearance of
tetrachlorethane symptoms. The result is that by periodical blood
examination these men can be given a short respite from the agent and
recover without either discomfort or loss of time. As more medical
men begin to take an interest in occupational diseases discoveries of
this kind are going to be more frequent.
Three or four years ago, Harvard University received a large sum
of money to investigate lead poisoning. This money was given by a
large association of lead producers and manufacturers of lead products
in order that all aspects of lead toxicity might be reviewed with the
special purpose of providing reliable methods of diagnosis and treat­
ment. The university engaged a competent staff to carry on this
work, which has been pursued under the most favorable university
conditions without bias of any sort and without restriction of any
kind as to how the fund should be spent. The result has been most
illuminating. New methods for the determination of lead in body
tissues, feces, and urine have been devised, the mechanism of lead
anemia thoroughly explored and apparently for the first time well
explained, the storage of lead in hard bone thoroughly defined, and the
means of mobilization of lead from the bone pictured with a certain
degree of exactness. All these efforts have resulted in giving new



methods for treating lead cases, and it is safe to say that it is now at
least possible to determine with accuracy whether or not a patient
actually has lead in his system.
A second piece of work of similar character has dealt with
a thorough examination of means of resuscitation in carbon monoxide
poisoning. This was a cooperative enterprise with Yale University
financed by the American Gas Association. It has resulted in the
oxygen carbon dioxide method of treating gas poisoning, of which we
receive increasingly encouraging reports. This also resulted in the
standardization of general instruction for treatment of such cases
and has helped to suppress much of the fraud and nonsense which has
grown up around American apparatus for artificial respiration.
In addition to these rather specific enterprises, progress has been
steadily made by the Harvard group in studies upon the best means
of quantitating dust in the air and upon the damage done the lungs
by different types of dust. These investigations are of a more
abstract nature, but have a very interesting relation to general
medicine and illustrate the position which research in industrial
hygiene can occupy. All of this work has been reported in the Journal
of Industrial Hygiene.
The palliative or protective measures are now fairly well known
due to the fact that they have been incorporated into codes applying
to almost every industry wherein harmful substances are used.
For example, injurious dusts, fumes, vapors, and gases are disposed
of by the installation of hoods over the point of operation, which hoods
are connected with exhaust systems leading out of doors.
Injurious environment is being and should be constantly studied
with a view of determining under what conditions of temperature,
ventilation, and light the worker can do his best, both for himself and
his employer. It appears that a temperature for physical work
varying between 55° and 65° F. is associated with the largest output
and the fewest accidents. It has also been found that the conditions
for everyone are most favorable when there is some variation in the
temperature and some air movement. Lighting has been shown to
affect industry, since production will fall off and accidents and fatigue
will increase when the lighting intensities are allowed to drop below a
certain limit.
On the other hand, there is more to be accomplished in making a
study of the relation of improper ventilation, noise, and odors to
industrial output both within and without the confines of good health
and economy.
Injurious exercise is being more carefully studied with a view of
relieving muscle strain and fatigue by attention to posture, with
especial reference to the providing of adjustable chairs, stools, or
benches for workers. Then, too, rest periods and the alternating of
work are being tried out more and more. The influence of rythm is
also being studied; that is, the adjusting of the rythm of the machinery
to the rythm of the worker.
The laws of certain States require the reporting of certain diseases
and poisonings which are compensable, yet there are a number of
diseases which are compensable but not reportable, also many poison­
ings and diseases directly traceable to occupation but which are neither
reportable nor compensable.



The workmen’s compensation law of the State of New York pro­
vides that compensation shall be payable for disabilities sustained or
death incurred by an employee resulting from the following occu­
pational diseases:
Description of process

Description of diseases
1. Anthrax.
2. Lead poisoning or its sequelae.
3. Zinc poisoning or its sequelae.
4. Mercury poisoning or its sequelae.

5. Phosphorus




6. Arsenic poisoning or its sequelae.

7. Poisoning by wood alcohol.
8. Poisoning by nitro-, hydro-, and
of benzene
others) or its sequelae.
9. Poisoning by carbon bisulphide or
its sequelae.
10. Poisoning by nitrous fumes or
its sequelae.
11. Poisoning by nickel carbonyl or
its sequelae.
12. Dope
poisoning (poisoning by
tetrachlor-methane or any sub­
stance used as or in conjunction
with a solvent for acetate or
cellulose) or its sequelae.
13. Poisoning by formaldehyde and
its preparations.
14. Chrome ulceration or its sequelae.

15. Epitheliomatous cancer or ulcer­
ation of the skin or of the corneal
surface of the eye, due to tar,
pitch bitumen, mineral oil or
paraffin, or any compound, prod­
uct or residue of any of these
16, Glanders.

17. Compressed-air illness or its se­

1. Handling of wool, hair, bristles,
hides or skins.
2. Any process involving the use of
lead or its preparations or
3. Any process involving the use of
zinc or its preparations or com­
pounds or alloys.
4. Any process involving the use of
mercury or its preparations or
5. Any process involving the use of
phosphorus or its preparations
or compounds.
6. Any process involving the use of
arsenic or its preparations or
7. Any process involving the use of
wood alcohol or any preparation
containing wood alcohol.
8. Any process involving the use of
a nitro-, hydro-, or amidoderivative of benzene or its
preparations or compounds.
9. Any process involving the use of
carbon bisulphide or its prep­
arations or compounds.
10. Any process in which nitrous
fumes are evolved.
11. Any process in which nickel car­
bonyl gas is evolved.
12. Any process involving the use
of any substance used as or in
conjunction with a solvent for
acetate of cellulose.
13. Any process involving the use
of formaldehyde and its prep­
14. Any process involving the use
of chromic acid or bichromate
of ammonium, potassium, or
sodium, or their preparations.
15. Handling or use of tar, pitch
bitumen, mineral oil, or paraffin
or any compound product or
residue of any of these substances.

16. Care or handling of any equine
animal or the carcass of any
such animal.
17. Any process carried on in com­
pressed air.



18. Miner’s diseases, including only
m iasis,
t e n o s y n o v itis ,
19. Cataract in glass workers.

18. Any process involving mining.

19. Processes in the manufacture of
glass involving exposure to the
glare of molten glass.

In order properly to administer the above provision of law it is
necessary to make repeated surveys of certain groups of industries or
occupations involving the important hazards such as lead.
For example, in surveying the lead hazard in New York State which
is now being done by the Bureau of Industrial Hygiene of the New
York State Department of Labor it is necessary to distribute the field
force throughout the following occupations which are exposed to lead.
Occupations Exposed to Lead
Acid finishers (glass).
Amber workers.
Art-glass workers.
Artificial-flo wer ‘makers.
Batteries (dry).
Bench molders (foundries).
Blooders (tannery).
Bottle-cap makers.
Brass founders.
Brass polishers.
Brick burners.
Browners (gun barrel).
Brush makers.
Buffers (rubber).
Burners (enameling).
Cable makers.
Cable splicers.
Calico printers.
Cartridge makers.
Celluloid makers.
Chargers (zinc smelting).
Color makers.
Color workers (lead and zinc).
Colorers (white) of shoes.
Concentrating-mill workers (zinc and
Cut-glass workers.
Cutlery makers.
Decorators (potteries).
Diamond polishers.
Dye makers.
Embroidery workers.
Emery-wheel makers.
Enamel makers.
File cutters.
Floor molders (foundries).

Glass finishers.
Glass mixers.
Glass polishers.
Glaze dippers (potteries).
Glaze mixers (potteries).
Glost-kiln workers.
Gold refiners.
Grinders (metal).
Grinders (rubber).
Heater boys (riveters).
Imitation-pearl makers.
Incandeseent-lamp makers.
Insecticide makers.
Japan makers.
Junk-metal refiners.
Labelers (paint cans).
Lacquer makers.
Lead burners.
Lead-foil makers.
Lead miners.
Lead-pipe makers.
Lead-salts makers.
Lead smelterers.
Linoleum makers.
Linseed-oil burners.
Litho-transfer workers.
Match workers. •
Mirror silverers.
Mixers (rubber).
Musical instrument makers.
Nitric-acid workers.
Nitroglycerin makers.
Paint makers.
Paint removers.
Paper hangers.
Patent-leather makers.
Petroleum refiners.
Photograph retouchers.
Pipe fitters.

Pottery workers.
Putty makers.
Putty polishers (glass).
Reclaimers (rubber).
Red-lead workers.
Refiners (metal).
Rubber workers.
Saggar makers.
Sandpaperers (enameling and painting
Screenworkers (lead and zinc smelting).
Sheet-metal workers.
Shellac makers.
Shot makers.
Slip makers (potteries).
Slushers (porcelain enameling).
Stainers (shoes).


Steel engravers,
Storage-battery makers.
Sulphuric-acid workers.
Table turners (enameling).
Tannery workers.
Tile makers.
Tin-foil makers.
Toy makers.
Transfer workers (potteries).
Tree sprayers.
Type founders.
Wall-paper printers.
White-lead workers.
W ood stainers.
Zinc smelters.

Now the manner of the approach of the medical officer or indus­
trial hygiene physician to industrial disease will be discussed. To
do this in a satisfactory manner there must be organization. There
must be men and women physicians who, in addition to their hos­
pital service or experience in private practice, have studied indus­
trial hygiene and have become qualified in industrial hygiene re­
search. In addition there must be available mechanical engineers,
chemical engineers, chemists, expert machinery inspectors, expert
factory inspectors, draughtsmen, and expert accident inspectors.
Perhaps the simplest way to convey a bird's-eye view’ of the general
field of industrial disease is to give a cursory classification of them.
Time is too limited to go into the many ways in which these dis­
eases have been wrongly classified by a number of writers, but it is
generally accepted that a classification according to the causes of
disease is the most practical. This will probably appeal to the aver­
age practitioner who is mainly interested in the cause and effects of
the disease and not so much in the exact manufacturing process
during which it was developed.
Those effects of occupation that are specific will be grouped as
follows (classification of Gilman-Thompson):
Injurious substances. This group includes the largest num­
ber of occupational diseases in which we are interested for the present
and is further subdivided as follows:
Metallic poisons such as antimony, arsenic, brass, chromium,
lead, mercury, etc.
Toxic gases, vapors and fumes and liquids such as amyl acetate,
wood alcohol, aniline, benzol and derivatives, petroleum, etc.
Irritant dusts and fibers.
{a) Insoluble inorganic dusts such as flint, silica, sand, coal, brick
and marble dust, emery, metal filings, etc.
(b) Soluble inorganic dusts such as soluble arsenic, mercury, lead,
(c) Organic dusts and fibers such as dust from handling wood,
bone, shells, fur skins, brooms, straw, flour, grain, etc.
7679°—28---- &



(2) Injurious environment. This group includes those diseases of
industry caused by unsanitary environment, as bad ventilation,
overheated air and defective lighting. The difficulty is to decide
where the “ industrial” element begins or ends. There are excep­
tions of course such as the overheated air of certain mills, mines and
factories, and the disease caused by the compressed air in caissons
and foundations, known as caisson disease.
(3) Injurious exercise. This group is composed of those diseases
of occupations that are caused by overexercise of some particular
part of the body or group of muscles, such as writers’ cramp, the
palsies of telegraph operators, and those who work in constrained
positions such as miners.
(4) Organic germs (anthrax, glanders, etc.).
The above classification viewed in more detail:
1. I n j u r i o u s S u b s t a n c e s

Metallic poisons include:
Antimony. Used in preparation of type and white metal, aniline
dyes, and pottery glaze. Inhaled as a vapor (oxide), as a dust
(metal), and acting locally as a skin irritant causes coryza, dyspepsia,
intestinal colic, anemia, nephritis, skin eruptions, and cardiac de­
Arsenic. Used in mining and smelting arsenical ores, hide curing,
paint making, and in foundries and in the manufacture of shot,
glass, aniline, etc. Inhaled as a vapor and dust causes acute in­
toxication, irritation of eyes, headache, vomiting, gastric pain,
diarrhea, muscular weakness, cramps in legs, cardiac depression,
fainting, convulsions, and collapse. Also causes chronic intoxication,
nausea, vomiting, epigastric pains, malnutrition, bleeding gums,
loss of hair and nails, dryness of skin, skin eruptions such as eczema,
conjunctivitis, nervous symptoms, peripheral multiple neuritis,
anaesthesia, and paratysis.
Brass. “ Brass founders ague” due in acute stage to copper and
zinc and in the chronic forms to copper. Symptoms: Depression,
chills, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, muscular pains, and de­
generative changes.
Chromium and its salts, as lead chromate, chrome, carmine, etc.
Used in photo-engraving, in making chrome steel, bleaching, aniline
colors, and wax. Inhaled as a dust, irritating respiratory passages
and skin and causing necrosis of the superior maxilla, chronic bron­
chitis, chronic conjunctivitis, chronic gastritis, and chronic nephritis.
Lead chromate causes eczema, deep ulcers of the skin and mucous
membranes, and ulceration and perforation of the nasal septum.
Copper. Copper ore is associated in smelting with lead and
arsenic which latter cause more serious poisoning than the copper
itself. Inhaled as a dust it irritates the respiratory passages causing
intestinal cramps and diarrhea, a greenish blue line on the gums, and
chronic bronchitis, vomiting, and gastritis.
Lead. Used as lead alloys, lead sulphide, and lead sulphate. This
is the most important of all the metals as the causative factor in
producing industrial poisoning. It is used in fully 150 trades in­
cluding paints, batteries, printing, soldering, lead pipe and similar
articles, rubber, type metal, shot, etc. It enters the body as a vapor



from superheated lead; as a dust by inspiration, and through the
mouth by unclean hands, and as a fluid of lead salts which irritates
the skin. Chronic lead poisoning affects many different organs,
notably the arteries, nerves, and kidneys. Slow absorption of lead
gives rise to arteriosclerosis, chronic neuritis, and chronic interstitial
nephritis, with deposit of a lead line on the gums and the presence
of lead in the urine. These symptoms are associated with chronic
anemia, chronic gastritis, constipation, loosening of teeth, pains in
the joints, paralysis, abdominal cramps, and colic. Temporary blind­
ness or loss of hearing, smell, and taste may occur.
Mercury (in its many forms). The industries wherein persons are
exposed to it include mining in mercury and gold mines, smelting,
extraction of gold and silver, gilding, silvering and bronzing, making
of mirrors, thermometers, felt hats, dyeing of hair, and photography.
Enters the body as a vapor through the respiratory system and as
a solid through the skin or by conveyance to the mouth by fingers.
It causes chronic inflammation of the gums and mucous membranes
of the mouth, loss of teeth, necrosis of the jaw, ulcers in the mouth
and pharynx, chronic gastritis, emaciation, and tremors of the hands
and muscles of the face.
Toxic gases, vapors, fumes, and liquids include:
Alcohol amyl. Used in preparing fruit essences, aniline dyes, and
amyl nitrite. Enters the body through the respiratory passages.
Causes headache, vertigo, tinnitus aurium, dyspnoea, lowering of
arterial blood pressure, faintness, nausea, and vomiting.
Amyl acetate. Used as a solvent of enamels. Causes nervous
symptoms, headache, fullness of the head, giddiness, palpitation of
the heart, fatty degeneration of the liver, and inflammation of the
respiratory passages.
Alcohol methyl. Used in making of varnish, polish, denaturation of
spirits and dyestuffs. Inhaled as a vapor causes vertigo, dyspnoea,
and general inflammation of entire respiratory mucosa. Polishers of
furniture acquire inflammation of skin of hands and arms. Blind­
ness and fatal paralysis of the heart may occur.
Aniline and its derivatives (such as intraniline). Encountered in
the manufacture of aniline colors. Enters the body through inhala­
tion and by absorption through the skin by saturation of the cloth­
ing. The symptoms of acute intoxication are muscular weakness,
vertigo, pallor, cyanosis of the lips, slow pulse, contraction of pupils,
fainting, strangury, collapse, possible death in coma or convulsions.
The symptoms of chronic intoxication are chiefly nervous, distur­
bances of sensibility and equilibrium, tinnitus aurium, nausea, vom­
iting, diarrhea, eczema and furunculosis.
Benzol and its derivatives. Used in manufacture of rubber, resin,
dyeing, aniline making, and many other industries. Enters the
body as a vapor irritating the air passages. It causes headache, ver­
tigo, anemia, muscular tremor, scarlet lips, cyanosis, irritant cough,
fatty degeneration of liver, kidneys, and heart.
Carbon bisulphide. Encountered in making ammonium salts, dis­
solving of fats, in treating rags, bones, and raw wool, paraffin work,
and in the vulcanization of rubber. It causes an acute intoxication
with paralysis of the central nervous system, destruction of red
blood corpuscles, somnolence, and fatal coma. The chronic intoxi­
cation causes vertigo, pruritus, cough, rapid pulse, mental excitation



followed by deterioration. Special nervous symptoms are chills, ab­
sence of reflexes, cramps, tetany, tremors, paralysis, and muscular
atrophy. Serious general symptoms arise from absorption by con­
tact w^ith the hands.
Carbon monoxide. Persons especially exposed to this gas are work­
ers in garages and in industries where gas flames are used. It is
noticed in brick kilns, lime kilns, smelting furnaces, and in illuminat­
ing gas plants. It causes acute poisoning—slow pulse,^ elevation of
blood pressure, cardiac paralysis, vertigo, tinnitus aurium, nausea,
redness of skin, dyspnoea, anaesthesia, incontinence of urine and feces,
subnormal temperature, coma. The chronic poisoning is manifested
by gastritis, anemia, nasal and bronchial catarrh, and furunculosis.
Chlorine. Used to bleach linen and paper and in the manufacture
of chloride of lime and of chlorine and disinfectants; also used by
photographic workers. Enters the body as a gas through the
respiratory system. It causes an acute poisoning, large quantities
causing cardiac paralysis, smaller quantities causing burning and
stinging of the skin with formation of blisters, papules. Causes
cough, dyspnoea, bronchitis and spasm of the glottis. In chronic
poisoning there is gastritis, anemia, nasal and bronchial catarrh,
and furunculosis.
Dinilrobenzol and other nitro compounds of benzol and its hoinologues. Encountered in aniline making, dye making, and the mixing
of explosives. Enters the body as a vapor through the respiratory
system. The symptoms are gray blue discoloration of the skin
which finalty becomes cyanotic. Methsemoglobin formation, anemia
and general debility, albumin in the urine, skin eruptions, visual dis­
turbances, dyspnoea, odor of bitter almonds in breath.
Nitrous gases and nitric acid. Used in nitrification in chemical
works, celluloid works, preparation of sulphuric acid, picric acid,
aniline, and electroplating. Enters the body as a gas through
the respiratory system. It causes irritation of air passages, cough,
labored respiration, inflammation of the eyes, corrosion of the teeth,
erosion and perforation of nasal septum.
Phosgene. Used by phosgene and dye makers. Enters the
body as a gas causing destruction of lung tissue, emphysema and
edema, myocardial insufficiency due to the emphysema, pleural
thickening and adhesions, chronic bronchitis, mild diffuse bron­
chiectasis, nocturnal dyspnoea, and polycythemia.
Petroleum. Encountered by oil-well workers, petroleum refiners,
paraffin workers, and furniture polishers. Enters the body through
the respiratory tract and has a local action on the skin. Causes
inflammation of the skin, acne, suppurating ulcers, papilloma,
numbness and irritation of the Schneiderian membrane, headache,
sensory disturbances, and affections of the respiratory organs.
Sulphuretted hydrogen. Is found in sewers, tanning establishments,
and artificial silk plants, in coal-gas manufacture, and in the body
emanations of closely crowded workers. It enters the body as a
gas through the respiratory system, frequently mixed with other
harmful gases. It causes headache, debility, vertigo, nausea, dis­
turbances of digestion, sallow complexion, and emaciation, slowing
of the pulse, conjunctival catarrah, and tendency to the formation
of boils.



Hydrochloric acid. Found in various chemical processes. Enters
the body as a gas through the respiratory system. Causes violent
coughing, dyspnoea, bronchitis, destruction of teeth, contraction of
throat, and coma.
Hydrocyanic acid, or prussic acid, and potassium cyanide. Occurs in
industry in connection with the preparation of cyanogen, photog­
raphy, dyeing cloth, printing, etc. Enters the body as a gas through
the respiratory system, in liquid or solid form through the skin. It
causes acute poisoning, indigestion, vertigo, dyspnoea, strangula­
tion, palpitation, nausea and vomiting, convulsions, frequent micturation, bluish color of skin and mucous membranes, dilated pupils, and
death in sycope. Chronic poisoning causes vertigo, hesitating gait,
and gastro-intestinal disorders.
Dusts and fibers:
Irritant dusts and fibers. Cause irritation of all the respiratory
passages and of the eyes and skin. In some instances the metal dusts •
enter the mouth as well as the lungs and are swallowed and absorbed.
Irritating dusts are of three classes:
(a) Insoluble inorganic dusts (irritating the respiratory passages):
Flint, §ilica, sand (e. g., sand blasts, sandpaper), carbon, (e. g., coal,
soot), brick, marble, granite, terra cotta, cement, asphalt, enamel,
glass, quartz, lime (e. g., gypsum plaster), meerschaum, phosphates
(e. g., fertilizers), guano, emery, diamond dust, metal filings (e. g., lead,
brass, iron, steel, etc.), pumice, and ashes.
Metallic dust. Is met with in some kinds of mining, although the
dust met with in any particular kind of mining does not necessarily
contain the special metal being mined. Most of the dust in mining
for metals arises from the operations of digging and blasting through
the rock to reach the metal. In copper and tin mining, the ores con­
tain lead, arsenic, and antimony, but the miners do not seem to suffer
from the effects of these substances. In lead mining (galena) miners
suffer from lead poisoning. The same may be said of mining for
mercury. Some mines are very damp, so that there is little dust,
and dampness may be the hazard. The depth, and consequently the
heat, may constitute the hazard in some mines. In others the labor
of going in or out and the work in constrained positions are the prin­
cipal predisposing causes of disease. Dry and wet grinding is con­
spicuous above all others for the suffering it entails.
(b) Soluble inorganic dusts (liable to be swallowed and absorbed):
Soluble arsenic, mercury, lead and silver compounds; metal filings of
lead, brass, and zinc. Those most exposed to mineral dust are miners,
potters, glass cutters, and stonecutters. The inhalation of dust is a
predisposing cause of tuberculosis in those who work in it— “ miners’
phthisis,” “ grinders' phthisis.” Steel dust is the most dangerous.
Siliceous dust, which is encountered by potters, is also exceedingly
injurious. Anthracosis, as distinct from tuberculosis, may exist.
This is characterized by an infiltration of carbonaceous matter in the
lung tissue, with fibroid proliferation.
(c) Organic dusts andfibers arising from handling or manufacture of
wood, bone, and shell; from fur, skins, hides and leather, brooms and
straw, flour and grain, tobacco, jute, flax (linen), hemp, cotton, wool
(worsted, etc.), felts and carpets, rags and paper, horsehair, and street


O r g a n ic


erm s

Anthrax externally may occur in animal handlers, tanners, brush
makers, butchers, meat inspectors, etc. It occurs as malignant
pustule, beginning as an inflamed pimple or boil, afterward becoming
a papule which discharges a thick bloody serum, later forming a gan­
grene. A painful lymphangitis with hard edema extending over the
neck and arm. Local phlebitis in the edematous area, chilliness,
anorexia, vomiting, prostration, high temperature, and feeble pulse.
External anthrax occurs also as malignant edema. A spreading
inflammation of loose connective tissue accompanied by sloughing
and gangrene. Constitutional symptoms those of pyemia. Anthrax
internal is characterized by high fever, pains in head and back, vomit­
ing, constipation, pain and tenderness in the abdomen, rapid, feeble
pulse, palpable spleen, dyspnoea and cyanosis. May be hemorrhage
from bowels. When lungs are involved there may be additional
symptoms—cough, pain in the chest, and suffocation.

arm ful


o n d it io n s



n v ir o n m e n t

1. Air compression and rarefaction.—In building tunnels, laying
deep foundations, etc., it is necessary for the work to be carried on
under great air pressure in order to prevent the entrance of water into
the excavation. The workers are passed by degrees into the com­
pressed air by sitting for intervals in compartments into which air is
pumped to the desired density. The first sensation of compression
is felt on the ear drums, which may be relieved by swallowing. The
greater part of the danger of working in compressed air lies in hasty
decompression. While under compression the blood and tissue fluids
dissolve an increased amount of air, the gases of which are released
when the pressure is suddenly removed. The bubbles thus formed
cut off the blood supply from various parts of the body by blocking
up the capillaries. The symptoms are weakness, vertigo, pains in
back and legs “ bends,” paralysis of legs and arms, painful constriction
of the chest, cerebral hemorrhage and aphasia, coma, subcutaneous
hemorrhages, and impairment of hearing.
2. Excessive humidity.—The moisture present in the air where per­
sons are working has a very marked influence on the health and effi­
ciency of the workers.
Damp air will prevent the evaporation of moisture from the body
and will therefore affect the body temperature, and high humidity
tends to increase the effects of high temperature. Moist cold air
has the effect of undermining the general vitality of the organism,
weakening its resistance to diseases of the respiratory passages and
of predisposing to neuralgic and rheumatic affections. Excessive
humidity characterizes many occupations such as workers in laun­
dries, cloth preparers, artificial ice makers, textile workers, etc. The
effects are respiratory diseases, neuralgia, and rheumatic affections.
3. Excessive light.—This occurs frequently from undue exposure to
the arc light, furnace glare, glowing metal on glass, and the X ray.
Blacksmiths, electricians, furnace workers, glass blowers, and X-ray
workers are exposed and they are liable to cataracts, retinitis, con­
junctivitis, dermatitis, ulceration, and exfoliation of the skin, and



O c c u p a t io n a l I n j u r ie s

1. Injuries to the blood as nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide by
forming permanent union with the hemoglobin.
2. Injuries to nerves, muscles, and bones as strain, fatigue, cramp,
faulty positions, “ occupation neuroses,” “ writer’s cramp,” “ teleg­
raphers’ cramp” and “ piano-players’ cramp/’ and “ miners’ cramp.”
This very brief outline of the diseases caused by industry will show
the magnitude of the field and you will find the literature on the sub­
ject correspondingly large and wonderfully complete. The knowl­
edge of the diseases caused by industry easily within our reach is
fully 10 years ahead of its practical application. Our task now is to
find out to what extent our knowledge is applied in our State and to
what extent it needs to be applied. I do not believe this can be
accomplished by police power alone. But it can be accomplished if
the medical profession and the school teachers of the State will aid
in our efforts to recognize the early appearances of the diseases caused
by occupation and to carry on a campaign of education tending to
their reduction.

By T

hom as

C . E ip p e r , I n d u s t r ia l C o d e R


HEN in 1886 the factory law was originally enacted in New
York State, the duties of the factory inspector and his one
assistant consisted principally in weeding out from the
workshops any children under 13 years of age that were found
employed there and in preventing the overworking of women under
21 years of age and of boys under 18 years of age. There were no
provisions in the law regarding health and safety.
In 1887, however, amendments to the statute materially enlarged
the powers and duties of the office of factory inspector and increased
tbe working force from 2 to 10 inspectors. This amended act was
the first on the statute books of the State to safeguard the lives and
limbs of the workers.
It provided that proper automatic trapdoors be installed at all
floor openings through which an elevator passes, so as to form a sub­
stantial surface when closed, and so constructed as to open and close by
action of the elevator in its passage, either ascending or descending
and it required that where elevator shafts or hoistways were used they
must be substantially inclosed.
The act required that handrails be placed on all stairways in
manufacturing establishments, stairs be properly screened at the
sides and bottom, and that doors had to be so constructed as to
open outwardly and could be neither locked, bolted, or fastened dur­
ing working hours.
On the outside of all factory buildings three or more stories in
height, fire escapes had to be erected, connecting with each floor
above the first, well fastened and secured, and of sufficient strength.
It was made the duty of the owner of a factory to install automatic
shifters or other mechanical contrivances on machinery for the
purpose of throwing belts on or off pulleys, and to furnish proper
safeguards for all gearing and belting. Females under 21 years of
age and males under the age of 18 were prohibited from cleaning
machinery while in motion.
It took cognizance of sanitation of factories and the health of the
workers, by providing that suitable and proper wash rooms and waterclosets be provided for females and that the toilet facilities used by
them be separate and apart from those used by males; that waterclosets be screened and ventilated, and at all times be kept in a
cleanly condition. Dressing rooms for women and girls were ordered
in factories by an amendment to the act in 1890.
In 1889 provision was made for the installation of exhaust fans to
carry off dust from emery wheels and grindstones and dust-creating




The law in relation to machinery and apparatus was amplified in
1890 by an amendment which provided that “ all vats, pans, saws,
gearing, and machinery of every description ” in factories “ shall be
properly guarded.”
That which is termed the labor law came into existence in 1897,
when the legislature codified the various acts relating to industry.
Among other subjects the statute embraced the inspection of factories,
bakery and confectionery establishments, mines, mercantile estab­
lishments, and tenement-house work. It continued the health and
safety provisions which were in force at that time.
Then in 1911 came the State factory investigating commission
appointed to inquire into the conditions under which manufacturing
was carried on in the cities of the first and second class. The creation
of the commission was the outcome of a disastrous fire in a business
establishment in New York City in which 145 employees, mainly
women and girls, lost their lives. As a result of that investigation
there was in 1913 a reorganization of the department of labor.
Fundamental changes were made in its functions. Theretofore its
duties were exclusively executive, confined to the enforcement of the
labor law. Under the reorganization large legislative functions were
committed to the department in the creation of an industrial board
with powers to formulate and adopt necessary legislation, having the
fall force of law, to supplement the health and safety provisions in
the labor law. The various rules enacted and promulgated by the
board constituted the State’s industrial code.
Enforcement of the Labor Law and Industrial Code Rules
Hon. James A. Hamilton is the industrial commissioner, he is the
administrative head of the department, enforces all provisions of the
labor law and industrial code rules. A bureau of inspection with
inspectors throughout the State inspect regularly all factories and

mercantile establishments and wherever a violation of the labor law
or industrial code rules is found an order is issued to the owner or
occupant to comply with the law or rules within a time specified in the
order. Director Gernon, of the bureau of inspection, will address you
in a few days and tell you all about the work of that bureau.
The Industrial Board
The industrial board consists of five members, at least one of whom
shall be an attorney and counselor at law duly admitted to practice
in this State. The members are appointed by the governor, by and
with the advice and consent of the senate, one of whom is designated
by the governor to act as chairman. Miss Frances Perkins is chair­
man of the board.
Powers of the Board to Make Rules
To know the full requirements of the labor law it must be read
with the rules of the industrial code, as the rules supplement corre­
sponding provisions of the labor law.
Section 28 of the labor law provides that the board may make,
amend or repeal rules for carrying into effect the provisions of the



labor law, applying such provisions to specific conditions and pre­
scribing means, methods, or practices to effectuate such provisions;
for guarding against and minimizing fire hazards, personal injuries
and disease, with respect to the construction, alteration, equipment,
and maintenance of places to which the labor law is applicable; the
arrangement and guarding of machinery, the places where and the
methods and operations by which trades and occupations may be
conducted and the conduct of employers, employees, and other
persons, in and about factories and mercantile establishments, it
being the intent that all places to which the labor law and industrialcode rules are applicable shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged,
operated and conducted in all respects as to provide reasonable and
adequate protection to the lives, health, and safety of all persons
employed therein and frequenting the same, and the board shall
make such rules as will effectuate said policy and intent. The rules
of the board shall have the force and effect of law and enforced in
the same manner as the labor law.
Industrial-code rules are supplementary to the labor law and are
intended to prescribe in detail and in specific terms, corresponding
requirements of the labor law, which in some sections is specific, but
in others broad and general; to make provisions for safeguarding
such conditions that are not covered specifically by the labor law;
and to make rules for safeguarding conditions where it is found that
there is involved an element of danger to the lives, health, or safety of
persons, through the introduction, from time to time, of new types
of machinery, apparatus, new processes, and methods by which
operations are conducted.
The procedure for making rules as prescribed in the labor law is
as follows: The commissioner may appoint committees composed of
employers, employees, and experts to formulate rules or changes
therein. Before any rule is adopted, amended, or repealed there shall
be a public hearing thereon, notice of which shall be published at
least once, not less than 10 days prior thereto, in such newspaper
or newspapers as the board may prescribe and, where it affects
premises in the city of New York, in the City Record of the city of
New York. At least three affirmative votes shall be necessary for the
adoption, amendment or repeal of any rule, provided, however, that
a new rule or an amendment or a repeal of a rule shall not be effec­
tive unless and until approved by the industrial commissioner.
Every rule adopted and every emendment or repeal thereof shall be
promptly published in the bulletins of the department of labor and,
where it affects premises in the city of New York, in the City
Record of the city of New York. Unless otherwise prescribed by
the board, all rules, amendments, and repeals thereof shall take
effect 20 days after the first publication thereof, and certified copies
thereof shall be filed in the office of the department of state. The
usual practice of the board is to fix a date on which new rules become



Only the industrial-code rules relating to sanitation and safety con­
ditions and safety in buildings under construction are applicable to the
city of New York. The legislature in 1916 in amending the charter of
Greater New York created a bureau of standards and appeals and a
board of appeals, and conferred upon the former powers to make,
amend, and repeal rules regarding the enforcement of those pro­
visions of the labor law which relate to the construction, alteration,
structural changes, plumbing and drainage, elevators, fire escapes,
adequacy and means of exit in all buildings except tenement houses,
within the city of New York, and such rules shall take the place of
the industrial code and of any rules relating to the labor department
of the same subject and matter.
Formulating Rules
Whenever Industrial Commissioner Hamilton or the board finds
any industry, trade, occupation, or process involving danger to the
lives, health, or safety of persons employed therein unprotected by
the labor law or industrial-code rules, the commissioner directs the
division of industrial codes to prepare proposed rules for such condi­
tions. The division consists of two referees and a stenographic force;
one of the referees acts as chairman of the advisory committee ap­
pointed, alternating with the other, who becomes chairman of the
next committee constituted. An advisory committee is appointed
by the commissioner to assist the division in this work. Upon
receipt of such instractions from the commissioner, the chairman
communicates with associations of employers and of industries, labor
organizations, underwriters representing insurance interests, chambers
of commerce, and other associations and societies, requesting the
names of three men who will serve on the advisory committee; the
commissioner selects one name, sometimes two, from such list,
to represent the various interests. The chairman communicates also
with experts, technical and practical men well qualified and experi­
enced in the particular subject and selects suitable men from the
engineering staff of the bureau of industrial hygiene of the depart­
ment of labor and the director of the bureau of statistics whom the
commissioner then appoints. The men so chosen constitute the ad­
visory committee for that code. Meanwhile, the chairman collects
and assembles all data and information obtainable from the various
States and code-making bodies relating to the subject and calls a meet­
ing of the committee, which is held in a committee room adjoining the
offices of this division in the building of the department of labor at
New York. At such meeting the work of the committee is organized,
the scope and nature of the work outlined, suggestions are noted, and to
facilitate progress and thoroughly cover every subject, the chairman
appoints subcommittees, selecting from the advisory committee such
men as are by profession, training, or practical experience best fitted
for the particular subject, and appoints as chairmen of the subcom­
mittees men with such qualifications and who have also had experi­
ence on code committees.
The chairman of the advisory committee is an ex officio member of
all subcommittees. All data, suggestions, and information in the
hands of the chairman is given to the chairmen of the various sub­
committees who then proceed with the work of formulating rules.



