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dents causing death or injury and investigation of the same ; inspectors appointed to enforce these regulations and penalties imposed upon obstructions placed in the way of the efficient performance of these duties. The regulation of bake-houses and the safety of mines is provided for, as well as protection from explosion and fire; the use of gunpowder, petroleum, etc., is guarded, and so on.
In relation to sanitary measures generally legislative action covers an extensive field. It includes house drainage, water supply, baths and warehouses, removal of nuisances, offensive trades, prevention of smoke, and public conveniences, such as urinals, the cost of which is to be defrayed from the general district rates on taxes. Then come provision for public parks, commons and inclosures regulations, the cleansing of public streets, the security of buildings and the dwelling in cellars, which was prohibited after 1848; the common lodging houses and the burial grounds.
Under sanitary measures should also be included the legislation relating to food and poisons, such as the manufacture and adulteration of food and drinks, the sale of diseased meat, the sale of arsenic, laudanum and other poisons, and various other similar enactments. The regard for human life is also seen, so far as the prevention of diseases is concerned, in the legislation in reference to vaccination, quarantine, precautions against the spread of cholera ; as well as the contagious diseases acts, which apply both to man and cattle. We find that all these questions have been the subject of legislation concern within the past century in Great Britain, and to a lesser extent in the other European countries, to which especially English labor legislation, so called, has largely served as a model.
In the report of the Bureau for 1888,* attention was called to the more important provisions of these European factory acts, which, in connection with other legislation of a socialistic tendency, are at present giving much concern to continental statesmanship. Probably in no country in the world has so much earnest consideration been expended lately in this direction as in the Swiss confederation, whose federal council has been active in agitating for an international conference to regulate labor interests.
The Federal Factories Act of 1877, as was stated in the Bureau's report for 1888, provides for the inspection of industrial establishments and requires the proprietors to adopt all practical measures for the security of employes against accident and protection of their health, and also establishes the liability in damages of employers for injuries happening to a workman in the course of employment. " It regulates not only the employment of women and child labor, but that of adults and the payment of wages. Its principal provisions relate to the safety and protection of employes; to insure proper lighting and ventilation, as well as the employment of safeguards against accidents from belting and machinery. Plans of buildings to be erected must be submitted to the proper authorities, and before work can begin legal authorization is necessary. If a dangerous condition of affairs subsequently arises the authorities require the removal of the danger or suspension of the work. Manufacturers must establish regulations for the internal workings of their establishments, to be approved by the cantonal governments. They are also required to watch over the morals and public conduct of their employes." *
*See Part 2, "Employers' Liability for personal injuries to their Employes.
In the United States, thus far, industrial legislation has occupied itself little with the sanitary regulations in the workshop, and has mainly been directed to the question of child and woman factory labor, but even restrictions in this direction have been, as yet, very limited. State departments of factory inspection have been established in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The laws of these States have considerable uniformity and seem fairly well adapted, so far as they go, to prevent many of the abuses heretofore existing, in forbidding the employment of children under certain ages, the restriction of the hours of labor of minors and women, providing for the safe guarding of exposed machinery, hatchways, fire cscapes and the like. The general factories act of New Jersey, approved April 17th, 1885, also provides “that where the factories or workshops appear so overcrowded that, in the opinion of the inspectors of factories there is danger to health, the inspectors shall have power after being supported in their opinion by some reputable physician to prohibit such overcrowding; that the inspectors of factories shall have power to order a fan or other mechanical means of proper construction if possible, for the purpose of pre
* See Bureau report for 1888, pp. 138, 139; and appendix at close of this chapter.
venting the inhalation of dust in establishments where any process is carried on by which dust is generated and inhaled by the workers to an injurious extent; that all factories and mines be ventilated so as to render harmless all impurities as near as may be."
The factory acts have generally followed the institution of Boards of Health, State and local, which within the past three decades have been organized under law, in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and some other localities, so that a more or less general interest, is now given to sanitation in the more populous centres.*
A beginning having thus been made, it is reasonable to expect that our own several State governments will, at least, soon be abreast of the advanced thought in Europe, in adopting radical and effective measures to preserve and promote the comfort and health of those whose labor produces our wealth, and on whose well being the future of our institutions depend. When attention was first called to the evils resulting from unrestricted employment of children and minors in the factories of New Jersey, objection to any interference was made by a class of employers, on the ground that such interference was an infringement oli their personal rights. But the operation of these laws has proved so wholesome, that there is little or no remonstrance now from any quarter; while many of the largest employers give a support to their enforcement. So we may well assume that all fa r-minded men will sooner or later sanction the adoption of measures to prevent the suffering and loss that now so heavily falls upon a large portion of our mill operatives in consequence of the absence of proper hygienic regulations.
