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but primarily against the attorneys or any other intermediaries. The bill intends to prohibit any attorney from offering his serivices to the claimant in such cases. Persons who offer their own services or the services of other persons as such intermediaries are to be fined for the first offense up to 300 lire ($57.90) and for a second offense up to 2,000 lire ($386). Officials who, having received notice of accidents, give information to intermediaries so as to enable them to offer their services are to be similarly punished. All contracts with intermediaries for payment of services rendered in connection with the obtaining of compensation for injured workmen under the law shall be null and void. While the compensation paid is not as a rule subject to cession or seizure, an exception is made in favor of court fees, which injured workmen or their beneficiaries may be required to pay in case of unsuccessful lawsuits.
These are the most important reforms proposed by the bill for the purpose of preventing the practice of malingering and the fraudulent claims from which the application of the accident insurance law in Italy has greatly suffered.
The bill was referred by the Chamber of Deputies to a parliamentary commission, which approved substantially all the provisions proposed. (9) The most important modification suggested by the commission was in the constitution of the special tribunals, which, instead of consisting of three officials already overburdened with many duties, are to consist of a judge, a physician, an engineer, and one representative for the employers and one for the employees.
The parliamentary commission did not stop there, however. It pointed out that the governmental bill was drawn on narrow lines in accordance with instructions given in 1905; that since that time the criticism to which the law of 1904 has been subjected and the experience gained through its administration, uncovered many other weak points requiring corrections, and the more important changes suggested were the following: A better definition of accident, so as to include all injuries caused during employment and not through employment only; the demand of immediate notice of accident; the payment of no compensation during the first three days of disability so as to eliminate the growing number of claims for very petty accidents; a more practicable method of determining the wages of the apprentices; the better regulation of the right of revision of compensation granted, which is to be limited to one time, etc. Perhaps the most important measure proposed is the limitation of insurance to the National Accident Insurance Institution, though without interfering with the rights of mutual insurance associations and private accident funds. The measure is directed against the writing
u Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza, 1908, pp. 1030 to 1123.
of accident insurance by private insurance companies, since it was shown by investigation that their profits are large and constitute a heavy and nonproductive burden upon the industry.
PROPOSED INSURANCE FOR AGRICULTURAL LABORERS.
One of the questions raised by this parliamentary commission in its report was the possibility of extending the provisions of the accident insurance law to the agricultural laborers, who are much more numerous than the industrial workers. The commission expressed its general sympathy with the proposal but dismissed it for the present time because of practical difficulties.
Independently of these general governmental efforts at reforming the law, the question of accident insurance for agricultural laborers has come up in the Italian Parliament and the movement in its favor is gradually growing. As early as 1902 the question was seriously discussed in the Chamber of Deputies. On January 31, 1907, a bill to that effect was introduced in the Senate; and while the bill did not accomplish very much, a more carefully prepared bill with an extensive report was reintroduced on March 20, 1909.(4)
In connection with the first bill a report was made in which it was argued that the conditions of work on land were so different from the conditions in the factory or mine that a separate law was preferable to an amendment to the old law, simply extending it to the agricultural labor. The bill of 1907(b) imposed upon the owner of the farm, who managed it himself or through a hired manager, or the money or share tenant, the duty to insure the laborers he employed against industrial accidents. The insurance obligation included also the state, provincial, or communal government bodies owning agricultural land. The insurance was to be effected either through the existing insurance institutions or through special voluntary agricultural employers' associations, which might be made compulsory by the minister. Workmen employed in tending agricultural machinery operated by mechanical power remained subject to the old law. The scale of compensations proposed was simple and rather crude: 2,500 lire ($482.50) for death or total permanent disability and full wages for temporary disability. The bill also contained a long list of operations or occupations which were to be classified as agricultural, and this included: Plowing, sowing, grass mowing, transporting and handling hay, reaping and harvesting, tending stock, trimming trees, gathering, transporting, and pressing grapes, rearing silkworms, gathering mulberry leaves, fruit gathering, tree planting, cleaning of privies, sewers, irrigation ditches, etc., butter and cheese making, and repairing of farm buildings and of agricultural machinery and implements.
a Bollettino dell' Ufficio del Lavoro, Vol. XI, 1909, pp. 700–744.
During the two years that intervened between the introduction of the first and second bill the question was extensively discussed by many agricultural societies. In a lengthy report accompanying the later bill many cases were cited of approval of the intent of the bill by agricultural associations. The criticisms were directed against the details of the bill. For this reason these details were considerably modified in the latter bill, which presents very peculiar provisions.
The bill is very broad in its intent. It aims to include all agricultural labor hired for the cultivation of the soil, or any subsidiary occupations, necessary in farming, even if for a few days or hours. Those branches of agricultural labor which are covered by the general accident insurance law, such as forestry work, tending machinery, hydraulic work, leveling, road making, etc., are left undisturbed when these forms of labor are performed as independent occupations. But if they lose their industrial nature, and become forms of ordinary farm labor, they are to be treated as such.
An original feature of the bill is that which puts the responsibility for carrying the insurance upon the owner of the land, and not upon the person operating the farm or estate. But while the civil responsibility is intended to rest entirely upon the owner of the land, tenants are required to contribute one-half of the premium if they rent more than 4 hectares (9.9 acres), and one-third if renting from 1 to 4 hectares (2.5 to 9.9 acres). Tenants renting less than 1 hectare (2.5 acres) are not expected to contribute any share of the premiums.
