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So 3.3
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
JAMES J. DAVIS, SECRETARY

WOMEN’S BUREAU
MARY ANDERSON, Director

BULLETIN OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU, NO. 69

CAUSES OF ABSENCE FOR MEN
AND FOR WOMEN IN FOUR
COTTON MILLS




UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1923

[Public—No. 259—66th Congress]
[H. R. 132291
AN ACT To establish in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as
■
the Women’s Bureau

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be estab­
lished in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the
Women’s Bureau.
Sec. 2. That the said bureau shall be in charge of a director, a
woman, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate, who shall receive an annual compensation
of $5,000. It shall be the duty of said bureau to formulate standards
and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women,
improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and ad­
vance their opportunities for profitable employment. ” The said
bureau shall have authority to investigate and report to the said
department upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of women in
industry. The director of said bureau may from time to time
publish the results of these investigations in such a manner and to
such extent as the Secretary of Labor may prescribe.
Sec. 3. That there shall be in said bureau an assistant director,
to be appointed by the Secretary of Labor, who shall receive an annual
compensation of $3,500 and shall perform such duties as shall be
prescribed by the director and approved by the Secretary of Labor.
Sec. 4. That there is hereby authorized to be employed, by said
bureau a chief clerk and such special agents, assistants, clerks, and
other employees at such rates of compensation and in such numbers
as Congress may from time to time provide by appropriations.
Sec. 5. That the Secretary of Labor is hereby directed to furnish
sufficient quarters, office furniture, and equipment, for the work of
this bureau.
Sec. 6. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and
after its passage.
Approved, June 5, 1920.

IX




CONTENTS
Page ■

Letter of transmittal
Introduction-----------------------------------------------i--------------------------------Summary of findings---------------------------------------------------------------------.
Sex of employees-------------------------------------------------------------------------Proportion of possible working timelost
Causes of absence
Causes of loss of time in each mill
Causes of loss of time in each department_
Causes of loss of time in different seasons_________________
Reports of mill nurses___________________________________________
Sickness__________________________________________ ,_________
Accidentsi________________________________ ___________
Time lost by night workers
21

y
1
2
3
4
5
5
9
15
18
18
20

TABLES
Table 1. Sex distribution of employees, by department______________
2. Per cent of possible working time lost, all employees, by depart­
ment.,_____________________________________________
3. Causes of loss of time by men and by women______________
4. Average number of days lost per man and per woman, by
cause_____________
5. Per cent of lost time due to illness and average number of days
lost by such cause, men and women, by department_______
6. Per cent of lost time due to accidents and average number of
days lost by such cause, men and women, by department-_
7. Per cent of lost time due to domestic and personal reasons
and average number of days lost by such cause, men and
women, by department__________________ _____________
8. Per cent of lost time due to “no work” and average number of
days lost by such cause, men and women, by department. _
9. Total time lost in relation to season of the year 1________
10. Time lost due to illness, by season of the year_____________
11. Time lost due to domestic and personal reasons, by season of
the year...____________
12. Time lost due to employees being “excused” or “let out,” by
season of the year,.
13. Time lost due to illness, by type of ailment—nurses’ reports_
14. Time lost due to accidents, by location and cause of accident—
nurses’ reports
20




in

4
4
6
7
10
11
13
14
16
16
17
17
19

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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, January 9, 1929.
I have the honor to transmit a report of the absence of men and
women in four cotton mills. In an earlier study made by the bureau
the causes of absence were ascertained fot the women but not for the
men. This study is a comparison of causes for men and women.
The investigation was made and the report written by Ethel L.
Best, industrial supervisor of the Women’s Bureau.
Respectfully submitted.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. James J. Davis,
Secretary of Labor.
Sir:




I
CAUSES OF ABSENCE FOR MEN AND FOR WOMEN
IN FOUR COTTON MILLS
INTRODUCTION

The brief report here presented is supplementary to a more extensive
study previously published that showed the absence and turnover of
men and women in 18 cotton mills.1 In the earlier study causes of
absence were ascertained for the women but not for the men. It was
therefore thought desirable by several interested groups that some
data be obtained that would permit a comparison of the amount of
time lost by men and by women due to the same causes. The primary
aim of the present study was to discover the relative importance for
men and for women of different causes of absence and to compare the
effect of the department and of the season of the year on men and on
women.
Since the first-hand collection of data on cause of absence for men
and women was too expensive and time-consuming for the resources
of the Women’s Bureau, it was decided to use what existing records
could be obtained from a few mills and to set forth the findings in a
brief pamphlet supplementary to the earlier report. Two northern
mills and two southern mills kindly permitted the bureau to have
access to their records, which in the case of the northern mills covered
the calendar year 1923 and in the case of the southern mills covered a
period beginning in June or July of 1925 and terminating in 1926.
The data comprised merely the daily reports made by the overseers as
to the absences in their various departments and the causes of such
absences as reported by them. As a rule, all illness was reported
without any division by type of ailment. In three mills, however,
the nurse gave additional information as to the kinds of illness, such as
colds, biliousness, toothache, etc. In the same three mills this more
specific information was given also for accidents, and in one of these
the nurse furnished information not only on cases that occasioned
absence from work but on all cases treated.
The mills were selected because they kept records of sickness and
accidents, not because of their likeness in size or in product. All the
mills manufactured yarn from raw cotton, and three of them also made
cloth. The mills differed considerably in the count of yarn spun and
in the fineness of the finished goods.
In compiling the material furnished by the mills an attempt was
made to have the classifications alike for the four mills, but it was
impossible to determine whether the same words carried like meaning
in the different establishments. In certain mills, for example, “let
out” apparently meant sent home by the overseer or told by him not
IU. S. Department of Labor.
Bui. 52, 1926




Women’s Bureau.

Lost time and labor turnover in cotton mills.

1

2

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

to come in for work, while “excused" covered those cases where the
workers asked the overseer in advance for permission to stay away
Nevertheless, in one mill there is no report of “excused" and from the
very large proportion of absences under “let out" it is probable that
the voluntary as well as the involuntary absences were included. In
handling the material available, therefore, it became necessary to
combine these two causes. It is of but little significance whether
absence was reported under “no reason” or “miscellaneous,” as one
man may have told the overseer that he stayed out to go fishing or to
rest while another may have stayed out for a like reason and not
mentioned it. The absences in each mill have been listed under the
reasons given and a summary has been made for comparison of
absences due to such definite causes as illness, accident, no work, and
personal and domestic reasons.
The per cent of time lost through various causes has been figured
upon the basis of the total number of days lost. Of the totaled ays
lost, from 40 per cent in one mill to 64 per cent in another were
reported under the heading “excused” or “let out” or “not reported ”
these absences are all included in the total of days lost upon which is
based the per cent of loss due to each specific cause. It was found
that if only the days lost through known causes were used as a base
or total, the proportion of lost time due to each particular cause was fur­
ther from the actual facts than where the total number of the days lost
was taken, even though in the latter case there may have been instances
where the cause, had it been known, would have fallen under illness
home duties, no work, or other specially listed reason for absence. ’
.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Time of study.
T, Fo,r
N°s- 1 and 11 the records are for the calendar year 1923.
For Mill No. Ill they are for 11 months, from the middle of June
1925, to about the middle of May, 1926. For Mill No. IV, omitted
Irom a number of the tables on time lost, the records are for a period
beginning with July, 1925, but terminating for the various depart­
ments, owing to the incompleteness of the records, at various dates
in 1926.
Proportion of men and of women employed.
The men composed about three-fifths of the force in each of the
four mills. The number of women exceeded the number of men in
three of the four spinning rooms, in one of the two cloth rooms, and
m the wind and warp department in one mill.
Relative time lost in the different mills.
The smallest proportion of time lost by men and women combined
m any one of the three mills reporting was 3.1 per cent of the possible
working time, the largest, 16.8 percent. In three mills the average
number of days lost by men ranged from 6.5 to 33.5; by women, from
11.9 to 69.
. ' E®1?® Pfiod covered, the number of working days from date an employee’s name first appeared on
the books to date of its last appearance, totaled for all names on the books.




SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

3

Causes of the loss of time of men and of women.
Illness of self.—This cause occasioned the most lost time for
both men and women in each of the four mills—
For men, from 16 per cent to 42.8 per cent.
For women, from 14.3 per cent to 40.2 per cent.
The average number of days lost by this cause in three mills was—
For men, 2.8 to 5.4 days.
For women, 4.8 to 9.8 days.
Accidents.—Very little time was lost by either men or women
through this cause, the largest proportions in any of the four mills
being 7.2 per cent for men and 1.8 per cent for women.
Lack of work.—The average number of days lost by this cause
was somewhat higher for women than for men in each of three mills.
Loss of time of men and of women in different departments.
Except in one instance, the average number of days lost through
illness was greater for women than for men in every department in
the three mills reporting.
The average number of days lost because of accident was in no
department more than 1.4 days for men nor as much as 1 day for
women. The card department suffered somewhat more from acci­
dents than did other departments.
For domestic and personal reasons, women lost an average of from
1 to 4.5 days in the various departments and men lost less than a day
in all but two instances.
Loss of time in different seasons of the year.
The autumn and winter showed the most lost time for both men
and women.
The per cent of lost time due to illness was greatest in the winter
months for the men and the women in three of the four mills.
For the men in each of the four mills lost time due to personal
reasons was greatest in either the spring or the summer; for the
women it varied from mill to mill.
Time lost by employees “let out” or “excused” was greatest in
summer or fall for both men and women in all four mills.
Time lost by night workers.
In the one mill running a regular night shift men lost 15.9 per cent
of their time through illness and women 18.2 per cent. The propor­
tion of time lost on account of accidents was greater for women than
for men, being for women 0.8 per cent and for men 0.3 per cent.
SEX OF EMPLOYEES

In spite of the fact that the product of the mills differed in quality
and one mill did no weaving at all, the sex distribution of the employees
was about the same, women constituting from 36.7 to 39.2 per cent
in the four mills. In any one department, however, the proportion
of women varied considerably in the different mills.
In the carding department, in two mills women composed between
one-tbird and one-half of the force, while in the other two mills they
composed between 5 and 10 per cent. In the spinning room, where
women usually are in a majority, not quite one-half of the force in
30869°—29----- 2




4

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

one mill and only just one-half in another were women; in the remain­
ing two mills they constituted, respectively, 72.8 and 64.4 per cent.
The proportion of women in the weaving and cloth rooms showed
wide variation in the different mills.
Table 1.—Sex

distribution of employees, by department
Ter cent men and per cent women in—

Mill

Average
num­
ber
of employees1

All depart­
ments
Men

No.
No.
No.
No.

I
11_____
Ill
IV____

924
1,911
2 255
2 861

Women

60.8
63.3
61.2
61.6

39.2
36.7
38.8
38.4

Card depart­
ment

Spin depart­
ment

Men

Men

63.5
50.3
94.5
91.9

Women
36.5
49.7
5.5
8.1

52.1
49.6
27.2
35.6

Women
47.9
50.4
72.8
64.4

Weave depart­
ment

Cloth depart­
ment

Men

Women

Men

Women

60.9
64.9
8 83. 9
6 84. 9

39.1
35.1
816.1
* 15.1

25.9
53.5
(*)
615.4

74.1
46.5
(4)
8 84.6

1 As reported by mill.
2 Includes night workers, not included in general table showing time lost.
8 Weave and cloth departments combined.
4 See weave department.
6 Twist department. No cloth woven in this mill.
6 Wind department. No cloth woven in this mill.

It is difficult to tell whether the differences in the proportion of
women employed in the same department in different mills were due
to the location of the mills and to the local labor supply, or to the
policy of the management or to the quality of the product, but it
is true that the two mills with the small proportion of women in the
card department and with the large proportion in the spinning room
were both southern mills.
.
PROPORTION OF POSSIBLE WORKING TIME LOST

The proportion of the possible working time lost showed consid­
erable variation from mill to mill and from department to department.
In the three mills for which figures were obtainable the greatest
amount of lost time occurred in the spinning department. Of two
comparable mills, the weave room in one and the cloth room in the
other had the lowest per cent of lost time. For the third mill these
two departments have been reported together and for the fourth mill
the possible working time can not be computed.
Table 2.—Per

cent of possible working time lost, all employees, by department
Per cent'of possible working time2 lost in—
Milli

No. I.................................. .......................................................................
No. II............................................................................................ ...........
No. III................................................................................. ...................

All
Card
Spin Weave Cloth
depart­ depart­ depart­ depart­ depart­
ments ment
ment
ment
ment
5.7
3.1
16.8

6.1
4.1
10.8

7.0
4.5
22.6

5.5
2.9
3 13.3

6.4
2.5

1 Owing to incomplete records Mill No. IV could not be included in this table.
2 For the period studied, the number of working days from date an employee’s name first appears on
the books to date of its last appearance, totaled for all names on the books.
3 Weave and cloth departments combined.
4 See weave department.




CAUSES OP ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

5

CAUSES OF ABSENCE
Causes of loss of time in each mill.
The principal causes of absence as given in the daily reports of
the overseers were illness, accident, personal reasons (including home
duties), and “no work.”
An additional classification that could hardly be termed a cause
came under the headings “excused” and “let out.” A very large
proportion of the days of absence were thus listed, but since no
further information was given as to the reason why the worker was
“excused” or “let out” it was impossible to determine the cause
of the absence or even whether it was voluntary or involuntary.
The table following shows for each mill the number and per cent
of days lost by the men and the women by each principal cause.




Causes of loss of time by men and by women1

Table 3.

Oi

Days lost by.specified cause in—
Mill No. I
Men

Women

Num­
ber of
days
lost
All causes....................................
Sickness of self.......... .
Accident...... ... .................
Home duties and personal reasons___
No work______________
Miscellaneous.
“Excused” or “let out” and not reported..