It is not urged that the circumstances are precisely similar in the case of men, who have more or less option to remain in an employment known to be injurious, to those of helpless children and minors who have no choice. In the two cases there is not the same justification for legislative interference. Yet when we consider the persistence with which workmen, from force of habit or otherwise, cling to old methods and customs, and the dislike of employers to make needed improvements unless imperatively de
* Sanitary investigation into means of preserving the public health, is of recent origin in this country. Local Boards of Health had existed in the chief maritime cities, but no State board was created till that of Massachusetts in 1869. A National Board of Health was established in 1879.
manded, it may well be questioned whether there will be any changes for the better unless the State interfere to save the laborer from the result of his own ignorance and folly or of the greed and indifference of his employer. There certainly can be no objection to an investigation by scientific men into the conditions under which are conducted such industries as glass, hatting, pottery, ruhber, leather, flax and the various textile, dust generating manufactures, so as to apprise the workmen of the dangers to which they are liable and to suggest such rules for their avoidance or instigation as may be found feasible. “It is extremely important,” observes a writer in the Massachusetts Board of Health report for 1873, that every person should be advised to what extent, if at all, his occupation is prejudicial to health, and to have such perfect understanding of its dangers and the means of escaping them, that he may not through ignorance find his pecuniary success early supplemented by his physical wreck.”
In the report of the New Jersey State Board of Health for 1884, it is asserted, that “if a thorough inspection should be made into all our miils and shops, it would be found that the health of many operators was suffering from working in crowded rooms, and from impure air. Instances of this kind have already been noted by us in hatting and pottery, and are known to exist in the glass-blowing leather and other industries.” *
*In 1877, an act entitled “An Act to Establish a State Board of Health," was passed by the legislature of New Jersey. One of the provisions of this law is that it “shall make sanitary investigations and inquiries in respect to the people, the causes of diseases, and especially of epidemics and the source of mortality, and the effect of localities, employments, conditions and circumstances on the public health." Subsequently other
cts and supplements were enacted, and in 1886 these laws consolidated and enlarged by by an Act entitled "An Act to Revise, Consolidate and Amend Certain Acts Concerning Boards of Health in this State." Since 1877, this State Board of Health has made annual reports as provided, several of which have contained articles by physicians in active practice, among the workers, on industrial diseases and the need of improvement in the hygiene of various occupations extensively carried on in the State, notably the following: “Hatting as Affecting the health of Operatives," by Lalan Dennis, M. D., in the report for 1878, pages 69 to 85; “ Trades and Occupations,” by Ezra M. Hunt, M. D., report for 1883, pages 161 to 170; the “Hygiene of Occupation," general introduction, by Ezra M. Hunt, M. D., to the report for 1886, pages 157-200; “ Diseases of Hatters," by J. M. Stickley, M, D., of Orange, N. J.; "Workers in Silk, Flax and Jute," by Wm. K. Newton, M. D., of Paterson, N. J., and "Manufacture of Rubber Boots and Shoes,” by J. P. Davis, M. D., Milltown, N. J.; also “. The Diseases of Potters, their cause and prevention," by David Warman, M. D., of Trenton, N. J.
Doubtless the medical faculty has been active in stimulating inquiry into the condition of the laboring masses. One of them in particular, Dr. Thackrah, of Leeds, in a work published in 1832, entitled, “The effect of Arts, Trades, and Professions, etc., etc., on Health and Longevity," says in his preface :
“If any object that the cure, not the cause or prevention of disease, is the business of the medical practitioner, I would reply that the scientific treatment of a malady requires a knowledge of its nature, and the nature is but imperfectly understood, without a knowledge of the cause; there the modern systems of physic are singularly deficient. From Buserins to Good we find volumes on the symptoms, character, and treatment of diseases, but rarely a line on the causes as produced by employments and habits, and this line as frequently erroneous as correct. Strange this omission or ignorance in centuries of advancing knowledge.”
That the workers are exposed to forms of disease peculiar to their various avocations cannot be denied, and the faculty of medicine has so far recognized this as to have adopted into its nomenclature the term "industrial diseases,” "noxious trades,” and trades "deleterious to health,” &c. These industries may be divided into two classes. In the first class the work is naturally unhealthy, in the second class it is artificially unhealthy. In the first case the worker must suffer in health by reason of the injurious effects of the material upon which he operates, except in so far as the injurious effects can be and are counteracted by artificial continuances. This may be termed the unpreventable or more strictly, the modifiable class of diseases. In the other case the work is not naturally injurious to health, but becomes injurious by reason of the manner in which it is conducted and the surround. ings of the worker. This may be termed the preventable class of diseases. In the first case the injury to health may be greatly decreased by scientific appliances which act upon such causes as are remediable, thereby reducing the danger to a minimum. In the second class the injury to health may be entirely eliminated by the application of hygienic knowledge. In both cases medical knowledge, social science and scientific appliances must go hand in hand with executive enforcement and legislative wisdom.
As to the injurious effects of the first category of industrial diseases, which are classed as the unpreventable, no doubt can be entertained, such for instance as the dangerous mining industries, the