The subcommittee chairman drafts rules, sends a copy to each mem­
ber of his committee, then holds a meeting to review and discuss
them, and when all the proposed rules are completed and agreed to a
copy is sent to the chairman of the advisory committee, who has a
sufficient number of copies made, sends one to each member together
with a notice of a meeting of the advisory committee, allowing
sufficient time for members to look them over carefully and be
prepared to discuss them intelligently. At the meeting the chairman
reads the rules one by one to the committee, each rule being discussed
separately, until all are in accord. When there is a difference of
opinion, many times an agreement is reached by amendment; if not,
then after a reasonable discussion a vote is taken. If it results in a
tie and some rule seems necessary, it is recommitted to the com­
mittee or a new subcommittee appointed by the chair to draft a new
rule, keeping in mind the arguments for and against the proposed rule.
Further meetings are held until all rules are agreed to and the code is
completed. Many times subcommittees while preparing rules visit
various factories or places to which the rules will apply, to inspect
conditions, observe operations and note whether or not a proposed rule
is practicable and affords adequate protection. This is especially
true in revising our rules for guarding dangerous machinery. There
is such a vast number of different types and so many different kinds
of machines used for the same class of work, it was found that speci­
fications for the construction of a guard which provided safety for
one machine, was not practicable on another, therefore many inspec­
tions had to be made before adequate protection for safety was found
for all.
The services of the members of these committees are rendered
gratis and it shows a fine spirit of cooperation and unselfishness on
the part of industry, manufacturers, merchants, labor organizations,
and others to give their time or that of the best men in their employ
to assist in the construction of these rules; such services are invalu­
able and can not be purchased. The actual and necessary railroad
and hotel expenses to attend meetings are paid by the State but
many who serve do not render a bill for such.
Public Hearings
A provision of the labor law makes it mandatory to hold public
hearings on all proposed industrial-code rules, the purpose of which
is to afford the public and all interested in the rules, an opportunity
to express an opinion, to make constructive criticism and sugges­
tions, or to voice an approval.
Six copies of the proposed code, one for the commissioner and one
for each member of the board are then handed to Industrial Com­
missioner Hamilton, who transmits them to the industrial board
for action, After the board reviews the rules, it adopts them ten­
tatively, fixes a date and place to hold public hearings, which is
usually Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York, and sometimes
Albany, names the newspapers in which a notice of such hearings
shall be published and directs the division of industrial codes to make
the necessary arrangements together with printing and distributing
the proposed rules, which is usually done about four weeks before the
public hearings. All members of the board are present at the public



hearings and the two industrial code referees are in attendance to
arrange and care for the details incidental to such hearings and to
listen to the speakers. A stenographer is present to record the pro­
ceedings of the hearing. The names of all those attending are taken
and made a part of the proceedings. At the hour appointed for the
hearing the chairman addresses those present, explains the purpose
of the rules and the public hearings, and invites discussion and sug­
gestions. After all have been heard that wish to speak the meeting
is adjourned. There is invariably a good attendance at all hearings,
and at a recent hearing on a proposed new code more than 200 were
present and it lasted over three hours. Sometimes representatives
appear at a hearing from some chamber of commerce, or a real
estate board, or merchants’ association, or contractors’ or builders,
organization appoint a committee to review and check up the rules
and ask for time and privilege of filing a brief. This is always
Action by the Board
After such hearings have been held and the minutes transcribed
the industrial board holds executive meetings to consider the rules.
It usually invites the industrial-code referee who was chairman of the
advisory committee and a small committee of those who had most to
do with formulating the rules to sit with them to explain the intent
of any rules which could possibly be misinterpreted. With a copy
of the minutes of the public hearings before them, each rule is care­
fully considered and those that are satisfactory are adopted, others,
if they think wise, are amended and a date fixed upon which they
shall become effective, after which a copy of the rules as adopted by
the industrial board is transmitted to the industrial commissioner for
his action thereon, as the rules can not become effective unless and
until approved by him; the secretary of the board then sends a cer­
tified copy of the code as adopted to the secretary of state to be
filed at the capitol, a copy to The Bulletin, published by the depart­
ment, and if the rules affect New York City, a copy to the City
Record of New York City for publication.
The legislature recognized that because of the different types of
factory buildings and buildings occupied as mercantile establishments
and the equipment of such places and the varied conditions in which
work and business even of the same character must be conducted,
there would be practical difficulties in some instances in conforming
strictly to the letter of the law or industrial-code rule, so it delegated
power to the industrial board that if there shall be practical difficul­
ties or unnecessary hardship in carrying out a provision of the law
or rule of the board affecting the construction or alterations of build­
ings, exits therefrom, the installation of fixtures and apparatus or the
safeguarding of machinery and prevention of accidents, the board
may make variations from such requirements if the spirit of the
provision or rule shall be observed and public safety secured. Any
person affected may petition the board for such variation. The board
fixes a day for a hearing of such petition. If the board permits such
variation it shall be by a resolution adopted by at least three votes.



Petitions for variations affecting new buildings or to the extension
or remodeling to the extent of 50 per cent of an existing building are
referred to the division of industrial codes to hold hearings, prepare
reports and recommendations to the board; petitions for variations
or modifications from violations in existing buildings are referred to
the bureau of inspection for inspection and recommendation to the
Until 1919 the industrial-code rules were published in one volume,
since which time they have been issued only in bulletin form, each
subject segregated.
So far industrial-code rules comprising 29 bulletins have been
adopted and are now in force, each subject being published in
separate form, and may be obtained at the division of industrial
codes, 124 East Twenty-eighth Street, New York City.
The first industrial-code rule adopted, No. 1, related to the hours
of labor and employment of women in canneries; it was adopted
and made effective June 27, 1913. This was followed by rule No.
2, inclosure of factory stairways, adopted October 1, 1913, effective
October 1, 1913, and rule No. 3, storage of combustible material
about factory stairways, adopted August 18, 1913, effective October
1, 1913; thereafter no rules were adopted until 1916, for fire escapes
as means of exit. Since that date the work of formulating rules
has progressed rapidly and the division of industrial codes with the
assistance of advisory committees is now engaged in revising rules
in the following codes: Guarding of dangerous machinery; removal
of dust, gases, and fumes; first-aid kits; window cleaning; and
preparing rules for automobile spray painting; printing and allied
trades; and rules for the manufacture, storage, and handling of
The work of formulating new industrial-code rules will go on
indefinitely as conditions, devices, apparatus, and other influences
on trade and industry develop, so that the hazards to those employed
or to those frequenting places of employment or industry will always
be at a minimum.

By V i c t o r T. H


E x e c u t iv e A s s is t a n t
C o m m is s io n e r



I n d u s t r ia l

HAT I may be able the more clearly to present to you what the
functions of the industrial board are, I am going to give you
briefly an outline of the organization of the Department of
Labor, of which the industrial board is a part.
In the recent reorganization of the State government the one hun­
dred and eighty and odd scattered departments, bureaus, boards,
and commissions were consolidated into 18 departments. The de­
partment of labor is one of these.
The head of the department of labor is the industrial commissioner,
who is appointed by the governor. The industrial commissioner has
entire charge of the administration of the labor laws and the com­
pensation laws.
In this course you will hear of these laws from other lecturers, who
will tell you of the laws covering factories, mercantile establishments,
places of public assembly, mines, quarries, tunnels, women and chil­
dren in industry, etc., and the workmen’s compensation law. The
workmen’s compensation law has ramifications extending directly or
indirectly into practically every home in the entire State. Because
of this and because of the way in which this law and the other ones
known as the labor laws affect all of the people of the State, I always
think of the labor department with its varied activities as “ the
human interest department of the State government.”
The industrial board as at present composed is made up of five
members appointed by the governor. These appointments must be
approved by the senate of the State legislature. One of the members
must be an attorney. The terms of the members are for six years,
and the members of the industrial board, as well as the industrial
commissioner, must under the law give their entire time to the duties
of the office. I feel really that that provision of the law was not
necessary, because the burdens that are placed upon the members
of the industrial board and the industrial commissioner are so many
and so exacting that it would be a human impossibility for any one
of them to do anything other than the duties laid down for them by
the law itself. Even as it is, any one of them will tell you that the
days of the year are all too short for them.
Section 27 of the labor law defines the powers and duties of the
industrial board in the following language:


The industrial board shall have power, subject to the provisions of section
twenty-nine of this chapter, to make, amend, and repeal rules for carrying into
effect the provisions of this chapter, applying such provisions to specific con­
ditions, and prescribing means, methods, and practices to effectuate such pro-




visions. It shall have power to hear and determine all claims for compensation
under the workmen’s compensation law in the manner provided by this chapter
of the workmen’s compensation law; to require medical service for injured
employees as provided by the workmen’s compensation law; to approve claims
for medical service or attorney’s fees, to excuse failure to give notice either of
injury or death of an employee, to approve agreements, to modify or rescind
awards, to make conclusions of fact and rulings of law, to certify questions to
the appellate division of the supreme court, to enter orders in appealed cases,
to determine the time for the payment of compensation, to order the reimburse­
ment of employers for amounts advanced, to assess penalties, to commute awards
to compromise actions for the collection of awards, to require or permit employers
to deposit the present value of awards in the aggregate trust fund of the State
fund, to determine by rule the assignment of a minor’s right to sue a third party,
to require guardianship for minor dependents, to hear and determine claims
under the occupational disease act, to order physical examinations, to take
testimony by depositions, and to have and exercise all other powers and duties,
exclusive of purely administrative functions, originally conferred or imposed
upon the workmen’s compensation commission by the workmen’s compensation
law or any other statute, and by chapter six hundred and seventy-four of the
laws of nineteen hundred and fifteen conferred and imposed upon the State
industrial commission. For the purpose of exercising such powers and performing
such duties, the industrial board shall be deemed to be a continuation of the state
industrial commission; and all proceedings under the workmen’s compensation
law pending before such commission are hereby transferred to the industrial
board without prejudice to the rights of any party to such proceeding. Any
hearing, inquiry, or investigation required or authorized to be conducted or made
by the industrial board may be conducted or made by any individual member
thereof, and the order, decision, or determination of such member shall be deemed
the order, decision, or determination of the board from the date of filing thereof
in the department, unless the board on its own motion or on application duly
made to it modify or rescind such order, decision or determination.

Section 28 gives the industrial board authority to make various
rules pertaining to industries, using the following language:
R u le s o f th e in d u stria l b o a r d m a y b e m a d e fo r—

1. The proper sanitation in all places to which this chapter applies and for
guarding against and minimizing fire hazards, personal injuries, and diseases in
all places to which this chapter applies with respect to—
a. The construction, alteration, equipment, and maintenance of all such places,
including the conversion of structures into factories, factory buildings, and
mercantile establishments.
b. The arrangement and guarding of machinery and the storing and keeping
of property and articles.
c. The places where and the methods and operation by which trades and
occupations may be conducted and the conduct of employers, employees, and
other persons.
It being the policy and intent of this chapter that all places to which it applies
shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted in all
respects as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health,
and safety of all persons employed therein, and frequenting the same, and that
the board shall from time to time make such rules as will affectuate such policy
and intent.
2. Whenever the board finds that any industry, trade, occupation, or process
involves such elements of danger to the lives, health, or safety of persons employed
therein as to require special regulation for the protection of such persons, the
board may make special rules to guard against such elements of danger by estab­
lishing requirements as to temperature, humidity, the removal of dusts, gases, or
fumes, by requiring licenses to be applied for and issued by the department as a
condition of carrying on any such industry, trade, occupation, or process, by
requiring medical inspection and supervision of persons employed or applying
for employment and by other appropriate means.
3. The rules may be limited in their application to certain classes of estab­
lishments, places of employment, machines, apparatus, articles, processes,
industries, trades, or occupations or m ay apply only to those to be constructed,
established, installed, or provided in the future.
4. The rules of the board shall have the force and effect of law and shall be
enforced in the same manner as the provisions of this chapter.



No provision of tnis chapter specifically conferring powers on the board to
make rules shall limit the power conferred by this section.

Section 29 of the labor law provides that the rules which the board
makes shall constitute what is called the industrial code. To adopt
a rule, amend a rule, or repeal a rule, there must be three affirmative
votes— a majority of the industrial board membership.
Before any rule is adopted or repealed or any amendment is made,
public hearings have to be held, notices have to be given through
newspapers, and all parties who are in interest must have an oppor­
tunity to appear and voice their approval or disapproval of any
proposed change.
Section 30 of the labor law deals with “ variations,” providing that
“ if there shall be practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship in
carrying out a provision of this chapter or a rule of the board there­
under affecting the construction or alteration of buildings, exits
therefrom, the installation of fixtures and apparatus or the safe­
guarding of machinery, and prevention of accidents, the board may
make a variation from such requirements if the spirit of the provi­
sion or rule shall be observed and public safety secured.” Such
action by the board—namely, the action upon an application for
variation from a rule or an order previously made—is taken after a
hearing has been held.
It is through the department of labor that the great humanitarian
measure— the workmen’s compensation act—is administered. The
compensation law is intended to give quickly pecuniary relief to
injured workmen. I shall not go into the history of this legislation
other than to tell you that after the first workmen’s compensation
law had been declared unconstitutional the constitution of the State
of New York was amended, and the law was again enacted and has
now been in operation since July 1, 1914. ' This legislation met with
the greatest possible opposition in its early history. That opposition
has very largely disappeared at the present time, and I do not believe
now that any employer in the State of New York would, if the oppor­
tunity presented itself to him, return to the old order of things.
Employers of labor who come under the provisions of the compen­
sation act, I am certain of my own knowledge, feel that this way of
handling claims of injured workmen is greatly to be preferred to the
old scheme. The workers themselves, I know, also feel that the
workmen’s compensation act is just, fair, and provides protection
for them that was never before provided.
Year by year from its beginning— 14 years ago— the compensation
law of the State has been broadened and extended and enlarged until
at the present time it is without doubt the most liberal in its terms
of any compensation act in the United States. Amendments passed
by the last legislature have extended the coverage of the act until
now there are few employments that do not fall within the scope of
the law.
It is in the handling of the claims arising under this law that the
industrial board’s time is greatly taken up, although, of course, the
compensation work is not by any means all of the work. The
code making referred to above and the granting of variations from
the requirements of other laws also take a heavy toll of the time of
the board members.
7679°—28---- 5



I shall tell you first of the codes and the variations. Under section
28 that I quoted above the board makes special rules covering partic­
ular industries. These rules form the industrial code of the State.
We have codes on dangerous machines, on scaffolding and building,
on laundries, foundries, and many other special classes of industry.
The laws themselves make general provisions and the board supple­
ments these laws with rules that once adopted have the same effect
as the law. The codes go into greater details than the statute, and,
generally speaking, the requirements of the code are more severe
than the law itself.
Code making is the subject to be handled by another speaker, so I
shall not detail this to you.
Granting of variations is another subject that the board has to
give much time to. Briefly this may be said to be the acceptance
by the board of a substitute for the requirement of the law or code.
A simple example of this is the following: A door, under the law and
code, is required to open outwardly and to be 3 feet 8 inches wide.
The person to whom this order has been directed finds it impossible
to swing the door outwardly, but he can swing it inwardly if the
width of the door is reduced. So he asks the board to accept a door
3 feet 6 inches wide swinging inwardly, showing that this change
from the order will in nowise endanger life. After an inspection
and a hearing the board acts on the request and either grants the
application for a variation or denies it.
It is probably in connection with the workmen’s compensation
law that the board is most widely known because all of the hearings
on claims arising under this act are held in the name of the board.
I told you a few minutes ago that I always think of the labor depart­
ment as the human-interest department of the State government.
It is largely because of compensation work. To us come the lame
and the halt and the blind. The sorrowing men and women and
children injured in the course of their employment daily come to
our offices throughout the State. They come by the many hundreds
and throughout the entire year, six days per week; every day in the
year, except of course the holidays, we are attending to their claims.
While the employees of the department may be moved by sympa­
thy— and some of the cases are of such a kind as to strike deeply— all
of these claims must be adjudicated on a strictly legal basis, according
to law. For in addition to the injured worker, there are the em­
ployers and the insurance companies whose rights must also have
consideration. And it is in the adjudication of these claims that the
industrial board is kept busy day in and day out. Of course, with the
hundreds of thousands of claims being presented each year, it would
be humanly impossible for a board of five members to dispose of all
of them. And so the law provides that there shall be referees
appointed. In the department there are 28 referees. They hold
hearings daily all over the State—in the big centers, New York,
Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and also in the smaller com­
munities— the hearings being held in as many places as possible that
the injured person may as quickly, as conveniently and as inexpen­
sively as possible have his claim passed upon. It is not my intention
to burden you with statistics nor to bore you with a lot of detail, but
a certain amount of the latter will be necessary, I feel, to give you a



picture of what the work of handling compensation claims is like.
So I shall take the case of a man who is hurt while at his work and
follow this through to a termination. Let us assume that Richard
Roe, working as a machinist, gets his hand in a machine to-day and
is so badfy hurt that he can not work. Under the law the first thing
for him to do is to report the accident to his immediate superior.
The quicker the report is made, the better it is for all concerned, but
the injured person under the law must make the report within 30 days
both to his employer and to the industrial commissioner. At once
the employer must furnish a doctor and the necessary treatment.
Within 10 days the employer is required to make a report of the acci­
dent in writing to the department of labor. This report may be sent
to the main office at the capitol in Albany or it may be sent to any of
the branch offices. Of course the great majority of employers have
insurance companies carry their compensation insurance just as they
do their other insurance.
The insurance company is notified at once by the employer, and it
is generally through the insurance company that the injured receives
his medical treatment.
Section 25 of the compensation law provides that the first payment
of compensation becomes due on the fourteenth day of disability,
and the employer or his insurance company has four days thereafter
in which to make payment. In other words, if a man were injured
on June 1, his first compensation payment would be due on June 14,
and the carrier under the law would have to pay it on that day or
within four da}^s thereafter. It is then provided in the law that all
following payments during the disability shall be paid every two
weeks. This same section provides that the compensation “ shall be
paid periodically and promptly in like manner as wages and as it
accrues and directly to the person entitled thereto without waiting
for an award by the industrial board, except in those cases in which
the right to compensation is controverted by the employer.”
Compensation is not paid for the first week of disability except where
the injury is so serious that the claimant is disabled for more than
49 days. This first week during which no payment is made is known
generally in the department as the “ waiting period.” In the event
that the injured person is disabled for more than 49 days, then he
receives compensation for the first week.
Injured workers sometimes become confused between a notice of
injury and a claim for compensation. They are separate papers.
The law provided up to the 1st of July of this year that the right to
claim compensation “ shall be barred unless within one year after
the accident, or if death results therefrom within one year after such
death, a claim for compensation shall be filed with the commissioner.”
In other words, if an injured worker did not file with the department
of labor a claim for compensation within 12 months after his accident,
he could not, if objection were made, sustain his claim. This has
now been amended by giving the industrial board the power by
unanimous vote of the members qualified to act to permit the filing
of the claim for compensation after the expiration of one year from
the date of the accident but not exceeding two years after the date
of the accident when it shall find that such filing shall be in the
interest of justice.



Of course, every accident is not paid for, because the employer or
the insurance company has a right under the law to controvert an
injured person's claim for compensation. Claims are controverted
for many reasons. Included in these are contentions by the insurance
company or by the employer that the man did not receive his injury
in an accident while in his employment; that the condition from which
he suffers was not due to the accident (causal relation that is generally
designated) and that notice was not properly given; that because of
failure to give notice within the time specified the carrier had been
prejudiced in his rights, etc.
When the first paper reaches the department, it is given a number
and placed in a manila folder. This paper may be the report of the
accident, the report of a doctor, or any of the other papers necessary.
Thereafter all papers that have to do with this particular case are
kept together in the same folder and each has the same number. In
the hypothetical case we shall assume that the accident was a clearcut one, and the insurance company at once bagan paying compensa­
tion. Under the law the injured worker is entitled to two-thirds of
his average weekly wages with a maximum of $25 per week during the
time that he is wholly disabled and $20 maximum during partial
disability. Upon the beginning of payment the insurance company
files with the department a form setting forth what it is doing in the
way of payment, the rate, how long it has paid, when compensation
payments began. Thereafter, when for any reason it stops payment,
it files a second form, a notice that payment has been stopped because
the man has recovered or for some other reason. A hearing is held
as soon as possible after the accident; generally this is done within
14 days. At that hearing the referee hears all parties who may desire
to be heard. Witnesses are produced, are put on the stand, and
testify under oath as to their knowledge of the accident and other
vital facts. The doctor who attended the man is sworn— although
not always, as the doctor’s sworn reports in the file are accepted
very often without the necessity of the doctor being present. In
the cases in which the injured person’s claim is opposed or contro­
verted, a hearing is fixed for a certain day, and on that day a trial
is had. These trials give all interested parties their day in court,
and on the evidence that is submitted to him the referee makes a
determination. This determination is the award. On the facts
that have been presented the referee may award the claimant dis­
ability for a certain period of time at a certain rate or he may hold
that the contention of the insurance company that the man at the
time was outside of his employment is correct and that the man was
not therefore entitled to compensation. That being the case, he
dismisses the claim—disallows it on the ground that at the time of
the accident the man had taken himself outside of his employment.
Of course, there are other reasons for which a claim may be disallowed.
These decisions by the referee may be made at the conclusion of the
taking of the testimony, or if the case presents a knotty problem, the
referee will reserve his decision. The testimony will be transcribed
by the hearing stenographer, who attends all of these hearings, after
which the referee will read it over carefully, looking up the cases that
have been cited in support of both sides and make his decision.



Our hearings are held in courtrooms, in fire houses, in police
courts— all sorts of places. The hearing rooms are furnished by the
localities in which the hearings are held. The department does not
have funds to pay rentals for these places, but the communities very
generously cooperate with us to provide proper and suitable rooms.
The hearings differ considerably from trials in courts of record.
The work is done at a much higher speed. It is nothing unusual for
a referee to have 50, 60, 70, or even as high as 100 cases that he must
pass upon in a day’s time. These cases present not easy simple ques­
tions, but many of them are very very difficult. Picture if you will a
small room crowded to its capacity with claimants, witnesses, lawyers,
doctors, employers, and representatives of insurance carriers. In­
cluded in the claimants are men and women in all walks of life.
Cases are called in rapid succession and disposed of with celerity.
In the cities, of course, where there are branch offices, the referee’s
work is in the department itself, although here and there throughout
the State even where there is a branch office space is so limited that
outside rooms have to be secured. In Syracuse it is necessary to get
outside space at times.
The case which was cited above is of the class that we call dis­
ability cases. Then there is the class of case that is called a schedule
loss case. An example of this is the case of a man who receives an
injury to his eye, is disabled, and eventually loses the vision of the
eye. For such a disability the law says the injured is entitled to
160 weeks of compensation. Let me say in this connection that
every member has a fixed valuation laid down in the law. The
greatest of these is the arm, with a valuation of 312 weeks. The
other values laid down are:

H and_______________________________ 244
Foot________________________________ 205
Eye_________________________________ 160
Thum b_____________________________
First finger_________________ _______


Great toe___________________________ __38
Second finger_________________________30
Third finger________________________ __25
Toe other than great toe__________ __16
F o u r th fin g e r __________________________ __ 16

Besides the above list there is provision made for compensation for
the complete loss of the hearing of one ear, which is for 60 weeks,
while for the loss of hearing in both ears compensation is fixed at
150 weeks.
Percentage losses are also permitted to be made. Heretofore the
law provided that compensation for an arm or a leg if amputated at
or above the elbow or knee should be the same as the loss of the entire
arm or leg, but if amputated between the elbow and the wrist or the
knee and the ankle the compensation was the same as for the loss of
the arm or foot. This now has been changed by an amendment of
the last legislature, so that a percentage loss may be made for ampu­
tations above the wrist and above the ankle. Another provision is
made that the loss of binocular vision, or the loss of 80 per cent or
more of the vision of the eye is the same as for the loss of the eye.
Another class of cases is the death case. This is the case in which
the injured dies as a result of the injury sustained in his accident.
In these cases the law provides that the dependents of the deceased
are entitled to compensation benefits, the first of which as laid down
in the law are funeral expenses not to exceed $200. A surviving
wife or dependent husband is entitled to 30 per cent of the average



wages of the deceased. This compensation is paid during widow­
hood or widowerhood with two years’ compensation in one sum upon
remarriage. If there are surviving children of the deceased under
18 years of age, the law provides that each child shall be entitled to
10 per cent additional, with a limitation that the total amount shall
not be in excess of 66% per cent of the average wages of the deceased.
Death benefits to the children cease when the children become 18
years of age. In the cases of the subsequent death or remarriage
of the surviving wife or dependent husband, any surviving child
of the deceased under 18 years of age at that time who had previously
been drawing 10 per cent compensation is entitled to have his com­
pensation increased to 15 per cent. In the event the deceased left
no surviving wife or dependent husband and no child under the age
of 18 years, or if the amount payable to the surviving wife or depend­
ent husband and to children under the age of 18 years be less in the
aggregate than 66% per cent of the average wages of the deceased,
then provision is made for the support of grandchildren or brothers
and sisters under the age of 18 years if they were dependent upon
the deceased at the time of death. The amount allowed to them is
15 per cent; further for the support of each parent or grandparent of
the deceased if dependent upon him at the time of the accident, 25
per cent of such wages, but in no case shall the aggregate amount
pa}^able be in excess of 66% per cent. The maximum amount of
wages that may be considered in a death case is $150 per month.
Another type of case that comes before the department is that of
facial disfigurement. In this connection the compensation act says the
board may award proper and equitable compensation for serious
facial or head disfigurement not to exceed $3,500. These awards
are in addition to awards made for disability and are made in cases
where persons are badly scarred on the face or head. These
scars must constitute serious facial disfigurement.
Generally the referees hear the cases in the first instance, although
very often the board members themselves do preside on the first
trials of a claim, but the large part of the board’s work, in so far as
the compensation is concerned, is in connection with requests made
by one party or the other for a review of the referee’s finding from
awards that may have been made by the referees.
Returning to the case of Richard Roe, let us assume that in that
case there was a dispute as to the length of his disability or that there
was controversy as to the proper wage rate at which the award should
be made. The evidence having been presented, the referee made the
award at $21.30 per week for a period of 15 weeks, being satisfied of
the rate and of the length of time the man was disabled. That gave
the injured person a total award for his injury of 15 times $21.30,
or $319.50. The insurance company contended that the rate was
too high and that the length of disability was not properly established.
In that case the insurance carrier has two procedures to take; one of
these is appeal his case to the industrial board and the other is appeal
it to the appellate division of the supreme court. He can take one
or both of these procedures; as a rule when an appeal is taken the
insurance carrier avails itself of all the rights given and files the
notice of appeal to the appellate division and also asks the industrial
board to review the award. The case is then presented to the in­
dustrial board, and the industrial board either finds with the referee



or against him. Assume in this case that the referee’s finding was
sustained; thereafter the insurance company may go on with his
appeal to the appellate division and, further, may go to the court of
appeals of the State.
Each year each referee of the department hears thousands of cases
and makes thousands of awards that represent disbursements of
millions of dollars; all of these awards are made in the name and
with the authority of the industrial board. The board members
themselves are sitting constantly as an appellate body listening to
the appeals that are made to it by dissatisfied employers, insurance
carriers, or dissatisfied claimants.
I know I have not been able to draw for you the vivid picture of
compensation work that I wanted to in order to convey to you
something of the magnitude of the work of the industrial board, but
I hope that I may have given you a sort of an idea of it all. These
hearings are open to the public. Daily in your city they are being
heard, and may I suggest that you supplement this rather sketchy
presentation of mine by attending a hearing and seeing for yourselves
just how the industrial board functions in so far as the handling of
compensation claims is concerned.


J a m b s L. G



ir e c t o r ,

B ureau


I n s p e c t io n

Enforcement of the Factory Inspection Law
r T lO COMPREHEND fully what is involved in the task of
enforcing the labor laws as they relate to the many diversi­
fied industrial establishments in New York State it is neces­
sary for those interested to clearly visualize the vast proportions that
the industrial establishments in New York State have assumed.
While it is known in a general way that New York State is the
Empire State and the leading industrial and commercial State in
the United States, one is amazed at the lack of knowledge which
exists as to the industrial importance of the State among a large
proportion of the people who should be better informed. However,
this general statement does not properly convey to those interested
just how large are the number or how important are the industrial
establishments in New York State. It is therefore an interesting
fact that there are in this State the following number of industrial
establishments which the bureau of inspection is required to inspect:
T pye of Establishment

___________________________________________________ . .
Mercantile establishments _ _______________________ ______ ____________________
Buildings under construction
_____________________________________________ ___________________________ ____
Mines, tunnels, quarries, and magazines
Boiler inspection
_ __ __________ ________________________________ ______ __
Places of public assembly
____________ ________ ______ ______ __________ ______ ____


66, 364
78, 864
19, 591
4, 255


409, 059

Labor laws were enacted to protect the health and safety of the
employees and incidentally, in some features of the work, to protect
the public. Section 200 of the labor law declares that “ All places
to which this chapter applies [meaning the labor law] shall be so
constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted as to pro­
vide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health, and
safety of all persons employed therein.”
The power is granted to the industrial board to make rules to
amplify and carry into effect the provisions of the labor law. While
the present labor law makes ample provision to afford protection to
the employees in industrial establishments, especially the hazardous
employments, such was not always the case.




Child Labor and Illiteracy
On July 1, 1886— 42 years ago—factory inspection was inaugu­
rated in New York State. In the year 1883 the State bureau of
labor statistics was established by legislation. Prior to that time
the laws affecting labor were part of the general law, such as the
railroad law, the school law, etc., or were embodied in the civil and
penal codes.
There were at that time a few laws on the statute books which
indicated the State’s interest in the life and work of children. In
1853 the New York State Legislature enacted what was called the
“ truancy law” to prevent idleness and street running on the part of
children 5 to 14 years of age and required children to attend school
at least four months each year. During the remainder of the year
they were permitted to stay at home or engage in lawful occupations
(ch. 185). This act was revised in 1874 by the compulsory educa­
tion law (ch. 421), which was the beginning of compulsory education
in New York State, and required all children in the State between
8 and 14 years of age to attend school (or receive equivalent instruc­
tion at home) for a period of at least 14 weeks each year. It specif­
ically prohibited their employment out of school hours unless they
had attended school that length of time in the preceding year. This
law forced many of the children who had idled their time in the streets
and those employed to attend school at least 14 weeks each year.
In 1885 the report of the bureau of labor statistics to the legisla­
ture showed the result of its investigation relative to the enforce­
ment of the provisions of the compulsory education law. It was
very evident that in the absence of special officers to enforce these
provisions the law was a dead letter in such parts of the State where
child labor was profitable in factory production. We have here a
clear illustration of what happened in the early efforts of the State
to promote the welfare of children of tender age when legislation was
enacted and no adequate provision made for its enforcement. Since
this early effort we have seen many instances where legislation was
enacted, but because adequate means for the enforcement of such
measures were not provided the result of the enactment was nil.
An investigation conducted in 1885 by the bureau of labor statistics
demonstrated that the truancy and compulsory education laws en­
acted 10 years previously had been of little effect in improving con­
ditions in a practical way. Although these laws had produced some
improvement, the conditions existing at that time were far from
The report of the bureau of labor statistics led to the enactment
in the following year (1886) of the first factory law in this State and
was known as chapter 409 of the laws of 1886. Among other provi­
sions it prohibited the employment of children under 13 years of age
in any manufacturing establishment, making no exceptions for chil­
dren of needy families. It will be noted that the school law required
children to attend school until 14 years of age, while the factory law
permitted children 13 years of age to be employed. After 18 months’
operation of the factory law the factory inspector appointed for the
enforcement of the law reported that he had sent some 2,000 children
to school.