Per
cent

Num­
ber of
days
lost

Per
cent

6,900

100.0

8,052

2,156
500
328
400
24
3,492

31.2
7.2
4.8
5.8
.3
50.6

2,933
102
1,081
292
11
3, 633

1 See first paragraph of summary of findings, p. 2.

Women

Men

Mill No. IV

Women

Men

Women

Num­
ber of
days
lost

Per
cent

Num­
ber of
days
lost

Per
cent

Num­
ber of
days
lost

Per
cent

Num­
ber of
days
lost

Per
cent

Num­
ber of
days
lost

Pec
cent

Num­
ber of
days
lost

100.0

7,894

100.0

8,364

100.0

2,716

100.0

3,724

100.0

3,305

100.0

1,410

100.0

36.4
1.3
13.4
3.6
.1
45.1

3,377
223
796
12
129
3,357

42.8
2.8
10.1
.2
1.6
42.5

3,365
147
1,648
27
27
3,150

40.2
1.8
19.7
.3
.3
37.7

435
2
67
336
126
1,750

16.0
.1
2.5
12.4
4.6
64.4

631
7
145
313
343
2,385

14.3
.2
3.9
8.4
9.2
64.0

590
75
412
3
235
1, 990

17.9
2.3
12.5
.1
7.1
60.2

310
5
234
1
145
715

22.0
.4
16.6
.1
10.3
50.7

Per
cent

M
TT.T.S




Men

Mill No. Ill

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON

Cause

Mill No. II

7

CAUSES OF ABSENCE

The largest proportion of time lost either by men or by women
through any one definite cause was due to illness of self. There is,
however, a wide variation in the proportions lost through this cause
in the four mills. In Mill No. II a little over two-fifths of all the
time lost was reported as due to illness, while in Mill No. Ill only
about 15 per cent was so reported. In Mills Nos. I and IV the
women lost a larger proportion of their time through sickness than
did the men, while in Mills Nos. II and III the men had the larger
per cents lost by this cause.
When the average number of days of illness per person is com­
puted Mill No. Ill is found to have lost more days per man and per
woman than did the other mills. Each of the three mills for which
this figure is obtainable shows a higher average for women than for
men.
Table 4.—Average

number of days lost1 per man and per woman, by cause
Average number of days lost1 in—

Cause

Mill No. I
Men

Women

Mill No. II
Men

Women

Mill No. Ill
Men

Women

All causes.......................................................................

12.3

22.2

6.5

11.9

33.5

69.0

Sickness of self.......................................................................

3.8
.9
.6
.7
(2)
C. 2

8.1
.3
3.0
.8
(2)
10.0

2.8
.2
.7

4.8
.2
2.4
(!>
(2)
4.5

5.4
(=)
.8
4.1
1.6
21.6

9.8
.1
2.7
5.8
6.4
44.2

Home duties and personal reasons......... ...........................
No work____________ _______ ______ ___ _____ ______
“Excused” or “let out” and not reported.......................

.1
2.8

1 Total days lost during the period studied divided by average number of employees.
plete records, Mill No. IV could not be included in this table.
2 Less than 0.05.

Owing to incom­

In one mill the average number of days lost by women through
illness was more than twice that of men and in the others it was one
and a half times that of men.
In Mill No. IV the average number of days lost through sickness
was greater for men than for women, but the data for this mill are
not wholly comparable with those for the other three, since records
for several months of the year were missing in the spinning and the
winding departments, where two-thirds of the employees were
women. In this mill, therefore, a comparison of the average number
of days during which men and women were absent is heavily weighted
by the fact that the departments where women predominated cov­
ered a shorter period of time than did those where men were in a
majority. The average number of days lost may be compared for
men and women in the same department but the comparison must
not extend to the mill as a whole.
In certain records of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. for
1915-1917, the average number of days lost per year due to illness
was per man 6.8 and per woman 6.9.3 * *
This, however, is a lower
estimate than was made by the United States Commission on Indus­
3 Stecker, Margaret Loomis. Some recent morbidity data: A summary of seven community sickness
surveys made among policy holders of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1915 to 1917. New
York,' Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 1919, p. 28.




8

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

trial Relations (1913-1915), which from a study of all available
records estimated that an average of 9 days a year was lost by the
thirty-odd million wage earners in the United States through illness.4
As compared with these figures the present records of the average
number of days lost through illness seem to have been low for men
and about normal for women.
Ihe proportion of lost time that was due to accidents was less than
5 per cent in any mill, but the variation between mills was again
noticeable, Mill No. I reporting 4 per cent of the lost time due to this
cause and Mill No. Ill less than 1 per cent. Except in Mill No. Ill,
where accidents caused the loss of only two days by men and seven by
women, men lost a larger proportion of time through accidents than
did women. This would be expected, as men are engaged on more
dangerous processes than are women. In one study of accidents in
textile mills it was found that nearly 80 per cent of the total number
of accidents were experienced by men, and this was considered
largely due to the higher per cent of men in the industry and to their
being engaged on the more dangerous processes.5 The latter reason
certainly must affect the accident rate of the men, but the greater
number of men in the industry—they were reported by the census of
1920 as 58 per cent of the employees6—would hardly account, for so
wide a difference in the number of accidents experienced by the two
sexes.
■ be Proportion of time lost by men through accidents was highest
m Mill No. I, with 7.2 per cent, and lowest in Mill No. Ill, with 0.1
per cent (only two days) lost from this cause. Mill No. Ill had also
the lowest per cent of time lost from illness, and there mav be some
connection between its low illness rate and the fact that this*'establish­
ment had much the highest per cent of cases “excused” or “let out”
and absences due to “no work.” Only in Mills Nos. I and II did as
much as 1 per cent of the time lost by women result from accidents.
When the days lost through accidents are considered in relation
not to the total amount of time lost but to the average time lost per
person, the highest averages occurred for both sexes in Mill No. I, in
which the men lost an average of nearly one day (0.9) and the women of
about a third of a day (0.3).
, The importance of “no work” in occasioning lost time was quite
different in the varimis mills. It was highest in Mill No. Ill, where
one-tenth of all the time lost by men and women combined, or 4.1 days
per man and 5.8 days per woman, was due to this cause. No other
mill averaged as much as one day per employee. It would appear
that women suffered rather more than men from the shortage of work,
the average number of days lost per individual being higher for the
women in each of the three mills reported.7
The per cent of time lost through “home duties” and “personal
reasons” was strikingly different for the two sexes but varied little
from mill to mill. The amount of time lost in this way without
doubt is related to the amount of enforced absence through lack of
work. In the mills in which but little time was lost because of “no
. rT
V?11.?118*10?
?r\al ReIati?ns- Final report 1913-1915, v. 1. p. 124, Washington 1916
Gates, D. S. A statistical study of accidents in the cotton mills, print works, and worsted mills of a
textile company, 1920. Journal of Industrial Hygiene, vol. 2, pp. 288, 239
worsted mins ot a
7
®&h$.Census-Fourteenth Census: 1920, vol. 10, Manufactures, 1919, p. 159.
^
V the °PP°slt®.appears to be true, but the records missing in the case of this mill are
mainly foi the spin room, where three-fourths of the women were employed.




