페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

not merely a question of health alone, but of safety as well. There are many factors concerned in this question which require the attention of those having knowledge of medicine, chemistry, engineering and fire prevention. In this connection, the work of one would fit in with the work of another, so that it requires constant conferences of these experts in order to secure proper protection for the worker, in order to safeguard his health, prevent accidents and eliminate the fire hazard. Thus was developed an organization of technically trained experts to make special investigations and advise on these matters. Hence the creation of a Division of Industrial Hygiene.

Organization The Division was organized during the first part of April, 1914, having as members a chief medical inspector, acting as the director, a chemical engineer, a mechanical engineer, a civil engineer, and an expert on fire prevention. Attached to the Division was the section of medical inspection, which consisted of one male and one female medical inspector. Shortly after there was added one male factory inspector, who is also a physician. There were also attached to the Division twelve factory inspectors of the 4th grade, designated as special investigators, also one confidential agent. At the end of June, 1914, the two tunnel inspectors were directed to report to the director of the Division. In addition to the field force, two plan examiners were appointed to work under the direction of the civil engineer, one examiner being attached to the New York office and one to the Albany office. The office force consisted of a secretary and two stenographers. A vacancy occurred in the position of Mechanical Engineer through the resignation of Mr. Newell on June 1, 1914. A occurred through the resignation of the female medical inspector.

A scheme of organization was formulated, which included an outline of the duties of each member of the Division, as well as the medical inspectors and special investigators. Also a plan of assignment of the attaches, a method of recording work of the proposed general activities of the Division with relation to investigation and research work. Copies of the organization plan are attached. Record cards for physical examination of children and

A vacancy also

adults were drafted, and the certificate of examination for children for working certificates as used by the health officers was partially revised.

Activities Owing to the fact that the Division was in an experimental stage, it has been difficult to follow closely or to complete the activities as outlined. This has been occasioned through the necessity of the attaches becoming acquainted with the routine of the procedure and investigating references from the Industrial Board and various divisions and bureaus of the Department. The attendance of members of the Division at meetings of the Industrial Board and special committees occupied considerable time. The Director supervised the organization of the Division and assigned the various references to the technical experts, supervised the work of the medical inspectors with relation to special surveys to be made, investigation of occupational diseases reported to the Department and physical examination of adults and children. In order to determine a proper action upon questions submitted to the Division, the director spent some time in the field, accompanying the various members of the Division on their visits to industrial and mercantile establishments. Accompanied by the different technical experts, visits were made to the Utica, Rochester and Buffalo sub-offices for the purpose of conferring with the supervising factory inspectors.

Mechanical Engineer.— The time of the mechanical engineer was devoted principally to aiding the civil engineer in becoming familiar with routine procedure and approving plans submitted for construction work, the mechanical engineer having previously handled this work. The examination of plans for exhaust system and supervision of testing same upon installation took up much of the time of the mechanical engineer up to the time of his resignation, after which a special investigator supervised the testing of the exhaust systems.

Chemical Engineer.— The chemical engineer devoted his time to analytical work in the laboratory, determining the poisonous or dangerous nature of materials submitted by the various Department attaches. Some time was also spent in field work supervising the collecting of samples for analyses and the direct analyses of atmospheric conditions in the factories and mercantile establishments for purposes of deciding on ventilation questions, or necessity for mechanical means to remove dust, fumes, gases or vapors. A number of surveys were undertaken under his special direction and a number of explosions were investigated and reported upon. Report of the chemical engineer is herewith attached.

Civil Engineer.— The civil engineer devoted his time principally to the supervision of examination of plans for new buildings and fire escape construction, being confined to the New York branch office.