Inception of Factory Inspection
The first labor law, which was passed May 18, 1886, was entitled
“ An act to regulate employment of women and children in manu­
facturing establishments and to provide for the appointment of
inspectors to enforce the same.” It provided that no child under 13
could be employed and every child under 16 was obliged to be
recorded in a book kept for that purpose by the employer and have
on file a certificate, duly verified by the parent or guardian, stating
the age and place of birth of such child; and the certificate and book
record were obliged to be produced when required by the inspector.
It further provided that a printed notice be kept posted in a
conspicuous place in every workroom showing the number of hours
per day for each day of the week for children under 16 years, male
minors under 18 years and women under 21 years, and prohibited
work for a period longer than 60 hours per week unless for the purpose
of making repairs. It also stipulated that outside of cities of the
State a factory employing less than five persons or children was not
considered a manufacturing establishment.
To enforce these provisions one factory inspector and one assistant
factory inspector were provided. No money or provision was made
for providing an office for these inspectors. Small as was the force,
the conditions found and reported soon focused attention on the
problems of child labor, illiteracy, and also illegal hours of employ­
ment of children and females under 21 years of age.
The report of the work of these two inspectors clearly centered
attention on the fact that because of the lack of enforcing agencies
the compulsory education law was not enforced in New York State.
This condition naturally encouraged the employment of child labor
to a degree that was beyond conception. The protection afforded
children engaged in industry to-day is far in excess of what it was in
the early eighties, and it should be noted that very little progress
was made in this direction until the State provided an enforcing
agency of factory inspection. At first the force was inadequate for
the task but sufficient to bring the deplorable condition which
existed to the attention of the public and the legislature. Their
work proved conclusively that children of tender years were deprived
of the opportunity for even the rudiments of an education and were
forced into industry because their labor was considered profitable.
The first report of the factory inspector cited conditions found in
one textile mill in the State employing 3,200 employees, 1,200 of whom
were children under 16 years of age. The management of the mill
admitted that when the law was enacted more than 200 children under
13 years of age had been discharged. It should be noted that the
law only required as proof of age “ a certificate duly verified by the
parents or guardian.” A large number of the 1,200 children claiming
to be 13 years of age were under 13, many of the parents having made
false statements as to the ages of their children.
The management of the plant stated in explanation of the retention
of those children under 13 years “ That if the law was enforced to the
letter immediately it would result in a stoppage of a great part of the
machinery and consequent idleness of hundreds of older employees.”
The report of the inspectors showed that illiteracy was actually
alarming. Thousands of children bom in this country, or who came



here in early childhood, were unable to write; many were unable to
read, and still other thousands could do little more than write their
own names. One-third of the affidavits examined by the inspectors
in factory towns were signed with a cross mark. It was clearly shown
that the problem of child labor and compulsory education was very
closely allied and with the proper agencies for the enforcement of
either law many children would have been taken from the factory and
placed in schoolrooms.
The report of the State superintendent of public education for the
year 1885 showed that there were 1,685,100 children of school age in
the State of New York, that 1,041,089 attended school; therefore
644,011 were receiving no education or were employed in industrial
establishments. With this condition existing was it amazing to learn
from the first report of the factory inspector that “ even the height of
the machinery has been apparently regulated for the express purpose
of utilizing the labor of the youngest children” ? Many of the chil­
dren found employed were just past the legal limit of 13 years and they
had been employed for from 5 and 6 years and had never attended
It was after this practical effort to limit these violations concerning
child labor and illiteracy among the large number of children found
employed in the early eighties that the inspection bureau was
conceived and created.
In 1889 the legislature raised the statutory age limit for factory
employment to 14 years and at the same time prescribed the edu­
cational requirements (ability to read and write simple sentences
in English), together with requirements for physical fitness. These
requirements placed New York State in advance of other States and
countries at that time.
Since then amendments have been made from year to year until
to-day children under 14 years of age are absolutely prohibited from
employment, and the employment of children between 14 and 17
is carefully regulated.
Although the labor law had been improved, adequate help to
enforce its requirements was not provided and because of the intoler­
able conditions then existing the legislature of 1895 authorized the
Reinhard legislative investigation of female and child labor in New
York City. The report of this investigation is contained in two
substantial volumes of the findings of the committee and resulted
in the enactment in 1897 of many beneficial amendments to the labor
From the time of the earliest attempts to enact child labor laws,
and each attempt to develop and improve the other features of the
labor law the argument has been made by those in opposition “ that
this kind of legislation would drive manufacturing out of the State
of New York.” Regardless of these protests New York State has
steadily grown in industrial and commercial importance and still
retains its right at the present time as it did in the earlier years to
be known as the Empire State, and with this growth because of
the many wise provisions of the labor law the industrial workers, both
children and adults, have advanced in intelligence and efficiency
and it is within reason to say that the intelligence of the industrial
worker of this State was never at a higher standard than it is at the
present time*



Development of the Labor Law
With the advent of factory inspection it was soon very evident
that child labor, illiteracy, and illegal hours were not the only condi­
tions to be corrected in industry. About this time warning was given
as to the unsafe conditions in case of fire and the necessity of provid­
ing safe means of escape; the urgent need for all doors from factories
to open outwardly and to remain unlocked. It was recorded that
“ it was the practice of owners or managers of industrial establish­
ments to lock the doors and keep the keys in their pockets.” Added
to this was the menace to health because of the insanitary conditions
which prevailed very generally.
Although the attention of the legislature was called to all these
conditions little attention was paid to them until on November 10,
1888, the public was shocked by the details of a catastrophe in the
city of Rochester resulting from a fire which caused the destruction
of the Steam Gauge and Lantern Works of that city, resulting in
the death of 35 and the injury of 14 persons. An investigation made
by the authorities revealed the fact that the appalling result of that
fire was due to improper stairways, defective fire escapes, and hoist­
ways not properly inclosed., It is worth noting here that although
there were many more serious factory fires than this one, it was not
until the appalling loss of life occurred to factory workers, as, for
example, fires such as occurred in the cities of New York and Bing­
hamton, that attention was given to making factory buildings safe
in case of fire, and to do this it took from 1888 to 1913, or a period
of 25 years, to accomplish such results.
The investigation in the early eighties directed attention to the
disheartening outcome of industrial injuries due to unguarded machin­
ery and other causes, as the frightful loss sustained and the suffering
resulting from those injuries had been unheeded for a great number of
years. Here again we have a demonstration of how difficult it is
to bring about industrial reforms, as it took more than a quarter of
a century to make changes in the law to provide compulsory com­
pensation for industrial injuries.
An examination of the history of State factory inspection shows
that each officer appointed by the different governors of the State
indicated from time to time the improvements in the labor law that
were necessary to make the law ample to afford proper protection to
those employed in industry. While many changes were made in
the law in this manner considerable difficulty was experienced in
securing what was required. Usually, after failing to heed the
recommendations of the different heads of the department, the im­
proved legislation was not secured until after a serious disaster had
occurred or conditions complained of were so acute as to require the
appointment of a legislative commission or committee to examine
into the conditions. In many instances real progressive steps in
improving the labor law were taken as the result o a report of legis­
lative investigations.
The first of these was the Reinhard legislative investigation of
female and child labor in New York City, that committee having
been created by a resolution of the assembly in the year 1895.
The second was generally known as the Wainwright Commission,
taking its name from Senator J. May hew Wainwright, the chairman.



This commission was created by chapter 518 of the laws of 1909 to
inquire into the question of employers’ liability and other matters.
It was this commission that provided the first compulsory compensa­
tion act— (chapter 674 of the laws of 1910), which act was declared
unconstitutional by the court of appeals, March 24, 1911. Among
other matters considered by this commission were the causes of
industrial accidents and the inadequacy of the factory inspection
The third was the factory investigating commission, created by
chapter 561 of the laws of 1911, entitled “ An act creating a commis­
sion to investigate the conditions under which manufacturing is car­
ried on in the cities of the first and second class in the State.” This
commission made an exhaustive study of industrial conditions and
carried on their work for several years. As a result of this work
progressive steps were taken relative to improving the labor law as
to safe means of escape from factory buildings in case of fire, and pro­
viding an increase in the force of inspectors to apply the provisions
of the laws enacted.
The fourth was the legislative committee empowered in 1920 to
study the labor law and submit a plan for its recodification and
revision. The recodification and reorganization bill was signed by
the governor on March 9, 1921. This committee not only revised
the Tabor law, but made provisions for the reorganization of the
department of labor which resulted in a large reduction of the force,
and the inspection force particularly. On April 15, 1921, the reduc­
tion of the inspection force was larger than that of any other branch
of the department activities and it was so noticeable that it was
necessary for the legislature of 1922 to make provisions to restore the
inspection force to what it had been in the early part of 1921.
The fifth was the New York State Industrial Survey Commission,
authorized by a concurrent resolution of the legislature on March 9,
1926. This commission has carried on investigations and recom­
mended changes in the compensation law, but have not yet completed
their labors. The time of the commission has been extended to
report to the legislature in March, 1929.
There is here stated as briefly as possible a mere outline of the
history of the creation of the bureau of inspection and the develop­
ment of the labor law. It will be seen from this outline that its task
is an essential part of the w^ork connected with the industrial problem
affecting the industry of the State. The inception of this work and
the reports made of existing conditions in industry have been a
means of developing most of the activities in the several branches of
the department of labor as they exist to-day.
What Does Inspection Mean?
Inspection means a visit to industrial or mercantile establishments
and other places to which the law applies, thoroughly covering the
premises and making a survey of the buildings where necessary.
This survey includes a floor plan of the building, indicating the exits
or means of escape, including stairways, horizontal exits, outside
stairs, etc., elevators, hoistways, and other features covered by the
law and code rules. In addition to the survey of the building a report
giving complete details of the conditions of the building as to its



compliance with the law and all violations of the law is made on the
building and inspection cards.
In instances where violations are found orders are issued to the
employer or owner of the building to correct the conditions to which
the orders relate. A time for compliance is fixed in the notice of
orders. If compliance is not secured with the orders issued on the
first compliance visit, which is not made until the expiration of the
time fixed in the original notice of orders, the inspector must see some­
one in authority and fix a time for compliance. If the order is not
complied with at the time of the second visit the department is
empowered to prosecute the violator.
The number of cases presented to court for failure to comply with
the orders issued in comparison with the large number of establish­
ments inspected, or the orders issued and compliances secured, is
very small. The essential feature of this method is that the inspector
is required to explain to a proper person in connection with the
premises each order that is to be complied with, and state in each
report the person to whom the explanation of the orders was made.
He must tell him how to comply with the orders issued. The name
of the person appears on the form containing the orders sent to the
firm or owner of the building to whom the orders are issued. Should
the orders be received by some one other than the person to whom
the orders were explained at the time of inspection he can readily
refer to the person named in the notice and get the necessary infor­
mation. This plan aids both the person receiving the orders and the
department by reducing needless correspondence seeking information
relative to the orders issued.
Educating the Employer and Employees
One of the chief activities of the inspection force is the educational
work it performs and accomplishes, first, by acquainting the employer
as to the requirements of the labor law and the code rules advising
him how to comply in a legal way with the orders issued, at the least
possible expense but in a manner that will mean a substantial
compliance with the law; second, calling the attention of the employer
or employees to the necessity of safe practices in industry; to provid­
ing proper guards to prevent industrial injury on hazardous machines,
and the safe practices to use in the operation thereof; to the hazards
of the particular plant and to industry generally.
There are those who do not favor inspection work. Usually in
this class are those who do not believe in protecting the employee.
The records of the results accomplished by the State inspection
bureau of the department of labor as shown by the reports of industrial
injuries tabulated by the statistical bureau of the department of labor
demonstrate that by the constant inspection of industrial plants and
the corrective orders issued and compliances secured we are reducing
the number of injuries. Further, we are preventing thousands of
injuries that would happen if the machinery and other hazardous
conditions were not properly corrected. It should be borne in mind
that there is no way of compiling figures as to what might have been
had the law not been enforced. We do, however, know the appalling
cost and suffering due to industrial injuries that are happening regard­
less of all that is being done to safeguard industrial workers. If all of



these efforts and safeguarding of hazardous conditions were not pro­
vided, what might happen in the way of industrial injuries would be
It is sometimes claimed that there is greater value in educational
work in preventing industrial injuries, or making industry safe for
those employed, than that accomplished through the authority
exercised by the State inspectors in compelling observance with the
provisions of the labor law and the code rules. We have the oppor­
tunity to observe both sides of this question, and many firms are
doing excellent safeguarding work and have carefully worked out
plans to educate employees. Still, on an inspection, orders are issued
to improve these plants because of the failure to observe many
conditions that are a menace to employees.
Education is a potent factor for achieving good results where such
education is absorbed, and in this connection it should be remembered
that w e are not dealing alone with the few well-conducted plants,
but with many thousands of places where the owners may know how
to make a certain product and, outside of this, either know nothing
of safe practices or safeguarding machinery, or care nothing for either.
As we find conditions, educational work imparted by the State in­
spectors and other agencies is not always absorbed by either the
employer or the employee; at least this is true to a very large degree.
It is conceded education is good for those who are capable or willing
to learn the best method to make their industry safe and as free from
industrial injuries as possible. Most of the employers cooperate
with the inspection bureau in bringing their establishments into
compliance with the law and thus protecting their employees as far
as it is humanly possible. Many go further than the provisions of
the law in their efforts to protect employees. Many employers
cooperate with the bureau of inspection because they know it is
good business and pays profits; some comply with the law and its
requirements because it is the law, some reluctantly and others
There is another class that refuses to be educated until it is learned
that there is a possibility of going to court for punishment. There
is still another class that does nothing until taken to court. The
latter class is small in comparision with the number that do comply
with the law or the orders issued, but as a class they are persistent
and going to court seems to have no deterrent effect.
The Labor Law and Industrial Code Rules
To fully understand what is involved in the enforcement of the
labor law in New York State it must be understood that the bureau
of inspection of the department of labor is both the educational
agency and the means of enforcing the many provisions of the law
and industrial code rules. The law and code rules are applicable
to factories, mercantile establishments, mines, tunnels, quarries,
steam boilers, buildings under construction, places of public as­
sembly, etc. The labor law consists of 18 articles, containing 221
separate sections of the statutes. These provisions of the law are
amplified by 30 industrial code bulletins, including the State stand­
ard building code, and these codes consist of 1,007 separate rules.
Each of the rules has the force and effect of the law itself. Many



of the rules were made for the purpose of protecting the employee
from industrial injury.
The enforcement of all of these provisions of the law and code
rules as they apply to industries is a difficult task and requires the
inspector to be familiar with all of their requirements as they may
be applicable to the different types of establishments that he may
have to inspect in the performance of his duties.
During the report year ended December 31, 1927, we issued
orders and secured compliances in the various classes of inspection
work as shown in the following table:

Kind of inspection work


___ ________
_____________________ _ _____________ ____
Mercantile establishments
Buildings under construction
_____________________, ______________________ ________
Places of public assembly
_ __________________________ ________ ________ ___________
M ines, tunnels, quarries, and magazines_______________________ _____ __________________
Boiler inspection
_ ___
_ __ _ __________ ____________


166, 524
27, 743
i 4, 890

1 Including compliances with orders that were pending at the beginning of the year.

The results accomplished as shown by these figures indicate in the
main that employers are cooperating with the bureau of inspection
by complying with the orders issued. As a matter of fact, the
results as presented here would not be achieved if it were not for the
fact that the bureau is a State agency with power to go to court
if employers will not comply with the law^s requirements.
Reducing Hazard of Machinery
It will be noted from the figures given that the greatest amount of
the inspection work is in connection with factories, mercantile estab­
lishments, and buildings under construction. It is in these three
branches of the inspection work that we issue the greatest number of
orders and naturally secure the largest number of compliances. The
largest amount of machinery exists in the factories of the State.
Considerable machinery is used in mercantile establishments and
there is some machinery operated in connection with large building
construction operations.
In order that some idea may be gained as to the importance of
the factories and mercantile establishments, it is well to understand
that we inspected 66,364 factories and 78,864 mercantile establish­
ments during the year ended December 31, 1927. In both classes of
this work the largest number of orders issued related to sanitation
and machinery, as appear in the following tabular statements:
Inspection of factories
W h o le n u m b e r .............................. ..............................................................................................



168, 5U

Elevators and hoistways. ............................ ........... ....... ................... ...
Machinery and apparatus............................ ........... ................... ........... ......................... .........


i 36, 060

Total_______________________ _______
Sanitation............ ................. ........... ................. ........... ......... ......... .............


i 40,994

1 Including orders that were pending at the beginning of the year.



It will be noted here that the orders for sanitation in factories
almost equaled the number of orders issued for elevators and hoist­
ways, and machinery and apparatus.
Inspection of mercantile establishments


W hole num ber___________________ ________ ______ ______________ __________





Elevators and hoistways______________ _____ __________ ________ _________ __________
____ _ _______________________ __________ _________ _______
Machinery and apparatus

2, 244

2, 238

Total....... ................... ........... ................. ............. ............. ................... ................... ...........
Sanitation_____ _____ _____ __________ _______ _______ ________ ________________________


3, 790

It will be observed that the orders for sanitation in mercantile
establishments far outnumbered the orders issued for elevators and
hoistways and machinery and apparatus.
In all of the work performed by the inspection bureau where orders
are issued and compliances are to be secured we have a very satis­
factory condition. In no instance is there a better showing than that
in connection with orders issued to guard machinery. These orders
are considered important because the machines are hazardous to the
employees and if not immediately complied with result in industrial
We have the right under the law to tag as unsafe a machine that is
not properly guarded and is hazardous. Consequently we have two
means of securing compliance where the orders issued are not readily
complied with by the person or firm to whom they are issued. We
can tag the machine and stop its operation or we can prosecute for a
violation. In comparison with the orders issued and the compliances
secured relative to the machinery orders, the number of instances
where we have to tag machines or prosecute is small. Most of the
employers realize that machinery should be guarded and immediate
compliance is necessary. We have been issuing orders against ma­
chinery for a number of years. Because of the policy followed by the
inspection bureau we have made an impression upon factory owners
as to the necessity of keeping their machinery properly safeguarded.
It should be understood that in comparison with all equipment in
industrial establishments the number of machines in industry far
outnumbers all other types of equipment. It would be quite natural
to suppose that machinery was the most potent factor in causing
injury, but such is not the case. A tabulation made by the bureau
of statistics of the department of labor as published in the Industrial
Bulletin of February, 1928, shows a study of five years of machine
accidents. This study states as to machine accidents: “ They have
been increasing much more slowly than most other types of industrial
accidents. They have shown a more marked improvement in the
number of permanent injuries compared with the number of tempo­
rary injuries. They have caused fewer amputations and severe
crushing injuries.” It further states: “ The most important fact
showing that there has been a very substantial reduction in the sever­
ity of machine accidents is that there was an increase of only 26 per
cent in the number leaving workers with permanent injuries to hands,
7679°—28---- 6



fingers, arms, or eyes. At the same time the number of all permanent
partial injuries has increased 80 per cent. Thirty-six per cent of
all such injuries were caused by machines in 1922-23 and 25 per cent
in 1926-27.” This study further shows in connection with power
presses and power saws: “ In these two groups an improvement was
most evident. It is very significant that the best results were ob­
tained where the hazards were most serious.”
A previous statistical study of compensated industrial accidents in
New York State as to the causes of" injuries reveals the following
interesting comparisons covering the quinquennial period 1923-1927:
Percentages, year ended June 30—





All c a u s e s ________ ____________ _____ ____________ _______________






Handling objects____________________ __________________ ___________
Falls of persons____________ _ _
Machinery_______________ ______ ______ __
Vehicles.____ ________________________________________________ _ __
Hand tools____________ _____________________ _____________________
Falling objects___________________________ __________ ______ ______
Stepping on or striking against objects___________ _________ _____
Other causes........ ........... ......... ............. ............... ................... ...................

25. 7
15. 8
6. 6
6. 7

16. 0
14. 8
6. 5
6. 5
4. 5

17. 9
13. 6

27. 7
18. 3
13. 6
9. 0
7. 6
6. 5
4. 3

13. 2


These figures are significant, for they' show in considering the vast
amount of injuries for which compensation was awarded that only
13.2 per cent of the total number (98,984) in 1927 were credited to
machinery, a reduction as compared with 1923 of 2.6 per cent, the
proportion in the latter year having been 15.8 percent of 58,078 com­
pensated cases, the whole number for all causes. Accidents occa­
sioned by the handling of objects were far in excess of those occurring
in connection with machinery, the ratio in 1927 being 28 per cent as
compared with 25.7 per cent in 1923. Falls of persons were second
in the group of causes— 18.3 per cent in 1927, against 15.9 per cent
in 1923. Accidental injuries caused by hand tools occupy fifth place
in the above groups, with 7.6 per cent in 1927 compared with 6.6 per
cent in 1923.
A careful study of these figures emphasizes the fact that accidents
as a result of the handling of objects, falls of persons and the handling
of tools, which in 1927 alone constituted more than one-half (53.9
per cent) of the whole number for which awards were made, afford a
fertile field in which to train workers to stand, walk, sit, lift, or see
and to use tools properly. There can be no question that many of
these injuries occurred because employees were not properly in­
structed or did not know the hazards of the operation at which they
were working, or were not possessed with sufficient skill to protect
themselves from injury.
A person of ordinary ability would only have to visit some of the
establishments in the locality in which he lives to observe abundant
proof of these conditions. When industry can teach those conducting
it to give proper attention to these fundamental steps we will have
made a real step forward in protecting workers from injury. The
workers will be relieved of much of the suffering and their families
will not be subjected to the financial loss and misery resulting from
industrial injury.



Cost of Industrial Injuries
The cost of industrial injuries is an indication of the appalling
amount lost, much of which should be reduced by intelligent instruc­
tion and direction of industry. Industrial injuries reported to the
department of labor for the year ended June 30, 1927, were 518,297,
of which 98,984 were of a serious nature or compensable, which
means the injured persons were disabled and had lost time in excess
of the first seven days of the injury, for which seven days’ lost time
they are not paid unless the term of disability is in excess of 49 days.
The awards in these cases amounted to $28,186,003. Add to this
the medical cost, which would bring the total cost to insurance carriers
to over $35,000,000. The injured employee, or his dependents in
death cases, pay even more for industrial injuries both in the form of
reduced remuneration during the period of disability and in the loss
of one peek’s remuneration in cases where the disability does not
exceed 49 days.
Statistics show that the average wage rate for injured employees
exceeds the average compensation rate paid for industrial injuries by
over $15 per week, so that for every week of compensation awarded,
the injured empk^ee or his dependents lose at least $15. Approxi­
mately 2,300,000 weeks of compensation were awarded in the aggre­
gate during the year ended June 30, 1927, so that the total loss by
injured employees or their dependents may be approximated at
$35,000,000 more, bringing the total cost of industrial injuries to
$70,000,000. Other factors, although of smaller magnitude, are very
significant in further increasing the already burdensome cost of
accidents. Even the seemingly minor injuries w^hich are not com­
pensable, involve a substantial cost to the injured employee. For
example, in the report year over 400,000 such injuries were reported,
averaging approximately two days of lost time for which the employee
received no compensation. The value of this lost time may con­
servatively be approximated at well over $4,000,000 in addition. Of
some significance in this connection is the cost to the injured employee
for the first week o f ‘disability in cases of temporary disability not
exceeding 49 days. Certainly, therefore, the total cost of indus­
trial accidents in the State of New York to the insurance carrier
and injured employee may be placed in round numbers well over
$75,000,000 per year.
Even this large amount of money does not show all of the economic
waste. The employer suffers loss in productivity and spoilage.
Industrial injuries occurring in a plant affect the other employees;
this loss is due to other employees stopping work because of injuries;
the loss of profits on services to an injured employee; injury to
machinery, tools, material or property; and the training of a new
One insurance company recently made an analysis of 5,000 specific
accidents taken at random from their file. The analysis of the cost
to the employer due directly to these accidents shows four times the
total cost represented by compensation, liability claims, and medical
treatment. Assuming that the ratio of cost is not as high as shown
in the analysis of these 5,000 cases, it may be readily understood that
even if the ratio were half of what was shown in this instance, it would
be an enormous loss. Added to that resulting in the payment of



compensation, medical cost and lost time to the emplo3^ee, it would
be readily conceded that there is a great possibility through intelligent
direction of industry to prevent industrial injuries and save many
millions of dollars.
Equipment, Maintenance, and Efficiency
While mention has been made of the progress of reducing the cost
and seriousness of injuries due to machinery it should be understood
that inspection by the State does not cover all machinery used in the
State. We have no power to inspect machinery or apparatus used
in transportation, longshoring and agricultural work, but the record
of industrial injuries due to machinery covered all machinery in the
State, including machinery that is not subject to inspection by tha
State inspection bureau.
It should be known that in the inspection of mercantile establish­
ments the labor department is limited to all cities in the State. In
the towns and villages of over 3,000 inhabitants the labor law and
code rules are required to be enforced by the boards or departments
of health or health commissioners of those localities, but in reality the
law and code rules are not enforced in such places. Even if those
health departments or health officers were inclined to do the work for
which they are responsible, they are not properly equipped with
knowledge of the labor law or the proper method of safeguarding
machinery, elevators, hoistways, etc., to properly apply the labor law
and code rules. They should not be expected to do this line of work,
as they are skilled in the methods of protecting the public health,
and to do that in the average town and village they would have all
the duties they could be expected to perform. To hold them respon­
sible for the enforcement of the labor law is unjust, and it is very
evident that it was the intention of those responsible for placing this
duty on the department of health or health officers that they would
not be able to perform the duties and thus release those conducting
mercantile establishments in those towns and villages from observ­
ing the law. However, as provided in the labor law, “ Any health
officer failing to perform his duties is subject to the charge of mal­
feasance in office and shall be suspended or removed by the authorities
having power to appoint or remove such officers, otherwise by the
There is no valid reason why the labor law and the code rules rela­
tive to mercantile establishments should not be enforced by the State
department of labor in towns and villages having health officers who
have neither the time nor the inclination to perform, these duties.
The compensation law applies to mercantile establishments in these
towns and villages of the State. Industrial injuries are occurring in
connection with these establishments. They add to the total cost
of industrial injuries reported in this State, but nothing is done to
protect the employees or reduce the number and the cost of the
industrial injuries in these localities.
If as the figures show the cost of compensation for falls of persons
in industry is equal to the cost of injuries due to the vast amount of
machinery used in industry there is reason for finding out what is
basically wrong. Numerous injuries charged to machinery are the
result of falling or stumbling on or coming in contact with moving



machinery. Many such injuries are the result of failure to provide
sufficient working space at the point of operation of the machinery,
or are due to unsafe floors or slippery or littered floors. The wearing
of the right kinds of shoes is most important in industry. Feet free
from pain and the ability to stand or walk correctly while performing
work are necessary in order to reduce the hazards of many lines of
It is most essential that proper attention be given to the mainte­
nance of machines, tools, and equipment, and providing and main­
taining proper lighting facilities for industrial operation and workng
space. Many injuries are the result of poor lighting and are also
caused by machines, tools, and equipment that are not properly
maintained or are in poor condition.
Where edge-cutting tools are used more injuries are caused by dull
tools than by sharp tools. This fact should be impressed upon
employers and employees, who should make it their business to insist
that all tools and other working devices and apparatus are in suitable
working condition before they are used.
Training Employees
Strange as it may seem, industry generally has not yet learned how
to instruct workers to properly perform hazardous operations. In
too many instances workers do not know or have not been taught by
the management how to stand, walk, sit, lift, or see in order to do
hazardous work or move about the premises where such work is
being carried on. If we tell you that much of what is happening in
connection with industrial injury is due to lack of proper instruction
in the operation of hazardous machines, and the carrying on of their
work in connection with hazards in operation, you may no doubt
regard such a statement as an exaggeration; nevertheless it is true.
However, many progressive firms have had wisdom enough to teach
their employees those fundamentals for their protection and for the
protection of others working in the operations carried on, but this is not
done to the extent that it should be carried on in industry generally.
Proper industrial training has potential possibilities for improving
industrial conditions in the limitation of industrial injuries. Basically
there is every reason why a worker, either skilled or unskilled, should
be properly trained in the art of working skillfully at his vocation. It
will mean he has a better chance to work and to escape injury. There
would be no unskilled worker if the educational force and industry did
all they should to protect the worker and to promote efficiency. In
the present day of mass production skill is required in all work—even
that type of work formerly classified as unskilled labor.
In the past few years people have been alarmed at the increase in
the number of industrial injuries reported. There are several reasons
that can be given for these increases. The main reason is the increase
in rapidity with which many industrial occupations are carried on in
comparison with former years. Many people fail to realize that in­
dustry has changed from what it was a few years ago. The celerity
with which industry moves in the present day of mass production
means that workers need to be possessed of greater skill, keen sight,
good health, and steel nerves if they hope to keep pace with the army
of the employed and not join the horde of those workers injured in



To-day employees should know the art of working and have skill
and technique at that particular trade, work, or machine on which
they are employed, regardless of how menial the task, before they
can in any safe degree keep pace with industry as at present con­
ducted. At the present time there is not as much laborious manual
labor as formerly. The use of machinery has supplanted much of
the toilsome work previously done by manual labor. The higher
wage rate has been responsible for the introduction of much machinery
to supplant what was formerly called “ semiskilled” or “ unskilled”
labor. With this introduction of machinery there has come speed
in the operation which necessarily calls for more alertness and knowl­
edge of the proper methods of working and the carrying on of safe
When we study and analyze working operations we will realize
that there is no such thing as unskilled labor in the sense that it
does not require skill to perform the work. At least there should
be no unskilled labor. Each employee should be taught by the
industry the safe and skillful manner of performing his work. Even
if the operation does not require much knowledge it may necessitate
strength, skill, and mental alertness to properly perform the work,
although it may be designated by some people as menial work;
still there is a technique in the proper method of performing it.
The need for skill is very apparent at this time, for industry is
working at a higher speed than ever before in the history of this or
any other country, and industry has a greater task to perform than
ever before to teach the safe practices in industry, in order to prop­
erly protect those engaged therein.
This work will have to be done by the industry to a large degree,
for most of the skill and technique can not be taught in the school,
bub must be taught in the industry itself.
Studies of Injury in Industry
To teach the safe practices in industry it is necessary to know
what is happening in the industry. To obtain this information it
is most important to keep a proper record of industrial injuries. If
this information were at hand in each establishment, in sufficient
detail to indicate the real cause of the injury, it would prove a valu­
able aid in studying the hazards of the industries. It would enable
the management to know what was happening and the frequency
with which major and minor injuries were occurring.
The relative importance between a fatal or minor injury is some­
thing that should be studied very carefully. The difference between
a fatal and serious injury and a minor injury, which might occur in
connection with machinery, apparatus, or moving vehicles or equip­
ment, on many occasions when measured in time is but a fraction
of a second, during which time the employee has moved his body or
a part of it but a short distance either to or from the point of danger.
If we gave attention to this phase of safety work and studied the
occurrence of minor injuries we would advance a long step forward
in preventing serious or major injuries.



Industry Speeded
We may obtain some vague idea as to the speed of industry when
we know the amount of mechanical power used in connection with
our industries in this country. It is reliably stated that the indus­
tries in the United States are using electrical energy to the extent of
12-horsepower for each man, woman, and child in the country. It
is claimed because we use more mechanical and electrical power in
our industries than any other country that this is the basis for the
prosperity of this country as compared with others.
However, it is an indication that mechanical power is a great aid
to the present-day industry and it clearly indicates that the person
engaged in modem industry in many instances is required to keep
pace as a human operator with a semiautomatic machine or with
mechanical or electrical energy which has speeded industry and in
which the worker has need of greater skill for self-preservation.
The inspection bureau of the department of labor has many duties,
chiefly that of applying the requirements of the labor law and the
code rules which have been adopted to protect the employees. The
proper enforcement of these rules has a most beneficent effect in
reducing to a minimum industrial injury. The bureau alone can not
do all there is to be done. Industry must do its share. It is evident
that we can succeed in reducing the frightful losses and human suffer­
ing which occur in industry as a whole. There will be need for more
educational work by industry to instruct employees in the safe and
efficient manner of carrying on their work than there is at present.
While numerous agencies may assist in this work much effective
work can and should be done by the industries themselves.

By W

il l ia m

C . A r c h e r , I n d u s t r ia l R


Development of the Movement
T THE beginning of the fourth century, the Emperor Diocle­
tian issued an edict which fixed the maximum prices for the
L sale of goods, and appointed a legal schedule of wages for
19 different classes of workingmen. In the preamble of the edict
the Emperor declares that his motive is to establish justice among
his people. Throughout the Middle Ages and down almost to the
middle of the nineteenth century there was considerable legal regula­
tion of wages in most of the countries of Europe. This practice indi­
cated a belief that the compensation of labor ought to be brought
under the rule of law and fairness, as these legislators conceived fair
The fathers of the church implicitly asserted the right of the laborer
to sufficient compensation for the maintenance of his life when they
declared that God wished the earth to be the common heritage of all
men and when they denounced as robbers the rich who refused to
share their surplus goods with the needy. The moral principle that
guided the teachers of the Middle Ages held that all commodities
should be sold at that price which the social estimate regarded as
just; but they insisted that in arriving at this estimate the com­
munity ought to take into account the utility, the scarcity, and the
cost of production of the commodity. Inasmuch as the cost of pro­
duction at that time was chiefly labor cost, or wages, a just price
for goods would necessarily include a just price for the labor that
produced the goods. St. Thomas reflects the common view when he
says that labor as well as goods should bring a just price. This rule
was equivalent to the doctrine that the compensation of the work­
man should be sufficient to furnish him a decent livelihood.
Reference is thus made to these ancient practices and principles
because from them sprang the present system of •workmen’s com­
pensation, comparable fundamentally to the system which prevailed
throughout the civilized part of Europe, in Italy, England, Ireland,
Germany, and France. Spain saw its beginning there, but in the
eighth century that country began to withstand the Moorish invasion
and for 700 years thereafter her sole occupation was war, so that the
peaceful pursuits of commerce and industry were impossible and in
turn rendered impossible the development of such refinements of
justice as the workmen’s compensation system rests upon.
The earliest compensation system grew out of the ancient guilds,
the merchants’ guilds, and the workmen’s guilds of the Middle Ages.





The oldest extant charter of a guild in England dates from the reign
of Canute in which the members were associated in alms-giving, care
of the sick, etc. In the Dooms of London we find the same religious
and social progress described with the addition of certain advanta­
geous commercial arrangements such as the establishment of a kind of
insurance fund against losses, etc. The merchant guilds differed
from their earlier predecessors in that they were commercial only,
but that they were widespread is evidenced by four documents yet
extant which fortunately refer to towns in four different parts of
England—Berwick, Southampton, Leicester, and Totnes. These
associations grew so powerful that they presently became identical
with the municipality. Thereafter there arose the craft guilds which
looked to the protection principally of workmen. They provided
for the interests both spiritual and temporal of their members,
provided old age and sick pensions, pensions for widows, and burial
In France as early as the year 779 there remains this law: “ Let no
one dare to take the oath by which people are wont to form guilds,
whatever may be the conditions which have been agreed upon; let
no one bind himself by oaths concerning the payment of contribu­
tions in case of fire or shipwreck/’ This prohibition appears several
times in the laws enacted by the Carlovingian emperors. These
guilds were originally a sort of fraternity for common support, pro­
tection, and amusement. Later on, as in England, other guilds
emphasized the economic aspects, such as are apparent in the mer­
chant and craft guilds. In passing it is interesting to note that'even
at this early day there appeared three classes of persons in the craft
guilds: The apprentices, or learners (apprendre, “ to learn” ), the
journeymen (journee, “ day” ), or men hired to work by the day, and
the masters or employers. From this it appears that a person rising
through the first two classes to become a master really passed over
into the class of employers, from which it is to be inferred that such
workman thereby gained the right to become an independent con­
tractor and in turn to employ his own day men and learners.
In Germany the first well-known guild is that of the Workmen of
Worms, its charter dating from 1106. In Germany there was a high
development of the entire system. There were merchants’ guilds,
artisans’ guilds, and guilds for personal improvement, community
improvement, etc. In this country the word “ hansa” had the
same signification as guild; thus we find the origin of the Hanseatic
League, which grew to the exercise of great power.
In Italy, to quote Plutarch, of all the establishments of Numa no one
is more highly prized than his distribution of the people into colleges
according to trade and craft. In Rome alone there were in the third
century more than 30 colleges, private and public, including bankers,
wine merchants, physicians, teachers, bakers, pork butchers, and
another which supplied Rome with lime.
We thus see the very early development of the entire system with
abundant evidences of developments and ramifications to an amazing
degree. There were, of course, innumerable variations due to the
wide distribution of various communities, with their characteristic
needs and states of development. These associations permeated
every walk of life, as is indicated by the fact that artists as well as



artisans, religious as well as lay, merchants as well as craftsmen, all
had their separate and distinct organizations for their common good.
And through them all were the same motivating principles, charity
and justice.
It will be noticed in passing that what is commonly looked upon
as a new and modern development is neither new nor modern.
Rather are we again merely beginning the development of associations
which more than a thousand years ago ramified greater and were
more highly developed in detail than we now even dream of. The
development of to-day does not stress charity as the motivating
principle so much as it stresses economic and utilitarian necessity,
but justice pervades this later development, and of course justice
and charity are akin. Whatever proportions this later development
may reach, there will always be a vastness and solidarity in the new
that did not characterize the old, for we must now deal with the
tendency to organization which is becoming universal. No longer
have we the master craftsman the number of whose employees were
limited by law or custom nor whose instruments were hand tools only.
Instead we have the tremendous modern plant, applied modern
science with its mechanics and electricity and chemistry, which make
necessary the employment of great numbers and the division of work
into highly specialized functions. Then, too, this modern age is
perfecting the various means of communication to such an extent as
to crumple up time and space. Philosophers assign to the soul the
quality of levitation, and physical man is pursuing it also as a dream.
Before we quit the historical allusion let us call attention to the
fact that the merchants' guilds gave rise to associations of employers
and manufacturers out of which grew certain privileges akin to
monopolies and that out of these grew what is known as prescriptive
rights, good will, etc. For under the rules then obtaining a merchant,
as, for instance, a haberdasher, was secured in his right to serve a
certain population not too great for his personal service. Another
might not invade his field. This gave rise to the so-called prescriptive
right to conduct his business within certain limits. Good will had
a very definite meaning and a very definite value recognized in inherit­
ance, contracts of sale, etc. On the other hand, a master workman
might serve his public so long as he might do so within the prescribed
limits of a certain number of employees. When the demand for his
services was such that he could not meet it with six or eight journey­
men in his pay, there and then arose the right of another master work­
man in the same field to engage others and to begin business. Thus
out of the craft guilds grew the associations of labor with their
defined rights.
The fifteenth century brought to a swift close the greater number
of associations which had thus developed. Foundations, associa­
tions, organizations were shaken into rapid dissolution. The new
principle of utter selfishness destroyed them. The ground lay fallow
for hundreds of years. Then they began again, and, inasmuch as we
are dealing chiefly with workmen's compensation, let us say that
Germany at the middle of the last century created anew a system of
workmen's compensation. It has spread rapidly and now obtains in
every civilized country. Strange to say, it appeared late in the
United States and 15 years compasses the entire development here;



but, as is characteristic of this country, it has developed quickly into
a vast system involving an annual setting aside of hundreds of millions
of dollars to provide the benefits required by law. Aside from the
volume and immensity of the thing in the United States, it is simple
in principle and easy to understand. It recognizes that losses from
accidents are to be regarded in the calculation of overhead expense and
as an element of cost of production. As such it enters into the cost of
manufacture or production, is properly reflected in the selling price,
and is thus thrown upon the consumers who constitute the entire
population. Before this principle w recognized and compensation
systems adopted the workman, whatever his hire, was compelled
each to bear alone the losses occasioned through the misfortune of
accident. The carpenter who died from an infection resulting from a
splinter in his finger was utterly without recourse, and whereas his
family but yesterday living happily upon his wage, to-morrow was
thrown into poverty through the death of the wage earner, the loss
being completely uncompensated. Or the miner who lost a leg
through the fall of coal wag thereafter incapacitated for a continua­
tion of his employment and was thrown into distress, attendant
also upon his family since as wage earner thereafter he was greatly
handicapped as a breadwinner. It is quite remarkable that this
injustice should so long obtain and equally remarkable how viciously
fought was the inauguration of the new plan which now has universal
It is true there was some relief in the courts through actions for
damages, but it is nauseous to contemplate the inadequacy of this
system of relief, for in most cases a cause of action could not be main­
tained under the law; and even where there was a rightful cause of
action under the law the contest in the courts was so unequal and the
remedies so unscientific and uncertain of application and the general
average in recoveries so pitifully small that the whole thing will
forever remain a blot upon our civilization and an unhappy memory.
It will be valuable to consider for the sake of comparison the system
which was replaced by the compensation laws. Hitherto the injured
workman was supposed to bear alone the losses occasioned by his
accidental injury unless he could charge it to the negligent act of
another, and in doing so, he must prove himself free from contributory
negligence. Jurisprudence in the United States has grown out of
English jurisprudence, that is, it has grown out of the English common
law and the common law knew only personal rights and remedies so
far as personal injuries are concerned. This is more easily understood
in the light of the fact that until recent times workmen in any given
employment were few in number, known to each other by name and
association and working with simple instruments or tools. The
relationship as among the workmen and the relationship as between
a given workman and his employer was rather simple. The employer
was held to provide a reasonably safe place of employment, to provide
fellow workmen of reasonable skill and diligence, and to be reasonably
diligent in his attitude toward his men. On the other hand, a work­
man had corresponding obligations to his employer and to his own
fellow workmen. Antemployer was held not to be liable if the work­
man ? injury was occasioned by his own negligence or by the negli­
gence of a fellow workman or by the inherent hazard of employment.