CAUSES OF ABSENCE

9

work” the per cent of time lost for personal reasons was high, and
where many days were lost from lack of work comparatively few
were lost for personal reasons. This is the case both for men and for
women, and would seem to show a normal need for time in which to
do housework, attend to personal business, and take recreation,
since for these purposes time was used when there was “no work”
and had to be taken especially when work was so steady as not to
allow for them.
Causes of loss of time in each department.
It has already been observed that in the four mills included in this
study the greatest amount of lost time was caused by illness of self.
With the exceptions noted here, this was true also of the different
departments. Personal and domestic reasons caused a somewhat
higher average for the men in one cloth room; in another mill “no
work” occasioned more lost time than did illness for the women in
the weave room and for the men in the card room.
When the average days lost per man and per woman in each depart­
ment are observed for the three mills for which records were prac­
tically complete,8 the striking feature is that the average number of
days lost on account of illness was consistently larger for the women
than for the men.
The amount of time lost in the different departments varied widely
from mill to mill. For example, men in the card department lost
more heavily than other men in Mill No. I and lost much less than
their share in Mill No. III. Women in the card department lost
more heavily than the average for all women in Mill No. I and fared
much better than the average in Mill No. II.
In some cases there seemed to be a tendency for men and women
working in the same department to have a like rate of absence due to
illness, that is, either both high or both low. For example, in Mill
No. I the per cent of lost time due to illness was high for both men
and women in the card room and the figures were not unlike in the
weave room. In Mill No. II the cloth room had the most illness,
for both men and women, the weaving room ranking next.
In Mill No. Ill the men in the spinning room lost a larger per
cent of their time from illness than did the women. This is an unusual
condition, influenced by three factors: In the first place, there were
44 women and only 15 men in this department, so a long illness of
one man would affect the men’s per cent to a considerable extent;
in the second place, for part of the period taken there was a consider­
able amount of trouble with the running of the frames and the absence
reported as “excused” and “no reason” was very high among the
women, possibly resulting in less loss of time from sickness; and in
the third place, some records of the spin room were not available.
The very high rate in the cloth room for both men and women in
Mill No. II also was due, without doubt, to some special condition
either in the work or in the composition of the work force, since as
a rule the time lost because of sickness is low for the cloth department.
8 For Mill No. Ill a few weeks are missing but for No. IV several months are missing.




Table 5.

Per cent of lost time due to illness and average number of days lost by such cause, men and women, by department
Time lost due to illness in—
Mill No. I

Mill No. II

Mill No. IV1

Per cent of
total 2
Men
All departments.............................................
Card department............................
Spin department.,............
Weave department.............. . ..
Cloth department...................

Average days
per employee

Women

Men

Women

Per cent of
total3
Men

Women

Average days
per employee
Men

Women

Per cent of
total3
Men

Women

Average days
per employee
Men

Women

Per cent of
total2
Men

31.2

36.4

3.8

8.1

42.8

40.2

2.8

4.8

16.0

14.3

5.4

9.8

17.9

22.0

43.3
22.2
27.9
17.6

39.1
42.9
31.0
34.8

5.1
3.5
3.4
1.3

10.7
10.3
6.6
7.7

34.1
30.6
45.7
68.8

27.7
34.7
45.8
56.7

2.6
2.6
2.7
3.5

3.9
5.2
5.1
5.5

9.7
19.1
318.0
(5)

13.0
11.8
3 25.8
(s)

2.7
10.1
8 5. 4
(5)

8.5
7.9
318.7
<5)

17.6
9.5
4 20.0
6 45. 8

28.3
18.1
4 21.9
6 26. 9

1 Average days per employee not obtainable.
2 Base includes absences for which no specific cause was given.
8 Weave and cloth departments combined.




Women

See paragraph 2 on p. 2.

4 Twist department. No cloth woven in this mill.
8 See weave department.
6 Wind department. No cloth woven in this mill.

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

Mill No. Ill

Department

Table 6.—Per cent of lost time due to accidents and average number of days lost by such cause, men and women, by department
Time lost due to accidents in—

Department

Per cent of
total1
2
•

Men

Women

Average days
per employee
Men

Women

Average days
per employee

Per cent of
total2
Men

Women

Men

Women

Per cent of
total2
Men

1.3

0.9

0.3

2.8

1.8

0.2

0.2

0.1

1.1
1.8
1.0
.7

1.4
1.0
.6
1.0

.3
.4
.2
.2

11.9
1.3
.8
2.6

6.3
1.9
.5

.9
.1

.9
.3
.1

0.2

.1

1 Average days per employee not obtainable.
2 Base includes absences for which no specific cause was given. See paragraph 2 on p. 2.
s Less than 0.05.
4 Weave and cloth departments combined.




Women

.1

«
0)

Average days
per employee
Men
(0
(?)

.2

(s>
(7)

Per cent of
tot ai2 4
Men

Women

0.1

2.3

0.4

.2

2.8
.5
61.0

6.9

Women

* Less than 0.05. Weave and cloth departments combined.
6 Twist department. No cloth woven in this mill.
fSee weave department.

.6

CAUSES OP ABSENCE

7.2
12.3
6.3
4.6
13. 7

All departments.......................................................................

Mill No. IV1

Mill No. Ill

Mill No. II

Mill No. I

12

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

Accidents formed a minor cause of lost time in all the mills and in
all the departments of the mills. For men the card department showed
higher per cents of time lost than did the mill as a whole, but the
average time lost per employee was slight. In no department was
the average number of days lost per individual on account of accidents
so much as one and a half days for the men or so much as one day for
the women. It is interesting to note that the relatively high propor­
tions of absences of men due to accidents in the carding and cloth
departments of Mill No. I do not show a much greater average of
time lost per worker than do the other departments in that same mill.
Domestic and personal reasons were, next to illness, the most impor­
tant cause of absence in practically all cases. In a few instances
where the per cent of time lost for personal reasons was exceptionally
low, such as in the spinning department of Mill No. I and the carding
and spinning departments of Mill No. Ill, for the men, and in the
weaving department in Mill No. Ill for both men and women, the
per cent of enforced absence from “no work” is unusually high.
The per cent of time lost from domestic and personal reasons in all
but two departments—a weaving and a cloth department in different
mills—is considerably higher for women than for men, and the average
number of days lost per operative is invariably greater for women.
In the three mills for which fairly complete records are available
women lost an average of from 1 to 4.5 days for personal and domestic
reasons, while in only two departments, a weave and a cloth, did men
lose as much as one day through these causes.




Table 7.—Per cent of lost time due to domestic and personal reasons and average number of days lost by such cause, men and women,

by department
Time lost due to domestic and personal reasons in—

Department

Per cent of
total2
Men

Card department--....................................................................... .
Spin department------------------ ------------ -.......... -................ .......
Weave department......... .....................—........................................
Cloth department............................................................................ -

4.8
5.1
3.3
4.7
29.4

13.4
16.3
9.4
15.0
14.1

Men
0.6
.6
.5
.6
2.1

Women
3.0
4.5
2.3
3.2
3.1

i Average days per employee not obtainable.
.
,
3 Base includes absences for which no specific cause was given. See paragraph
«Weave and cloth departments combined.




2

Men
10.1
10.1
6.9
15.3
2.6

„
on p. 2.

