5 votes How factories were made safe Posted 4 days, 16 hours ago by skybrian Tags: history, law, workplace safety, work, factories, long read https://rootsofprogress.org/history-of-factory-safety Link information This data is scraped automatically and may be incorrect. Published Sep 12 2021 Word count 5486 words 4 comments Collapse replies Expand all Comments sorted by most votes newest first order posted relevance OK  dredmorbius 3 days, 20 hours ago (edited 3 days, 10 hours ago) Link Roots of Progress explores a fascinating and critically vital question, but does so under ideological blinders and using manifestly obvious rhetorical techniques (strawman arguments,... Roots of Progress explores a fascinating and critically vital question, but does so under ideological blinders and using manifestly obvious rhetorical techniques (strawman arguments, blame-the-victim, historical revisionism) which hugely impair the entire project. Tremendous potential. Miserable accomplishment. It is an exceedingly slanted narrative omitting much and painting a pointedly inaccurate history. The author has grossly cherry-picked sources and issues. See by comparison: The 1947 Centralia Mine Explosion https://youtube.com/watch?v=BwvpAlvM-SA (Background, though the Wikipedia article also whitewashes the history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_Centralia_mine_disaster) The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire#Aftermath Some other interesting case histories would be Union Carbide's Bhopol disaster, the Johnstown flood, PEPCON, and many others. It's a target-rich environment. 7 votes  spit-evil-olive-tips 3 days, 15 hours ago Link Parent hoo boy you weren't kidding. this is...shockingly ahistorical: this is some Malcolm Gladwell wannabe shit, trying to reduce the very complicated and long-fought battle for safe working conditions... hoo boy you weren't kidding. this is...shockingly ahistorical: The root cause of high injury rates was a wrong fundamental attitude towards safety—one shared by both workers and management. Specifically, each individual worker was seen as responsible for his own safety. No one considered it the job of management to provide a safe working environment. this is some Malcolm Gladwell wannabe shit, trying to reduce the very complicated and long-fought battle for safe working conditions down to a simplistic "there was one thing that no one had thought of!" the Factory Act of 1802 in Britain is considered the first workplace safety law. it...required factory owners to do specific things to make the factory safer. whose ass did this author pull "no one considered it the job of management" out of? entirely missing from this narrative is the role of labor unions in organizing and demanding better working conditions. if you're a worker in the 19th century, what is the one single thing that will improve your safety more than anything else? shorter hours - 8 hour instead of 12 hour shifts, 5 days a week instead of 6 or 7. less fatigue will equal fewer injuries. and that's something unions consistently pushed for throughout this period. the largest labor uprising here in the PNW was the Everett massacre in 1916. it involves workers who made shingles, which was an amazingly dangerous job, even by the standards of the time: "The saw on his left sets the pace. If the singing blade rips 50 rough shingles off the block every minute, the sawyer must reach over to its teeth 50 times in 60 seconds; if the automatic carriage feeds the odorous wood 60 times into the hungry teeth, 60 times he must reach over, turn the shingle, trim its edge on the gleaming saw in front of him, cut the narrow strip containing the knot hole with two quick movements of his right hand, and toss the completed board down the chute to the packers, meanwhile keeping eyes and ears open for the sound that asks him to feed a new block into the untiring teeth. Hour after hour the shingle weaver's hands and arms, plain, unarmored flesh and blood, are staked against the screeching steel that cares not what it severs. Hour after hour the steel sings its crescendo note as it bites into the wood, the sawdust cloud thickens, the wet sponge under the sawyer's nose fills with fine particles. "If 'cedar asthma,' the shingle weaver's occupational disease, does not get him, the steel will. Sooner or later he reaches over a little too far, the whirling blade tosses drops of deep red into the air, and a finger, a hand, or part of an arm comes sliding down the slick chute." imagine doing that for 8 hours a day, much less 12. and yet 12 hours was common, and only reduced to 10 hours by a labor strike The work day in shingle mills in those days was 12 1/2 hours. Girls and boys were working together. By organization female labor was abolished and a 10-hour day established through a strike. ctrl-F "union" in this history of workplace safety and you get one result - and it's describing why it thinks unions had nothing to do with workplace safety improvements. It was economic progress itself, not muckrakers and labor unions, that solved them. and then...we get a Socratic dialogue between a "progressive" and a "capitalist" in which the capitalist demolishes the strawman arguments brought up by the progressive. hope you enjoyed your "history" lesson, kids! 6 votes dredmorbius 3 days, 13 hours ago Link Parent Yep. I've been following Roots of Progress for a few years now. It's consistently strongly libertarian, techno-optimist, cornucopian effort. I'm not sure if that's by intent or out of ignorance... Yep. I've been following Roots of Progress for a few years now. It's consistently strongly libertarian, techno-optimist, cornucopian effort. I'm not sure if that's by intent or out of ignorance and lack of ability and insight, though the end results don't much matter. As I've said: the questions and topic it's addressing are vitally important. The capability and skil with which it's being executed are utterly unsuited to the challenge. 5 votes skybrian (OP) 3 days, 20 hours ago Link Parent Though Wikipedia tries, there is no neutral point of view. I didn’t think the article was as bad as you say. History is vast and there is always more that could be said. What they did say seems... Though Wikipedia tries, there is no neutral point of view. I didn’t think the article was as bad as you say. History is vast and there is always more that could be said. What they did say seems interesting.