Thus are defined what are known as the three common-law defenses
of an employer brought into court in an action for damages, namely,
assumption of risk, the fellow-servant rule, and contributory negli­
gence. These are all grounded in fault and gave rise to the wellknown definition of tort as a wrongful act, neglect or default through
which another is injured in his person or property. Fault and wrong
are emphasized throughout. As industry grew more complex the
fellow-servant rule was ameliorated by making certain bosses or
foremen stand in the shoes of the employer rather than alone as
fellow workmen, so that the act of these bosses or foremen were in
some degree the act of the employer. The assumption-of-risk rule
was likewise modified through municipal regulations for greater
safety, the absence of compliance with such regulations creating a
presumption of fact in favor of the injured workman and tending to
throw the burden of proof on the other side. But the contributorynegligence rule held steadily.
Under the workmen’s compensation plan the whole matter of
wrong and fault is thrown to the winds, and there is substituted a
new principle. The old question was, Whose fault was it? The
new question is, Whose misfortune is it? This certainly introduced
a new day.
How efficacious was the right to recover damages in the court?
The answer may be given that it was thoroughly inefficacious, first
because a right of action could not be maintained in the greater
number of cases, and second, the recovery even in rightful cases
was so tortuous, long drawn out, and heartbreaking in the end that
it was scarcely worth while. For instance, one of the most eminent
present-day jurists in the United States is quoted as characterizing
the system by saying that the plaintiff did not live long enough to
enjoy his verdict. A count of cases in one of the large cities of the
United States showed that the right to maintain an action was
present in fewer than ten cases out of a hundred. This means that
in more than ninety cases the plaintiff did not have a good case at
law. lie could not overcome the three defenses above referred to.
And in the cases where recovery was actually had the final amount
received was less than $50 on an average. In the event of injury
the employer and employee, who supposedly should be at least
friendly, inasmuch as their efforts in producing salable goods or
creating substantial improvements were more or less mutual and
interdependent, were immediately made enemies. The injured man
advanced his claim, the employer rejected it. The workman being
a poor man was compelled to resort to a lawsuit. To do this he
could offer his lawyer no cash retainer and therefore was compelled
to sign a contract on a contingent basis. The lawyer, assured of a
fee only in the event of a recovery, was compelled to make an outlay
of money in the preparation of his case, the securing of competent
witnesses and expert witnesses, etc.— therefore engaged to try the
case for one-third to one-half of the amount recovered. There was
the usual delay of a year or two before the case reached the calendar,
within which time the injured man nursed his injury and borrowed
money from his friends to live on. The case Game on for trial; the
jury rendered its verdict. There was a prompt appeal, the employer
usually being large enough to maintain a legal staff, so that his end



of the litigation was carried on at minimum cost. There was the
long delay before the appellate court handed down its decision, often
a reversal. In the event of an affirmance, the money was paid; the
lawyer took his share; borrowed money was repaid, the butcher, the
baker, the candlestick maker was settled with— and there you are.
And this, mind you, in fewer than ten cases out of a hundred. In
the other ninety there was no hope of compensation.
The New System in Operation
When we turn to an examination of the new system, we find
benefits provided for loss of wages due to accidental injury. We
find also incidental medical benefits which include nursing, medicines,
professional service, hospitalization, and the so-called aftertreatment
tending to restoration of function after the wounds are healed. The
question of fault does not enter into it at all. Kegardless of fault the
recovery is obtainable. Some States make an exception wdiere the
cause of the accident is intoxication or willful and flagrant misconduct,
but, even so, only a negligible number are thus excluded. An elaborate
system of benefits is made necessary because of the various kinds and
degrees of injuries, but all awards are predicated on the basis of the
loss of w^age-earning capacity. It is not necessary here to recite the
table of benefits, for these are accessible to everybody. Nearly every
State provides a waiting period of one week during which no compen­
sation is paid. The purpose of this is to eliminate the trivial cases
which are so numerous. Another purpose is to prevent a simulation
of disablement. Were this not done, the temptation to take a few
days off or to be paid for the necessity of being absent now and then
would be too great, for one might allege a strain of the back, for
instance, in which the complaints would be purely subjective and
defy all the clinical observers, whereas, on the other hand, voluntarily
incurring a disability which Would likely last longer than one week
would require a considerable courage or foolhardiness.
Another feature which characterizes these laws is the placing of a
maximum limitation on the weekly award. In fact, the limitation is
usually twofold. It can not be more than two-thirds of the wages nor
more than a certain number of dollars per week, say, $20 to $25.
There is no justifiable reason for this limitation. There is a sufficient
reason for providing no compensation for the first week or two of
disablement, but to limit the recovery to part of the wages is not
justifiable. The workmen is entitled in justice to the one-third of his
wages which he does not recover by every reason that entitles him
to the two-thirds that he does recover. To state it conversely, there
is no more reason why the one-third he does not recover should
remain uncompensated and borne alone by himself than there is
reason to justify the old system by which he recovered nothing. There
is even less excuse for further limiting the two-thirds by a maximum
number of dollars within that two-thirds. Take a workman who is
earning $60 a week. He can recover under the most advanced law in
the country only $25 a week of his wages. He and his family have a
$60 standard of living. The violence to this standard of living is
incommensurate with justice. If he has savings, he must take down
his savings to the extent of $35 a week. Meantime the insurance
company collects its premium against his full w^ages. In other words,



it collects twice as much premium on account of his wages as it would
collect from a $30 man, and yet the compensation to the two men is
practically the same. We then get into the body of the benefits
which are somewhat the same in every jurisdiction.
For a permanent total disability the compensation continues
throughout life. For a permanent partial disability the compensa­
tion is usually defined by maximum limits. Within this classifica­
tion occur the vast number of injuries to members of the body such
as hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, fingers, and toes, whether the loss be
total or proportionately so. For this class of injuries nearly every
statute fixes a definite schedule of awards—so many weeks for an arm,
with a proportionate number of weeks for a proportionate loss of
use of that member, etc. This was made necessary to provide com­
pensation in a vast number of cases in which compensation would
not be immediately paid, for many a workman who sustained a stiff
elbow, for instance, was able to retain his job, and were he paid for
wages lost, he would be inadequately paid; in fact, he would be paid
no more than he would have received for the acute period of disa­
bility, after which he would have returned to the same job without the
stiff elbow. But with a stiff elbow there is always a potential disa­
bility, and to prevent the hypothetical consideration of such cases or
the endless reappearance of such cases on the calendars, which might
be occasioned with each change of employment or each idle period for
whatever cause, the law steps in and provides the so-called schedule
benefit which is no more nor less than a commutation in time of the
potential disability resulting from accident. Here it may be re­
marked that it is peculiar that no difference in compensation is pro­
vided for workmen of different ages. The man of 21 who has his
stiff elbow to carry throughout a long life receives no more for it than
does the man of 70 whose working days are about over.
Under the classification of permanent partial disability also fall
those indefinite injuries which impair wa‘ge-earning capacity measured
in a lowered wage, in which cases two-thirds of the difference between
the old wages and the new wages is received as compensation, with a
maximum limit varying in different jurisdictions, but which seems to
be settling around $5 >000. The foregoing classes embrace the per­
manent injuries. There are also the two broad classifications of tem­
porary injuries, those which are total and those which are partial.
The last named is a negligible number, for every compensated case
involves some complete cessation from work. The temporary total
disabilities constitute the greater number of cases, although the
amount of money paid out is by no means proportionate to the mere
number of such cases. It is perhaps not necessary to go further into
a general discussion of the measure of benefits. There are, of course,
to those engaged in the administration of the laws very interesting
matters relating to the internal structure of the compensation laws
with respect to benefits. For instance, the discussion is never ended
as to the proper method to measure loss of vision. The ordinary test
for reading glasses is a test which discovers, for instance, that a man
only sees at 20 feet what he should see at 30 feet. This is expressed
by the phrase 20/30. In the administration of the compensation
laws this 20/30 has become the fraction twenty-thirtieths, but there
is always the added question of what one may discern by direct
vision as compared with indirect vision or peripheral vision by which



one sees not only the object looked at directly but rather less dis­
tinctly all other objects within the field of vision. This is only given
to illustrate that books might be written if one were adequately to dis­
cuss the technical difficulties with regard to various injuries.
there are matters which are worth more than passing comment.
How shall pain as a disabling factor be determined? This is a
baffling question. Pain is generally supposed to be a purely subj ective
symptom; that is, one has only the word of the sufferer, unless the
pain be sufficient or so located as to give objective evidences of it.
Then, also, as persons differ in nervous organization and sensibilities,
pain is a varying factor. Undoubtedly a given injury will cause
more pain in one person than in another. Wise and experienced
clinical observers feel that beyond a given time and beyond certain
motions they are able to discount complaints of pain. Here the
human element in individuals plays a great part. Take an old man
with a so-called lame back who upon arising in the morning takes
some time to straighten up for the day’s work and to limber up his
back. This subject may receive a twist or blow to his back which
will disable him for the rest of his life as against a supple youngster
to whom the injury would afford but an hour’s inconvenience. This
injury to the back of the old man who already works under difficulty
is apt to cause him a permanent total disability. Take, again, the
man well advanced in years who has had for a long time a hernia or
who has had a hernia which has been once or twice repaired by
operative procedure. He sustains another hernia or a recurrence.
Because of the condition of his heart or arteries or general condition
he can not go again on the operating table. Here we have another
more or less trivial injury causing a permanent total disability.
If it should be complained that the employer or insurance company is
called upon to respond in awards seemingly unfair in these extreme
cases, it should be borne in mind that such cases are offset by the
vigorous and robust workmen who sustain such injuries without
much disability. In other w^ords, one offsets the other. This is the
great rule of insurance. One man’s house burns to the ground.
His neighbor pays insurance for a lifetime without any fire whatever.
Perhaps the most interesting and remarkable features of all cases
are the neuroses. They are very numerous. The neurotic element
is undoubtedly present in more than half of all compensation cases.
In the handling of this matter, administration if properly done can
work a great good and avoid a great evil. The neurosis which is
here spoken of is the emotional reaction due to injury. One man cuts
his finger and it heals by first intention. Another man cuts his
finger and has a local infection. Another man cuts his finger and
develops a general septicemia from which he may die. Another
man presents an emotional reaction without much somatic disturb­
ance. To the uninitiated and to the unsympathetic, this was long
regarded as malingering and little worthy of consideration. But
to those who know, these are the pitiful cases which require knowledge,
sympathy, and courage in their handling. In fact, to be handled well
they should be handled little and that little with a great deal of
wisdom. Too many hearings, too many examinations by physicians,
too much hospitalization, too much sympathy are contraindicated
as distinctly harmful. Many a compensation case is tutored into
a neurosis. Here we are not at all speaking of dishonest cases but of



real entities. Let us draw a picture of a typical neurotic compensa­
tion case, a picture not at all exaggerated but repeated often in
every jurisdiction.
Let us take a workman who is living a routine life on a balanced
household budget, in other words, a workman who is merely making a
living, but making a decent living, in which he and his family are
accommodating themselves to their mode of living. Week in and
week out they have practically the same diet, properly balanced, of
course. They go to church, they go to the movies, the workman and
his son see a baseball game now and then, the wife and daughter
attend a party now and then. They are able to pay the ordinarily
expected medical bills or repairs to their automobile. The son and
daughter are at school. This workman sustains an injury. For the
first few weeks the misfortune is borne without fear. He does not
recover properly. He develops a complication. His small savings,
because of his inadequate compensation, are drawn upon heavily.
They disappear. The rent for the first time is hard to pay. The lifeinsurance premium can not be met. He is compelled to borrow from
his neighbor. It may be that about this time the insurance carrier
foolishly compels the production of witnesses to prove continuation
of disability, and there enters into his mind the fear that he will be
unable to secure his compensation during his disability. The grocery
bill becomes overdue. He is not a thinker. He has heretofore read
the newspaper with the slight demands upon cogitation. He has
discussed local politics, listened to his radio, read the baseball score,
listened without much wear and tear to the Sunday sermon. Now
he has new problems. He can not adjust himself to the new situation.
He reasons in a circle. Like a caged animal he has at first gone
prying around the confining barriers of his close hoping for a way out.
Repeated circuits demonstrate the futility of this effort. Alarm
seizes him which goes on to terror. In short, he isvunable to create
his environment but becomes entirely subject to it. Pondering over
and over the situation his mind becomes tired.
The blacksmith can swing a sledge all day. The school boy can
swing it a few times and then ceases from sheer exhaustion. This
workman experiences exhaustion of mental effort to work a way out.
Hope fails. The son is taken from high school and put to work.
His earnings augment the compensation so that the family income
may be brought back to normal, but the savings are gone. Within
this time in actual fact the physical man is almost restored to the
normal function. He essays work again, but because his mind has
dwelt so long upon his disability he is unable to convince himself
that the disability is not there yet. There is a distinct personality
change. Thus develops a neurosis. Examples may be multiplied.
Another man who leads a vegetative existence finds himself after
injury the object of a love and sympathy at home which he had
ceased to know was there. Without rationalizing his new experience,
he finds himself in an environment more delightful than he experi­
enced before. He unconsciously wishes for its continuance. Adapting
himself finally to the new situation, he is loath to return to the other,
which was one of unmitigating hard labor. Here we are apt to see
the development of a neurosis in which the workman is in no wise
dishonest or consciously malingering.



Take still another case: A man standing on a high place is rendered
unconscious by a falling object. He develops a true fear of going
again to high work, and he is so obsessed by the idea that he narrowly
escaped death that he develops what he believes to be a real disa­
bility. But dwelling upon his pains he magnifies them until they
become more or less real. He is influenced by his autosuggestion.
He becomes neurotic. And who has not seen the genuine hysterias—
the fingers pressed into the palms or the arm held close to the side
with such resistance that the fingers can not be pulled open or the
arm unbent? Under a slight whiff of ether the physician demon­
strates that there is no loss of mobility whatever. The muscles re­
spond to the stimulus of the galvanic current, but the emotional
reaction has rendered the arm useless. The foregoing cases are genu­
ine compensation cases. If small men oppose their claims without
ability to meet the situation, they increase and continue the disa­
bility and do not cure it. In the end they will double and treble
compensation finally paid out, whereas a proper understanding of
such cases and the meeting of them with sympathy and seeming
generosity at the right time would greatly foreshorten the disability
period. Nothing is more desirable in the handling of compensation
cases than that compensation should be promptly paid where it is
due. Employers and insurance carriers all suffer much monetary loss
because they intrust the handling of human beings to third-rate
people who fail to recognize that there is more in man than merely
bone and muscle. It should be observed here that these observations
have no reference whatever to the fraudulent or dishonest cases.
These latter should, of course, be summarily dealt with and thrown
out. Happily, malingering does not characterize the compensation
system. It is a small element, and in itself when compared with
the vast figures in the ledger of workmen’s compensation is more
or less negligible.
No discussion of workmen’s compensation is complete which does
not take cognizance of the medical question. At first compensation
laws provided partial medical services. All such laws have been
amended time and again until now the better statutes provide un­
limited medical services. It may be truly said that adequate medical
service promptly and generously applied will more them pay for
itself in diminished weekly benefits. No physician is too learned or
skillful to treat injuries. In fact, the compensation system has created
a new surgery in which it is not enough to save the life or the limb,
but function also must be maintained or restored. It was not at all
unusual a few years back to find palm injuries resulting in claw
hands, The fascia of the palm, so delicate and so interdependent,
with inflammation or infection there may easily result in the involve­
ment of surrounding tissues and loss of function. Well, a hand in the
New York jurisdiction, for instance, is worth $4,880 as a compensa­
tion case, and loss of use of the hand is equivalent to loss of the hand.
Many a bungling surgical job has lost the workman the use of his hand
and lost industry $5,000 as compensation. In ninety-nine out of a
hundred such cases there should be no such loss of function, and the
modern A -l industrial surgeon sees to it that there is no such loss.
The effects of injury are more far reaching than were dreamed of
before the matter was put upon an economic basis and losses paid
for with good dollars. There are many workmen who are in apparent
7679° 28—
---- 7



health but in reality are slowly yielding to disease. A man, for
instance, has a bad heart but it is a heart which compensates. The
impulse that sends the blood to the extremities is balanced by the
impulse that sends the blood through the lungs to be aerated and
returned to the stronger side of the heart again to be sent to the
extremities. This workman strains himself in lifting or otherwise
sustains a shock. His heart then decompensates and death may
result. It may recompensate for short periods but thereafter he is
short of breath and his feet and ankles are swollen. Another man has
varicose veins and may be somewhat diabetic but he is a working
agent. He hurts his shin and the wound does not heal and remains
open and ulcerating. The unwise third-rate employee of an insurance
company may harass and fight such cases and these workmen may be
denied adequate medical services, whereas it would be a saving all
around of life and limb to the workman and of much money to
industry were these men promptly hospitalized under the care of
first-rate experienced high-class physicians, of whom there are many.
Under such care they would soon be restored to health. At least
they would be in as good shape as they were before the accident.
The process of decay, if it were to advance further, would be a natural
process and such as they would have experienced without accident.
Without proper care these men never recover from the effects of
accident and under the law of every jurisdiction are legally entitled
to the compensation which they are apt to claim and receive. First
aid should be swift and sure and should not be left to the poor at­
tempts of tyros, for trivial injuries which are allowed to develop
infections are costing industry literally millions of dollars annually
in the United States.
Let the reader imagine a line of funeral processions spanning his
own State if he wants to have a mental picture of what trivial injuries
and resultant infections have already cost that State. It may be
truly said that thousands of high-grade physicians have actually
washed their hands of compensation cases because they are not
properly treated with respect to the matter of fees. They either do
not receive their fees or are subjected to so many indignities while
trying to collect that they simply retreat from compensation cases.
This is a very great mistake on the part of somebody.
It is true that here and there industrial clinics have arisen, and
indeed much can be said in their favor. They accomplish much
good and develop technical experts who really know how to treat
injury cases. If this article were to voice a criticism it would be
this: It is perhaps true that industrial clinics as a rule fail to segregate
some of the more important cases for hospitalization and the care
of the best available medical talent obtainable at any price. In
other words, in their vast number of cases they may be too much
inclined to put them all through the same mill.
We come now to safety. Safety first is the shibboleth of modern
industry. This is so oft repeated in various expressions that it has
grown to be a litany. Of course, it is better to prevent an accident
than to compensate it. We need not dwell on this nor shall we hesi­
tate to commend employers generally for their very great efforts to
meet the situation. The plants are legion which have local hospitals,
safety campaigns, prizes, and bonuses for good accident records, etc.
All employers of any considerable size have not only the proper dis­



position but the good sense to try to prevent accidents. They de­
serve nothing but commendation. Many small isolated employers
give the matter no attention whatever, and in this respect are none
the wiser for the last thousand years. They pay their small premium
and wash their hands of the whole matter. But with all our safety,
accidents come on and on like the tides. Nobody can quite explain it.
It may be that better and better reporting accounts for an increased
number of reported accidents, whereas there may be a diminishment
of actual accidents, but certain it is that the attempt to prevent acci­
dents results happily in the first instance in preventing the more
serious accidents, so that it is safe to say that the accident prevention
work has paid and paid well. It may be also that the increase in
number of claims for compensation may result from the fact that the
law has become more generally known and claims are more numerous
for small injuries so that there is a more widespread effort to receive
compensation for all injuries. The higher-paid workmen are less
inclined to bother with the matter of trivial injuries. It has been the
common experience of every jurisdiction that in times of great indus­
trial energy when everybody is employed at good wages there is less
general inclination to lay off for small injuries and receive compensa­
tion therefor than in times when there is general unemployment,
when even a small compensation award is actually needed. But
campaigns for safety, the teaching of the matter to school children
and the unceasing effort toward safety, have had, are having, and will
have tremendously beneficial effects.
The administration of workmen’s compensation affords a real
problem. The very magnitude of it makes it a big problem. Devel­
oping knowledge is bringing it to a real art. The average learned
judge would find his difficulties in many a compensation case in which
the question was largely medical. The average lawyer knows little
or nothing about this new branch of the law. A general recognition
of these truths has caused the administration of compensation laws to
be thrown into special courts or tribunals. Some States designate
particular courts as the only available appellate tribunals; this for the
sake of speed and for the sake also of developing specialists in the new
laws. In the trial of compensation cases, although involving ques­
tions of fact as well as questions of law and medicine, the jury system
happily is done away with entirely. Introduction of the jury system
in compensation cases would render efforts at administration utterly
impotent. The presence of lawyers is discouraged because fees are
universally fixed and fixed at low figures. Perhaps the discourage­
ment has gone too far, for undoubtedly lawyers are needed in many
cases in which they are not to be found. Naturally the lawyer knows
best how to marshal facts and present evidence. The mere absence
of lawyers has brought about a situation in which the judge or referee
of the compensation tribunal is both judge and advocate, for these
referees participate freely in the examination of witnesses and the
development of facts. In doing so they have kept themselves pretty
well above criticism. It is because justice when contemplated grows
upon the person who contemplates it and is more and more loved by
him so that he may be zealous in the development of facts, and yet
quite judicial in the weighing of evidence and the final judgment of a



In almost every jurisidiction there are no technical rules of proce­
dure, although, of course, the logical rule of proof must be followed.
There is no jury and hearsay evidence is admissible. It will be seen
therefore that the jurisprudence pertains more to equity and resem­
bles more the procedure under the civil law of southern Europe than
the common law of England. It is confidently predicted that the
way is being paved for a reform in legal procedure everywhere.
There is universal criticism of present-day procedure in the courts.
The whole jury system is under indictment as unscientific, largely
inefficacious, and certainly cumbersome and dilatory. The establish­
ment’ of the jury system was at the time a great step forward in
securing human rights. It is of course quite a foil to an arbitrary
judge, but the most trained observer can not foretell what a jury can
do because it is apt to do anything. It no longer serves the purpose
for which it was created. At the present time it is a worn-out sys­
tem. It may be needed again, but with the white light of publicity
playing upon every act of a judge, and with the short terms of in­
cumbencies of judges, and with the newspapers at every turn of the
road wdth their capacity pitilessly to expose skullduggery, the jury
system is no longer needed. Likewise, technical rules of procedure
are more often a nuisance than an aid to justice. Who has not seen
an attorney struggling more or less in vain to get a question answered?
He is entitled to an answer if he can only get the question in the
proper form. Instead of going at the matter in a common-sense
way as men attack the questions of everyday life, we have more or
less artificial rules by which it takes half an hour to find out the
color of the cow.
Who can honestly say that the system of jurisprudence does not
hamper rather than promote the ways of justice? Endless appeals
are to be deprecated. Half the cases in the courts at the very least
could be arbitrated or disposed of by the methods now obtaining in
the compensation tribunals with little or no cost in a fraction of the
time it now requires and with a much closer approximation to justice.
Every great city has its courts clogged with cases, nine-tenths of
which might be assigned to reputable lawyers as referees and adjudi­
cated quickly and the calendars cleared. Skillful lawyers now under
the present rules can get any case into such a mess as is hard to
straighten out and certainly can not be untangled in any brief time.
This incidental benefit of the compensation tribunal is bound to be
far-reaching. It is confidently predicted that within a generation
the vast majority of lawsuits will be handled by judges or lawyers
without the aid of a jury and with a large disposition to do justice
in the particular case. As it is now, the chief occupation of lawyers
is to hunt cases in point rather than with the weapons of justice and
equity at hand to bring about justice in the particular case and in a
forthright manner. This is written by one who believes that the
courts are utterly and absolutely essential and that they are the
most indispensable bulwarks of liberty and justice and solidarity
and the perpetuation of free institutions that exist in the world to-day
outside of religion, but in securing these great benefits they do so in
the handling of important matters in the exercise of which function
they should remain forever undisturbed, a learned, fearless, independ­
ent judiciary—forever to be maintained and preserved.

By N e l l e S w a r t z , A . B ., D

ir e c t o r ,

B ureau





I ndustr y

Number of Accidents
NE WOMAN out of every four in New York State works for
wages; that is, 1,250,000 women over 10 years of age are con­
tributing to the economic life of the State.
What are they doing? The largest number, 350,000, are in the
manufacturing industry; domestic service and clerical occupations
claim the next largest group, professional service ranks fourth, trade
fifth, and the remainder are scattered among transportation, agricul­
ture, and public service.
One would have thought by reading the newspapers during the
period of the war that women were new in industry— as a matter of
fact they have always worked and from the very beginning of our
factory system have done a considerable share of the producing of
the world. But new vistas are opening up for women. They are to
be found doing practically every kind of work and entering all the
In following the trend of women’s employment, it is noticeable
that over the 10-year period from 1910 to 1920 the number of women
clerical workers more than trebled. This marked increase reflects
modern tendencies in the business and industrial world; that is, the
increased use of office machinery, improved methods of filing, ac­
counting, and cost keeping. Ail these will doubtless continue to
open up this field of occupational opportunity for women workers in
the future.
The number of women in professional service increased consider­
ably in that decade; the number of women lawyers doubled, as did
the number of nurses. There were twice as many women in trans­
portation pursuits at the end of the decade, and women could be
found as undertakers, stevedores, and teamsters.
Not only has the field of work for women been broadened but also
the length of her service in industry or in the professions has been
greatly increased. While formerly the working woman was to be
found among the younger group who worked only to bridge over the
gap between school and matrimony, now in increasingly large num­
bers married women are continuing to work after marriage or are re­
turning to work after the first few years of marriage. Whereas going
to work after marriage was considered a social stigma a few years
ago, now in terms of the feminist the married woman who works is
the “ emancipated” and “ free” woman.





The girl fresh from college is*not returning to a life of leisure with
her parents but is going on to graduate school to study for a pro­
fession or entering some field of social or allied work. Whether we
like this trend or not, whether we believe that it is best for society
as a whole, women are entering the industrial and professional
groups in larger and larger numbers and must be recognized as an
integral part of our economic life.
Thousands and thousands of women are driven to work because
of economic necessity; some work to raise the standard of living
of their families, and still another group work for their own personal
satisfaction and release.
My discussion with you to-day is limited to one group of women,
the industrial group, and to one of their problems— that is, accidents.
Of the total number of accidents in this State, 93 per cent occur to
males and 7 per cent to females. The reasons for the relatively
small number of accidents to women are obvious. They are not in
any number employed in the most hazardous trades. The building
trade, for example, which furnishes the largest number of accidents
among men, does not employ women.
Figures showing the percentage of accidents to females over a
nine-year period, w^ould seem to indicate that except for a slight
rise after 1918 there has been little change in the proportion of
accidents to females. Undetermined factors such as changes in the
groups covered by the compensation law and changes in the occu­
pational composition of the industrial population so qualify these
figures, however, that they can be used only to suggest trends rather
than prove facts. The most that can be said, then, with respect to
accidents to females is that the proportion is neither increasing
at an alarming rate nor decreasing in marked fashion. With present
figures it is almost impossible to tell whether the slight movement
is upward or downward.

Year ending
June 30—


192 0
192 1

45, 495
51, 213

Compensated accidents
to females 1


3, 457

Year ending
June 30—

Per cent


1923____ _____
1924.............. .......


47, 878
58, 078
76, 216

Compensated accidents
to females 1


3, 346
3, 730
4, 851
5, 464

Per cent


1 Cases tabulated by year of occurrence from 1915 to 1922, by year of final award for 1923 and later years.

Now, while accidents to females are much rarer than to males, the
proportion of accidents to young girls is greater than to young boys.
In the year ending June 30, 1925, 9 per cent of all accidents to males,
23 per cent of those to females, were suffered bv minors. This indi­
cates that in so far as females suffer from industrial accidents they
are likely to have them early in their industrial career, whereas the
industrial accidents suffered by males are much more highly concen­
trated among adults.



Compensated accidents, by age and sex, for the year ending June
30, 1925, are as follows:
I . — Compensated accidents by age and sex

T a b le

[New York State, July 1, 1924, to June 30, 1925]




Years of age

Under 14_______________________
14-15_______________ _________
21 and over____________________

70, 752


Per cent

4, 234


64, 777

Total......... .........................-


Per cent





5, 457
69, 011


Per cent

76, 216




1 Less than one-tenth of 1 per cent.

The industries in which accidents to females occurred are as
T a b le

I I . — Compensated accidents to females by age and industry
[New York State, July 1, 1924, to June 30, 1925]

Years of age

i oiai

Under 14




21 and over

N um ­ Per N um ­ Per N um ­ Per N um ­ Per N u m ­ Per N um ­ Per
ber cent
ber cent
ber cent

Manufacturing____ ____ ____
Transportation and public
Trade. __ ___________ ______
Clerical and personal serv­
ice_____ ___________________
Agriculture _______________
N ot otherwise classified____



















2 100.0

29 100.0

389 100.0

76.7 2,101




15. 7 1, 623


49.6 3,065




8. 6

38.3 1, 787

32. 7

810 100.0 4, 234 100.0 5,464 100.0

i N ot shown where base is less than 20.

Accidents to women occurred chiefly in manufacturing and in
clerical and personal service, with 56 and 33 per cent of all accidents,
respectively. Manufacturing w a more important source of ac­
cidents to minors than adults; 78 per cent of accidents to minors as
opposed to 50 per cent of those to adults occurred in manufacturing.
The reverse was true of clerical and personal service; 13 per cent of
accidents to minors and 38 per cent of those to adults occurred in
clerical and personal service. Nine per cent of accidents to women
occurred in trade.



The largest number of accidents to women in manufacturing
industries occurred in the clothing industry—30 per cent. This
may seem a nonhazardous trade, and most of the accidents were
minor, such as punctures from a needle, but they were uncared for at
the beginning and infection^ developed, which too often meant the
loss of a finger. The textile industry was next with 13 per cent of the
total number. Many of these accidents occurred on looms. Food
products had 12 per cent of all accidents. Some of these were
burns, others from cutting machines. Metal goods was next with
8 per cent. The majority of these occurred on punching and stamp­
ing presses, which are very difficult to guard. Laundries were next
with 7 per cent of all accidents, many of these, occurring on the
ironer, were mashed fingers or burns.
The accidents which occur to those engaged in personal service are
generally to janitors and day workers. While many of these in­
juries are not of a serious nature in the beginning, an uncared-for
finger with a splinter often develops into a serious infection, or a bad
rupture may be caused by lifting heavy objects.
As causes of accidents to women, falls rank first, with 30 per cent
and machinery second, with 24 per cent. Handling of objects and
hand tools cause 14 and 8 per cent of accidents, respectively.
Almost a third of all accidents to women are due to falls—falls on
the level, slipping on wet floors, stumbling over objects, falling
downstairs, etc. What part high-heeled shoes or misfitting shoes
play in the large proportion of women’s accidents due to falls can
only be a guess. However, it is a matter of interest that manufac­
turers are becoming increasingly interested in the kind of shoes
which their employees wear. Shoes run down at the heel, shoes
too loose, can not fail but cause a lack of balance which may result
in an accident.
Accidents to women, occurring on machinery, decrease as the
worker grows older which indicates, generally speaking, that care­
lessness and the spirit of adventure in the young play some part in
the cause of machine accidents. The girl wants to know what would
happen if she operated without a guard—what would happen if she
stuck her finger in, how near she can get her material to the danger
point in the machine— and so curious is she that she often tries with
fatal results. For this reason there is written into the New York
State labor law some restrictions as to the employment of the young
worker on machines. The question arises here, of course, whether
it is better and safer to forbid children to use dangerous machines,
or whether it is detrimental to the training of children to forbid them
using these machines when they are young and adaptable to training.
The State, through its labor law, has taken the position that children
under 16 should be forbidden from operating certain machines. The
law states that “ no child under 16 years of age shall be employed in
operating or assisting in operating any of the following:

Circular or band saws.
Calendar rolls.
Corrugating roll-making machines.
Cracker machinery.