Women
19.7

Average days
per employee
Men
0.7

20.3
17.5
22.6
12.4

.8
.6
.9
.1

Wromen
2.4
2.9
2.6
2.5
1.2

Per cent of
total2
Men
2.5
1.2
1.3
M. 1
(5)

Women
3.9
1.5
4.3
3 2. 5
(5)

Average days
per employee
Men

Women

Per cent of
total2
Men

0.8

2.7

12.5

16.6

.3
.7
31.2
(5)

1.0
2.9
31.8
(5)

13.6
16.7
4 7. 7
6 8.3

15.2
21.9
4 9.0
6 10.4

Twist department. No cloth woven in this mill.
8 See weave department.
6 Wind department. No cloth woven in this mill.
4

Women

CAUSES OF ABSENCE

All departments—...............................................................

Wromen

Per cent of
total2

Average days
per employee

Mill No. IV 1

Mill No. Ill

Mill No. IX

Mill No. I

CO

i able

S.

Per cent of lost lime due. to “no work” and average number of days lost by such cause, men and women, by department
Time lost due to no work in—
1VU1I JNO. 1

Per cent of
total2
Men ■ Women

All departments.
Card department...
Spin department___
Weave department.
Cloth department...

lVLlll JNO. 11

Average days
per employee
Men

5.8

3.6
4.3
.4
4.0
16.6

.1

Men

0.7

.5
19.6
1.5

Women

Per cent of
total2

3.1
.1

0.3
1.2

Average days
per employee
Men

Women

(3)

(3)

0.1

1

.
.9
3.7

i Average days per employee not obtainable.
’Base includes absences for which no spcciflc cause was given. See paragraph 2 on d 2
* JLess than 0.05.
’




Women

min rso. jljj.

3.5

Tf'

0.3

Per cent of
total2
Men

Women

mm

Average days
per employee
Men

Women

12.4

8.4

4.1

5.8

13.6
5.6
< 16.2
(5)

1.5
3.9
<28.5

3.8
2.9
<4.9
(5)

1.0
2.6

(*)

< 20.7
(5)

< Weave and cloth departments combined.
4 See weave department.

in o.

lv J

Per cent of
total2
Men

Women

0.1
.1

0.1

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

Department

CAUSES OP ABSENCE

15

The per cent of time lost because there was no work varied widely
between mills, between departments, and between men and women
in the same department. In two mills the lost time attributed to
lack of work was negligible, but in the other two a considerable per
cent of time was lost in some departments. Usually a large proportion
of time lost from “no work” did not occur both for men and for
women in the same department, though it did so in weave and cloth
combined in Mill No. III. In the spinning room of Mill No. I nearly
a fifth (19.6 per cent) of the men’s lost time was from this cause, while
women in the same department lost less than 1 per cent of their time.
In the carding and weaving departments of this same mill women
lost more time because of a lack of work than did men, and in the
cloth room this reason caused a sixth of all the time lost by the women
and none of that lost by the men. In the card room of Mill No. Ill
the men lost because of no work a much higher per cent of their time
than did the women, while in the weaving room the women had nearly
twice as high a per cent of absence from this cause as had the men.
It is, of course, impossible to determine without intensive study why,
in the same department, men should lose more time than women
because there was no work, or vice versa, but the most obvious cause
would seem to be a more plentiful labor supply of one sex than of the
other. This would necessitate a dividing up of the work and there
would not be enough for all on every day.
In three mills the average number of days lost per employee
because there was no work shows no very high figure with the excep­
tion of the weave room of Mill No. Ill, where an average of 20.7 days
per woman and 4.9 days per man was lost by this cause. Next to
this department the card room in Mill No. Ill showed the highest
average number of days lost per man, 3.8 days, and the cloth room in.
Mill No. I the highest per woman, 3.7 days.
Causes of loss of time in different seasons.
The season of the year when the greatest amount of lost time
occurred varied in the different mills, and in two of the four mills it
varied also for men and women. The greatest amount of time lost
by the men occurred in the fall in two mills, in the spring in one, and
in the summer in one. Women lost most time in the autumn and the
winter, though for one mill the summer had a proportion larger by a
tenth of 1 per cent. In three mills the spring and summer had the
lowest per cents of absence. In no mill was the per cent lowest in the
winter months.
These findings compare in only a small degree with those of the
United States Public Health Service, which found the highest absence
rate for both men and women in a large industrial establishment
during 1919 in April and May, and the lowest rate in June and July.9
The Women’s Bureau Bulletin 52, to which the present study is
supplementary, found the summer rate the highest even without the
absences due to “rest, recreation, vacation.” The figures in the
present study show the summer months to have a relatively small
proportion of absence, but the spring, though having the peak in
only one mill, and then only for men, has high per cents of absence
in Mills Nos. I and II and for men in No. IY. The absences by season
i U. S. Public Health Service. Sickness and absenteeism during 1919 in a large industrial establishment.
Dean K. Brundage. Reprint No. 611,1920, p. 5.




16

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

were not very significant for the fourth mill, as the spinning and
winding departments gave no report of absences for several months
m the spring, so that the number of days lost in this season naturally
would be lower than in the others.
Table 9.—Total

time lost in relation to season of the year
Per cent of days lost occurring in—

Total days lost
stu died

Mill

Men
No.
No.
No.
No.

I_____ ______
II_____ ____
III.....................
IV i....................

Women

6,900
7,894
2, 716
3, 305

8,052
8,364
3,724
1, 410

Spring
Men

Women

25.7
29.9
18.1
27.0

Summer
Men

24.3
29.0
20.7
16.6

20.5
25.5
31.8
20.2

Women
22.3
23.3
27.4
26.1

Autumn
Men
27.7
16.6
25.6
29.8

Women
26.5
17.3
27.3
39.0

•
Winter
Men

W omen

26.2
28.0
24.4
23.0

27.0
30.5
24.7
18.3

1 Records in complete for some departments of this mill.

. Of
causes that occasioned the lost time, sickness was the most
important in each season. There was a great deal of variation in the
amount of time lost through illness in the different seasons, though in
three mills the winter months had the largest amount for both men
and women.
Table 10.—Time

lost due to illness, by season of the year
Per cent of days lost due to illness occurring in—

Mill

due to illness
Spring
Men

No.
No.
No.
No.

I......................
II...................... .
Ill................ .
IV i..................

Women

2,156
3,377
435
590

2,933
3,365
631
310

Men
31.0
32.4
14.0
33.1

Women
32.8
28.8
27.9
23.5

Summer
Men
12.4
19.6
26.2
17.1

Women
13.2
19.4
19.2
28.4

Autumn
Men
17.5
15.1
28.7
21.7

Women
17.9
13.4
22.6
27.1

'Winter
Men

W omen

39.1
32.9
31.0
28.1

36.0
38.4
30.3
21.0

1 Records incomplete for some departments of this mill.

In the Public Health bulletin already quoted absence from illness
was found to be highest in March and April and lowest in July, with
January and August rating next with the same per cent.10 In another
of these bulletins, in which sick benefits for the years 1920 and 1921
were studied, the greatest number of benefits for each, year were paid
in the months of January and February, and the least were in August
and September in one year and in June and July in the next.11
The figures of the present study are in agreement with these latter
figures rather than with the former, since winter generally is the
season with the highest per Cents of time lost from illness and summer
and autumn have the lowest per cents.
Respiratory diseases probably account to some extent for the high
rate from sickness in winter. The Public Health Service found, in a
review of the diseases of workers in a five-year period, that respiratory
10 Idem.
XTn Yn7S inolobliCAHealth Service- Incidence of serious morbidity among a group of wage earners. Reprint
IN O. oU/> HIZJjy p. 4.




