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NUMBER OF ESTABLISHMENTS INSPECTED AND NUMBER OF EMPLOYES GROUPED ACCORDING TO INDUSTRY
(Does not include all factories in the state and is not a complete census.)
*There were shops of 41 railroad companies inspected in 283 cities and towns. Several companies are counted two or three times in the cities. +There were shops of 43 mining companies inspected in 84 cities and towns. Some companies are counted several times.
NUMBER OF ESTABLISHMENTS INSPECTED AND NUMBER OF EMPLOYES GROUPED ACCORDING TO DISTRICT
35,561 26,401 11,365 36, 245
9,949 6,642 1,461 3,401
44 15 15 79
2,658 1,370 1,644 4,373
2,423 1,106 1,559 4,332
City or District
Under 16 Years
Safety Work. Two years ago we were able to report splendid results accomplished under the new safety law enacted in 1913. A large number of orders were issued and complied with. This work was continued and extended during the present biennial period to many cities and towns not reached in the previous two years. The enactment of the compensation law, with the attendant increased insurance rates, opened the eyes of many employers to the need of accident prevention. Those who formerly were careless in that respect now became interested. The meager compensation received by the employes has caused them, on the other hand, to realize the truth of the saying "compensation of an injury is an apology, prevention of an injury is a benefaction.' As a result both are more willing than ever before to co-operate with the department in its efforts to enforce the law.
To gain some idea of the actual progress being made the department wrote to a number of firms asking for their accident record in recent years and their opinion of the effect of safety work on those records. Several replies were received, none of which showed an increase, but all were favorable. We sh a few in substance to show their opinion of the value of accident prevention.
“We give below the record of accidents at our plant for the past five years, covering in each case the period from May 1 to May 1:
1911, 87; 1912, 73; 1913, 79; 1914, 83; 1915, 82. “These include all accidents considered sufficiently serious to require the services of a physician. In looking these records over, we are rather surprised that there has not been a decrease in the number of accidents since we have made a special point of guarding machinery and of trying to educate our men to use greater care in their work.
"The writer has been responsible for the handling of most of these cases and feels quite positive that during the past two to three years we have sent a good many cases to the surgeon which during previous periods would have been taken care of here at the plant and would not have been included in the above figures. In other words, that the figures for 1914 and 1915 may be somewhat misleading, as probably quite a number of cases were not actually serious enough to warrant sending them to a surgeon.-Washburn-Crosby Company."
During the two years ending July 1, 1914, the Washburn-Crosby Company reported an expenditure of approximately $4,000 for prevention work and in the last two years have added an expenditure of $2,285. The guarding recommended by this department is still incomplete but is progressing rapidly.
"Regarding the number and class of accidents at our plant, we wish to report the following: August 1, 1913, to August 1, 1914, by machinery, 8, others 42, total 50; to August 1, 1915, machinery 4, others 43, total 47; to May 1, 1916, machinery 4, others 34. Under accidents, other than those classed as machine accidents, the greatest number by far are those caused by sack sewers cutting themselves with packing needles and knives, also by loading crews in falls caused by hand trucks slipping and falling on loading platforms around cars. Within the time given above there have been three cases of broken bones in our trucking crews by falls in loading or handling cars. These are the only serious accidents we have had.
"The accidents by running machinery in this time have been comparatively few and all of minor importance. Three were caused by operators not using the approved guards provided on the machine. In one of these accidents, on a buzz planer, the man's hand was undoubtedly saved by the safety cylinder which had just been put on the machine, although there was in addition a spring cover over the knives.
"The accidents which could be prevented by proper safety devices seem to be fewer in number, and there is considerable satisfaction in the fact that all were of a minor nature. We take this to mean that the effect of the safeguarding we have done is being felt.—The Northwestern Consolidated Milling Company."
“We have your letter and are pleased to give you the information requested, which is as follows: 1912, 10 accidents; 1913, 5 accidents; 1914, none, and 1915, 1 accident.–St. Paul Twine Company.'
"Replying to your letter will say that in 1913 we had 489 accidents, in 1914 we had 418, and in 1915 we had 241. This makes a decrease in accidents in 1914 over 1913 of 14.5 per cent and a decrease in 1915 over 1914 of 42.5 per cent, and during these three years we employed larger crews than in former years. Of course, you understand that it is within the last year or two that we have been able to complete all the safety guards and appliances on our machinery to protect our men and this work is entirely due to the efforts of your department.-The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company."
"We started the work of accident prevention in March, 1913, and the statement hereto attached shows the number of employes, passengers, outeach year.
siders and trespassers killed on this railroad for the three years ending December 31, 1915:
“Of the fourteen outsiders killed on the system during 1914, seven of them were drivers of automobiles and five were drivers of vehicles. I desire to call your attention particularly to the number of trespassers killed during each year.
"Employes—1913, killed 14, injured 1,267; 1914, killed 7, injured 926; 1915, killed 5, injured 878.
