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The principal and most needful of these suggestions are to make the entire law specifically applicable to cut and cover subway work; also to limit the amount of voltage of electrical currents to be carried into underground workings.
INSPECTION OF TUNNELS AND CAISSONS IN 1914
New York City Subways
6,775 Fifty-ninth St..
1 Seventh Av..
2,225 Belmont tunnel reconstruction.
300 Canal St..
100 Flatbush Av. extensions.
500 Whitehall-Montague St.
2 Fourth Av, extension.
Sections on subway work, tunnels on aqueduct and miscellaneous work, and caissons on caisson work.
Includes only accidents on work subject to the regulations in the Labor Law.
(D) REPORT OF THE CIVIL ENGINEER Dr. C. T. GRAHAM-ROGERS, Director, Division of Industrial
Hygiene: SIR.— I respectfully submit my report, for the period terminating October 1, 1914, of work carried on under my supervision as civil engineer.
This consisted in advising agents, architects, contractors, and owners, who contemplated filing plans, how the prevailing conditions in properties under their care could be altered to conform to the laws relative to labor. Due consideration was given to economy of design and construction, that would also conform to the municipal ordinances and building codes. Architects who did not understand the meaning and objects of the statutes, submitted tentative sketches showing exits and other features prior to filing plans for new factory buildings, in order to obtain a more decisive understanding of the requirements.
The filing of plans and applications and the action of the plan examiners, of which there are three in the first district, and two in the second district, have been systematized and improved over the more primitive practice in previous quarters. Quicker plan examinations and actions more consistent with the various meanings in different parts of the laws were made. The objections filed when plans and applications were disapproved, were typewritten, in letter form and sent by mail to the applicant. Amendments were thus enabled to be drawn up in the architect's office, and filed as revisions of the plans, complying with the lawful requirements, and immediately thereafter the plans were approved.
Inasmuch as subdivision 5 of section 56 requires the Commissioner of Labor to observe and enforce any lawful municipal ordinance, by-law or regulation not in conflict with the laws relating to factories, the practice was established of forwarding to the various superintendents of buildings having jurisdiction, a copy of the applicant's plans to enable them to take action regarding construction consistent with the duties of their offices.
Below is a tabulated statement showing the plans submitted in accordance with subdivision 3, section 79-d, and a summary of the action taken by the plan examiners:
890 890 638 16 66 10 160
First Second inspection inspection
district district Total Plans and applications submitted..
155 Plans and applications examined..
155 Plans and applications approved...
65 Plans and applications awaiting reinspection..
16 Plans and applications withdrawn...
17 Plans and applications awaiting action of Industrial Board....
3 Plans and applications disapproved, awaiting proper amendment 106
54 This table shows that approximately 78 per cent of the plans submitted and examined have been approved.
Mr. William J. Picard is in charge of the plan examinations in the second district and the following extracts from his report of work are here inserted :
As practically 90 per cent of the work of this division is accomplished through correspondence, the disposal of the various propositions is considerably retarded, and the writing of lengthy letters of criticisms and suggestions necessitated. Very frequently it is necessary to write the respective supervisors and fire prevention experts requesting a personal visit to a plant before the amendments required are made clear. Owing to this condition we have under compilation a set of standard drawings, graphically illustrating the different types of exits and other features required by the Labor Law. The work along this line has not progressed as rapidly as we would have it, owing to our time and attention being taken up with the examination of plans; however, it is our intention to accomplish this end at earliest possible moment, in order that in suggesting this or that type of exit, a typical sketch can be forwarded with letter of criticisms and suggestions, thereby more vividly setting forth the particular section of law cited. In this connection I might state, we made rough sketches and blue prints of same, showing the different types of exits, winders, fire walls, etc., for the information of inspectors at the recent conference at Syracuse; these proved to be of great assistance in interpreting the different sections of law, and the necessity for standard details was evidenced by the request for additional drawings.
The plans examined in this office related to the following subjects:
Of the 65 plans approved we have at hand the estimated cost of 42, or approximately 65 per cent of the total number approved which was as follows:
Fire escapes and alterations to same.
$14,062 22,284 12,700
7,755 380,000 11,096
I take this opportunity of offering the following suggestions:
In view of the requirements of section 79-a and the other sections and Industrial Board bulletins pertinent thereto, that the Industrial Board be requested to amend section 79-d, subd. 3 of the Labor Law, by striking out the word “may” in the fourth line of this subdivision relative to the submitting of plans and insert the word "shall”. My reason for this suggestion is that many contractors, architects and builders have been and are erecting factory buildings in ignorance of the requirements and provisions of law pertaining to the particular class of buildings affected, and on completion and inspection by an inspector, it is found that numerous changes are necessitated. are aware that in the original layout.of all buildings, the most essential and primary consideration is the location of stairways, and in view of the requirements of the Labor Law, the number, location and type of these stairways being fixed, it is most essential to the parties concerned, that it be a mandatory provision of law to file plans, as changes can be made on plans at considerable less expense than can a completed building be altered.
The demand for fire escape specifications in printed form is becoming more prevalent every day, and I would suggest that standard specifications be compiled at the earliest possible moment.
In their efforts to design, alter and construct, conforming to the provisions of the factory laws, architects now see a reasoning light as to its intent and efficacy. Recent fires and the attendant catastrophes to human life and to property which imperilled human life served to emphasize the need of the present advanced laws. Their primal antipathies to the new and unaccustomed have worn off, and their education in fire prevention methods considerably advanced. Co-ordination with the plan examiners is now the rule instead of the opposition, and this will result in safe and hygienic conditions in places of employment, conserving the industrial efficiency of thousands of operatives throughout the state.