17

CAUSES OF ABSENCE

diseases accounted for 47 per cent of all cases of sickness,12 and accord­
ing to a study of cotton-mill operatives made by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics in 1913, tuberculosis occasioned 51 per cent more deaths
among male cotton-mill workers and 142 per cent more among female
cotton-mill workers than among nonoperatives of corresponding
age groups.13
.
As already stated, in the present study the proportion of time lost
due to accidents is small, and because of the small number of days
involved the per cents are not significant when divided into seasons.
Especially is this true of Mills Nos. Ill and IV, where very few days
were lost because of accidents. In Mills Nos. I and II, more time was
lost and more accidents occurred in the winter months than during
other seasons of the year, while the spring months in one mill and the
summer months in the other had the least absence due to accidents.
The time lost because of personal and domestic reasons was greatest
for men in the spring and summer months, and for women in the
autumn in two mills and in the spring or winter in the other two.
In only one instance was the per cent of absence due to personal and
domestic reasons high in the same season for both men and women.
Table 11.—Time

Mill

lost due to domestic and personal reasons, by season of the year

Total days lost
due to domes­
tic and person­
al reasons

Men
No.
No.
No.
No.

328
796
67
412

I__ ____ ______
II. _________
Ill-IV ‘.....................

Women
1,081
1,648
146
234

Per cent of days lost due to domestic and personal reasons
occurring in—
Summer

Spring
Men
38.6
41.8
4.5
21.8

Women

Men
18.3
16.9
46.3
28.2

27.1
32.7
6.9
15.8

Women
26.5
15.0
25.5
26.5

Autumn
Men
12.8
13.9
29.9
27.4

Women
23.4
16.7
54.5
47.4

Winter
Men
30.3
27.4
19.4
22.6

Women
23.0
35.6
13.1
10.3

i Records incomplete for some departments of this mill.

Personal and domestic reasons were more important causes of
absence for women than for men, and in the two mills where the women
lost the most time from this cause (19.7 and 16.6 per cent) the
greatest proportion of such absence occurred in the winter and
autumn months, respectively.
Table 12.—Time

Mill

lost due to employees being “excused” or “let out,” by season
of the year

Total days lost
due to being
“excused” or
“let out”
Men

No. I-.........................
No. II-.......................
No. III.......................
No. IV*......................

Women

3,337
2,735
1,457
1,692

3,457
2,749
1,315
568

Per cent of days lost due to being “excused” or ‘let out' in—
Summer

Spring
Men
24.0
24.3
21.8
26.0

Women

Men

17.7
27.8
14.3
16.9

25.9
37.6
32.4
17.0

Women
30.2
34.0
34.4
16.0

Autumn
Men
33.8
18.7
27.9
35.3

Women
33.3
20.2
33.1
46.7

Winter
Men
16.3
19.5
17.9
21.6

Women
18.8
18.1
18.3
20.4

»Records incomplete for some departments of this mill.
Yt tr. S. Public Health Service. Sickness among industrial employees. Reprint No. 1060, 1926, p. 20.
u U. S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Preventable death in cotton manufacturing
Industry. Bui. 251, 1919, pp. 112-113.




18

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

A very large proportion of absences—from a third to somewhat
less than half—were listed tinder the heading “excused” or “let out.”
While this gives no idea of the real reason, it may in most cases he
regarded as a combination of a desire for a rest or vacation on the
part of the worker and a willingness on the part of the management
that such rest or vacation should be taken. Sometimes work may
have been a bit slack or there may have been too many workers on
the books so that the management was willing to excuse or let out
the workers who so desired.
Two points are especially interesting in considering the seasons in
which workers were excused more frequently. The first is that the
highest per cent of absences listed under “excused” and “let out”
occurred in the summer and fall, both for men and for women; the
second is that it is the only classification of lost time listed in which
the high proportions of absences are in the same season for both
men and women in each of the four mills. It would appear, therefore,
that summer and autumn are the two seasons in which the workers
both desire and are permitted time off, and that the convenience of
the mill as well as the wish of the worker determines to some extent
when the desired absence shall be taken.
As already stated, a former textile study made by the bureau
showed summer to be the season in which the largest proportion of
time lost by all causes occurred.14 From this as well as from the
present study it would seem that summer is the season when the
worker desires time off if it can be obtained. Of course, this may be
because slackness of work permits the employee to be absent, but it
is more likely to be due to such causes as the pleasant weather that
enables the worker to be out of doors or the excessive heat in the mills
during the summer months.
REPORTS OF MILL NURSES

From three mills it was possible to learn the kinds of illness and
some details of the accidents from reports kept by the mill nurses.
A definite description of the ailment was not given, but the familiar
terms “cold,” “sore throat,” “stomach trouble,” and so on were
used. These have been grouped under such general headings as
“respiratory diseases” and “digestive disorders.” Where more
definite information was given as to the trouble or the organ affected
in a sufficient number of cases, separate groupings have been made.
Two of the three mills that kept anurse’s record of accidents reported
merely whether the accident occurred outside or inside the mill and
whether it was occasioned by “machinery,” by “slipping,” or by
“other causes.” The third mill reported in more detail and gave the
member affected, as a leg, foot, arm, or hand, and the nature of the
accident, whether break, bruise, or cut. Because of this difference
in material, two of the three mills will be discussed together and the
third, the mill with the more detailed information, separately.
Sickness.
For men and for women by far the greatest number of cases of
illness and of days lost through illness were caused by respiratory
diseases. For women such diseases caused, in Mills Nos. I, II, and
14 U. S. Department of Labor.
Bui. 52, 1926, p. 57.




Women’s Bureau.

Lost time and labor turnover in cotton mills

19

REPORTS OF MILL NURSES

IV, respectively 25.8, 42, and 18.4 per cent of all the days lost through
illness; for men the corresponding per cents are 31, 38.6, and25.2.
In the first two mills the average number of days per worker lost
from this cause was a little more than a day for men and about two
days for women; in Mill No. IV it was less than one day for both men
and women together. That the mill last mentioned was located in
the South may be one reason for the loss of a smaller number of days
from respiratory diseases than in the other mills, located in the
North.
Table 13.—Time

lost due to illness, by type of ailment—nurses’ reports 1
Per cent2 of days lost due to specified type of
ailment in—

Type of ailment

Mill No. I

Mill No. II

Mill No. IV3

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Total days lost by illness—Number............ ..........
Per cent...____ ______________________ ___________

2,156
100.0

2,933
100.0

3,377
100.0

3,365
100. 0

590
100.0

310
100.0

Respiratory_._.........................................................................
Digestive.................................................................................

31.0
3.3

38.6
7.0

18.4
12.0

1.7
1.0
34.6
28.5

42.0
7.7
2.3
.3
1.3
37.2
9.4

25.2
15.5

Boils...........................................................................................

25.8
4.6
5.3
.4
1.6
30.9
31.3

Not reported........... .................. ..............................................

