In many ways what happened in this era set the agenda for the rest of the 20th century. Through its chronology, introductory essay, bibliography, appendixes, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on the key events, people, organizations, and ideas of the period, this resource is a lively, complete, and accessible overview of this significant era.
Scarecrow Press. Through its chronology, introductory essay, bibliography, appendixes, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on the key events, people, organizations, and ideas of the period, this resource is a lively, complete, and accessible overview of this significant era. Get A Copy. Published September 24th by Scarecrow Press first published September 15th More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews.
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Investigators tracked down data on the nature of each accident — the cause, who was at fault, economic effects on families, and so on. Mines and railroads were included, but steel mills constituted the largest manufacturing sector. Eastman hoped to find the answers to two questions: what was the true distribution of blame for accidents between workers and employers; and, who bore the brunt of the economic burden of work accidents.
The answer to the second question was fairly clear. Of the deaths in the year of the Pittsburgh Survey, involved survivors.
Progressive Era - Wikipedia
Of the workmen injured in a three month period, employers paid hospital costs for 84 percent of them, but only 37 percent received any benefits beyond that, according to Eastman. A special cloud always threatens the home of the worker in dangerous trades I t is not just that those whose lot falls in this part of the work should endure not only all the physical torture that comes with injury, but also almost the entire economic loss which inevitably follows it. Eastman's answer to the question of blame for accidents differed from the prevailing views.
At that time, employers commonly believed that around 95 percent of all accidents were due to workers' carelessness.
Eastman challenged this conviction with figures showing that, of the accidents covered in the Survey for which fault could be determined, , or 30 percent, of them were solely the employers' fault. Further, at most, only 44 percent could be even partially blamed on the victim or fellow workmen. Shifting the statistical focus somewhat, Eastman made a strong case that even those accidents due to "carelessness" were not very clear cut. Of the deaths which were found to be the victim's fault, 47 involved very young or inexperienced workers, or those with physical conditions that made them vulnerable.
For the inattentive we maintain that human powers of attention, universally limited, are in their case further limited by the conditions under which the work is done — long hours, heat, noise, intense speed.
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For the reckless ones we maintain that natural inclination is in their case encouraged and inevitably increased by an occupation involving constant risk. Regarding the workman who was reckless, not on impulse but in a deliberate effort to cut corners, Eastman wrote in their defense:. Extreme caution is as unprofessional among the men in dangerous trades as fear would be in a soldier.
Three interrelated reforms developed in the Progressive era in response to the industrial safety problems that Crystal Eastman, William B. Hard, The Factory Inspector and others helped publicize — one of them private, and two public. Advances in technology and plant construction continued to improve conditions, but also many companies began to look at accidents as a problem to be solved, not simply an acceptable cost of doing business, and voluntarily instituted their own safety and health programs.
Workers' compensation, already established in Europe, was widely adopted in this country, in large part as a preventive measure. Many states established industrial commissions which administered one or both of these programs. At times, industry assisted the public program.
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These, in turn, gave a powerful boost to the voluntary private movement to reduce accidents. Before the Pittsburgh Survey, U.
Several factors contributed to this development. The enormous publicity generated by its formation made U. Steel particularly sensitive to public opinion in a period of growing criticism of accidents and deaths in the mills. Centralized records of accidents throughout the corporation made the company more aware of the exact dimensions of the safety problems in its mills.
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