(e) Dough brakes.
(/) Drill presses.
(g) Laundering machinery.
(h) Leather-burnishing machinery.
(i) Metal cutting or stamping machines.
(j) Paper box corner staying machines.
(k) Paper-cutting machines.
(I) Paper lace-making machines.
(m) Picker machines or machines used in picking wool, cotton, hair, or
upholstery material.
(n) Planers.
(o) Power punches or shears.
(p) Printing presses, job or cylinder, with power other than foot.
(q) Rolling-mill machinery.
(r) Sand-paper machinery.
(s) Steam boilers.
(t) Washing, grinding, or mixing machinery.
(u) Wire or iron straightening machinery.
(v) Wood jointers, wood polishers, wood shapers, wood turning, or boring

The State has even said that children under 18 may not be employed
at certain machines or trades: Cleaning machinery while it is in
motion (applies to males under 18, females under 21); operating or
using any emery, polishing, or buffing wheel (applies to males under
18; all females, with certain exceptions for those over 21).
In this connection, it may be well to divert a little from the subject
to tell you that in 1923 a law was passed which was to the effect
that any minor under 18 who is employed in violation of the labor
law and is injured during the course of such employment shall
receive an amount double that which he would receive if legally
employed. The employer himself must pay the additional penalty
and can not insure against such liability.
In enacting the double compensation law the Legislature of the
State of New York Was of the opinion that one of the most effective
ways of preventing illegal employment of children was by requiring
the payment of double compensation for accidents to children em­
ployed in violation of the law. This opinion has been justified in
that immediately upon the enactment of this legislation employers,
through trade journals and other channels, were urged to clean house
and see to it that no child was employed without a working certificate,
nor allowed to work during prohibited hours or on prohibited ma­
chines. The effect of this educational work among employers is, of
course, immeasurable.
The double compensation law became effective on July 1, 1923.
During the first year the law was in effect, of the 674 minors under
18 who received compensation for industrial accidents, 29, or 4.3
per cent, were awarded double compensation because their employ­
ment violated one or more provisions of the law governing the
employment of minors.
All but one of these 29 minors illegally employed were under 16.
In the entire group there were 75 children under 16 years of age, so
that the number receiving double compensation represents more
than one-third of the entire number in that age group.
All but two of the accidents doubly compensated were caused by
machinery. Eleven machines were punch or stamping presses, 4
were rolling or shaping machines, 3 were button-making machines,
3 were printing presses, 2 were elevators, 2 mangles, 1 a quilling



machine, and 1 a cutting machine. Children under 16 are specifically
prohibited by the labor law from operating these machines.
What was found true of the whole group of accidents is largely
true of this group—that they occurred in most instances while the
machines were in operation; that they resulted largely in injuries
to upper extremities; that cuts and bruises were the most frequent
sorts of injuries.
The three most serious permanent disabilities in this double com­
pensation group were a 98, a 95, and a 55 per cent loss of use of the
hand; in two cases a finger was totally disabled, in two cases there
were 50 per cent, in one case 3 3^ per cent loss of use.
On the whole, the temporary disabilities in this group were of
short duration ranging from 2% to 8 weeks 1and averaging 4.3 weeks
for the 19 with a determinable period of disability.
Although the temporary disabilities were of short duration and
consequently the compensation awards were small, nevertheless the
total penalties suffered by employers for violation of the child labor
law in these 29 cases are an impressive sum. In addition to the
regular awards borne by the insurance companies the 29 cases of dou­
ble compensation cost employers a total penalty of $13,119.48 or an
average of more than $450 per case. To be sure, the average was
brought up by three or four very heavy penalties for serious injuries.
The largest penalty was one of about $5,000 for the almost complete
loss of use of a hand. One $2,600 penalty was uncollectible by the
claimant because the employer went into bankruptcy.
Location of Injury
It is the hands of the worker that are most frequently exposed to
accident hazards. It is the hands that put the work into the machine
and the hands that hold the tools. As they are most subject to
exposure, so are they most valuable to the worker in the successful
pursuit of his employment. They are his stock in trade, and an in­
jury to them may change the whole course of his industrial career.
In a study of 500 injured women suffering from permanent partial
injuries, made by the bureau of women in industry, it was found
that one-fifth of the accidents resulted in impairment to the hands
proper and almost two-thirds to the fingers of the workers. More
than half of the hand injuries and approximately three-fourths of the
finger injuries occurred on power working machines.
An analysis of the nature of injuries showed amputations to be the
cause of about one-third of all injuries to these women. Cuts and
lacerations were the nature of nearly one-quarter of the injuries, and
these again occurred largely to the fingers and hands.
As far as women are concerned, the loss of a finger or hand is serious
from an economic point of view. From this same study of 500 women
suffering from permanent partial injuries, we found that at the end of
an average period of four years, over one-fifth (21.2 per cent), of the
women were still out of industry as a result of their accidents; over a
quarter (26.4 per cent), though they had returned to work, had not
1 N o compensation allowed for first two weeks unless total disability exceeded seven weeks. Duration
of disability was, therefore, two weeksl onger than number of weeks for which compensation was awarded,
in the case of accidents causing disability lasting seven weeks or less. [T h e waiting time was reduced to
seven days, by amendments, ch. 318, Acts of 1924.]



been able to regain their earning capacity; over half (52.4 per cent)
had succeeded in maintaining their earning capacity. From an eco­
nomic point of view, then, only about half of these women were able to
regain their former earning capacity. From a social point of view a
woman is apt to suffer because of her injuries more than a man.
The loss of self-assurance which so often comes to a woman with the
realization that she is maimed or disfigured presents a serious social
handicap. There were women whose self-consciousness was almost
equivalent to physical suffering. As might be expected, these women
were young. They felt the disfigurement of their injuries keenly,
and it made them shy and backward about meeting people. A
number of these girls said they always tried to hide their hands “ in
company.” One girl felt everyone was looking at her hand. Another
was ashamed to apply for a better position on account of her finger.
Facial disfigurement, even though very slight, always caused
There were some women who felt their personal disfigurement had
caused strained relations with their husbands. Some of these
women had separated from their husbands since their accidents.
Some girls traced broken engagements to their disfigurements. One
of these reported that the man she was to marry couldn’t bear the
thought of eating food that she had prepared with her maimed hand.
The accident had a contrasting effect upon the lives of other
girls, hastening them into matrimony. They reported they felt too
discouraged to try to readjust to an industrial job and so hurried
their marriages.
Even for the woman who rehabilitates satisfactorily in industry,
an injury which impairs her efficiency as a housekeeper is a serious
handicap. With such a high proportion of finger injuries, house­
work became difficult for a great many women. There were 104
women who reported the injury had impaired their general useful­
ness. Their handicap was so serious as to make it necessary for the
women to have constant assistance. Of these, some were unable to
care for their children, one woman being unable to lift her baby
because of a stiff arm and two being unable to bathe or clothe their
children. There were five women who reported they were unable
to do any of their housework. Sweeping, dusting, or cooking had
become impossible. Either some member of the family was helping
out or some one had been hired to do the work.
Some women who reported impairment of general usefulness were
able to do their own work, but said they were clumsy in sweeping and
dusting, broke many dishes, or had difficulty in preparing their
vegetables and in cooking. One old woman who kept house for
her sons said that they were very impatient with her because she
did not keep the house neat and because she broke so many dishes.
She did her best, but since her accident “ everything she touched
seemed to go wrong.”
Laundry work was difficult or impossible for 128 women. Many
complained of extreme pain when they put their Jiands in water,
others of inability to wring out the clothes. In 31 cases the women
were compelled to send their laundry out, thus incurring an added
weekly expense.



Some women complained of difficulty in doing their sewing and
mending. Finger injuries made the handling of the needle awkward,
and eye injuries made sewing impossible. One girl who had been
accustomed to make all her own dresses and hats was now completely
incapacitated for sewing. Another woman had earned about $200
a year doing embroidery work in her leisure time. Through her
accident she not only lost the additional earnings but was robbed of
the satisfaction and pleasure which this work brought her.
Recreational activities were curtailed as a result of finger injuries.
A few women were compelled to give up piano or violin playing.
Only three of these were professional players but all sacrificed a
social talent which had brought them considerable pleasure. One
of the professionals had gone into a factory temporarily to tide over
a dull season and to earn a little additional money to continue her
study— the third day she lost two fingers of her right hand.
Eye injuries also cut off social activities. Some women whose
eyes were affected found difficulty in reading and writing. Some
found their impaired eyesight a hindrance in reading music, and
another’s special grievance was that she could not go to the movies.
Difficulty in walking was mentioned by some women who had leg
injuries. They suffered even in doing their own housework and, as
one woman expressed it, she was “ too tired to have any social life.”
Two of the younger girls felt unhappy because they could no longer
Probably no scheme can be devised which will compensate workers
for the serious social handicap which follows a permanent injury.
But at least a continued emphasis can be made upon the heavy social
and economic cost of such injuries as a further incentive toward
accident prevention.
The development of industry to-day is such that too much emphasis
can not be put on accident prevention. Machine power is replacing
man power. Statistics show us that fewer men are each year pro­
ducing more goods. For example, a 16-year-old girl can by means of
a machine do the work formerly done by a number of adult men.
These machines, manned by young people and women, introduce the
problem of speed, of monotony, of noise, all contributors to fatigue,
which in turn plays its part in causing accident. One way of elimi­
nating fatigue is by adoption of shorter work days, rest periods, vaca­
tions, and a wage sufficient to enable the worker to provide for himself
recreation and diversion. Modern industry, highly technical and
specialized as it has become, introduces new elements which must
be dealt with from the point of view of accident prevention.
Machines can be 100 per cent guarded, industry can be 100 per
cent equipped against the possibilities of accidents, and yet accidents
will occur, unless we keep constantly in mind the human factors
which cause accidents. Safety education— as important a part as it
plays—can accomplish only so much unless going hand in hand with it
there is greater and greater effort toward the elimination of un­
necessary fatigue.

By R i c h a b d A . F l i n n , A . M ., C h i e f , D

iv is io n



m ployment

The Public Employment Office, the Employer, and the
HE employment division of the New York State Department
of Labor aims to help the employer by finding for him the
right worker for his job and to help the work seeker by find­
ing suitable work for him. In the year ended December 31, 1927,
the division of employment obtained jobs for 58,457 men, 51,324
women, 14,694 boys, and 10,097 girls, making a grand total of
134,572 placements during the past year. In the year 1914 legisla­
tion was enacted providing for the establishment of public employ­
ment offices, and the offices were opened in January, 1915. Hun­
dreds of thousands of persons were unemployed at that time, and rela­
tively more unskilled workers were idle as compared with skilled
mechanics. When employment conditions improved, the skilled
workers were the first to go back to their former jobs, and it was
sometime later when the untrained worker was able to find a job.


Fitting the Young Worker to the Job Will Help to Keep Him
Even at times when there were a great many persons out of work,
employers called for some skilled men, and it was often necessary to
send letters to applicants notifying them that special types of jobs
were available. On the other hand, when a call was received for a
laboring job, or one which required no training or experience, there
were always plenty of men waiting hopefully at the unskilled desk.
It was evident, then, that the big job of the public employment office
was to fit the young worker to the job and help him to become a
trained worker. In later years when he had mastered a trade and
grown to manhood, he would be less likely, in times of business
depression, to lose his job or, if the worst came, to be idle as long as
his unskilled neighbor. It is the aim, then, of the public employ­
ment office to fit the young worker to the job and to help him obtain
work which is reasonably permanent. We know that persons are
away from their work for other reasons. Ill health and accidents
are two important causes of enforced idleness. As we shall see later,
the public employment office strives to select jobs which will not be
apt to cause ill health or accidents to the particular individuals chosen
for these jobs,




Cooperation Between the School and the Employment Office
In fitting the young worker to the job, it is necessary for the place­
ment worker to learn as much as she can about the mental and the
physical ability of the individual child. In the early days of juvenileplacement work by the State department of labor in many cases it
was difficult to obtain the school record of the child. Some teachers
who were very busy with the many duties of a graduating-class
teacher did not find time to furnish the information desired by the
placement worker. The record of a troublesome boy who did well in
manual training, because he liked the work, and who had failed in
academic subjects because his interest had not been aroused, was
obtained with great difficulty. His teacher was no longer interested
in him or in his employment problems.
The establishment of the part-time or continuation school brought
the labor department into closer contact with the board of education,
in many cities. Branch offices of the public employment bureau were
opened in several continuation schools. At the present time, in
Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and in New York City, place­
ment workers of the State department of labor cope with the employ­
ment problems of boys and girls attending the continuation school.
Even after these children have reached the age of 17, they are per­
mitted to appfy for work and after they become 18 years of age they
are urged to use the services of the adult department.
The School Gives a Record of the Mental Ability of the Child
The grammar school or the high school last attended by the child
forwards his school record to the continuation school, and it is avail­
able for inspection by the placement worker. Frequently boys and
girls ask for jobs which require skill in arithmetic, spelling, composi­
tion, or penmanship, and the placement worker finds it advisable to
consult a child’s marks in these subjects. It is almost obvious that
some of these children will be rejected after an interview by the
employer, and yet they insist upon being sent to the job. * One of
the most convincing arguments—to persuade an employer to hire his
help through the school employment office—is that the placement
worker will save him the trouble of weeding out the unsatisfactory
applicants and will send him only suitable workers. Some boys and
girls in their anxiety to obtain work are inclined to exaggerate or to
estimate too highly their school ratings or their training and experience.
In addition to the records above mentioned, the placement worker
has available a most valuable and trustworthy source of information—
namely, the present class teacher of the child in the continuation
school. The employment registration card kept by the placement
worker contains a summary of the child’s school record and frequently
an opinion by the continuation school teacher of the type of work
suited for the child.
Record of the Physical Examination of the Child
A medical officer makes a physical examination of the child prior
to enrollment in the continuation school and sends a record of it to
the employment certificating office. This record is usually read by



the placement worker, and a notation is made on the child’s employ­
ment registration card of his age, height, weight, physical defects,
and other facts to be considered when selecting a job for this par­
ticular child. One should not assume that a certain child is physically
able to perform any and every kind of work merely because he has
received written permission from a medical officer to go to work.
Sometimes the boy or the girl may barely pass the minimum require­
ments, but the certificate is issued because that first job may be
light, pleasant work and, in fact, may tend to help the physical con­
dition of the child. However, the child may hold that job only a
short time and may then obtain, through its own efforts, a position
where the work is heavy or a strain upon the child’s body. The
placement worker consults the employment registration card before
selecting the child for the position and considers carefully his physical
fitness for the work. Further mention will be made of this certificate
of physical fitness.
Duties of the Placement Worker
In general, the placement worker of this department finds suitable
employment for children who are out of w^ork and assists employers
in obtaining competent workers. During certain months of the year,
particularly in September and in October, some employers find it
difficult to fill their vacant positions because the boys and the girls
desired work only during the summer vacation and return to high
school. The placement worker, like the ambitious teacher, is con­
stantly studying and observing in order that she may acquire further
knowledge, training, and experience in her work. Working condi­
tions in industry are changing each day. The placement worker,
as we shall see later, visits as many factories and other places of
employment as possible in order to discuss with the employer the
opportunities in his plant for young workers.
The Child’s Employment Registration Card
The placement worker usually calls the child’s application for work
merely the “ registration” card. To-day, however, w e shall refer to
it as the “ employment” registration card in order that teachers may
not confuse it with the enrollment or registration card w^hich is kept
by the class teacher or the school clerk. The employment registra­
tion card should contain all of the information which can be secured
about the child’s mental and physical qualifications for employment.
The card contains space for the child’s school record, his likes and
his dislikes, his favorite school subjects, and for mention of any
physical or mental handicaps or advantages to be considered when
selecting a job for him. Space is provided for a record of all his
jobs, whether obtained by the school placement worker or through
his own efforts, from his first job up to the latest one. This record
is of value not only to the individual child during the years when he
is in contact with the placement office, but also as a case history con­
taining a record of experiments, failures, and successes of importance
to the placement worker.



Employer’s Occupation Card
An employer when calling for workers may ask for various kinds
of employees, who will be engaged at jobs where the nature of the
work is different or where varying degrees of training or experience
are required. For example, an employer may ask for an errand boy,
for a stock clerk, and for a typist. A separate form is used for each
type of work, and that is why it is called the employer’s occupation
card. One card, therefore, will contain on its face a description of
the work to be performed by the errand boy or by the stock clerk, as the
case may be. The reverse side will contain the names of the boys
who have been sent to the employer as applicants for that particular
position and the results of their interview. The occupation card for
an errand boy to work for one employer may describe an entirely
different job from that of an errand boy wanted by another employer.
An errand boy for a printer may be a tall, strong, 16-year-old boy
able to carry bundles weighing 30 or 40 pounds, while the errand boy
for an insurance broker might be a small, neat, careful, and trust­
worthy boy whose duty it would be to deliver promptly to firms in
the business district important papers, such as insurance policies and
other papers, weighing only a few ounces. Obviously the small chap
could not fill the big fellow’s job, and the latter would lack the per­
sonality for the other position. The occupation card, therefore,
should contain a job specification and a job analysis.
Selecting the Worker for the Job
In selecting the type of work for an individual boy or girl, the
placement worker has many things to consider. First, she learns
from the child his likes and dislikes in relation to work; secondly, the
various kinds of work which he is mentally and physically able to
perform; thirdly, the types of jobs available in the district and the
employers who will hire boys of his type. Employers, too, have their
likes and dislikes. One successful and good-natured business man
can always be persuaded to find a job in his office for a boy with red
hair, because it has been his experience on those particular jobs
that red-headed boys are hustlers and satisfy his needs. Many
boys and girls ask for office work. After a test shows that they
are poor in penmanship, spelling, and arithmetic, and it seems
unlikely that they will succeed in office work, the placement worker
may suggest that they learn a trade or accept suitable factory work.
They may be urged to give more attention to these academic subjects
in their continuation-school work. These boys and girls are not
told that they can not succeed in office work, but that it will be
necessary for them to become more proficient in order to pass the
tests given by many employers. Some boys and girls who enjoyed
their shop work in the upper grades or in the vocational school
know what they want to do, and the right opportunity is usually
found for them. Many children say that they can “ do anything.”
They are the real problems. Their school record in academic and
in shop work is given careful consideration. The continuationschool teacher is consulted. The placement worker recalls to her
mind many kinds of jobs in factories which she has visited and talks



to the^child about these jobs. In some cases the child has listened
attentively to the teacher’s discussions of various occupations and is
interested and would like to try one of them. Always it is the pur­
pose of the placement worker to select a job which will lead that
individual child to the attainment eventually of a suitable occupa­
tion in which he will be a useful citizen and of service to the com­
Few Children Think About Their Life Work
Many boys and girls, however, give little thought to the choice of
an occupation. They do not give any attention or reflection to
the work which they see being performed by men and women. They
do not realize that in a few years they, too, will be men and women
and at occupations which probably will be their life work. To many
girls work is a task for an indefinite time until they marry. They
say that office work affords better opportunities to meet eligible
men. Girls who might earn excellent wages at light, clean work in
garment factories frequently prefer routine clerical work in offices.
Many widows, some with children to support, formerly were unskilled
office workers and now find it very difficult to obtain employment.
On the other hand a woman who has a trade usually finds that her
skill and not her age is the important factor in fixing her wages.
Many boys do not think about their life work, and the size of the
pay envelope or the easy job is the thought occupying their minds.
Other boys, who are interested in an occupation, do not realize
that the trade they wish to learn has work hazards which will be
present every day during all the years they follow it. A careful,
skilled carpenter in good physical condition is not apt to be injured.
However, he may be the victim of an accident caused by a fellow
workman. Children should be taught by teachers and by placement
workers that some occupations have greater risks of accidents than
Mental and Physical Misfits
Boys and girls often find their first job for themselves, and fre­
quently it is not suitable. They take it because it is the only work
they can find, or because they are tired of school and wish to have
money to spend. Many girls when selecting a job do not give that
matter as much attention as they do to the choice of a new hat.
A girl does not accept the first hat offered to her. Even though it
may at first sight appear becoming or fit, nevertheless she will examine
several others before making a definite choice, and she will consider
several points before she makes her decision. Isn’t it unfortunate
that the slow-witted girl of 16, who never seems to grasp things, took
a job at a stamping press. Her story, after a serious accident, was
pitiful. A girl friend told her about the job and the pay, but nothing
about its dangers. She would not have taken the job if she had taken
the time to discuss the job with her teacher or with the placement
worker. Boys sometimes find jobs which will lead to good positions,
but they lack the education necessary for advancement to the better
jobs. These boys may work for one or two years and find that boys
with a better education are being promoted while they remain in a
7679°—28----- 8



rut. These poorly trained boys drift from job to job and often are
stranded in early manhood, when they should have reached the goal
attained by their former companions.
Doing the Dangerous Work
Many of the boys, in school to-day, will be doing the dangerous
work of to-morrow. There are those who must serve the general
public. They must provide light, heat, power, and railroad service.
Some of the occupations in this industry are dangerous, and yet
somebody must do the work. Houses must be built. Skyscrapers
must be erected; machinery must be constructed; chemicals must
be made. The placement worker in the public emplo3^ment office
must be familiar with the hazards in industry. After she has learned
what work the child likes, she must judge if he is fit for it. If a boy
selects a job which has hazards, they are pointed out to him and he
is cautioned how to avoid them. Boys and girls who are mentally
or physically unfit for certain work are not sent by the placement
worker to those jobs. If they, of their own initiative, find such jobs
and are injured, it is not the fault of the placement worker. Occasion­
ally a continuation-school child has been injured at work, but it is
generally found that the child himself obtained the job without
consulting the placement worker.
What is Known About Jobs
As a general rule a child should not be sent to a job until a visit
has been made to the place of employment to learn the nature and
the conditions of work. Sometimes teachers hear about a job, and
without knowing anything more about it than the brief description
given by the employer, they send a boy or a girl to the job. It is the
practice of the employment division of the State department of labor
not only to visit every place of employment in which a job has been
obtained for a boy or a girl, but to make a complete report of the visit.
The employer’s record card, as it is called, contains all of the informa­
tion necessary about working conditions for boys and girls to enable
the placement worker to fit the right child to the job. Each juvenile
occupation in that particular place of employment is described and
analyzed. What is the nature of the work? Is it heavy or light, or
must it be performed with speed? Does the child sit at a bench
doing handwork or on a machine? Or does he stand at a floor machine?
Is the work monotonous, dirty, or wet? Does it involve a nervous
strain or a physical strain? What are the conditions of work?
Does the child stand or sit? Are there operations of stooping,
moving, reaching, or lifting, and to what extent? What are some of
the qualifications for work? What degree of hearing or sight is
necessary? Of accuracy, neatness, or cleanliness? Should the
worker be short, medium, or tall? Does the work require a person of
average mental ability, above the average, or can it be performed by
a person below average? The card contains a brief description of the
manufacturing processes or duties of the position, and these are
explained by the placement worker to the child seeking work. There
are many other items on this card which help the placement worker



sometimes to find an exceptional opportunity for a pupil who has
special talent or, on the other hand, for the handicapped child who
is limited to certain kinds of work.
Follow-up Work
After a job has been found for the child he is encouraged to return
from time to time to the placement worker for further advice and
information. The continuation-school boy and girl can be inter­
viewed conveniently on the day designated for their school attend­
ance. Sometimes the placement worker notifies the teacher to send
the child to the placement office on that day. The child may have
been placed temporarily in a certain position, and the placement
worker may have a more desirable job to offer him. At regular inter­
vals of one month, three months, etc., follow-up letters are sent both
to the employer and to the employed child asking whether every­
thing is satisfactory. If the child complains about work conditions,
the employer is visited. The work may be heavy, dusty, or dan­
gerous. Accident hazards are removed if possible. This follow-up
letter reminds the child that the placement worker is interested in
his progress, and it often causes the employer to pay closer attention
to that individual child. He knows that someone is looking after
the industrial welfare of that child, and frequently he takes a kindly
interest, too. Complaints which, if not adjusted promptly, might
lead to a change in jobs are received from the child or from the
employer. The employer may report that the child is tardy, or lazy,
or careless. The placement worker talks it over with the boy. It
has been found in some cases that a scolding by an employer leads to
the sudden quitting of the job, whereas a warning by the placement
worker frequently results in an improvement in the boy’s work and
encourages good habits. One of the most serious faults of working
children is that of quitting a job without a definite promise of another
position. Much unemployment results. Follow-up work encourages
boys and girls to tell their troubles to the placement worker, and
many grievances are removed or explained away by the placement
worker. At those seasons of the year when jobs are hard to find
children who are not entirely satisfied with their jobs are urged to
keep them until new work can be found.
Paying Attention and Following Instructions
The teacher knows which boys and girls are habitually inattentive.
Some children do not hear the instructions, or do not thoroughly
understand them; others forget, or are dreamers. Their minds are
not on their work. The placement worker appreciates information
from the teacher concerning this lack of attention. Not only does
the placement worker refuse to place the child at machine work, if she
knows that he is inattentive, or will not follow instructions, but she
warns the careful, attentive boy and girl to insist on getting suffi­
cient instructions from the foreman before operating the machine.



Prohibited Occupations and Hours of Employment
The placement worker insists on the legal proof of age from the
child. The provisions of law relating to the hours of work permitted
to children, prohibited occupations on dangerous machines, and of
certain jobs which may injure the health or morals of girls are
observed to the letter. The child's date of birth, as certified by the
board of health, is recorded on the employment registration card
and consulted whenever the child applies for work. No child under
age is knowingly sent to a prohibited occupation. However, for
example, a boy may be hired as an errand boy or a girl as a packer
and within a few days be transferred by a foreman to a prohibited
occupation. Some small employers may allege that our placement
worker sent the child to a prohibited job, but our records prove
otherwise. More than 25,000 positions are obtained annually for
boys and girls, and there are few, if any, cases in which these children
have been injured on the job which our placement workers have
selected for them. Moreover, some boys and girls themselves found
jobs in which accidents were possible, and later applied to the place­
ment worker for work with less risk of accident. In many cases
more desirable work was found. The first factory job may not be
dangerous, but it may lead in later years when the boy is 18 years
of age, to hazardous work. The placement worker is familiar with
hazardous work for men and women because the State department of
labor finds jobs annually for more than 100,000 men and women in
almost every type of work. The placement worker has available the
records of the adult departments, and informal conferences of the
entire employment staff keep her posted on working conditions of
men and women. She has a fairly accurate picture of the work the
children of to-day will be doing in a few years if they continue in
these lines of work.
Contented Trained Workers
In fitting the young worker to the job it is often a problem to find
a place in a particular occupation desired by the boy or girl. The
child seeking his own job rarely knows where to find many of the
opportunities. He is like a stranger without map or guide seeking
his way in a large city. He may waste much time in looking for a
certain job and, not finding it, accept work with which he is not
satisfied. Again, the boy who wants to be an electrician’s helper
may visit many shops and be turned away. If he applies to the
placement worker and is fit for the job, she usually can get him a
position if no such job is available in her files. She telephones to
many employers who have called upon the office for this type of
help and persuades one to give him a chance. The boy who is
fitted for his job is interested in his work and in the machines which
he will learn to operate. He will stay on the job and in time become
a good mechanic and a contributor to the prosperity of his commu­
nity. The young worker who is a misfit becomes dissatisfied and
frequently changes his job; he is careless; he stumbles and falls in
his unfamiliar new place of employment; he is inattentive; he plays
tricks and is not interested in his work. Some girls have similar
faults and, if they are not fitted for their work, they dislike work,



grow lazy, and remain idle when work is plentiful. Those who are
happy at their work make a valuable contribution to the welfare of
the community.
Employment Problems of Employers
Contented workers and happy employers are generally found
under the same roof. There are, however, some employers who
complain that they can not find boys and girls or that the boys
and girls of to-day do not stay long on the job. Employers with
attractive working conditions, adequate light, heat, and ventilation,
as well as reasonable wages, find no difficulty in obtaining sufficient
help. It is true, however, that many boys and girls quit good jobs
for trivial reasons. Some expect promotion, in pay as well as in
type of work, every few months. Others expect to learn a trade in
a year and will not spend the three or four years necessary to become
a skilled worker. The placement worker finds it necessary every
few weeks to counsel, to persuade, to coax, and perhaps to beg
certain boys and girls to stay in their present positions and to wait
patiently for advancement. She tells them from actual cases the
stories of other boys and girls in these same places of employment
who persevered and ultimately were happy in the possession of a
useful trade and excellent earning capacity. Employers, then, who
provide suitable working conditions and opportunities for advance­
ment find little difficulty in obtaining and keeping young workers.
Moreover, whenever the placement worker has no immediate job
for a deserving boy or girl, her first act is to telephone to these
employers and offer them the first opportunity to interview these
children. One employer complained that continuation-school boys
never worked long for him. The matter was investigated and it
was learned that the boys whom he had hired had themselves sought
the jobs and had not been selected by the placement worker. They
were searching merely for a job and after the novelty of the new
work had worn off they were no longer interested and decided to
try something else. The complaint of that employer may be said to
be general, because you often hear it said that our present educa­
tional system does not adequately train children for business or for
industry. It is not my intention to discuss at this time arguments
to support or disprove that complaint. I am sure, however, that
we will all concede that not only continuation-school pupils, but
even high-school graduates and some college graduates, take posi­
tions in industry or in business principally because they need a job,
and largely because they have made no analysis of the requirements
and opportunities in that particular line of work or their fitness for
it. Teachers can be proud of their work when their pupils, entering
into industry, meditate on the various types of work and their
individual fitness for special jobs.
Accident Prevention for the Older Youth
The best time to educate working boys and girls in accident pre­
vention is before they lose all contact with the school. Education
in accident prevention may be said to be a continuous process as.



related to employment work in the schools. The placement worker
touches upon it in her daily work with each individual child, not only
when the boy or girl is being sent to a job, but also when interviewing
employed children as a part of the follow-up work previously men­
tioned. When applicants reach the age of 18, the employment records
containing their work history for several years are transferred to the
adult department. The young men and women are selected, there­
after for jobs based upon their mental and physical equipment as
well as their previous employment record. Care is taken not to send
men and women to jobs which seem likely to prove injurious to them.
Special Activities of the Public Employment Offices
The men’s division and the women’s division have several depart­
ments each handling a special type of clerical, skilled, or unskilled
workers. Applicants who are farm hands, mechanics, laborers,
clerical workers, or professional men and women are interviewed by
specially trained placement workers, and suitable positions are
obtained for them without charge. These public employment
offices are maintained by the State department of labor in Albany,
Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Elmira, Binghamton, and
Oneonta. There are also four offices in New York City, in the
Bronx, in Brooklyn, and in Manhattan, and also a negro office in
Harlem. The work of each office embraces a district of several coun­
ties. Whenever there is a demand for workers which can not be sup­
plied by that district office, surplus applicants are referred by the
other district offices to fill the job.
Teachers’ Employment Bureau
Two years ago, at the suggestion of Industrial Commissioner
Hamilton, a teachers’ employment bureau was established with a
central office in New York City. Branches are located in each of the
cities mentioned above. Teachers seeking positions file a special
application form, at the nearest district office, together with a
duplicate copy which is forwarded to the central office. Information
concerning vacancies is obtained from school superintendents and
principals throughout the State, and applicants are notified of the
vacancies for which they are qualified. A special leaflet, giving
a brief description of the work of this teachers’ bureau, will be
distributed to those attending this course of lectures.

By A l e x a n d e r A . T

atjsk y,

L abor B


s s is t a n t


u r e a u of th e




e n e r a l in

e p ar tm e n t of



harge of th e


Functions of the Attorney General
TT TNDER the State departments law there is provided a civil
department in the State government under article 5 of the
constitution (ch. 78 of the consolidated laws). Under
section 180 of the law, there shall be in the State government a
department of law. The head of that department shall be the
attorney general.
The organization of the attorney general’s office was continued as
the organization of the department of law. Attorney General
Albert Ottinger is the counsel and legal adviser of the industrial
commissioner (who is the administrative head of the department of
labor) and also the counsel and legal adviser to all of the department’s
offices and bureaus throughout the State of New York. The at­
torney general maintains an office located in the building of the
department of labor in New York City, with a staff of assistants,
deputies, and attorneys, and represents the department in all actions
and proceedings brought by or against the department.
The attorney general is also the attorney of record in the prosecu­
tions of all appeals taken from awards and decisions by employers
and insurance carriers in compensation cases. The costs of the pro­
ceedings and the services rendered to the claimants in connection
therewith are free of any charge whatsoever.
The attorney general also is the attorney of record in the prosecu­
tion of all violations of the labor laws, which are referred to the
attorney general’s office by the Department of Labor of the State of
New York.
The labor laws are administered by the industrial commissioner
and under section 21 of the labor law, the commissioner is the ad­
ministrative head of the department, and shall enforce all of the
provisions of the labor law and of the industrial code; and shall cause
proper inspections to be made of all factories and mercantile estab­
lishments and to enforce the laws prescribed and make investigations
of the conditions of women in industry and inquire into the cause of
strikes and industrial controversies.
The State industrial board, consisting of five members, one of
whom is the chairman, is empowered to make, amend, and repeal
rules for carrying into effect the provisions of the labor law and
to prescribe means and methods to effectuate such provisions. It has
power to hear and determine all claims for compensation under the
workmen’s compensation law and to require medical services for in­
jured employees. In this connection the board is assisted by referees




appointed by the industrial commissioner, who exercise all other
powers and duties exclusive of purely administrative functions.
The rules of the industrial board are made for the proper sanitation
and for guarding against and minimizing fire hazards, personal
injuries, and diseases; the construction, alteration, and maintenance of
structures relating to factories, factory buildings, and mercantile
establishments, it being the intent of the legislature in empowering
the board to make rules so that all places to which the laws apply
shall be so constructed, equipped, and conducted as to provide reason­
able and adequate protection to the lives, health, and safety of all
persons employed therein.
In the event that there are any practical difficulties in carrying
out any of the provisions of the labor laws or rules of the board
affecting the construction or alteration of buildings, etc., any person
who may be affected by such provision or rule may petition the board
for a variation, by notifying the board or by making application for
a hearing on such petition, and after the board has heard the persons
so affected by any provision or rale a resolution is adopted de­
scribing conditions under which the variation shall be permitted.
If the decision is unfavorable to the person so affected thereby, he
may bring an action in the supreme court of the State for the determi­
nation of the validity or reasonableness of such rule or provision of
the labor law, which action is really in the nature of an appeal from
the determination of the board, and then, if the person affected thereby
is dissatisfied with the judgment or order of the supreme court, he
may go to the appellate courts to have the matter finally adjudicated.
The labor laws relate to sanitation in factories and mercantile
establishments; to proper ventilation and sanitary workrooms;
to prevention of accidents on elevators, or machinery; to fire protection,
requiring a requisite number of exits; to working hours for women and
minors; to occupation of children; and to numerous other conditions.
Failure, on the part of those who are responsible, to obey and comply
with the orders of the department gives rise to prosecutions.
Before, however, any of these prosecutions are instituted, the
parties are given ample notice of the noncompliance of an order or
violation of the law, and after having received notice of the noncompliance of an order or violation of the law, there is, in addition
thereto, a departmental calendar which contains the names of such
persons or firms who fail to comply with the law, and the person or
firm is summoned to appear before the director of factory inspection,
or other person who may be designated to preside at such hearings,
and to state any reason for the noncompliance of any violation, and
if he can not give any good or sufficient reason for noncompliance,
he is warned by the person presiding at the hearing that in the
event he refuses or neglects to carry out the order within a reasonable
time that prosecution will be instituted against such person or
Now, I have attempted to show the procedure preliminary to
instituting actions against persons or firms who violate the labor
The early factory laws provided no special offices for their enforce­
ment. It w as assumed that complaints would be made by employees
who happened to be injured, and it was merely provided that the



ordinary officers attached to the court, such as sheriffs, policemen,
prosecuting attorneys, should attend to the prosecutions on com­
plaint of such employees, but as the years went by it was found that
the laws could not be enforced in that manner. Employees would
not make complaints against their employers for fear of being dis­
charged. Officials would be lax in enforcing the laws. Then,
beginning in the decade of the sixties, there was created a special
State police, known as factory inspectors, whose duty it was to
investigate the conditions in the factories, to get their own evidence
of violations, and then to conduct the prosecutions themselves. The
first State to appoint these special police was Massachusetts. The
system of factory inspection in the State of New York was adopted
in 1886 by the passage of an act to regulate the employment of
women and children in manufacturing establishments, and to provide
for the appointment of inspectors to enforce the same.
The chief object of the inspector is to secure evidence for prosecu­
tion against violators of the law. After the inspector has discovered
any violations, the matter is presented by the inspector to one of the
counsel of the department of law, who is assigned to receive the
evidence, and determines if there is a case made put that will probably
result in a conviction when tried in the court. If counsel is satisfied
with the evidence presented by the inspector, the department of law
prepares an information or complaint based upon the evidence pre­
sented. The inspector then appears before a magistrate and swears
to the complaint, upon which the magistrate issues a summons, and
the same is then served by the inspector on the defendant.
The trial of labor cases in New York, Kings, and Bronx Counties,
is held in the Municipal Term Courts. In Queens and Richmond
Counties they are tried before a magistrate in the district court.
In other counties in outlying districts the cases are tried before a
justice of the peace.
If the defendant waives his right to be tried in the Court of Special
Sessions, his case may be tried in the municipal term of the counties
of New York, Kings, and Bronx. In Queens and Richmond Counties,
likewise, if the defendant waives his right to be tried in a court of
special sessions, the case is tried before a magistrate. In up-State
cases, some of them come up before a justice of the peace for hearing;
he has jurisdiction to hear and determine, sitting as a special sessions
court under section 56 of the criminal code.
Under section 1275 of the penal law:
Any person who violates or does not comply with any provision of the labor
law or any provision of the industrial code, or any rule, regulation, or lawful order
of the State industrial commissioner or industrial board, is guilty of a misde­
meanor, or upon conviction shall be punished for a first offense by a fine of not
less than $20 and not more than $50; for a second offense by a fine of not less
than $50 and not more than $250, or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days,
or by both such fine and imprisonment; and fora third offense by a fine of not less
than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 60 days, or by both such fine
and imprisonment.