Fire Prevention Engineer.— The work of the fire prevention engineer has been principally that of an adviser to the Industrial Board and various division chiefs. Questions relating to occupancy, fire escapes, fire exits, danger of fire or explosion, were referred to him, and frequent consultations were necessary with the civil engineer and chairman of the fire hazards committee of the Industrial Board. Some time was spent in consultation with the Industrial Board with reference to the adoption of regulations relating to fireproof and fire resisting material, fire cscapes and fire alarm signal systems. A great deal of time was spent in the field in order to properly decide upon questions submitted, and as the territory is a very large one, it is impossible for all matters to receive the prompt attention expected. In the First Factory Inspection District alone there is more than sufficient work for the one fire prevention engineer. It is apparent that the work of the fire prevention engineer is one of an advisory or consulting nature, and the actual amount of work done and real results accomplished cannot be shown by written reports or statistics.

Special Investigators. – In order that the special investigators should become proficient, it was necessary for them to devote some time to learning routine procedure. In rotation they were assigned to aid the civil engineer in examining plans for new construction, also to the mechanical engineer, chemical engineer and fire prevention engineer, so as to become familiar with industrial conditions and the remedial measures to be applied. During the preliminary surveys which were undertaken, they explained to the proprietors of the places visited the safeguards to be applied for the prevention of accidents and the danger of occupational poisoning, and the best means for securing efficiency through practice of industrial hygiene. The workers were also impressed with the fact that it was their duty to aid by seeing that proper safeguards were used. In many instances the result of their work was to secure better conditions and application of safeguards without the necessity of issuing orders through the Bureau of Inspection, and also to create a more friendly feeling between the factory owners and the Department.

Where an investigator possessed special knowledge of an industry, he was assigned to a technical expert to aid in securing data during the preliminary survey, and also assisted in getting photographs of improved safeguards used to protect the workers.

Medical Inspectors.— The medical inspectors devoted their time to investigation of complaints and references relating to conditions affecting the health of the workers and general sanitation. In the preliminary surveys of special industries they made such physical examinations of adults as were willing, and of children who were found present. In all cases matters relating to female workers and the examination of children were referred to the female medical inspector for attention. Cases of occupational diseases reported to the Department were investigated by the medical inspectors. Many applicants for working papers referred to the department office by the local health department as being over sixteen years of age, but having no proof, were examined by the medical inspectors on request of the chief clerk.

Tunnel Inspectors. The work of the tunnel inspectors consists in daily observations and inspection of operations in the nature of tunnels, paying especial attention to questions of safety, and where compressed air was used in the process of construction work, seeing that the regulations as promulgated by the Department were fully carried out. A greater part of their work is carried on not by issuing orders, but by means of verbal and personal instruction to contractors and foremen. All accidents reported are investigated and remedial measures recommended. Re port of the tunnel inspectors is appended.

A summary of the work of the Division shows as follows:

Investigations
Surveys
Special inspections
Prosecutions
Complaints investigated
Miscellaneous matters

968

126 1,056

31

30 1,027

This does not include the visits made by the technical members of the Division, but merely includes those made by special investigators and medical inspectors. The prosecutions were those begun by special investigators while serving in the Division of Factory Inspection. The special inspections and investigations included a large number of visits made with reference to appeals with relation to occupancy and to fire escapes as second means of exit, occasioned by the new section of the law becoming operative.

Investigations Preliminary surveys were undertaken and a separate report of each industry so visited will be submitted. The industries visited were as follows:

Under the supervision of the chemical engineer an investigation of the electro-chemical industry was completed. The industry is located almost entirely in Niagara Falls, N. Y. Many of the materials used and products produced are dangerous to the health of the operatives and in order to promulgate proper regulations it becomes necessary to make an intensive survey. This was undertaken in this case. Analyses were made of atmospheric conditions and materials used, and where possible, physical examinations of the workers were made by the medical inspector assisting the chemical engineer in the survey. The report of the chemical engineer and medical inspector showed the necessity of special regulations in this industry, and a need for medical supervision of the workers.

A special investigation was undertaken as to the colored workers in the State of New York, report of which has been submitted. This report is interesting as it was undertaken by a special investigator thoroughly acquainted with the colored population, and shows the large number of workers without the pale of the

« 이전계속 »