1.7
1.4
37.5
13.8

Women

8.0

8.9

29.6
21.7

36.2
24.5

1 Information for Mill No. Ill not obtainable.
2 Base includes illnesses for which type of ailment was not reported.
3 Records incomplete for some departments of this mill.

Although workers in textile mills seem to be especially susceptible
to respiratory diseases, the large proportion of lost time due to this
cause does not appear to be peculiar to this industry. In a report
of the National Cash Register Co. it is stated that “respiratory
diseases as usual caused the greatest loss of time,”15 and in a report
of the United States Public Health Service in which 10 different
industries were studied it was found that respiratory diseases were
especially prevalent in foundries and in the garment and cigar
industries.16
In the present study no other single class of ailments approaches
respiratory diseases. Digestive disorders rank second. Though all
the per cents for this group are less than 8 in the two northern mills,
the southern mill (No. IV) reported 12 per cent of all women’s illness
and 15.5 per cent of all men's illness as due to digestive disorders.
Boils, too, appear to have been important in Mill No. IV, causing
8 or 9 per cent of all absences from illness in that mill though credited
with less than 2 per cent of the illness in Mills Nos. I and II.
Two of the mills reported sore feet as having caused small per
cents of the lost time and the same two reported the figures for
dysmenorrhea. Since the work in the textile industry requires con­
stant walking, it is not surprising that sore feet are a source of much
discomfort, but it is rather surprising that this trouble caused enough
13 National Cash Register Co., annual report, hygiene division, Dayton, Ohio, 1924. Quoted in American
Journal of Public Health, December 1925, v. 15, pp. 1122-23.
18 U. S. Public Health Service. A health study of ten thousand male industrial workers. Bui. 162,1926,
p. 142.




20

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

loss of time from work to warrant separate tabulation. In the two
mills that reported it, the proportion of time lost from this cause was
small and did not differ greatly for men and women. In one mill
there were 6 cases each for men and for women where one or more
days were lost and in the second mill there were 6 cases reported as
causing lost time for men and 12 for women.
Accidents.
In each of two mills the report of the nurse on accidents was con­
fined to whether they occurred outside or inside the mill, and if
inside whether they were caused by slipping or by machinery. The
third mill had a far more detailed report and gave information as
to the member injured and the’ character of the injury. Accidents
in the first two mills can be discussed together, but those in the third
mill will be handled separately.
Table 14.—Time

lost due to accidents, by location and cause of accident—nurses’
reports 1
Number of accidents and number of days lost in—
Mill No. I

Mill No. II

Location and cause of accident
Cases
Men
All accidents.........................
Outside mill________________
Inside mill:
Machinery................................... .
Slipping__ _____ ______ _____
Other____
Other accidents 2___________ ____
Not reported___ _____ _______

Days lost

Women

Men

Women

Cases
Men

Days lost

Women

Men

Women

'

65

19

500.0

102.0

31

14

222. 5

147.0

9

7

73.0

49.0

2

3

15.5

31.5

14
3
5
19
15

2
3
3
4

99.5
10.0
19.5
180. 0
118.0

6.0
7.5
31.0
8.5

18
2
3
6

2
4
5

147.5
19.0
9.5
31.0

30.0
51.0
34.5

■i
1 Information for Mill No. Ill not obtainable. For No. IV, see third paragraph of text following
! Not related to employment.

The only two definite causes of accident given are machinery and
slipping. In both mills machinery was much the more important
cause of accidents to men, and slipping occasioned more injuries to
women. In one mill women lost as much as 30 days from accidents
due to machinery, but these days resulted from only 2 cases of injury.
The days lost by the men in this mill ran as high as 147.5, caused by
18 cases of accident due to machinery. The average number of days
lost per man and per accident due to machinery was 7.1 days in one
plant and 8.2 days in the other, while for women the average was
3 days in one mill and 15 days in the other. Slipping was a more
important cause of accident for women than was machinery, as
much as 51 days being lost by 4 women in one mill from this cause.
Accidents outside the mill probably were those occurring in the
yard or at the entrances to the mill. Considerably more of these
occurred in Mill No. I than in Mill No. II, and more for men in
Mill No. I and for women in Mill No. II. With this classification,
and also with that of “other” inside the mill, it is impossible to form
any idea of cause, but where the cause was machinery, and more



21

REPORTS OF MILL NURSES

especially where it was slipping, it would appear that precautions
might be taken to eliminate the danger.
In Mill No IV the report showed not the agent but the nature of
the accident. Arpongthe accidents listed, cuts were the most
frequent, nearly one-half (49.8 per cent) of all the injuries to men
and 57.7 per cent of those to women being from this cause. Bruises
were second in importance for both men and women, and “foreign
bodies” were third. The last named comprised about 10 per cent of
the accidents to women and a little less than 8 per cent (7.8) to men.
Very few cases of infection were reported, and with the large number
of cuts occurring this is unusual and probably is accounted for by the
excellent attention given to all accidents by the factory nurse.
The arm and hand suffered by far the most frequent injury and
more than three-quarters of the accidents to the men and 82.4 per
cent to the women -were to these members. Accidents to the leg and
foot were about equally frequent for men and for women, but injuries
to the eye occurred much oftener with men than with women.
By far the largest number of workers having accidents had but one
in the period covered by the report, and the proportion to whom
accidents occurred more than once in the year was about the same
for men and for women, 14.1 per cent of the men and 15.4 per cent
of the women being in this group.
TIME LOST BY NIGHT WORKERS

In only two of the four mills were night shifts run, and of the§e
only one had a regular shift throughout the year for all departments.
This was Mill No. III. For this mill the most important cause of
lost time at night as well as by day was sickness. But, whereas on
the day shift in this mill the per cent of time lost through illness was
higher"for men than for women, on the night shift the reverse was
the case, the women losing through illness nearly a fifth of their time
and the men less than a sixth of theirs.
The average number of nights per worker lost by illness was nearly
the same as the average number of days per worker lost for the same
cause, but it must be remembered that the number of possible working
days is a fifth greater than the number of possible working nights. The
following summary shows briefly, in per cent of lost time and in the
average number of days or nights lost per employee on account of
illness, the difference between the day and the night shift in the
same mill:
Per cent of lost time due to illness and average number of days lost by such cause—
Mill No. Ill
Per cent of total

Average days per em­
ployee

Shift




Men

16. 0
16. 9

Women

14. 3
18. 2

Men

6. 4
4. 6

Women

9. 8
9. 0

22

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

The time lost in this mill on account of accidents was very low,
on both the day and the night shift. For men and women the per
cent of lost time due to this cause and the average time loss per
employee were greater for the night shift than the day shift, but in
both cases the actual time lost was very little when compared to the
days lost per worker in the other two mills reported. The following
summary of per cent of lost time and average number of days or
nights lost per employee due to accident shows that, although time
lost for this reason by night workers was greater than that lost by
workers on the day shift, it was nevertheless low:
Per cent of lost time due to accidents and average number of days lost by such cause—
Mill No. Ill
Per cent of total

Average days per em­
ployee

Shift
Men

Da,y__ ... . ________
Night _______ __

. _ ..

0. 1
• . 3

Women
0. 2
. 8

Men

Women

(’)

0.