The defendant is called upon to plead. If he pleads guilty, and if
the case is one for noncompliance with an order, the case is often
immediately disposed of.
Now, we come to the problems that confront counsel in the trial
of a case for the violation of the law, and the question to be decided
very often is one of—



Constitutionality of Laws Enacted by the Legislature
In questions of constitutionality, the question really to be decided
is the conformity of the law with the constitution.
It is then the duty of the court to investigate the question as to
whether ther6 is really an evil condition that needs to be remedied;
whether this condition is a menace to the public or whether the
statute is merely a benefit to private individuals without public
benefit; whether under the actual conditions the legislature con­
fiscates property; or whether there was discrimination and denial of
equal protection under the enacted law.
In the case of Lochner v. New York (198 U. S. 45) where a 10-hour
law for bakers was tested, the court had before it only a limited
amount of general information on the subject without any special
investigation, the majority ruled that the facts were not conclusive
to warrant such legislation for the following reasons:
W e think the limit of the police power has been reached and passed in this
case. There is in our judgment no reasonable foundation for holding this to be
necessary or appropriate as a health law to safeguard the public health or the
health of the individuals, who are following the trade of a baker. W e think that
there can be fair doubt that the trade of a baker in and of itself is not an unhealthy
one to that degree which would authorize the legislature to interfere with the
right of labor, and with the right of free contract on the part of the individual
either as employer or employee.

The court further states in their opinion:
That there must be more than a mere fact of the possible existence of some
small amount of unhealthiness to warrant legislative interference with liberty.

But it must be borne in mind that this is the usual attitude of the
courts where investigation of the facts have not been brought to their
attention, and where the court relied on such knowledge acquired
by themselves. In such a case, in which there has been no investiga­
tion by the courts, the court might take what is called “ judicial
notice ” of facts even though they are not presented in evidence and
might rely upon what it considers “ common knowledge.”
But there are other questions which arise in the trial of a case;
whether it can be proven that the defendant was guilty of a violation
of the labor law. Take the section of the law prohibiting the em­
ployment of children and females. It is provided in section 130 of
the labor law that:
No child under 14 years of age shall be employed in or in connection with or
for any factory, mercantile establishment, business office, telegraph office, res­
taurant, hotel or apartment house, theater or other place of amusement, bowling
alley, barber shop, shoe-polishing establishment, or in the distribution or trans­
mission of merchandise, articles, or messages, or in the sale of articles.

“ The prohibition is absolute, making the violation of a prohibition
a misdemeanor. Criminal knowledge or intent forms no element of
the offense.” (People v. Kibler, 106 N. Y. 321.)
Take for example the case of a violation by a certain large dis­
tributor of milk. The company was charged with permitting
employment of boys under 14 years of age. The defendant set up as
a defense that they did not employ the boy nor permit him to
work in connection with its establishment, and furthermore that
while a corporation is liable for the acts of its officers, it is not liable
criminally for the acts of mere employees, which acts are forbidden
by the company itself, and done without its knowledge or consent.



In this case it was shown on the trial that frequently milk was lost or
stolen from the wagons; that the company had a rule which was
posted in its place of business, and which provided that drivers must
not under any circumstances allow any person not in the employ of
the company to assist them in any way, or to ride on their wagons,
and that any violation of this rule would be sufficient cause for dis­
missal. The company, however, knew quite well that its drivers
violated this rule, and claimed that in order to prevent violations
thereof it employed inspectors to go out on the routes of various
drivers and see whether they were obeying the rule; the inspectors
found the rule violated, but in no case did the company discharge a
driver for the violation of the rule. The court in that case found the
defendant guilty, and from that judgment the company appealed to
the appellate division, first department, and that court held that the
first and underlying question is whether the offense charged is malum
in se or malum prohibitum. In the prevailing opinion, the court
held that in the case of an act malum prohibitum intentforms no part
of the offense. That it is sufficient if it is shown in a statute such as
this; that the owner or proprietor of a business, violates the con­
dition prohibited by the statute, and therefore it makes no difference
whether the owner or proprietor carries on the business himself or
entrusts the conduct of it to others. (People v. Sheffield Farms,
S. D. Co. 180 App. Div. 615.)
The appellants were not satisfied with the affirmance of the judg­
ment of conviction, and then appealed to the court of appeals, who
affirmed the judgment of the trial court, and also affirmed the order
of the appellate division; and Judge Cardoza, writing in a lengthy
and instructive opinion in which he very lucidly explains the law
relative to the prohibition and violation of the law under a statute
of this kind, said in part:
That the defendant’s duty did not end with the mere promulgation of a rule,
but there was duty of enforcement. * * * That the section of that law is
directed primarily against the employer and also secondarily against others as
they m ay aid and abet him. That the employer must neither create nor suffer
in his business the prohibited conditions. The command is addressed to him.
Since the duty is his he m ay not escape it by delegating it to others.
(People v.
Taylor, 192 N . Y . 398-400)
* * * He breaks the command of the statute
if he employs the child himself and he breaks it equally if the child is employed
by agents to whom he has delegated his own power to prevent.

It is further provided regarding the employment of children under
section 131 of the labor law that—
No child between 14 and 16 years of age shall be employed in or in connection
with or for any factory, establishment, or business specified in subdivision 1 of
section 130 unless an employment certificate as provided by section 631 of the
education law is kept on file in the office of the employer at the child’s place of

In this case the defendant was convicted of a violation under this
section of the labor law. Upon the trial it appeared that the inspector
called at the factory of the company, who saw the defendant, who
was the treasurer and superintendent of the factory and in charge
thereof, and found a girl under the age of 16 years, but there was no
certificate filed as required by the labor law. The girl testified
that at the time she was working for the company she was 15 years
of age, and that 3he had no certificate and none had been filed with
her employer. The defendant testified that he had been with the



company for nine years, but that he had nothing to do with the
emplojmient of the girl; that as soon as he had ascertained the age
of the girl he discharged her; and that she was not employed there
with his consent or knowledge without a certificate. But another
witness was called and testified that she was also employed by the
company for over 15 years; that the girl in question told her that
she was 16 years of age, and that she employed her, therefore, with­
out a certificate; but, nevertheless, the court found the defendant
guilty. Upon appeal the court, in its opinion, stated:
That the statute provided that no child shall be employed, permitted, or
suffered to work in or in connection with any factory, thus imposing upon those
responsible for the management or control of factories a special duty to see that
no child under 16 years of age, without a certificate required by the statute, shall
be permitted or suffered to work in or about the factory. If the statute had been
6imply against the employing of an infant, a different question would be presented.
But where an employer of labor is prohibited from suffering or permitting “ a
person to work in a factory, he can not escape responsibility by proving that he
directed his employees not to employ a person to labor in violation of the statute.”
(People v. Taylor, 124 App. Div. 434.)

Judgment, therefore, which was appealed from was affirmed, and
therefore the defendant was guilty of a misdemeanor for violation
of the statute.
There are other questions which are, presented at a trial under
this section of the law, and that is the question of the birth of the
child. It must be proven that the child was under the age provided
under this section of the law, and that is incumbent upon the people.
It occurs at times that there is a dispute as to the age of the child
employed. The child may have represented herself to be of proper
age, and they may set up the defense that the child was of proper age,
and in order to prove the birth of the child, it is necessary that the
mother testify as to its birth; but it is difficult very often to prove that
fact when the child is motherless, and then other evidence must be
produced to prove that fact, either by the child itself or by other
witnesses, and if such witnesses are not available, then it may become
necessary to introduce a birth certificate, but that must be also
proven by the person who can properly testify as to the accuracy of
the certificate, and the authenticity of the same. Sometimes it
occurs that even the mother is loath to testify as to the correct age of
the child, because of her willingness that the child should be em­
ployed, in order to assist in the maintenance of the home; but, as a
general rule, it can be said that the convictions for violations of this
section of the law are frequent.
In the second annual report of the factory inspectors there can be
found a statement to the effect, “ it is extremely difficult to obtain
any facts regarding the date of the birth of children born in this
State. That it has been the experience of many, if not all, of the
extensive manufacturers that not a few parents are perfectly willing
to say that their children are over the age required by law, but when
the statements are written and read, and they are called upon to
swear to them, they will not do it. Still there are some parents that
will commit deliberate perjury in order to get work for their off­
spring.” But that condition has greatly improved and such is not
the case now. With the cooperation of the courts and the employ­
ers, we are able to enforce this law quite satisfactorily.



Under sections 160-161 of the labor law, employees are permitted
to work only a certain number of hours, which constitute a legal
day’s work, and there must be one day of rest in seven. Every
employer operating a factory or mercantile establishment or freight
or passenger elevator in any building, is not permitted to have his
employees work on Sunday, unless he shall conspicuously post on
the premises a schedule of the employees permitted to work on
Sunday, and designating the day of rest for each, and furthermore,
such a schedule must be filed with the commissioner.
The constitutionality of the provision that every employer shall
allow every employee at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest
in any calendar week, has been considerably litigated. The leading
case in which the contention was that the “ law was unconstitutional
and violated any attempt to limit the right of a male adult to con­
tract for his labor in the same pursuits, and that the legislature vio­
lated the provisions of the Constitution, both of the State and the
United States, and that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty
or property, without due process of law.” In that case the court
That the provisions of the statute on its face are reasonable, fair, and appro­
priate; and it can fairly be believed that its natural consequences would be in
the betterment of public health and welfare, and therefore, it is one which the
State for its protection and advantage may enact and enforce.
(People v.
Klinck Packing Co. 214 N . Y . 122.)

In such a case the question arises whether the employer has made
arrangements for giving the employee one day of rest during the
week days. Likewise every employee must be allowed 60 minutes for
meals during the day. Of course, exception is made in certain cases,
where an employee works for a street surface or elevated railway. In
such a case they may work 10 consecutive hours and be given one-half
hour for meals. There are other exceptions to which this section does
not apply; that is, to janitors, employees in dairies and creameries, etc.
Also, in cases of mercantile and other establishments, no child under 16
years of age shall be employed in or in connection with any mercantile
establishment, business office, or telegraph office, restaurant, or hotel,
for more than 6 days or 44 hours in any week; and no more than
8 hours in any day between the hours of 6 in the evening and 8 in
the morning. No female over 16 years of age shall be employed in a
mercantile establishment more than 6 days or 48 hours in any week,
excepting that she may be employed 9 hours on one day of each
week, in which case she may be employed 5 days of the week, at
not to exceed 9 hours on each day, and not more than 4^2 hours in
any shorter day, and the total number of hours during any week can
not exceed 49 Yi hours. Now, in addition to this, she may be employed
78 hours during any calendar year provided that the female be not
permitted or suffered to work more than 10 hours any day nor more
than 6 days, and no more than 54 hours in any week.
The problem that arises in some cases, is that the employer fails to
make up and file a schedule of the number of hours which the
female is required to work,; the law provides that in the event that
the employer desires to employ a female more than 48 hours in any
week, he must post a notice of such overtime and file a copy with the



There are cases of violations under section 181 of the law, in which
the defendant contended, in a case where the law prohibited the
employment of a woman over 16 years of age after 10 o’clock in the
evening in a mercantile establishment, that the place of business being
an amusement company where there was a booth wherein the girl was
selling chewing gum in the defendant’s amusement park, the main
question to litigate was whether the person was working in a mercantile
establishment; and also in a case where the law was violated in a drug
store in which there was a sale of goods outside of drugs, medicines,
and chemicals, the courts held in both cases that these establishments
were mercantile establishments; that the dimensions of the shops or
portion of the particular establishment that is used for the sale of
such merchandise does not determine whether they come within or
without the statute, or as to the quantity of sales of the particular
article does not come into the question. The fact that the woman
was permitted to work at night beyond the prescribed hour stated in
the statute is a violation of the law, and judgment of conviction was
affirmed both in the appellate division and in the court of appeals.
There are other important laws which relate to factories—the
law enacted for the prevention of accidents, requirements for ele­
vators and hoistways, and the guarding of machinery.
The burden of proof as to the assumption of risk in the case of
failure to comply with the statute as a general rule is upon the
employer, and the question arises sometimes whether the employer
or the owner or lessee of the premises is to be charged with the
violation of the law.
Then we have the fire hazards, the most important being exit
doors leading to the street and whether doorways are easily access­
ible, so that in the case of fire there may not occur a catastrophe.
There are a number of other sections of the law for the protection and
safety of employees, and sections of the law relating to sanitation.
Under the general business law (ch. 20 of the consolidated laws),
no person is permitted in the making, remaking or renovating of any
mattress, upholstered spring bed, or metal bed spring for sale, to use
any secondhand material, which has not been thoroughly sterilized
by an effective process prescribed under the law, and no person shall
sell or offer for sale, deliver or consign for sale, or have in his posses­
sion any upholstered spring bed or metal bed spring in the making,
remaking, or renovating of which there has been used any second­
hand material, which has not been thoroughly sterilized by an
effective process. Before the inspector finds a violation of this
section of the law, he must open the mattress and look at the contents,
and if he finds that the material is not what it is represented to be,
he extracts a sample of same as evidence of the contents of the mat­
tress, and if it is not properly tagged then it is a violation of the law.
If the material used in the mattress is not new, it must under the
law be properly sterilized, and if it does not contain a yellow tag,
it is a violation of the law; but the problem is for the people
to prove, first, that the mattress was in the possession of the
person offering it for sale, and then it is necessary to ascertain the
name of the manufacturer, and he also can be held responsible for
the violation. The people must prove by competent expert testi­
mony the condition of the contents of the mattress; that upon
examination of the sample it was found to be different than



represented by the tag, which if new material should be white, and
if secondhand material should be yellow, and if it is found that it
was secondhand material and unsterilized, and that the mattress
did not contain a yellow tag with the date of sterilization and the
name and address of the person or firm who sterilized the same,
then that is also a violation under the section of the law; but in all
cases in which there is a violation of the law relating to a mattress
or a spring the people must show, in addition to what the inspector
found, the real condition of the material by expert testimony.
This law has been enacted because of the numerous complaints
that have been made by purchasers on account of the material found
in the mattress. It would be represented, for instance, that the
material in the mattress was all new material, cotton and jute, where­
as, the inspector would find on investigation, that the contents
of said mattress consisted of cotton, jute, and shoddy, the manufac­
turer delivering and consigning the said mattress to the dealer who
offered it for sale and who had it in his possession; or it may be a
case in which the box springs are manufactured and that the manu­
facturer neglected to provide tags to the box springs and failed to
describe the material in said box springs as provided by law; but in
all cases it must be shown that the mattress or box springs were in
the possession of the defendant offered for sale, and in order to frus­
trate any attempt on the part of an unscrupulous vendor in manu­
facturing mattresses or bedding of any kind and from misrepresent­
ing to the public the contents these laws were enacted and have been
vigorously prosecuted and as a general rule conviction has been
Before concluding I wish to make reference to a beneficial law,
which has been enacted by the legislature and is known as the work­
men’s compensation law, and before explaining the various problems
that present themselves in the enforcement of said law I wish to
briefly review the historical development of the workmen’s com­
pensation law.
As I have stated above, the attorney general prosecutes all appeals
from, awards and decisions taken by employers and insurance car­
riers in compensation cases. He represents the State industrial
board on all appeals. He prosecutes cases in which the employers
have failed to comply with section 50 of the workmen’s compensa­
tion law, which provides, that every employer shall secure com­
pensation to his employees in the following ways: Either by insuring
and keeping insured the payment of compensation with any stock
corporation or mutual association authorized to transact the business
of workmen’s compensation insurance in this State; by furnishing
satisfactory proof to the commissioner of his financial ability to pay
such compensation for himself, in which case the commissioner may
require the deposit of securities of the kind prescribed under the
law; or the employer may secure the payment of such compensation
in the State fund; and section 52 of the workmen’s compensation
law provides the penalties for failure to secure the payment of com­
pensation, under which section such failure constitutes a misde­
meanor punishable by fine or imprisonment.
With an unsatisfactory experience under the employers’ liability
law the United States followed with considerable interest the intro­
duction of workmen’s compensation in foreign countries. In 1891



the United States appointed certain commissioners to study the
German system and the reports of the Commissioner of Labor con­
taining the results of the investigations by the commissioner and
published a few years thereafter. Another investigation of European
systems was made in 1898 by Massachusetts at the request of the
legislature of that State.
The period from 1890 to 1911 was devoted to investigation and
experimenting, and public opinion was inclined to favor the principle
of the workmen’s compensation law. During this period certain
individual States attempted to enact laws on the principle of work­
men’s compensation, but no permanent legislation was really enacted
by any State, and the problems that confronted the legislature was
first, that of making workmen’s compensation compulsory on the
part of both the employer and employee; and secondly, that of over­
coming constitutional questions and objections. The second period
began in 1911, and first there was an amendment to the State con­
stitution making the compensation law compulsory, but the prin­
ciple of workmen’s compensation was finally accepted in some of the
The first workmen’s compensation measure in New York State was
in 1898, modeled after the British act, and was introduced in
the New York State Legislature in that year, and this bill was referred
to the judiciary committee but not reported. A few years after
some of the other States of the Union succeeded in enacting a work­
men’s compensation law, but it was confined only to a selected few
In 1910 the first workmen’s compensation law (Laws of 1910, ch.
674) was held unconstitutional by the highest court of the land
because it was held that it imposed liability without fault and took
property without due process of law. Thereafter, in 1913, the
amendment to the constitution was made (art. 1, sec. 19) which gave
the legislature plenary power to enact workmen’s compensation law.
It read in part as follows:
Nothing contained in this constitution shall be construed to limit the power
of the legislature to enact laws for the protection of the lives, health, and safety
of employees, or for the payment either by employers or by employers and
employees, or otherwise.

In other words, in the case of Ives v. South Buffalo Railroad Co.
the workmen’s compensation law, as enacted in 1910, was held
unconstitutional on the ground that it subjected the individual
employer to a suit for damages without fault, whereas the 1914
statute provided a method through the State insurance fund or
alternative plans of distributing the burden of compensation equi­
tably over the industries affected thereby. In view of both of these
differences, and also in view of the decision of the United States
Supreme Court in the case of Noble State Bank v. Haskell, the court
held that the conflict with the Federal Constitution no longer existed.
Therefore the New York workmen’s compensation law, as enacted
in 1914, was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court of the
United States in the case of New York Central R. R. v. White, its
constitutionality having been previously held by the Court of Appeals
of New York in the case of Jenssen v. Southern Pacific R. R.
Generally speaking, it has been held by the courts that the work­
men’s compensation law shall be construed liberally and broadly.



The underlying thought in enacting this law was that such a system
of compensation would be in the interest of the general welfare by
preventing workmen from being deprived of means of support as a
result of an injury received in the course of his or her employment.
The statute was the expression of what was regarded by the
legislature as a wise public policy concerning injured employees, and
under the circumstances, the law should be interpreted with liberality.
This was pointed out in a number of cases, particularly in the matter
of Petrie, decided in the court of appeals.
Now as to the application of the workmen’s compensation law
and the requisites for a valid claim in compensation by an injured
1. There must be a relation existing between employer and
2. There must be an industrial accident within the meaning of the
workmen’s compensation law.
3. The accident must arise out of and in the course of the
4. There must be notice to the employer and the industrial com­
missioner in the manner required under section 18 of the act.
5. There must be a claim filed for compensation with the indus­
trial commissioner or the department of labor, and the employer,
within the time prescribed by law.
6. There must be a hazardous employment within the meaning of
the workmen’s compensation law, with certain exceptions.
An employer as defined in the law, except when otherwise expressly
stated in the law, means a person, partnership, association corpora­
tion, and the legal representatives of a deceased employer, or the
receiver or trustee of a person, partnership, association, or corpora­
tion, employing workmen in hazardous employments, including the
State and a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision
An employee, as defined under the law, means a person engaged in
one of the occupations enumerated in section 3, or who is in the serv­
ice of an employer, whose principal business is carrying on or con­
ducting a hazardous employment upon the premises or at the plant,
or in the course of his employment away from the plant of his em­
ployer, and shall not include farm laborers or domestic servants.
Employment under the workmen’s compensation law includes only
employment in a trade, business, or occupation carried on by the
employer for pecuniary gain or in connection therewith, excepting
where the employer and his employees have by their joint election
elected to become subjected to the provisions as provided under
the law.
Employers may be divided into two classes, general or special
An employee may be held to be an independent contractor, like
in a case decided in the court of appeals, where the employee agreed
to do a specific piece of work for his employer and in so doing he
had absolute control of himself and helper and was not under the
supervision and control of his employer. He was free to proceed
with the execution of the work, in accordance with his own ideas and
in his own time, and was not subject to discharge as an employee,
7679°—28---- 9



There are a number of cases on this point which I will attempt to
An accident is defined by the courts as an untoward event, “ an
unlooked-for mishap which is not expected or designed;” it may not
be willful or intentional and not due solely to intoxication.
It is an easy matter sometimes to prove an accident. For example,
when an employee’s fingers are caught in a machine or are mangled,
there is no question that an accident has occurred, but when it is a
case of an occupational disease, it is not so easy to show that the
disease was due to the occupation, and that must be shown princi­
pally by competent medical testimony. That can also be explained
by a number of cases which were decided by the appellate division
and the court of appeals.
The workmen’s compensation law does not apply to employees
continuously. It ceases to protect workmen during periods when
they are not at work or w^hen the accident does not arise out of and
in the course of employment. Questions arising frequently, just where
and when a man quits work at night and comes to work in the morn­
ing, when does his work begin? And at lunch intervals— do they
come under the law?
There are very frequently questions arising as to jurisdiction,
such as admiralty and maritime. It has been held by the Supreme
Court that the State laws that attempt to provide compensation
for industrial accidents occurring in admiralty are not valid, even
though the Congress of the United States enacts a law to give them
effect, because Congress can not delegate such legislative power,
but must exercise it directly.
There are other questions which appear intricate, and that is the
question of interstate commerce. If an employee at the time of
the injury was engaged in interstate commerce, or in work so related
to it as to be practically a part of it, his redress must be under the
Federal act.
The time allotted to me for this lecture does not permit my going
into this subject as thoroughly as I should like to; therefore, I have
given merely an outline of the problems that present themselves in
the prosecution and enforcement of the labor laws and the workmen’s
compensation laws. I have tried to explain the laws by pointing out
the different sections of them; by applying certain cases which have
been adjudicated by the higher courts.

By A . J. P o r t e n a r , C h i e f M

e d ia t o r

Introductory Remarks
T IS generally acknowledged that some agency should exist for
the prevention of strikes and lockouts, or for their speedy adjust­
ment when unfortunately they cannot be averted. With rare
exceptions, no private agency or individual can successfully perform
this function, because in a majority of instances one or both of the
parties will regard such intervention as an unwarranted intrusion and
will resent it accordingly. Illustrating this point, I will relate a
comparatively recent incident. A strike involving recognition of the
union was in progress in a mill in one of the larger cities of the State.
After the strike started a committee composed of prominent resi­
dents of the city, including clergymen of several denominations,
attempted to intervene. The door of the president of the company
was metaphorically slammed in their faces, and when they wrote
him a letter they received a reply requesting them to mind their own
business, in those very words. State mediators also visited him on
two occasions. He received them courteously because, as he ex­
plained, the law made it our duty to come and his to receive us.
But governments, acting in behalf of all the people under their
jurisdiction, have both in law and morals the right to ask the con­
testants to explain the causes of their quarrel and then to endeavor
to bring about an amicable adjustment of the controversy.
That this is a general conception of the duty of governments is
proven by the fact that every government in Europe, Australasia,
and the Americas has enacted laws intended to regulate industrial
relations, in the effort to avert or minimize industrial strife. These
laws vary all the way from absolute prohibition of strikes or lockouts,
accompanied by compulsory arbitration, to the mere offer of official
mediation, without compulsory features of any character. And
even the latter mild form of intervention sometimes meets with
resentment by one or other of the parties.
It would require a series of lectures to discuss exhaustively the
character of these various forms of official intervention in labor
disputes, the results obtained through each, and the arguments pro
and con as to their respective merits. Therefore I will confine
myself to the statement that the State of New York has elected to
perform this civic function by processes of conciliation rather than
by any form, of compulsion, although efforts have been made from
time to time to induce the legislature of this State to enact compul­
sory arbitration laws. The latest attempt to do this occurred some
five or six years ago, when a bill was introduced modeled upon the
Kansas Industrial Court act. The bill failed of passage.





My personal opinion, based on experience and observation, is that
the conciliatory method produces better results in more instances
than can be secured by the application of punitive laws.
This opinion is strongly confirmed by the experience of the Do­
minion of Canada in the administration of its industrial disputes
investigation act during the past^ 18 years. This act prohibits
strikes and lockouts in public utilities, railways, and mines until
an investigation has been made and a report rendered by a board
of conciliation and investigation. Penalties of fine or imprisonment
are provided for disobedience. The authorities enforced the prison
penalty only once, and have frankly stated that they will never do
so again. An excellent record of strikes averted or ended has been
made, but the Government admits that this success has been the
fruit of conciliatory methods. There has been plenty of opportunity
to apply the punitive provisions of the act, for it was disobeyed
before the ink was dry on it, and has been ignored in more than
400 instances, but the Canadian Government is steadfast in its
reliance upon conciliatory methods alone.
The New York Law
The State labor law authorizes the maintenance of the department
of labor, the head of which is the industrial commissioner. Under
the heading of “ General powers and duties of commissioner,” section
21, subdivision 5, of that law provides that the commissioner “ shall
inquire into the cause of all strikes, lockouts and other industrial
controversies, and endeavor to effect an amicable settlement thereof,
and may create within the department a board to which a controversy
between an employer and his employees may be submitted for media­
tion and arbitration.”
Section 21, subdivision 8, provides that the commissioner “ may
make investigations, collect and compile statistical information and
report upon the conditions of labor generally and upon all matters
relating to the enforcement and effect of the provisions of this chapter
and of the rules thereunder.”
Division of Mediation and Arbitration
For the performance of the duties laid upon the industrial com­
missioner by the above provisions of law, there has been created in
the department of labor the division of mediation and arbitration.
This division is headed by a chief mediator, who is assisted by four
mediators. The wording of the law as quoted above and the title of
the division sufficiently indicate the functions assigned to it.
We find much confusion in the public mind as to the nature of
mediation and arbitration. These terms are not synonymous, but
denote two procedures that differ greatly, although either or both may
be resorted to in the settlement of a labor dispute. To mediate is to
endeavor to bring the parties into accord by inducing them to meet
and discuss their differences, and by advice or suggestion to aid in
bringing about an amicable adjustment of the dispute. To arbitrate
is to hear evidence and argument relative to the dispute and to render
a decision which shall be final and binding upon the parties. The
division of mediation and arbitration in the labor department is



primarily and chiefly a mediating body, but it will consent to act as
arbitrator when the parties join in requesting it to act in that capacity.
In this way we are sometimes called upon to decide a single issue,
while at other times one of us may be asked to assume the position of
impartial chairman of a permanent arbitrating tribunal, to decide
all disputes which may arise during the life of a contract. There
occurs to me one instance in which an agreement provided that if the
representatives of the parties could not agree on an arbitrator the
selection was to be made by the State labor department and the
American Arbitration Society, acting jointly. Another agreement
provided, in the same event, that the selection was to be made by the
chief mediator of the State labor department.
From this it may be seen that the scope of the work of the division
of mediation and arbitration is practically to do anything of a volun­
tary character that may be useful in averting or ending an industrial
dispute. The border line of our activities is reached when any act of
ours trenches upon compulsion.
The law is mandatory in directing us to inquire into the causes of
industrial controversies and to endeavor to effect amicable adjust­
ments thereof, and it is permissive in giving us legal warrant for mak­
ing investigations, compiling information, and making reports. By
virtue of this authority, when our inquiries have developed the fact
that the settlement of a dispute is obstructed by what we deem to be
an unreasonable attitude on the part of either or both of the parties,
we may call a public hearing, compel attendance of witnesses and the
production of books and papers by the issuance of subpoenas, and
make a public report of our findings. When the report is published,
the parties are at liberty to continue in their unreasonable attitude
if they so elect, but naturally the offending party or parties will be
subjected to the intangible but very effective pressure of public
We have upon occasion used this authority with salutary results,
and we have sometimes found that the mere statement of our inten­
tion to resort to public in vestigation if an obstructive or unreasonable
attitude is not abandoned has modified such an attitude to the extent
of making agreement possible. But it should also be recorded that
on other occasions we have come into contact with people who have
shown themselves utterly impervious to this consideration. Per­
haps the most contemptuous defiance of public opinion which I have
experienced in my official capacity occurred during a strike in one
of the worst sweated industries in the city of New York. Failing
to secure an interview with the spokesman for the' employers’ asso­
ciation, I wrote a letter asking for an appointment. A reply came
over the phone, in this wise: “ Neither with you nor with anyone
else, at this time or any other time, will we discuss this matter.”
Another instance of similar nature occurred during a strike on an
important public utility. I visited the office of the company without
obtaining anything more than a curt “ Nothing to say.” The next
day a high officer of the company issued a public statement in which
was embodied this passage: “ The intervention of mediators, either
official or private, is not desired.” When we run into a stone wall
of this kind, we are at the end of our resources.



Importance of Obtaining Early Information
You have all heard the old recipe for cooking a hare, which begins
by saying, “ First catch your hare.” So with us. We cannot do
anything concerning an industrial dispute unless we have knowledge
of it. To procure the settlement of §, strike is good. To avert a
threatened strike is better. And the chances of successfully doing
either are greatest while the dispute is in its earlier stages, before
passions have risen to the point where they becloud judgment.
It is therefore obvious that early information of strikes, impending
or actual, is of transcendent importance.
We cannot depend on newspaper clippings. Only very serious
strikes are given prominence, while smaller disturbances are either
relegated to obscure positions or not mentioned at all. We can not
depend on the contestants to inform us, for long experience has demon­
strated that in most instances they will not do so.
This matter has been the subject of serious consideration by suc­
cessive commissioners. About 8 or 10 years ago a bill was intro­
duced into the legislature to amend the labor law by requiring the
filing with the labor department of agreements between organiza­
tions of employers and employees. The theory actuating this pro­
posal was that if this were done, records could be kept of the expira­
tion dates of such agreements, and areas of possible industrial dis­
turbance could be charted far in advance of the actuality. But the
proposal met with such hostility from both employer and employee
organizations that it was abandoned. If it had been enacted in the
face of this hostility without a specified •
penalty for nonobservance,
it would have been disregarded; while the imposition of a penalty
would have increased the hostility. It might be impractical, and it
certainly would be undesirable, for the labor department to prosecute
every secretary of an organization who failed to comply with such a
provision. We would incur the enmity of persons whose good will
is essential to the performance of our function of mediation. For
these reasons it was decided not to renew this recommendation.
A suggestion that both employers and employees be compelled
by law to report strikes was negatived upon the same reasoning.
As a means of partially overcoming this difficulty the expedient of
detailing mediators to definite key industries was adopted. For
instance, one mediator was assigned to the building and construction
industry; another took care of men’s clothing and leather goods; a
third was assigned to the ladies’ garment industry. Being in con­
stant touch with responsible officials on both sides of a given industry,
the mediator not only would naturally be aware of expiration dates of
formal agreements but also would be in position to catch the earliest
storm warnings during the life of—or approaching the end of— such
agreements. In consequence we have been able to anticipate the
course of events in the important industries to which mediators have
been assigned.
The State labor department has an employment division, with
branch offices in 14 important industrial centers. The superinten­
dents of these employment offices have been instructed to report
immediately any industrial disturbances which break out in their
respective communities.



