The Lives of Workers

By Wade, Jared | Risk Management, June 2011 | Go to article overview

The Lives of Workers


Wade, Jared, Risk Management


June is National Safety Month. For the American worker, this is a time to celebrate the progress made in employee safety over the past century but also a reminder that there is still much room for improvement. Looking back, some nine million immigrants came to America between 1900 and 1910 seeking better lives and wages. Many found work. Most found harsh workplace conditions and long hours. Deaths were frequent--at least 4,700 died while constructing the Panama Canal, for example. Today, workplace fatalities are not nearly as common but harrowing disasters still occur. Here we look back at a few of the most significant moments in workplace safety.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

March 25, 1911

In 1911, a garment factory fire killed 146 workers after an inferno broke out on the 8th floor and quickly spread upward. Since some exits were locked to prevent theft and the fire escapes were broken or useless, many of the victims met horrific ends after jumping to their deaths. Through this tragedy, however, working conditions in the city's sweatshops would be improved, as local advocates used the incident to gain popular support for unionization.

National Safety Council

October 13, 1913

In 1911, Wisconsin passed the first workers comp law and other states soon followed suit. Rising associated costs caused employers to seriously evaluate safety as a means for savings for the first time. Many companies in the railroad, mining and manufacturing sectors began requiring the use of protective equipment. This all culminated in a collaborative private sector endeavor to pool safety information and data that all member companies could access. That effort created a body that later became known as the National Safety Council and has been advocating for worker safety ever since.

Texas City Disaster

April 15, 1947

The deadliest industrial accident in American history occurred when a fire detonated more than 2,000 tons of ammonium nitrate on board the SS Grandcamp docked in the port of Texas City. Claiming negligent storage of explosives, relatives of the 581 people who died, along with injured survivors, bonded together to file the first-ever class action lawsuit against the U.S. government under the recently created Federal Tort Claims Act. The case would eventually reach the Supreme Court, which ruled 4-3 in favor of the federal government. While the plaintiffs lost, the dissenting justices were highly critical of the government, and the high-profile suit provided a wake-up call for all potential defendants imperiling the lives of American workers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Lives of Workers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.