"Passengers--1913, killed 1, injured 110; 1914, killed 2, injured 271; 1915, killed none, injured 141.
"Outsiders--1913, killed 6, injured 64; 1914, killed · 14, injured 62; 1915, killed 2, injured 69.
"Trespassers-1913, killed 23, injured 35; 1914, killed 23, injured 70; 1915, killed 23, injured 42.
“In 1912 the number of employes killed was 18.–Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway Company, Central Safety Committee."
The record of trespassers killed shows that the hobo has not adopted safety measures in traveling.
Of the 9,853 buildings inspected during the past two years 7,885 had machinery in use and the inspectors issued orders to guard 10,573 danger points. In 65 buildings there were no means of disconnecting the machinery or notifying the engineer to stop the machinery in case of an accident. Tools were in use in 3,835 buildings. In 80 the inspectors found bad tools in use and in 660 some that were only in fair condition. The work of the factory inspector is growing more and more technical
He must be able to analyze accident causes and in making suggestions to guard against them to demonstrate their practicability. The department has endeavored to keep pace with the progress made in prevention work in other states and by the safety experts in large establishments. Any authoritative work published on the subject is subscribed for and placed in the hands of the inspector. Photographs of substantial guards are also collected for him. Conferences are called annually or oftener, where the problems met by the inspectors are thoroughly discussed and plans made for the future.
A large number of eye injuries reported to the department caused the inspectors to make a special effort to have employers' keep tools in good condition, to guard emery wheels and to furnish goggles for their employes. Several conferences were held with employers and workmen in those industries most affected, with good results. An amendment to the safety law, making the furnishing of goggles and their use compulsory would materially aid in reducing this type of accident which are usually very costly to the industry in compensation and in loss of efficiency to the workman.
The department is also able to report progress in its campaign to require manufacturers of new machinery sold into the state to have all danger points properly guarded. Factory inspectors reported the sale of 23 machines not so guarded and notices were sent to the manufacturers and dealers to immediately guard the machines and to discontinue their further sale until guarded. Some manufacturers replied that when making sales they called attention to the guards for the machine listed in their catalogue and considered that to be sufficient. The prices of the guards in some
were exorbitant and if they were compelled to provide them on the machine it was admitted they could not make the sale at the catalogue prices. The department was insistent, however, that the guard must be on the machine before it could be sold in the state, and the controversy with these firms usually terminated by them reducing the price of the guard or furnishing it without additional cost.
Stairs, Platforms and Scaffolds. Platforms and scaffolds were reported in use in 2,556 of the buildings inspected. They were guarded in 2,347 and not guarded in 209. Vats, bins and open pits were reported in 3,215 buildings, of which 177 had some that were not properly guarded. Stairs in use in all the buildings inspected totaled 5,873, of which 618 had no hand rails for protection. In 270 places where women were employed they were not properly screened on the sides and bottoms. In 450 buildings, usually grain ele
vators, ladders were used to reach the upper floors, but 146 buildings used mechanical lifts. Aisles and passageways were reported obstructed in 21 buildings. The inspectors issued 1,328 orders to remedy the conditions specified.
Commencing with the spring of 1916 the department detailed its elevator inspector for several months to investigate scaffolds, ladders and other apparatus used in building operations. The press of work and a lack of sufficient inspectors had caused this kind of inspection to be neglected since the adoption of the safety law in 1913. He inspected 501 structures in course of construction before July 1, 1916, and issued many orders to place guard rails around the scaffolds, to repair ladders and hoisting apparatus, to keep boards with protruding nails from lying around, and others. On 343 of the structures the conditions were reported good.
Elevators and Hoist ways. The factory inspectors in their regular work reported 1,801 elevators in use in the establishments visited. They found 9 which had no protection around the elevator shafts to prevent persons falling into them. These were of course guarded at once. In many places where no regular operator is employed any employe who desires to use the elevator pulls the operating cable from where he is and raises or lowers the car to the floor where he is. It sometimes happens that the person last using the car is not through with it or that another is about to use it. For this reason the department has required that some means of signalling be provided so that notice can be given before the car is moved from another floor. Failure to do this has resulted in some places in serious accidents. The inspectors reported 346 elevators which had no such signalling device. In some cases the hand elevators were very slow moving and they considered a signal almost unnecessary. In 120 cases they were ordered or repairs required.
The department has an elevator inspector who inspects the safety devices which control the elevator. He made 871 inspections and 137 reinspections in the two years besides performing other services. One hundred and twenty-one of the elevators inspected were passenger and 750 were freight elevators. A total of 549 orders were issued to provide better protection on and around the elevators. The type of elevators in use and the conditions surrounding them are shown in the following summary of the elevator inspector's report:
Ten elevators were considered by the inspector unsafe for use because of the condition of the hoisting cables or the utter lack of safety controlling devices. They were condemned and a seal and sign prohibiting