A further means of maintaining a close watch upon the industrial
barometer is the intensive study of trade papers and labor union
In spite of all this, candor makes me confess that strikes are some­
times weeks old before we hear of them. Of course, no big strike can
evade our notice for long, but strikes involving anything from a hand­
ful to a couple of hundred persons may be in progress for some time
without coming to our attention.
I do not want to create the impression that impending or actual
strikes are never reported to us by the interested parties. On the
contrary, when either one is what might be colloquially described as
“ up against it,” we receive very prompt notification, together with a
request to “ do our stuff.”
One of the reasons which actuate both employers and unions in
their hesitation to ask for our intervention is the fear that the op­
posing party will jump to the conclusion that our intervention is by
request and that this will be interpreted as a sign of weakness. That
fear is not without foundation, as the first questions w e hear are
“ Who sent you?” “ How do you know about this?” So we are care­
ful to point out that we are sent by the legislature of the State of New
York; that we represent the people of the State; and then we tell them
how we became aware of the dispute. It may be from a clipping in a
daily or a trade paper; it may be that we happened to see the pickets
parading in front of the plant; it may be from any one of a number of
possible sources. But we find ourselves frequently compelled to
assure the party first interviewed that we will not permit the other
party to get the idea that we are sent by him.
Technique of Mediation
A dispute having come to our attention, we seek interviews as soon
as possible with the person who is in the most responsible position on
each side of the controversy. On the part of the employers, it may
be the representative of a group formed into an association, the presi­
dent of a company, or the head of a firm. On the part of the strikers
it is of course the chief officer of the union. Sometimes a strike is a
sporadic occurrence, the impulsive outbreak of a group of unorganized
workers, but even in that case there is always some individual who
assumes control and direction, whether by actual selection or with the
tacit assent of his fellows.
Our right to information is usually acknowledged, and the mediator
gets at first hand the statement of each party as to the subject of the
dispute, and the attendant circumstances that may or already have
caused a stoppage of work. The mediator should be a good listener,
and will permit the person interviewed to tell his story in his own way
and at whatever length he chooses. This is important for two
reasons: The narrator gets a weight off his mind by the mere narra­
tion of his grievances, and is thereafter in a more receptive mood when
the mediator makes whatever suggestions seem appropriate; and in
the second place, the mediator gets an insight into the background of
the dispute when he has heard the stories of both parties. The im­
portance of this knowledge can hardly be overestimated, for some­
times the immediate cause of a strike or lockout is really no more than



the proverbial feather which will break a earners back; while the
actual cause is some deep-seated grievance which comes to the surface
only when the aggrieved person is encouraged to tell everything that
relates to the dispute, no matter how far back it is in point of time.
Only a short time ago an employer interviewed in regard to a strike
in April, 1928, adverted to an action taken in 1925 which had a
material influence on his present attitude; yet he did not mention it
until nearly the close of our conversation. Therefore even seemingly
irrelevant statements should be patiently listened to for the light
they throw on more or less obscure but highly important facts and
also on the motives of the disputants.
Sometimes the stories will practically coincide as to the facts, the
difference being in the interpretation placed on the facts. At other
times the mediator will hear stories that are absolutely contradictory.
He must use his judgment as whether it is wiser to point out contra­
dictions or to permit them to go unchallenged.
When the story has been told and such questions as may be needful
have been answered, the mediator will revert to the immediate situa­
tion. His first suggestion will almost invariably be that the parties
should meet and discuss their differences in his presence. If he
succeeds in obtaining the consent of both parties to enter a confer­
ence, he has surmounted the first big obstacle to eventual agreement.
No industrial dispute is hopelessly fated to become a test of endurance
so long as the disputants can be brought together. But if either of
the parties expresses positive determination not to discuss the issues
with his opponent or to submit them to the arbitrament of a third
party, hope of amicable adjustment fades. It has been my experi­
ence that this uncompromising attitude is nearly always taken by the
employing party to the controversy, and that the more frequent issue
in such instances is recognition of the workmen’s organization. For
example, in 1926 there were 105 strikes reported in New York State.
Conference was declined in 32 disputes, of w^hich 28 declinations were
by employers and 4 by employees. Of the 28 declinations, 13 in­
volved recognition of the union. In 1927, 99 strikes were reported.
Conference was declined in 32 disputes, it being the employer in each
instance who declined. Of the 32 declinations, 15 involved recogni­
tion of the union.
Willingness to confer, however, does not of itself assure amicable
adjustment. A dispute may prove to be insoluble by conciliatory
methods when an issue is involved upon which neither party will
compromise. Nor are wage and hour schedules the only issues about
which such uncompromising attitudes are developed. I recall an
instance in which the date of expiration of agreement was the stum­
bling block which made two conferences futile, and the matter then
had to be settled by a struggle which ended in the defeat of the strikers.
Formal recognition of the union will frequently wreck a conference in
which wages and hours presented no obstacle.
Mediation an Adjunct to Direct Negotiation
The experience of all mediators, official and private, confirms the
principle that direct negotiation between the disputants, without the
intervention of any third party, is the most satisfactory method of
settling a dispute. In support of this statement I will quote Dr. Jacob



Billikopf, impartial chairman of the men’s clothing industry in New
York City. At a recent hearing on cognate subjects before a sub­
committee of the Bar Association of the United States, Doctor
Billikopf stated that efforts to adjust disputes by direct negotiation
are always made before they are referred to him for decision, and
that of those disputes which do come to him, 80 per cent are adjusted
without a decision because he invariably urges the parties to make
further efforts to reach agreement. Therefore, whenever we find the
disputants are voluntarily holding conferences in an effort to adjust
their differences, either before or after a strike, we carefully refrain
from intruding ourselves to any greater extent than to drop around
casually and occasionally to inquire how things are going. Only if
and when we learn that conferences have been definitely broken off
does our intervention become active.
How useful it can then be may be illustrated by a comparatively
recent instance which is typical. The Theater Owners’ Chamber of
Commerce and the Motion Picture Operators’ Union had broken off
negotiations for an agreement to take the place of one about to
expire. There was less than two weeks in which to work. It took
us one week to get them together again. In that last week two fruit­
less conferences were held, but on the last night of the month, with
the men under orders to strike at 10 a. m. next day, we organized a
third conference which lasted from 5 p. m. until 8 a. m., but we had
an agreement to show for our sleepless night. A strike would have
affected 800 men.
That same year we averted two other strikes under identical cir­
cumstances. Bonnaz operators to the number of 2,000 were kept at
work without interruption through our intervention, after direct
negotiations for a new agreement had failed, and 750 cloth spongers
were likewise kept off the street.
These are examples of the very best work we can do. Far more
numerous, of course, are the instances in which intervention, success­
ful or otherwise, is made after a strike has actually begun.
The Mediator in the Conference
How shall the#mediator conduct himself in the conference?
He cannot have a prepared program or a set of rules for his guid­
ance. In a broad sense, previous experiences are extremely useful,
but they should not be considered as furnishing a charted course to
be applied to particular cases. The nature of the issues involved, the
characters and capacities of the people attending the conference, the
degree of animosity or friendliness presented in the attitude of the
disputants to each other, even such a detail as the number of persons
in attendance—these and other circumstances have an influence on
the atmosphere of the conference and will affect the manner in which
the mediator will perform his duties.
The smaller the number of people in the conference, the better.
If only three or five persons are present, including the mediator,
there is apt to be an informal and intimate atmosphere which greatly
facilitates the interchange of opinions and increases in inverse pro­
portion the probability of satisfactory settlement. In a large gather­
ing speeches “ for the record,” sometimes more or less unimportant
or irrelevant, will provoke replies in kind, and not only arouse dor­



mant hostilities, but prolong the conference so greatly that an
adjournment may be necessary. This is an undesirable outcome,
because the will to meet is weakened when a long discussion proves
fruitless. “ What’s the use?” is too likely to become the attitude of
one or both of the disputants, and the difficulties in the way of a
resumption of negotiations are increased in inverse proportion. In
addition some unpleasant incident may operate to bar another meet­
ing. For example, one Friday a conference was adjourned to the
following Monday. On Saturday morning a group of union workmen
working in the same building for another firm got into an altercation
with some men working in the struck shop. One of the nonunion
men was stabbed in the arm with a shears, and it took me months to
get his employer back into a frame of mind in which he would con­
sider meeting the business agent of the union.
If there is one general principle which is always applicable to the
conduct of the mediator, it is that he must secure and deserve the
confidence of both parties, and for that reason he must scrupulously
avoid even the appearance of partisanship. If it once gets into the
mind of either party that the mediator leans to the other side, his
usefulness is greatly lessened if not actually destroyed.
The mediator has a status of dignity conferred on him by the State,
and he brings to the conference the sincere purpose of benefiting both
parties. Therefore he should be neither apologetic nor pompous.
He should not hesitate to speak plainly in characterizing a proposal,
whether favorably or otherwise, yet his words must be free from
offensive implications. It is difficult to express what he should be
and do with any greater particularity than to say he must have both
judgment and tact. Given these qualities he will secure the respect
of the persons he meets officially, even when he fails to accomplish
the primary purpose of amicable adjustment.
By tacit consent the mediator will usually act as chairman if the
conference is a large one. If only a few are gathered together that
sort of formality is dispensed with. But the chairman should be
tactful enough to understand that he must not assume all the preroga­
tives which usually attach to that office. Of course, he will not let
a half dozen people talk at once, and he will endeavor to keep the
discussion focused upon essential issues, but he must do these things
in a manner that will not ruffle tempers or offend susceptibilities,
which are likely to be sufficiently irritated without any assistance
from him.
The mediator will make some introductory statement to get things
started. After that, his judgment is his sole guide as to the sug­
gestions he will make and the manner in which he will make them.
He may find it expedient to be a silent listener while the discussion
is going on, and, if the parties appear to be approaching common
ground, he can do no better than to continue in that role. But if
he observes that the discussion has demonstrated that the proposals
offered by either party will not be acceptable to the other, then it is
advisable for him to intervene with a suggestion. This may be an
entirely new approach to the subject or a compromise proposal.
The nature of his suggestion will be determined in the light of the
information he possesses and the arguments advanced by the dis­



The mediator may sometimes privately urge upon one of the
parties a course of action which it might not be wise to advance
publicly. On one occasion 800 drivers and helpers had been out on
strike for six or seven weeks. Neither the organization nor the
individuals composing it had any large reserve of money when the
strike began; at the time a conference was arranged (not without
difficulty) they were on the rocks financially. The officials of the two
companies involved knew this as well as the men did, and their obvious
policy was to let time fight for them—that was why they were reluc­
tant to agree to a conference.
When we met, the president of one of the companies laid down his
terms, and they were hard terms—in effect, nothing short of abject
surrender. Two hours were consumed in debate, the union com­
mittee trying vainly to get some modification of the conditions. At
last some one in the room said that we might as well break off, as we
evidently could not get anywhere, and the union men actually arose
to go out. The man who made that remark was another mediator,
and I gave him a kick in the shin that he probably feels yet when the
weather is bad. I knew that if the men left that room then we could
never get another conference. I jumped up and said to the union
committee: “ Don’t go away; go out to the corridor and discuss
Mr. ------ ’s terms among yourselves, but don’t leave the building.”
They filed out and as they did I was wondering what I was going to
do next. But an inspiration came. When the door closed I turned
to the company officials and made a little speech. “ Most of those
men have been with you for years. Your business is a peculiar one,
and it will take time and money to fill their places satisfactorily.
You have them licked and you both know it. But you have not yet
licked them enough to make them swallow the dose you have handed
them. They will leave here and the strike will drag along for another
month or so. Then they will take anything you offer. You will
have a complete victory, but you will also have something else not so
desirable. You will have a sullen, resentful body of employees,
always seeking furtive opportunities to do something to your dis­
advantage. Can you not see what is needed? Can you not sugarcoat that pill so that it will not be so hard to swallow? Let them
have something in their hands when they return to their constituents
which will save them from absolute humiliation and make it possible
for them to urge ratification of the terms they bring.”
Mr. ------ turned to his vice president and said: “ Can we give
them a dollar a week advance if they make Sunday work time and a
half, as it used to be, instead of double time, as now?” A rapid cal­
culation was made and the reply was, “ Yes.”
I added, “ And take them all back without discrimination?”
Again the reply was “ Yes.”
I went to the door and called the union committee back. When
they were seated President------ said: “ We have decided to offer you
a dollar a week advance and take everybody back. In other re­
spects the terms offered you remain unchanged. What do you say
to that?”
I watched the union leader’s face and saw the sun rising in the east.
With thanks he accepted the offer on the spot and began talking
about the hour the men were to report next day. The ratification by



the body next morning was a matter of five minutes, although he had
asked me to be there to help him overcome possible opposition.
There has been no trouble since.
After the Conference
Agreement at a conference is not absolute assurance of adjustment.
There remains the ratification of the terms by an association of em­
ployers, if a strike is general, and by the union membership. Some­
times the work of a conference is wholly undone by the refusal of
ratification, more often by the union than by employers. Reasons
for this are that the employers’ association is much the smaller and
more easily handled body, or it may be that only a single employer
is involved. The union is a many-headed body, and almost always
embraces ambitious men who seek to discredit the leader for personal
considerations, or ultra-radicals who will do the same thing out of
conviction. The employer is not afraid some one will edge him out
of his job, but the union leader is frequently more or less influenced
by that consideration. He will privately admit his willingness to
accept a given proposal, but he will weigh the possible consequences
to himself of open advocacy before he takes a public stand. When
he does finally take a stand it is sometimes the opposite of that
privately expressed. He has had his ear to the ground.
Related Things
We meet people under the stress of the emotions produced by
conflict. We hear ex parte statements which indicate 100 per cent
of rightfulness on the side being listened to at the moment, and then,
when we hear the other side, they endow the party first seen with
horns and a long, forked tail. We are daily witnesses of strife and
turmoil, but ourselves not of it. We “ pour oil on troubled waters,”
and we hope that of us it may be said, “ Blessed are the peacemakers.”
I will not tell you what kind of a man a mediator should be. His
portrait is drawn when his work is described. But of his job it may
be said that while there are many other jobs which loom bigger and
pay much more, there is none more interesting.
Every point I have made, every angle of controversy or method of
handling it to which I have alluded, can be exemplified out of my
own experience. If some of the allusions seem to require amplifica­
tion, direct attention to them.
In the table following is given a partial summary of results:
Number of disputes and method of settlement, 1915 to 1927


1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927

Number of disputes. ........................ 104 1328
Disputes in which intervention
occurred____ _____ _______________
Request received for intervention.
Disputes in which intervention
was the direct agency for settle­
m e n t ........................ ....... ........... ..
Strikes averted by intervention.__
i For 9 months.



































M . H . C h r is t o p h e r s o n , D

ir e c t o r o f S e r v ic e N
I n surance F und





T MAY be well for the purpose of this discourse to treat the term
“ accidents in industry” in a broad sense so it will cover acci­
dental injuries or hurts to all employees included under the cov­
erage of the workmen’s compensation law of New York State, which
includes practically every person who works for wages, as listed in
the 19 groups of employments in section 3 of the compensation law.
The law also recognizes occupational diseases of which 18 are listed
in the same section, and requires the payment of compensation for
disabilities sustained or death incurred by an employee, resulting
As the legal liability of the employer is an important factor in the
reduction of accidents in industry, the following quotation from sec­
tion 10 of the workmen’s compensation law should be considered:


Every employer subject to this chapter shall in accordance with this chapter
secure compensation to his employees and pay or provide compensation for their
disability or death from injury arising out of and in the course of the employ­
ment, without regard to fault as a cause of the injury except that there shall
be no liability for compensation under this chapter when the injury has been
solely occasioned by intoxication of the injured employee while on duty or by
willful intention of the injured employee to bring about the injury or death of
himself or another.

The following is a quotation from section 50 on the security for
payment of compensation:
An employer shall secure compensation to his employees in one of the follow­
ing ways:
1. By insuring and keeping insured the payment of such compensation in the
State fund, or
2. By insuring and keeping insured the payment of such compensation with
any stock corporation or mutual association authorized to transact the business
of workmen’s compensation insurance in this State.
3. By furnishing satisfactory proof to the commissioner of his financial ability
to pay such compensation for himself, in which case the commisisoner may, in
his discretion, require the deposit with the commission of securities of the kind
prescribed in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and paragraph (a) of subdivision 7
of section 239 of the banking law, in an amount to be determined by the com­
missioner, to secure his liability to pay compensation provided in this chapter.
* * * The employer so electing shall be known as a self-insurer.

Following is another quotation from the compensation law of con­
siderable importance to employers:
14a. Double compensation and death benefits for minors illegally employed.
1. Compensation and death benefits as provided in this article shall be double the
amount otherwise payable if the injured employee at the time of the accident is a
minor under 18 years of age employed, permitted, or suffered to work in violation
of any provision of the labor law.






Although not of frequent occurrence, it is noteworthy in an analysis
of industrial accident causes that in instances where an accident is
not witnessed by another, the claimant, in an effort to collect com­
pensation and have his medical expenses paid, may have the possi­
bility of malingering, which must also be considered.
According to definition approved by the appellate division of the
court of appeals, an accident is “ an unlooked for mishap or an
untoward event which is not expected or designed,” being limited so
that “ an act done deliberately and willfully by a third party may be
an accident from the viewpoint of employer and employee.”
Accident statistics giving the causes of injuries based on past
experience must be thoroughly studied to form an opinion on how to
prevent other injuries. Therefore, as a basis before planning on how
accidents can be prevented, let us consider the following summary
of compensated accidents by cause classes in the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1926. Compensation in these cases has been approved by
the New York State Industrial Board; misrepresented cases and
malingering periods have, therefore, been eliminated.
E N D I N G J U N E 30, 1926, B Y C A U SE


Number of accidents

Kind of disability
Cause of injury

Death or
Tem ­
permanent manent
total i

weeks of weeks of
disability 2

Machinery, point of operation........ ........... ......... 13,555
2, 771
Hoisting and conveying apparatus.................... .
8, 932
Vehicles.__ ____________________________ _______
4, 019
Explosions, fire, electricity, e tc .____ __________
Harmful substances____________________________
Falls of persons ____ _________________________ 18, 278
6, 447
Falling objects______________________ ___________
4, 273
Stepping on or striking against________________
Handling objects_____________ __________________ 27, 575
7, 570
Hand tools_________________________ _____ _______
3, 992
Miscellaneous and indefinite information..........

(4) 58
(2) 123
(8) 262
(4) 130
(11) 250
(3) 94
(4) 94
(1) 15
(1) 15
(3) 67

4, 539
1, 648
3, 708

8, 958
7, 022
3, 530
15, 371
5, 390
3, 959
23, 773
6, 088
3, 257

180, 897
45, 592
540, 828
165, 678
38, 607
332, 434
26, 398


99, 673

(41) 1,151

17, 327


2,412, 760


Grand total______________________________

1 The figures in parentheses indicate the number of total disabilities.
2 The weeks of disability include 1,000 weeks for each case of death or permanent total disability.

The cost for insurance including self insurers in New York State
during this same period was approximately $60,000,000, of which
$29,000,000 was for compensation incurred in these 99,673 physical
injury cases. The balance was for medical and expense charges.
These figures include only the amounts paid by industry for compensa­
tion coverage. They do not include the waste and expense caused
through the loss of services of the experienced employees who were
injured or the cost of teaching others who had to substitute for them,
nor does it include the financial loss of the injured employee or his
physical suffering or the anguish of his family and other dependents.
Although a great deal has been accomplished in preventing avoid­
able accidents in the past, much remains to be done before we can



claim to have reached the goal that experience in many places of
employment has shown that the frequency and severity of accidents
can be reduced to a level well below the average of to-day. Our
efforts must be centered on improving the places of employment where
physical conditions are not what they should be and in training
employees to realize that their feet and their hands, their eyes and
other parts of their bodies belong to them and should not be damaged.
By going into details of the summary figures, we find under the
machinery heading that metal-working machines in factories are
responsible for 4,354 of the total number of accidents and that in this
group power-stamping presses are most wasteful of life and limb in
the metal trades, 1,275 injuries being chargeable to that class of
machines alone; 2,185 accidents are charged to woodworking ma­
chines, of which 1,264 injuries were caused by the various types of
saws, 464 on planing and molding machines, and the balance, 457
injuries, being distributed among the other woodworking machines.
Other compensated machine accidents in the following industries
are listed in the order of their relative importance:
Food products___________________
Printing and bookbinding______
Leather products________________
Paper products__________________

1, 889

Laundries________________________ ___ 394
Rubber, celluloid and com­
position goods____________________ 285
Paper making___________________ ___ 245

The remaining industries, each of which had less than 200 accidents
are: Leather (tanneries), 123; chemical products, 59; paints, varnishes
and colors, 12; then a miscellaneous list totaling about 400 follows.
As more than 12,000 or 90 per cent of the total number of machin­
ery accidents in factories, with 347,000 weeks, or 89 per cent of
total disability, are caused by the above machines, it is of prime
importance that accidents occurring to the operators of such machines
should be given consideration. The State department of labor with
its police power has for a number of years endeavored to secure com­
pliance with the orders they issue to guard such machinery and the
insurance carriers through their rating board merit system have
tried to bring about a safer working condition for the operators.
Such machine accidents are usually at the point of operation, where
the operator must feed the stock that is being machined, presenting
the most difficult problems in machinery guarding. Much has been
accomplished by proper guarding although in many instances the
employer and the employees insist that the point-of-operation
guards prevent certain operations being done and production is
interfered with, so it frequently happens that guards which would
probably have prevented an accident have been removed and are
not on the machine when an accident occurs. This condition
prevails most frequently in the smaller shops where each machine
must be used for several operations; in larger plants where a machine
is set up to perform a single operation or several of similar character,
the point-of-operation guards are quite generally used. Designers
and toolmakers in the various manufacturing plants are constantly
at work on the design and preparation of such guards although little
has been done by the machine manufacturers themselves to supply
universal guards for the machines which they sell.



Machine accidents listed under prime movers and power-trans­
mission apparatus, including 13 deaths, are 545 with 28,548 weeks
lost time, indicating that considerable effective guarding has been
done on such equipment.
To accomplish the best results, it would seem that the present
practice where the State department of labor endeavors to secure
ocmpliance with its dangerous machinery guarding code and the
compensation insurance rating board through the various insurance
carriers recommend guarding according to their standards for which
credit is allowed in the schedule rates, must soon give way to one
common standard: The department of labor code, that the industrial
commissioner be responsible, as at present, for securing compliance
with that code; that the insurance carriers through their inspection
service should assist the commissioner to secure compliance with the
State codes and through their rating board merit system, apply
schedule charges against the assured where such guarding has not
been accomplished.
Elevators in factory and mercantile buildings in the same year,
ending June 30, 1926, caused 1,023 accidents resulting in 77 deaths,
98,703 weeks of disability, and $760,000 in compensation. The
most serious of these causes, fall of person into shaft from floor,
caused 161 accidents, of which 33 resulted in death. The next in
importance is caught between the floor and car, 109 accidents, result­
ing in 6 deaths. The balance are from 20 other causes.
Although there has been a more favorable trend in elevator acci­
dents in recent years, the result of better hoistway construction and
inclosures, nevertheless, it is necessary to require more general
compliance in the installation of interlocking devices on hoistway
gates and doors that will prevent the car leaving the landing before
the hoistway doors are closed and in providing all hoistways with
doors or gates extending the full height of the door opening and to
have such inclosures set flush with the hoistway line to eliminate
the serious shear hazards. Cooperative action on the part of build­
ing owners, their agents, architects, and contractors, supplemented
by the State and city authorities, is necessary.
One thousand five hundred and eighty-two accidents on cranes,
derricks, blocks and tackles, conveying apparatus, and similar
equipment for moving material by mechanical means, in industrial
plants and contracting operations, resulted in 66,340 weeks of dis­
ability and 35 deaths. In addition there were 101 serious accidents
on temporary construction hoists used in contracting operations
where 8 met death and 10,562 weeks of disability resulted.
In the demolition and construction of buildings and other con­
tracting work, the workmen suffer many serious accidents, other than
machinery accidents, and many fatalities occur from falls and falling
material, in transportation of men and material by trucks or hoists
and other conveying machinery.



Accident prevention activities nave not reached the same degree
of perfection in contracting work as in many factories except in rare
instances by large contracting concerns. The industrial commissioner
through his inspection bureau has established a system of frequent
visits to places under construction, and orders requiring a higher
degree of safety by guarding and improving unsafe conditions are
being enforced by him. The insurance carriers are also requiring
that hazardous conditions be corrected. The active work of the
department of labor and insurance carriers is making for greater
safety in construction work and the new compensation insurance
experience rating plan that became effective May 1 this year will
doubtless result in serious consideration being given to create safety
in industry by the manufacturers and contractors who consider the
cost of accidents to their workmen principally as a necessary expense
The following quotation from the daily papers of an article by
Charles G. Smith, manager of the State insurance fund, indicates
the financial advantage that will accrue to manufacturing and
contracting risks whose annual premium at manual rates is in excess
o f $400:
Employers in New York State will be able to make material financial savings
under a modification of compensation insurance practice that will go into effect
throughout the State on M a y l, in the opinion of Charles Gordon Smith, manager
of the State insurance fund. Thereafter an employer whose safety work shows
improving results in cutting dow^n accidents will be rewarded by getting his
insurance at lower rates much more promptly than formerly.
‘ ‘ Hitherto employers have had to wait a number of years to get lower rates
as a result of their improving accident records,” said Mr. Smith yesterday,
because the years of their record were considered of equal weight, irrespective
of results shown, in making up their experience rating. Under the new method
an employer who is showing an improvement now gets prompt reward for it,
for under the revised plan his recent experience receives much more weight than
it did fo rm erly/*

This revised experience rating plan has approximately the same
effect on compensation insurance premiums as an employer’s financial
credit in the purchase of materials. If his credit is good, he benefits
through trade discounts and greater reduction from list prices. While,
on the other hand, if his credit is bad, just the same as his accident
experience may be bad, the cost to him promptly increases.
Correcting unsafe physical conditions within a manufacturing
plant or on a construction job is but a small portion of the safety
activities that exacting conditions, based on considerable experience
in a number of large plants and on contracting work, require to create
the condition which enables plants to run month by month adding up
millions of hours of employment without a lost-time accident. Such
results are not a matter of chance but are the result of a better under­
standing of the safety problem and are conditions that American
industry should strive for.
Despite the fact that many workers are injured on dangerous
machines that may be improperly guarded, or have no guards at all,
the total weeks of disability from such accident causes is small in
comparison with the number of injuries and deaths that occurred in



the same year over which the guarding of machinery could have no
control. The following will serve to illustrate the comparison:

Power working machinery including prime movers, power trans­
mission equipment, hoisting apparatus including permanent
elevators, cranes, derricks, and all other conveying apparatus- _
Nonmachinery injury causes, such as vehicles, explosions, fire,
electricity, harmful substances, falls of persons, falling objects,
stepping on or striking against objects, handling objects, hand
tools_____ ________ _______ ____________________ ___________________








58, 529 1,786,370




We can not get away from the human equation if any favorable
impression is to be made on the reduction of the large number of
severe injuries that are shown in the nonmachine injury causes, and
it is quite certain that many of the injuries that were caused by
machinery would not have occurred if the employee who received
the injury had been on the alert, if he had stopped to think before
doing. The need for training every employee to work skillfully and
safely is the greatest problem in accident prevention.
Paying compensation to his employees while they are incapacitated
as the result of accident, industrial injuries, or hurts, or paying death
benefits to their widows and other dependents, is a moral and legal
obligation which the employer must assume. The amount he pays
for satisfying such obligations depends on the cost of the accidents
in relation to his annual pay roll. The method of computing pre­
miums in workmen’s compensation insurance is unlike that of any
other insurance coverage, such as fire and public liability where
insurance premiums are on a fixed annual basis.
Under the compensation insurance rating plan an average or
basic rate for each classification is established. This rate is modified
up or down based on the accident trend or loss cost experience
of the risk over a period, the four last policy years, to determine the
proper rate for the following year.
The value of the total accident experience modification is appor­
tioned 40 per cent to the latest policy year; 30 per cent to the next
preceding year; then 20 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, on the
two last years. Under this revised experience plan, effective May 1,
1928, risks that exceeded the average loss cost in the last policy year
are heavily penalized by the application of an increased premium
rate in the second year following.
The resultant high insurance rate coupled with other expenses,
such as the loss of service of experienced employees during the time
while incapacitated, the need for training substitutes who are liable
to spoil material and damage tools and who are otherwise inefficient,
not forgetting the time that was wasted by foremen and supervisors
while training such substitute employees, would seem to inspire those
who are responsible for efficiency in production to warrant a study
of the accident problems in the same thorough manner that the financ­
ing, selling policy, the purchase of material, and each manufacturing
detail is planned and executed.
Every employer who has taken sufficient interest in his employees
and the dangers they are subjected to, whether such dangers be real or



mental fears, can readily change the accident frequency and severity
in his place of business, no matter what the processes may be.
When an employer determines to stop such needless accident waste
and he has a real desire to do the best he can to protect his employees
from injury during the hours when he is more or less responsible for
their safety, the effect will be quick and sure.
No business problem that an employer has to solve responds more
readily to good management than that of accident prevention, nor is
there any single branch of his business that gives greater returns
for the time and money spent on it. In addition to the savings in
time and money, the gratifying results it assures to the employer
and to the responsible heads of his business is far greater than can
be realized if the same effort to improve is applied to any other
branch of his business.
Organized safety in industry has become quite the fashion in
recent years, in manufacturing plants the shop safety committee
activities working under direct supervision of the employer or his
manager. Wherever such officials cherish safety to the extent of
making the Golden Rule the boss of the company, the safety problem
is solved. Organized safety is essential in every manufacturing plant
or op. construction work, and the selection of an individual, a “ safety
man,” who fits into his job is of prime importance. The balance of
this safety program is principally in quotations from the Manual of
Industrial Safety, by Sidney J. Williams. It is the plan of organized
safety that every safety engineer believes in and subscribes to.
Results worth while are bound to accrue under this plan provided
the employer “ stands by.”
“ The basis of the safety man’s job is this fact, which is perhaps
the greatest discovery of modern industry: That the men and
women who work for a manufacturing company, a mine, a railroad,
or other employer are the most valuable assets the company has and
that their safety, comfort, welfare, and good will are essential to the
company’s success. If the employer does not really believe this, the
safety man has no job worthy of the name. If he does believe it, as
most modern employers do, the safety man is his agent in clothing
the idea with flesh and blood and developing a safety atmosphere
which surrounds and permeates every employee.
“ This job requires a combination of enthusiasm and common
sense. Enthusiastic belief in the value of human life, in the respon­
siveness that lies somewhere beneath the skin of everyone, in the
ultimate success of his efforts. Common sense to recognize the
difficulties of his task, the persistence of habit, the differences between
individuals, the thousand other demands upon the time and energy
of those he must deal with. The safety engineer must also have
imagination to discover hazards and invent remedies. He must take
nothing for granted—neither the foreman’s assurance that ‘nothing
can happen here,’ nor his own belief in the efficacy of some new
“ Industrial safety is a combination of engineering, organization,
and education. Technical training and past experience in all or any
of these lines are not essential for the safety man (though they are
helpful), but he must be able to appreciate all of them, balance their
relative importance, and make use of the assistance of specialists in
these fields.



“ The first thing that the safety man must realize is that he can not
possibly do his job alone, but only with the warm cooperation of his
associates secured by hard, persistent effort.”
“ In arousing this interest and securing this cooperation, some must
be reached by appealing to the reason with facts and figures; some by
appealing to the emotions with the story of what accidents mean to
the workman and his family; a few may be affected by nothing save
the fear of discharge or of the horrible personal consequences of a
serious accident. The safety man must understand human nature
well enough to employ all these methods as the case requires.”
“ What place should the safety man occupy in the general organiza­
tion of the company or plant? What should be his relation to other
departments and executives? The safety man should not be given, in
fact he should not desire, any operating authority. One reason for
this has already been suggested. Another reason is that, according to
all experience, effective accident prevention requires that the general
management shall place responsibility for safety in each operating
unit, squarely upon the executive of that unit. The manager of the
plant or other operation—no one else—must be held responsible for
safety; he in turn looks to the superintendent or foreman of each
department for safety in that department, and so on down the line.
To these operating executives the safety man should be an advisor, a
consultant, a friend.
“ The relation of the safety department to other ‘ staff’ or non­
operating departments varies in different organizations. If there is a
general industrial relations department or personnel department, the
safety man is usually a part thereof, along with the employment
manager, the physician, and the educational director. Often the
safety man, upon displaying the necessary ability, becomes head of
this entire department; or similar ability on the part of the employ­
ment man or the physician may bring a like result. In a smaller
organization or where these other activities are lacking, the safety
man usually finds himself called upon, sooner or later, to take charge
of sanitation, health service, general welfare work, employees,
activities, perhaps fire protection, and even the employment of new
men. If the safety man reports directly to the operating manager of
the company or plant, he should cultivate the closest possible relations
with all other welfare and employee activities, for these are all closely
tied up with accident prevention.
“ The introduction of a safety program should follow substantially
the order indicated below. It is especially important to complete the
most necessary safeguarding and to have the program well under­
stood by the principal executives before starting the educational work
and before organizing committees of foremen or workmen. The
essential steps are:
“ 1. Appointment of safety engineer or director.
“ 2. Analysis of accident record, to determine weak spots and furnish basis for
“ 3. Meeting of operating executives; appointment of plant or general safety
“ 4. Inspection by safety engineer, with foreman in each department; report
to general committee.
5. Mechanical safeguarding as determined by general committee; important
and obvious hazards to be guarded first.
“ 6. Bulletin boards and other educational activities.
“ 7. Departmental or workmen’s committees.



“ The machinery for securing this general interest and cooperation
is commonly called the safety organization. This does not mean
something separate and apart from the regular operating organiza­
tion of the factory or other industry; it means the adaptation of the
regular operating organization to the purpose of accident preven­
tion, because accident prevention, is regarded as a proper and neces­
sary part of efficient production.
“ The general function of the safety organization is to supervise
and direct all safety activity; to determine standard methods of
safe operation and standards for mechanical safeguarding; to investi­
gate accidents, fix responsibility, and impose discipline where neces­
sary; to plan and direct all parts of the educational campaign. It
is evident that the safety organization must be an integral part of
the general plant organization in order to be intrusted with these
important functions. An important feature of the safety organiza­
tion is that the men serving on the various committees will be them­
selves educated through their service to an understanding of safety
which they could obtain in no other way.
“ In a plant having more than 500 employees on one shift, the
safety organization should generally consist of the following:

Plant safety committees.
Department committees (especially in very large plants).
Workmen’s committees.
Full-time safety engineer or safety supervisor.

“ In a company operating several plants there should be a general
interplant safety committee as well as the proper organization within
each plant.
“ In a plant of 150 to 500 employees, the organization may be
simplified by combining the functions of the department commit­
tees with those of the plant committee, making the organization as
“ Plant or general safety committee.
“ Workmen’s committee.
“ Full-time or part-time safety engineer or inspector.

“ In a plant of less than 150 employees, the organization should
be extremely simple, consisting of—
“ General safety committee (including workmen).
“ Safety engineer or inspector (this responsibility may be given to the master
mechanic, employment manager, or other employee).

“ In construction work—whether by a contracting company or the
construction gangs of an industry or public utility—organized handling
of the safety campaign is no less necessary, but the organization must
be simplified and adapted to the conditions of changing personnel
and location. On large construction jobs, a safety committee con­
sisting of the superintendent and at least two other men has been
found practicable and effective. On a small job the superintendent
or foreman should be considered a safety committee of one, com­
pletely responsible for the elimination of hazards and the prevention
of accidents. In a construction organization of any considerable
size, a full-time or part-time safety man in the headquarters office
should keep in constant touch with the various jobs and perform all
the usual duties of the position.



“ In other outdoor or special industries the same general principles
should be applied, remembering that in all industries human nature
is essentially the same; that safety can be brought about only by
enlisting the active interest of the entire organization, both execu­
tives and workmen; and that it is easier and more effective to let the
organization educate itself by running its own safety campaign than
to expect it to digest too frequent or too large doses of advice from
Every employer in order to give safety the place in industrial opera­
tions which it deserves must make certain that unsafe places and
machines are properly safeguarded for the workers’ protection from
injury, and to see that all employees are trained in safe practices and
to think safety. On the employees’ side the workers should respond
to the effort of the employer in preventing injuries to them in cooperat­
ing by using the safeguards that are provided, by taking necessary
precautions and to think for the safety of themselves and any others
who may be exposed to possible injury.
Any one who makes a study of economics in industry, its keen
competition, and the apparent need for building business on a founda­
tion that is substantial, yet sufficiently flexible in design or in prin­
ciple to permit of variables to keep abreast of this progressive age,
naturally assumes that it requires a man in business to keep suffi­
ciently well informed on every detail in his particularline. In general,
the business man does keep informed on price fluctuations and style
and specifications of the material for the goods which he sells, yet a
good proportion of the executives in large establishments and owners
of smaller enterprises depend largely on representatives of wholesale
and other supply houses and middlemen in general to select various
essentials which they need for the manufacture or installation of their
Insurance is one of the items that an employer generally gives
consideration to but once in the course of a year. Then after arrang­
ing for the payment of the premium he dismisses the subject from
his mind, leaving it to the insurance carrier to call attention to details
that he should be informed on; therefore, in the protection of his
workmen it becomes largely the carrier’s function to initiate the
things that will be mutually beneficial and constantly to follow up
important details.
More than 50 different insurance carriers write workmen’s com­
pensation insurance in this State, so to some extent the carriers*
service resolves itself into a matter of competition, supplementing
the need for keeping the aggregate accident loss ratio within reason­
able limits.
The business world is constituted so that one person must, to some
extent, live at the expense of others. His profit is dependent on his
ability to compete. Naturally, the function of government is to
supervise and not to compete. Saving the lives and the limbs of
the workers, however, is a humanitarian project with which the Gov­
ernment is deeply concerned. Except in the protection by compen­
sation to injured workmen and their dependents and the manner of
such coverage, the law does not make it mandatory for an employer
to insure the payment of his losses.