The obligations of insurance obtain even for small holdings cultivated by the members of the family, whether the head of the family is tenant or proprietor. In the latter case the head of the family is held responsible for the insurance obligation.
The compensation scale is rather crude, as in the first bill; it requires 2,500 lire ($482.50) for a fatal accident if the victim is married, and 1,000 lire ($193) if single.
193) if single. In case of total permanent disability the compensation is 2,500 lire ($482.50), whether single or married. For temporary disability there is a daily allowance of 1 lira (19.3 cents) for single persons and 1.50 lire (29 cents) for married persons. No account is taken of differences in earning capacity, age, etc. While accidents leading to partial permanent disability are referred to in the law, no scale of compensation is provided for those, and no regulations are given concerning the distribution of compensation in fatal accidents. This is the more remarkable, as the existing Italian laws are very explicit concerning these problems.
The modern Italian tendencies concerning accident insurance are seen in the provisions of the bill, granting to the National Accident Insurance Institution the exclusive right to insurance, except that mutual associations may be formed; and the minister of agriculture
is given the right to organize compulsory mutual associations when
may think any necessary. Perhaps the most novel features of the bill proposed is the method of assessing the cost of insurance. It is based not on the number of persons employed or the wage expenses, but on the acreage of the land. A considerable advantage of simplicity may be claimed for this plan. For the purposes of each assessment the land is divided into six classes: (1) Irrigated land; (2) dry land used for grass, hay, hemp, flax, vegetables, and fruit; (3) land cultivated for onethird, and left for grazing for two-thirds; (4) land under extensive cultivation for vegetables; (5) wood lots; and (6) alpine pasture lands. It is still more remarkable, both in view of the very unsatisfactory conditions of Italian accident statistics in general, and statistics of accidents in agriculture in particular, that the law undertakes to establish the rate of accident insurance premiums for each grade of land-namely, 1.10 lire per hectare (8.6 cents per acre) for land of groups 1 and 4, 0.90 lira per hectare (7 cents per acre) for land of second group, 0.70 lira (5 cents per acre) for the third group, 0.40 lira (3 cents per acre) for the wood lots, and 0.20 lira (1.5 cents per acre) for the alpine pasture lands. For estates extending over 20,000 hectares (49,420 acres) these rates are reduced by one-third, and if extending over 50,000 hectares (123,550 acres), by one-half. Provision is made in the bill for revision of these rates after two years of experience.
The number of agricultural laborers in Italy is so much larger than that of industrial employees that the problem is one of very great importance. According to the census of 1901, persons employed in agriculture numbered over nine and a half millions as against less than 4,000,000 employed in industry.
STATISTICS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS.
The principal statistics of industrial accidents were given in discussing the general application of the law (pages 1736 to 1744). In addition to the grand totals of the number of accidents, detailed accident statistics contain very important material for the understanding not only of the problem of accident insurance, but also of industrial accidents in general. While Italian accident statistics are exceedingly fragmentary, they nevertheless contain much that is valuable and are therefore reproduced here.
Both government institutions concerned with the problem of workmen's insurance have at different times taken up the question of industrial accident statistics, namely, the Bureau of Credit and Savings Institutions (Divisione Credito e Previdenza, at present Divizione Generale del Credito e della Previdenza), and the Bureau of Labor (Ufficio del Lavoro), both in the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce ( Ministero di Agricoltura, Industria e Commercio). Ample legal authority for collection of statistics of industrial accidents is contained in the general law and the regulations, and as early as 1901 a very comprehensive scheme for the collection and elaboration of such statistics was published in the Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza (Vol. XIX, p. 525, 1907), but not until August, 1906, were the results of the elaboration of the data for 1901 and 1902 published. Moreover, the report for 1901 covers only 27,653 out of 62,699 accidents recorded, and the data are not satisfactory even for these. These data have therefore not been utilized in the analysis which follows. The report for 1902 is much more complete, including 57,617 out of 63,369 cases. It classifies accidents by industries, causes, results, and nature of injury. No later accident statistics have been published by this bureau. The Italian Bureau of Labor, organized early in 1904, began to publish reports on accident statistics in July, 1904, and altogether its statistics cover a period of two and one-half years—July, 1904, to December, 1906. Its earlier reports covered periods of three months each. A report for the entire year 1905 appeared in the spring of 1907, and one for the year 1906 in the summer of 1907. No other reports appeared until August, 1909, when a few data for July to September, 1908, were published, and in January, 1910, the data for October to December, 1908, and also totals for the six months—July to December, 1908. But somewhat unfortunately these reports are far from uniform. Their elaboration was begun on a very large scale, but soon the extent of the analysis was materially reduced, the report for 1905 being much simpler than for the last six months of 1904, and the data for 1906 containing very little except totals, so that no very extended analysis is possible except for the last six months of 1904.
The reports for 1905 contain the data by months, geographical division, insurance institution, industry, cause, age, and sex, but all the tables concerning the time have been eliminated. The combinations are mainly those of geographical division with the other factors enumerated, and there are also combinations of industry, sex, and age; industry and cause; and cause, sex, and age.
Finally, the report for 1906 contains data by geographical divisions, sex, and industry only, but no data concerning cause, time, or age; and the report for 1908 is limited to a simple classification by geographical divisions and branches of industry.
In the following table the number of accidents is given by industries for 1902, July to December, 1904, 1905, 1906, and July to December, 1908. Because of absence of reliable statistics of persons employed in these industries, it is impossible to compute accurate accident rates. The proportion of accidents to females has not changed very much, being 6.2 per cent of the total for July to December, 1904,