1
. 4

0. 1

1 Less than 0.05.

Lack of work cost the men on the night shift about the same pro­
portion of lost time as it did those on the day shift, but considerably
leas time was lost through this cause by women on the night shift
than on the day shift. As would naturally be supposed, both men
and women lost less time for “personal reasons” and “home duties”
when working by night than by day, as some proportion of each day
undoubtedly was used for these purposes and a considerable amount
could be accomplished on Saturday and Sunday, no mill work being
performed on either of these two nights.
The amount of time for which no definite reason was given con­
stituted a large per cent of the lost time at night as well as by day.
Due to the different causes for such lost time, it is surprising that the
similarity is so great in the per cents for the day and the night shifts.
1 he per cent of time lost with no definite reason given was as follows:
Per cent of lost time for which no definite reason was reported
Mill No. in
Shift
Women

Day..
Night.




65. 4

71. 0
70. 1

CAUSES OF ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

23

PUBLICATIONS OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU

Any of these bulletins still available will be sent free of charge
upon request:
No. 1. Proposed Employment of Women During the War in the Industries of
Niagara Falls, N. Y. 16 pp. 1918.
No. 2. Labor Laws for Women in Industry in Indiana. 29 pp. 1919.
No. 3. Standards for the Employment of Women in Industry. 8 pp. Third
ed., 1921.
No. 4. Wages of Candy Makers in Philadelphia in 1919. 46 pp. 1919.
*No. 5. The Eight-Hour Day in Federal and State Legislation. 19 pp. 1919.
No. 6. The Employment of Women in Hazardous Industries in the United
States. 8 pp. 1921.
No. 7. Night-Work Laws in the United States. (1919.) 4 pp. 1920.
*No. 8. Women in the Government Service. 37 pp. 1920.
*No. 9. Home Work in Bridgeport, Conn. 35 pp. 1920.
*No. 10. Hours and Conditions of Work for Women in Industry in Virginia.
32 pp. 1920.
No. 11. Women Street Car Conductors and Ticket Agents. 90 pp. 1921.
No. 12. The New Position of Women in American Industry. 158 pp. 1920.
No. 13. Industrial Opportunities and Training for Women and Girls. 48 pp.
1921.
.
.
*No. 14. A Physiological Basis for the Shorter Working Day for Women. 20
pp. 1921.
No. 15. Some Effects of Legislation Limiting Hours of Work for Women. 26
pp. 1921.
No. 16. (See Bulletin 63.)
No. 17. Women’s Wages in Kansas. 104 pp. 1921.
No. 18. Health Problems of Women in Industry. 11 pp. 1921.
No. 19. Iowa Women in Industry. 73 pp. 1922.
*No. 20. Negro Women in Industry. 65 pp. 1922.
No. 21. Women in Rhode Island Industries. 73 pp. 1922.
*No. 22. Women in Georgia Industries. 89 pp. 1922.
No. 23. The Family Status of Breadwinning Women. 43 pp. 1922.
No. 24. Women in Maryland Industries. 96 pp. 1922.
No. 25. Women in the Candy Industry in Chicago and St. Louis. 72 pp. 1923.
No. 26. Women in Arkansas Industries. 86 pp. 1923.
No. 27. The Occupational Progress of Women. 37 pp. 1922.
No. 28. Women’s Contributions in the Field of Invention. 51 pp. 1923.
No. 29. Women in Kentucky Industries. 114 pp. 1923.
No. 30. The Share of Wage-Earning Women in Family Support. 170 pp. 1923.
No. 31. What Industry Means to Women Workers. 10 pp. 1923.
No. 32. Women in South Carolina Industries. 128 pp. 1923.
No. 33. Proceedings of the Women’s Industrial Conference. 190 pp. 1923.
No. 34. Women in Alabama Industries. 86 pp. 1924.
No. 35. Women in Missouri Industries. 127 pp. 1924.
No. 36. Radio Talks on Women in Industry. 34 pp. 1924.
No. 37. Women in New Jersey Industries. ” 99 pp. 1924.
No. 38. Married Women in Industry. 8 pp. 1924.
No. 39. Domestic Workers and their Employment Relations. 87 pp. 1924.
No. 40. (See Bulletin 63.)
No. 41. Family Status of Breadwinning Women in Four Selected Cities. 145
pp. 1925.
No. 42. List of References on Minimum Wage for Women in the United States
and Canada. 42 pp. 1925.
No. 43. Standard and Scheduled Hours of Work for Women in Industry. 68
pp. 1925.
No. 44. Women in Ohio Industries. 137 pp. 1925.
No. 45. Homo Environment and Employment Opportunities of Women in
Coal-Mine Workers’ Families. 61 pp. 1925.
No. 46. Facts About Working Women—A Graphic Presentation Based on
Census Statistics. 64 pp. 1925.
No. 47. Women in the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State of
Washington. 223 pp. 1926.
Supply exhausted.




24

CAUSES OP ABSENCE IN FOUR COTTON MILLS

*No. 48. Women in Oklahoma Industries. 118 pp. 1926.
No. 49. Women Workers and Family Support. 10 pp. 1925.
No. 50. Effects of Applied Research upon the Employment Opportunities of
American Women. 54 pp. 1926.
*No. 51. Women in Illinois Industries. 108 pp. 1926.
No. 52. Lost Time and Labor Turnover in Cotton Mills. 203 pp. 1926.
No. 53. The Status of Women in the Government Service in 1925. 103 pp.
1926.
No. 54. Changing Jobs. 12 pp. 1926.
No. 55. Women in Mississippi Industries. 89 pp. 1926.
No. 56. Women in Tennessee Industries. 120 pp. 1927.
No. 57. Women Workers and Industrial Poisons. 5 pp. 1926.
No. 58. Women in Delaware Industries. 156 pp. 1927.
No. 59. Short Talks About Working Women. 24 pp. 1927.
No. 60. Industrial Accidents to Women in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
^ 316 pp. 1927.
No. 61. The Development of Minimum-Wage Laws in the United States, 1912
_
to 1927. 635 pp. 1928.
No. 62. Women’s Employment in Vegetable Canneries in Delaware. 47 pp.
1927.
No. 63. State Lawys Affecting Working Women. 51 pp. 1927. (Revision of
Bulletins 16 and 40.)
No. 64. The Employment of Women at Night. 86 pp. 1928.
No. 65. The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment Opportunities of
Women. 498 pp. 1928. Price 75 cents.
No. 66. History of Labor Legislation for Women in Three States; Chronological
Development of Labor Legislation for Women in the United States.
(In press.)
No. 67. Women Workers in Flint, Mich. 80 pp. 1928.
No. 68. Summary: The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment
Opportunities of Women. (Reprint of Chapter II of Bulletin 65.)
22 pp. 1928.
No. 69. Causes of Absence for Men and for Women in Four Cotton Mills.
24 pp. 1929.
No. 70. Negro Women in Industry in 15 States. (In press.)
No. 71. Selected References on the Health of Women in Industry. (In press.)
Annual Reports of the Director, 1919*. 1920*. 1921*, 1922, 1923, 1924*.
1925, 1926, 1927*, 1928.
* Supply exhausted.




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