It would be difficult for the legislature to require competitive insur­
ance companies to write insurance for every employer who might
apply for coverage, so the need for a State fund, from which the
legislature can require coverage for any who may apply by manda­
tory requirement, is apparent.
Competitive business naturally is in search of profitable business,
leaving the less desirable field for the other fellow. In workmen’s
compensation it happens to be the State fund that must write anybody
who applies for coverage.
The State fund does not depend on taxation for its maintenance,
but lives on its premium income in the same manner as other car­
riers. Therefore, for self-preservation if for no other reason, the
State fund must keep its accident costs within competitive limits.
The fact that the State insurance fund writes compensation insur­
ance at 15 per cent below the rates approved by the State superin­
tendent of insurance for all insurance companies and has returned
annually for a number of years a 15 per cent dividend to its assured
proves the efficiency of its management and safety service, efficient
not only from the economic viewpoint but from being an important
branch of a State department, without any enforcement power, under
the supervision of Dr. James A. Hamilton, the industrial commis­
sioner. The State fund accident-prevention service does effectively
keep the accident frequency and severity of injuries to the employees
of its 22,000 policyholders well within the average.
The State fund specializes on workmen’s compensation insurance
exclusively, and through its safety service it keeps its assured informed
on progressive accident prevention not only from the monetary side
alone, but also from the humane viewpoint by training employees
how to think before doing and by inducing the employer to apply the
principles of the Golden Rule during the hours while he is more or
less responsible for his employees’ safety.
As safety in industry is a matter of self-preservation, so far as each
individual is concerned, it requires the same training or education
that a person should practice at all times whether at work or at play.
To become proficient in any vocation, it is beneficial to live in the
atmosphere of such activities.
The Department of Labor of New York State, which began to func­
tion about 1880, by advising employers on sanitation and safeguarding
dangerous places in factories, has extended its work so that at present
it is an important factor in protecting industrial workers against
accidental injury by the removal of physical hazards and in the neces­
sity of protecting themselves against injuries through their own
The department of labor holds an annual industrial safety congress
in the State in the last week of November where employers, employees,
and others who have a keen humanitarian interest in the welfare of
workers meet to discuss and devise means for the improvement of
industrial relations, particularly from the angle of “ Safety while
at work.” Attendance at these congresses is beneficial to all who
can attend. The proceedings of the congresses are published by the
State and should be carefully read.
The National Safety Council is an organization comprising in its
membership a large number of employers, insurance carriers, and others



who contribute to its continual safety service in all phases of acci­
dent prevention. Annual congresses are held and proceedings of
transactions are published. It is fortunate that their congress this
year will be held in New York City during the week of October 6.
All who can do so should register and attend the various sessions,
listen to the various speakers and rub elbows with those who give
much time and study to safety problems.
New York State Department of Labor Special.
Bulletin No. 152 on Causes of Compensated Accidents August, 1927:
New York State Insurance Fund Annual Report, 1926.
The Manual of Industrial Safety, by Williams.
Industrial Safety Organization, by DeBlois.

By M


R. M


M . A ., M . D ., B u r e a u


I n d u s t r ia l H

y g ie n e

Diet as a Factor
HE question of diet as a factor in production is quite as applicable
to this audience and to myself as to any of the workers in
industry. We can not any of us do our work efficiently unless
we are physically fit, and we can not feel physically fit unless we know
not merely how to eat properly in the general sense of the term, but
how to adapt our diets to the requirements of our several occupations.
The fact that sedentary workers require less food and a different
kind of food than do day laborers is a matter of common knowledge.
Not so well known, however, are some of the other environmental
conditions which require special dietary adaptation, such as, for
example, abnormal atmospheric conditions; that is to say, exposure
to excessive heat or cold or to an unusual degree of humidity.
The question of the adaptation of diet to environmental and
working conditions involves not merely a consideration of these
conditions, but also some knowledge of the differences in the reaction
of individuals to these varying conditions. Diet is essentially an
individual problem, and its solution is dependent in the last analysis
upon the reactions within the body of the particular individual, with
reference both to the intake of food and to environmental conditions.
In order that each person may be sufficiently intelligent in the
adaptation of his diet to his own needs in this direction, he should
understand something of the fundamental principles underlying the
whole subject.
Although most of you, I presume, are more or less familiar with
these general principles, I shall review them very briefly in order to
refresh your memories. I shall then discuss some of the special
problems requiring special variations from these general principles.
As you all know, the body has come to be regarded as a working
machine whose intake and output can be readily measured. It has
frequently been compared with a steam engine requiring a definite
quantity of fuel— the amount depending upon the output of work.
It might better, however, be compared with a clock which never
stops running. For even when we are sound asleep in bed our hearts
continue to pump; our lungs continue to contract and expand as we
breathe; the process of digestion continues without stopping; and
our bodies regarded as so many chemical laboratories are never at
rest. It has been calculated that the average person at complete
rest uses up from 1,500 to 1,800 calories of energy per day in the per­
formance of these physiological functions. This is known as the
basal metabolism. It might be well to keep these figures in mind





so that you may fully appreciate as we go along what a very large
percentage of the total expenditure of energy is consumed in this
way. The practical aspects of our basal metabolism will be discussed
in greater detail subsequently.
It might be well before going into a more detailed discussion of the
practical aspects of the basal metabolism to review very briefly the
definition of a calorie and its significance in all dietary calculations.
The calorie, as you all know, has come to be the standard unit of
measurement both for heat and for energy. By definition^ it is the
amount of heat necessary to raise 1 gram of water 1° C. This applies
not merely to the human body but to the steam engine as well.
Indeed, as you probably know, coal is frequently bought and paid
for on the basis of the number of calories w^hich it contains rather than
on the basis of its tonnage. Incidentally, it is interesting to know
that to purchase coal in this way is far more efficient because different
types of coal yield different amounts of energy per ton. The amount
of coal required is, of course, directly proportional to the output of the
engine. Both these factors can be fairly accurate^ estimated. In
the case of the human machine, it is likewise necessary to determine
the output in energy in order to estimate the caloric intake in food
which would be required to supply this energy. Both of these factors
can be readily measured by means of the so-called calorimeter.
Various food substances have been burned in this calorimeter and the
number of calories of heat produced as a result of this oxidation
determined. The number of calories of energy which an individual
expends when he is doing different types of work have also been
carefully worked out by means of another type of calorimeter. It
is entirely possible, therefore, to ascertain the number of calories
which an individual requires in order to supply him with the necessary
energy for a specific performance and to determine the particular
quantities of particular foods which will produce that energy. To be
specific it has been estimated, for example, that a person engaged in
sedentary work, such as office work, uses up approximately 2,400 to
2,500 calories of energy. A person doing moderately heavy work,
such as is done by a traffic policeman, uses up approximately 3,000
calories. A man digging ditches may use up as many as 3,500 to
4,000 calories.
Thus far the situation in the case of the human machine is analo­
gous to that of the steam engine. There are other factors, however,
which are quite as important to the human body as is a proper balance
between the caloric intake in food and output in energy. These
relate to questions of proper growth, proper repair of tissues, and the
ability to withstand certain diseases. In order to understand these
additional factors, it will be necessary to briefly review the basic
food substances and their fate in the body. As you all know, they
are the carbohydrates, the proteins, the fats, the various inorganic
salts, and the vitamines. It must be borne in mind, of course, that
most foods contain more than one of these elements, but it is the
tendency for one or another to predominate, and foods are usually
classified by the dominant food element which they contain. With
this in mind, let us briefly examine w^hat happens to the various
types of foods that we eat after they enter the body.



The Carbohydrates
The carbohydrates include the starches and sugars, and when
burned in the body constitute the primary sources of energy and heat.
In other words, they are our chief sources of calories. The common
carbohydrate foods are: Bread, crackers, flour, or anything made of
flour, such as macaroni or spaghetti; cereals such as rice, farina, etc.;
tapioca, cake, pie, candy, jelly, and honey or other sirups. The
digestion of these foods is begun during the process of chewing, at
which time the starches are acted upon by the salivary enzyme known
as ptyalin. They are then acted upon by the various enzymes of the
liver, the pancreas, and the small intestine. As a result of this process
the starches are converted into sugar and absorbed as such. During
this process of digestion a certain amount of energy is liberated and
supplied to the body for purposes of heat and bodily activity. As has
been stated, all of this can be accurately calculated in terms of
calories by the use of the calorimeter.
If the daily caloric intake of food into the body is greater than the
number of calories of energy which the body expends in the course
of its daily activities, the excess food is converted into fat and stored
in the body as such. In other words, such a person will gain in weight.
If this process should continue for a sufficiently long period of time,
he would find that he has acquired considerable deposits of fat in
different parts of his body. A favorite site for such fat storage is in
the abdominal wall. If the caloric intake of food into the body is
less, however, than the energy output, it becomes necessary for the
body to burn some of its own tissues in order to make up the deficit.
The fat which has been stored in the body at some previous time is
the first to be burned. Then, if this is inadequate, the proteins or
muscle tissues of the body are burned. Various other chemical
changes occur which I can not go into here. A person of this type
will lose weight and grow thin. If the process is continued long
enough, he will gradually lose in strength as well. He will tire easily
and his resistance to disease will be reduced. If the caloric intake of
the body exactly equals the output, there will be no storing of fat
and no burning up of the body tissues. Under these conditions, a
person will neither gain nor lose in weight, but his weight will remain
stationary as long as this balance between intake and output continues.
I might digress for a moment to say, in this connection, that while
it is highly important that people should not be overweight, it is quite
as important that they should not be underweight. The present
tendency for everyone to reduce without regard to individual re­
quirements is a menace to health. It is of supreme importance that
persons who desire to reduce should first determine what their normal
weight should be for their age and height and then see to it that they
do not fall below it. Many girls, particularly at the present time,
are seriously endangering their health in following the universal fad
of reducing, regardless of whether it is necessary or not in their par­
ticular cases. They are developing anemias, lowering their general
resistance to disease—increasing particularly their susceptibility to
tuberculosis. They are lacking in energy, their working efficiency
is greatly impaired, and they tend to become mentally depressed.
Reducing, as long as it remains a fad, is a real menace to health.
Reducing under proper medical supervision, or with careful regard
to what the normal weight should be, may be of inestimable value.



The Lipins
The lipins constitute a group of foods which include both the fats
and the lipoids. There is a distinction between the fats and the
lipoids, which is not commonly understood but which is important.
The term “ fats,” in contradistinction to the term “ lipoids,” applies
primarily to such fats as are stored in the body as such. This would
therefore include the fat which is present around the meat which we
eat; suet, meat gravies, lard, etc. The lipoids, on the other hand,
are fats which appear in combination with other cell constituents.
These are both of vegetable and animal origin, and include such
substances as cream, butter, egg yolk, Crisco, oleomargarine, any of
the other butters, olive oil, or any of the vegetable oils. While the
metabolism of the lipoids is not clearly understood, it is believed
that these substances tend to play a part in producing changes in the
walls of the blood vessels, especially of the arteries. These changes
are believed to be of a character associated with the production of
arteriosclerosis, or what is commonly known as “ hardening of the
arteries.” This does not, however, appear to be true in the case of
the fats. While arteriosclerosis is one of the normal accompaniments
bf advancing years, there is a tendency toward premature arterio­
sclerosis among workers who are engaged in heavy manual labor.
The metabolism of lipoid substances is of a special interest, therefore,
in connection with these workers.
The lipins, as a whole, are quite as important a source of energy
and heat as are the carbohydrates. Indeed, being more concen­
trated, 1 gram of fat yields a somewhat greater number of calories
when burned in the body than does 1 gram of carbohydrates. The
same principles which have just been discussed with reference to the
carbohydrates apply to even a greater extent to the lipin foods—
that is to say, the fats and the lipoids. After digestion they are
acted upon by the enzymes of the pancreatic secretions. Any
quantity which is not used by the body as a source of heat or energy
is stored in the form of fat just as in the case of the carbohydrates.
The Proteins
The proteins supply the body with heat and energy just as do the
carbohydrates and the fats, but this is not their primary purpose or
function. The proteins are eaten chiefly for the purpose of supply­
ing the body with the necessary building stones for growth and repair
of tissues. The common protein foods are milk, meat, chicken, or
other poultry, fish or other sea food, liver, kidneys, sweetbread,
cheese, eggs, nuts, peas, beans, lentils, gelatins, etc.
These foods when they enter the body are acted upon by the
enzymes of the gastric juices, the pancreatic juices, and the juices of
the small intestine. They are broken down into their elements—
the amino acids. These amino acids, though very complex in chemi­
cal structure, are the building stones from which every type of protein
can be built up. We can eat meat, for example, in the form of beef
or pork, and though these substances are very different when we eat
them, after they are broken down in our bodies into their basic
amino acids, the body can then recombine these amino acids in a
way to produce the kind of protein from which our muscles are



made— a type chemically quite different from either the beef or
pork protein with which we started. Very few persons appreciate
what wonderful chemical laboratories their bodies are.
Infants, children, and growing adults require more of these sub­
stances than those who have reached maturity, because they require
material for growth as well as for repair. The grown adult requires
relatively less of these substances since in his case they are used almost
solely for the purpose of repair. Old people require still less. Per­
sons who eat an excess of protein foods can not use them to advantage.
Part of the excess is converted by the body into carbohydrates and
subsequently stored in the body as fat just as when an excess of
carbohydrate food is eaten. The chemical changes required to trans­
form the excessive proteins into carbohydrates, however, is a distinct
waste of energy. The proteins can not, in any sense, be regarded
as a proper substitute for carbohydrates or fats as a source of heat
and energy. A person, therefore, eating an excess of the protein
foods gives the body a considerable amount of unnecessary work
since much of this excess must be eliminated by the kidneys in the
form of waste products, such as urea, uric acid, creatinin, etc. An
excessive intake of these foods is not merely a waste of the foods
themselves, but puts an unnecessary strain upon the general metab­
olism of the body and particularly upon the kidneys.
A person who eats an insufficient quantity of the protein foods
will continue to lose in strength because of inadequate tissue repair.
There has been a reaction in recent years against excessive meat.
This on the whole has been very wholesome, but like most reactions,
it has gone to extremes in the opposite direction. There are a great
many workers, especially girls, who tend to be anemic. These are
particularly workers who, because of the nature of their occupation,
do not get a sufficient amount of fresh air and sunshine, particularly
the latter. Workers of this type should eat more than the usual
amount of protein foods, particularly rare beef and liver, since these
are important in building up the hemoglobin of the red blood cells.
I shall discuss iron intake as it effects these persons later on.
The Inorganic Salts
These include such substances as sulphur, phosphorus, sodium,
potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Foods differ very greatly
in the amount of these substances which they contain.
The sulphur is required for the building of body protein, and is
best supplied by milk. Any diversified diet, however, will ordinarily
automatically supply a sufficient quantity of this constituent without
the need for any further attention being paid to it.
Phosphorus forms a part of every active cell in the body and,
with calcium, helps to give rigidity to the bones and the teeth.
This substance is to be found in the proteins and especially in egg
yolk, milk, and cheese. It is also found in whole-wheat flour, oat­
meal, dried beans, and nuts. It is desirable that foods of this type
be adequately represented in the daily dietary.
The calcium salts are necessary for the proper coagulation of the
blood, and for the purpose of regulating the action of the heart
muscle. The calcium requirements are not ordinarily well met in
the so-called mixed diet of the city dwellers either in America or in



Europe. Deficiency is common, and is a very serious matter. Cal­
cium is essential for strong bones and teeth and is required by the
^ie main^enance of a proper relationship between the acid
and base constituents of the body fluids. Women require more
calcium during pregnancy than at other times. Milk is by far the
most available source of calcium. One hundred calories of milk
yields more calcium than twenty-four hundred calories of white
bread or meat. Vegetables are also a source of calcium, but not to
the same extent as milk. A glass of milk per day, added to a diet
rich in fruit or vegetables, will insure an adequate supply of this
important element in the diet. Calcium tends also to conserve the
iron in the body; and for those workers who tend to be anemic it is
quite as important that their food contain a sufficiency of calcium as
that it contains enough iron.
Iron enters into the composition of the red blood cells, being one
of the important constituents of the hemoglobin. The hemoglobin
is essential to the conveyance of oxygen to the cells of the body and
is used in the oxidation or burning of the ingested foods in the process
of digestion. Iron is required in small amounts and is found pri­
marily in egg yolk, cream, and vegetables— especially in spinach.
It is also a constituent of the protein foods. Workers who are
anemic should eat larger quantities of the foods which contain iron
than others.
The sodium salts play an important part in the maintenance of
normal osmotic pressure in the body. It has also been found that
the normal contractions and relaxations of the heart muscle, con­
stituting the normal heart beat, is dependent upon a definite quan­
titative relationship between the calcium and sodium salts present
in the body. In general, it might be said that the ordinary diet in
itself automatically supplies us with a sufficient amount of sodium,
potassium, and magnesium without giving these any further atten­
tion. The amount of table salt which is ordinarily found in the food
which is served to us is more than ample to fill the sodium require­
An investigation made some time ago by the bureau of industrial
hygiene revealed the fact, however, that workers who are exposed to
high temperatures and humidities, such as are found in the steamlaundry industry, for example, tend to lose considerable quantities
of salt from the body in their perspiration. Examination of their
blood showed a deficiency of sodium in many cases. It is considered
desirable, therefore, that such workers use liberal quantities of salt in
their diet, more than is regarded as proper for other individuals.
Potassium and magnesium are found in quantities in meat muscle
and in most plants, so that the ordinary mixed diet can be relied upon
to supply a safe surplus in these elements.
The Vitamines
There are four vitamines which are known at the present time.
These are called vitamines A, B, C, and D. Others probably exist
which have not as yet been isolated. It would be manifestly impossi­
ble to discuss the chemistry of the vitamines in the time allotted to
a single lecture. They are extremely complex, and although they
appear in our foods in relatively small amounts, they are dramatic in



their influence upon nutrition. A deficiency of these elements in the
diet causes lack of growth and development, as well as some of the
deficiency diseases such as beri-beri and scurvy.
The important sources of vitamine A are milk, cream, butter, eggs,
carrots or other yellow vegetables, sweet potatoes, cabbage, spinach,
or other thin green leaves of plants, tomatoes, liver, cod liver oil.
The important sources of vitamine B are milk, whole-grain cereals,
eggs, fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit; vegetables such as
celery, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, potatoes, beans, peas,
lentils, carrots, spinach; such meats as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads.
The important sources of vitamine C are such fruits as oranges,
lemons, and grapefruit, and such vegetables as tomatoes, cabbage,
onions, lettuce, potatoes, and yellow turnips. Vitamine C is very
easily destroyed by heat. It is very important, therefore, to make it
a point to have one or another of these foods raw each day, so as to
insure the presence of this vitamine in the daily dietary.
Vitamine D is to be found principally in egg yolk and in cod liver
A normally balanced diet which is rich in fruit and vegetables and
winch contains one of the food stuffs listed under vitamine C in its
raw state, supplemented by at least one glass of milk per day, one
egg, and a single portion of meat will of itself insure a diet containing
all of the necessary elements which we have discussed. The amount
of starches, sugars, and fats which are then to be added, in the way of
cereals, bread and butter or desserts, will depend entirely upon the
caloric •requirements of each individual— this requirement being
dependent primarily upon the work which he does, and his basal
Basal Metabolism
In determining the amount of food for a given worker, one must
determine his size, his age, the amount of energy which he expends in
the course of his work and his basal metabolism. The basal me­
tabolism as we have already pointed out, is the amount of energy,
that is to say, the number of calories which the individual expends in
carrying on his physiological processes. These physiological proc­
esses are concerned with the action of the heart, the lungs, the
digestive tract, the kidneys and all of the other biochemical activities
of the body which are functioning all of the time— even when the
body is at complete rest. Individuals differ very considerably in
their basal metabolic rate, just as they differ in the rapidity with
which their hearts beat, the rapidity with which they breathe, etc.
When one considers that the normal basal metabolism requires an
expenditure of approximately 1,500 to 1,300 calories per day and that
sedentary workers rarely use up more than 2,500 calories per
day in all, it can be readily seen what an important factor in the total
expenditure of energy is the basal metabolism. The relative im­
portance of this factor grows somewhat less, of course, as the number
of calories expended in the day’s work increases. Individual dif­
ferences in basal metabolism play a very important factor in deter­
mining the widely diverse reactions of individuals to essentially the
same environmental and dietary conditions.
It is a w~ell-known fact, for example, that of two individuals of the
same age and size, who are doing approximately the same amount of



work, and eating the same kind of food, the one may gain, while the
other lose in weight. The reason for these great differences in
individual reaction is not so difficult to understand when one con­
siders that approximately 75 per cent of the total caloric expenditure
per day in a factory worker, for example, is used up in the performance
of his physiological functions, while only 25 per cent additional is
expended as a result of his day’s work. The actual amount of work
done, therefore, by individuals at varying occupations is a far less
important factor than is generally supposed—far less, indeed, than is
their rate of metabolism. It is entirely conceivable, therefore, that
a person with a high metabolic rate will lose weight even though
he may do less work and eat as much or even more than his friend
who has a low basal metabolism; even though the latter may have a
much more strenuous job. It is extremely important to recognize
these individual differences, and I want to stress them very particu­
larly because we are all so prone to lay down set rules and expect
them to apply equally to everyone.
The maintenance of a normal weight for one’s age and height
is one of the prerequisites to good health and efficiency. While the
basal metabolism is by far the most important factor in determining
one’s tendency to gain or lose in weight, it is unfortunately a factor
over which a worker has no control. Nevertheless, much can be
done to maintain a normal weight by the average person if he will
give attention to striking a balance between the number of calories
which he expends in the course of his day’s work and his caloric
intake in the food he eats. Workers who tend to lose weight very
easily, or who have difficulty in gaining weight, despite a liberal diet,
should be taught to relax both at work and in their recreations. In
this way they markedly reduce their energy expenditure and so help
to shift the balance in their favor. Relaxing while at work does not
mean shirking one’s work, as many suppose. It means rather that
the work will be done with the greater efficiency which is associated
with lack of nervous tension and the elimination of lost motion.
In this connection, I might call your attention to the fact that workers
who are underweight usually are more nervous, more high strung and
more emotionally unstable than are those whose weight is normal.
The institution of a careful regime designed to bring their weight to
a normal level or slightly above will almost invariably result in a very
striking change in the nervous mechanism of these individuals. Their
efficiency, as well as their sense of well-being, will be tremendously
increased. They will become more stable personalities.
To summarize, the importance of maintaining a normal weight
can not be overemphasized. In a normal individual, a simple balance
between the caloric intake in food and the number of calories of energy
expended in the course of the day’s work can readily be established.
It is considerably more difficult to strike a proper balance of this
sort in individuals whose basal metabolism is either subnormal or
unduly high. Persons of this type may require much less or much
more food than normal in order to get the same result as the individual
whose basal metabolism is normal. They should seek medical
assistance with their problem. Normal weight means better health,
more energy, increased resistance to disease, greater nervous and
emotional stability, and greater working efficiency.



Clothing an Important Factor
'T'HE amount of lost time due to illness and the diminished labor
output due to poor health which results from improper under­
standing of what and how to eat are frequently further aggravated by
a lack of knowledge of what to wear. That workers do not dress
properly for their work is in part due to their ignorance of what clothes
are suitable to their particular occupation; in part to their lack of
appreciation of the importance of giving the question proper con­
sideration; in part to inadequate facilities in the factories in the way
of dressing rooms, lockers, etc., for conveniently changing their
clothes. If workers knew how to dress properly for work and then
required that proper facilities be provided to make it possible for
them to change their clothes before entering their workrooms, the
facilities would soon be forthcoming. At the present time there are
a number of intelligent employers who have spent considerable
money to provide proper dressing rooms, only to find that they are
not used. Indeed, this is true not only of dressing rooms but of other
facilities arranged for the worker’s convenience and protection.
Those of you who are teachers, or who are going to be teachers,
have the unique opportunity of training the coming generation of
workers to a proper appreciation not only of what they need for the
maintenance of proper health standards in industry but also to an
appreciation of how these things are to be obtained and how important
is their intelligent cooperation in obtaining them.
That workers should be clothed with definite reference to atmos­
pheric conditions of the workrooms, for example, is axiomatic.
Nevertheless, the violation of this fundamental principle is the cause
of an unbelievable number of respiratory infections among the workers
of this State at the present time. In a recent investigation of the
steam-laundries industry of the city of New York, made by the
bureau of industrial hygiene, it was found, for example, that great
numbers of the girls in the ironing departments wore woolen under­
wear and woolen dresses at work, although the temperature of their
workroom was frequently 80° F. and more, and the humidity was
high. This they did because of their misguided idea that it would
prevent their taking cold. Proper clothing calculated to meet the
needs of the working environment is basic to the maintenance of good
health and^ working efficiency. It is an important factor, therefore,
in production.
Any discussion of clothing in industry immediately suggests uni­
forms. These are important primarily because they can be made of
a texture suitable to the atmospheric conditions which prevail in the
workshop as well as to the materials handled. They can be made of
such design as is calculated to minimize the possibility of any portion
thereof being caught in moving belts or other machinery and so the
number of accidents can be greatly reduced. The wearing of uni­
forms, moreover, makes for personal cleanliness, and this is reflected
almost invariably in an improved morale on the part of the workers,
a reduction in the rate of labor turnover, increased output, and there­
fore greater production. Their use, especially in conjunction with
7679°—28----- 11



individual lockers in the dressing rooms, tends, moreover, to reduce
the possibility of transferring contagious or infectious diseases from
the home into the workshop.
A uniform should always include a proper head covering. A work­
room is rarely so clean that a worker is not the cleaner for wearing a
cap of some sort to cover the hair. This is particularly true where
there is lint or dust in the air resulting from one or another of the
work processes. In the case of women whose hair is unbobbed, a
cap prevents the possibility of a stray lock becoming entangled in
moving belts or other machinery.
Care of the Feet
Perhaps the most important part of a worker’s uniform is his shoes.
Almost every worker tries to take care of his feet, for it is very com­
mon in industry for workers to have to stand all day long. In many
instances they use their feet to run machinery. Generally speaking,
however, the hours are long and their feet tend to become tired even
when there has been no undue strain put upon them. It has been
our experience from the observation of large numbers of workers that
the efforts to protect their feet are frequently quite misguided, often
being confined to the use of hot foot baths in the evening. The hot
foot bath is all right as far as it goes, but it is far more logical and
more effective to prevent the foot ache than to try to remedy it
afterwards. All workers should be given an opportunity to see a
skeleton of the foot and personally to examine it. These skeletons
are neither expensive nor difficult to obtain. Only then will they be
sufficiently impressed with the complexity of the mechanism. It has
been our experience that workers are greatly surprised at the large
number of bones which go to make up the foot; the number of articu­
lations of these bones, one with another; and the numerous ligaments
and muscles which exert a pull upon them, each in its own direction.
It is largely due to their ignorance of the anatomy of the foot that
workers give their feet so little attention. It is their tendency at the
present time to keep their oldest and most broken-down shoes for
work. Many girls may be seen wearing either bedroom slippers or
else high-heeled pumps which are so out of shape that they can not
be worn any longer for “ dress.” When one considers that the major
part of a worker’s day is spent at work, and usually on his feet, it is
not surprising that they have so much trouble with their feet. Un­
comfortable shoes and tired aching feet are a handicap not merely
through the local discomfort which they cause and the difficulty of
walking, but in the secondary strain upon the whole nervous system,
resulting in early and intense fatigue. Fatigue not only reduces
output, but predisposes to accidents.
For those in the audience who are teachers, and have the oppor­
tunity of presenting some of these facts to their students, I should
like to outline a few of the fundamental principles which it is felt
should be brought to their attention before they enter the work­
shop. Standing stock still, as you all know, causes very much
greater strain upon the feet than moving about. Many workers,
especially those tending machines, stand still for hours on end in
the course of their work. Standing still tends to induce stagnation
of the venous circulation, and thereby predisposes to the formation
of varicose veins. For those workers, therefore, who have to re­



main in one place for long periods of time, it is desirable that they
continually shift their weight from one foot to another and take a
step or two back and forth while they are standing. Rising on the
toes, from time to time, still further reduces the strain; and standing
on the outer margins of the feet for a while now and again rests
them a great deal and tends to prevent the arch from breaking down.
For those who either stand or walk a great deal, it is highly unde­
sirable to wear round garters or anything which causes constriction
around the leg, since this tends still further to impede the return
of venous blood, impairs the circulation, and predisposes to the
formation of varicose veins. Those workers who already have
varicose veins or whose legs tend to swell upon standing for any
length of time should be urged to consult a physician. Frequently
the use of elastic stockings while at work will greatly improve the
comfort of the worker and increase his efficiency as well as his general
Workers should be taught the proper position of their feet while
walking. It is surprising how few of them know it at the present
time. The toes, as you all know, should point straight ahead, not
outward. When the toes point outward, the weight of the body
is thrown upon the inner part of the foot instead of on the outer
part, and the foot tends to “ roll in,” as we call it, or get out of
balance. The ligaments and bones are pulled in the wrong direction,
and if this is continued for a long time, the feet will become per­
manently out of shape. It will then be increasingly difficult to get
shoes which are comfortable, and unless radical measures are re­
sorted to, the worker will find that he can not stand on his feet for
any length of time without great pain. Callouses and bunions are
formed in just this way. Workers should be taught the necessity
of rising on their toes ever so slightly, when they walk, and getting
a springiness into their gait. They should not use their legs as
inflexible stilts, the way so many of them do at the present time,
if they would save their feet from becoming unduly tired.
The foot bath is a common and a very good remedy for tired,
aching feet. There are improvements on the foot bath as originally
carried out, however, which should be brought to the workers’ atten­
tion. After the warm foot bath, it is an excellent procedure to im­
merse the feet first in very hot and then in very cold water, alternately,
about 15 or 20 times. This provides exercise for the muscular coats of
the blood-vessel walls. Exercise of this type for the blood vessels of
the feet and the legs keeps them more pliable and gives them better
tone, thereby greatly improving the circulation.
Other exercises which are of value for the feet, and which can
be carried out at night, are the so-called corrective exercises. The
most important of these are: (1) Rising on the toes about 20 times,
(2) walking on the toes, (3) standing on the outer margin of the foot,
and (4) using the feet to grasp with, as one grasps with the hand.
The best way to perform the last of these is to stand on a book with
the toes extending over its front edge. The toes are then bent
down as far as they will go. This exercise is repeated 15 to 20 times.
If we can teach our growing boys and girls the proper care of their
feet, and make them appreciate the need for it, much will be accom­
plished toward making them happy and efficient workers. The
number of accidents will be materially reduced.



The majority of our workers to-day fail completely to appre­
ciate the need for wearing respirators for protection against in­
jurious dusts; the need for wearing gloves and boots for the protection
of their hands and feet from the various chemicals to which they are
exposed, and the need for wearing eyeglasses for the protection of their
eyes, not merely from excessive glare, but from the danger of injury
from flying particles. They are notoriously negligent in the use of
these devices provided for their own protection, just as they are negli­
gent in the use of guards which have been especially designed for the
machines which they operate in order that their hands may be
protected from injury. Each worker from the beginning of time has
always been certain that whatever the hazards of his occupation,
nothing will happen to him. Plant managers are constantly supply­
ing their workers with all sorts of safety devices and appliances only
to find that the workers regard them as nothing but a nuisance, and
refuse* or neglect to use them. Sometimes workers actually remove
them when their foreman is not looking. In the inevitable accident
which follows, a workman may be maimed for life. It is essential
that our new generation of workers have a greater appreciation of
the need for cooperating with the department of labor in its efforts
to protect them from accidents. Until they do so, the unnecessary
and preventable loss of life and limb, which is so common at the
present time, will continue.
It is particularly difficult to persuade workers to wear respirators.
Those who have had any experience with respirators will understand
the reason for this very readily. They are unquestionably uncom­
fortable to w^ear at best, despite the attention which has been cen­
tered upon improving their design. Their use, however, is essential
to health where the atmosphere of the workshop is laden with inju­
rious dusts, fumes, or gasses. Every attempt is being made by the
department of labor to have these injurious substances removed at
their source—before they can pollute the air of the workroom. In
many instances this has already been accomplished. Where these
substances have not been removed, however, workers must under­
stand the need for protecting themselves against inhaling them.
Here, as in all other things, the hope is primarily with the younger
generation of workers. They must be made to appreciate the harm
which such dusts and fumes can do to their health. They must be
made to realize that the various safety devices are not being arbi­
trarily imposed upon them for the purpose of making them uncom­
fortable or making their work more difficult to do, but that they are
given to them entirely for their own protection. Indeed, they should
be educated to ask for them instead of discouraging their use, as many
do at the present time.
Progress in the direction of better health, greater working efficiency,
and greater production as a result of an understanding of the two
fundamental factors in personal hygiene—proper food and suitable
clothing—lies with our new workers. The older generation has
been brought up on the idea of compensation. Any condition in the
workshop is acquiesced in provided compensation will be available
in case of disability. That they should get compensation for indus­
trial diseases and accidents goes without saying, of course. Indeed,



it is the tendency at the present time to increase this compensation to
include all of the industrial diseases instead of the selected few which
are in the labor law of this State at the present time. Far more
important, however, than to receive compensation is not to need it.
The younger generation must be taught the importance of preven­
tion—prevention of accidents as well as the prevention of disease.
The prevention of disease rather than its cure is the keynote of all
public health effort at the present time. The slogan, “ Have a
health examination every birthday by your family physician” is
becoming more and more popular. Whatever the merit of prophy­
laxis as a guiding principle in public health measures in general,
however, it is all the more applicable to workers exposed to the many
hazards of industry.
Our workers should be taught what the hazards of industry are.
They should be familiar with them before they are out of school.
They should leave school with intelligence enough to investigate the
hazards of any occupation in which they anticipate working. These
hazards can not be met by being ignored. They should, of course,
be minimized wherever possible. But they must be intelligently—
not hysterically—understood by the workers exposed to them in
order that these workers may properly protect their health. An
intelligent understanding of the industrial hazards to which they are
exposed, coupled with an understanding of the general principles of
diet and general hygiene underlying good health and a willingness
to cooperate with existing authorities—such as the department of
labor—in their attempt to eliminate these hazards from industry
will result in better working conditions, healthier workers, and a
greater industrial productivity.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102