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(E). REPORT OF THE FIRE PREVENTION ENGINEER Dr. C. T. GRAHAM-ROGERS, Director, Division of Industrial
Hygiene: SIR.— I herewith submit a report of my activities as fire prevention engineer of the Division of Industrial Hygiene, Department of Labor.
On April 15, 1914, I had the honor of being appointed fire prevention engineer, and I spent the first few weeks conferring with different members of the fire hazard committee of the Industrial Board.
Inasmuch as numerous laws relating to fire prevention have been but recently added to the labor laws, I was able through my former experiences to make many valuable suggestions, and to assist in formulating the present laws in relation to fire protection and to make many practical suggestions as to the application of these laws to conditions already existing.
Of particular importance were the regulations in regard to the number of exits required in certain buildings; the enclosure of stairways in fireproof material, and the installation of fire alarm signal apparatus.
I had the opportunity of witnessing some tests of fire resisting materials, made under the auspices of Columbia College, whose testing plant is located at Norman avenue and Russell street, borough of Brooklyn; also similar tests made by the Underwriters Laboratory at Chicago, Ill. These tests were made at the request of various manufacturers of fire resisting material who hoped that, having been able to demonstrate to us the fire re sisting property of their products, we would recommend that the Industrial Board place the name of their products on the list of approved materials.
I also observed the burning of a large wharf of the Mallory Steamship Co., and saw the fire resisting property of the Barrett Specification with which the roof of the wharf was covered.
As a member of the Board of Approval, I have attended various meetings at which numerous samples of fire alarm signal apparatus were submitted for approval, and tests made to determine whether they were in compliance with the specifications for alarm signal system already adopted by the Industrial Board.
During the period between May 1st and October 1st the greater part of my work consisted in field work, in which 128 factories located in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh subdistricts of the state were visited for the purpose of determining the various fire hazards and the necessity of sustaining the various orders issued by inspectors. In many places the fire hazard was greatly in evidence.
Within my district there are approximately 15,000 factories with about 500,000 employees, so it is apparent but a start in this great and valuable work has been made.
In the majority of factories visited, I am glad to say that the owners were more than willing to meet the Department half way in safeguarding the lives of their employees. A few of them complained of the drastic requirements of the law relative to the number of exits. In my investigation of these factories, I endeavored in every instance to give the manufacturers the benefit of all safe and sane conditions existing and made such recommendations to the Department.
In conclusion I will say that my duties are advisory and ao tive. I assist the chairman of the fire hazard committee of the Industrial Board in inspecting plans on appeal; attend meetings of the Industrial Board ; serve as a member of the Board of Approval for fire alarm signal systems; confer with the directors of other bureaus on matters relating to fire hazard, construction and alteration. I inspect numerous factories on appeals from orders, confer with the owners and assist them by making practical suggestions as to the best method of complying with orders, with the least possible cost consistent with safety and at the same time complying strictly with the law. In this way I feel that I have been of service to the Department not only in enforcing the laws and thereby protecting the lives of thousands of industrial workers, but in promoting cordial relations between the Department and various manufacturers.
John P. QUIGLEY,
Fire Prevention Engineer.
(5) REPORT OF MINE INSPECTOR
Hon. JAMES M. LYNCH, Commissioner of Labor.:
SIR.- I beg to submit my annual report on safety conditions in New York State mines and quarries, with tables showing accidents to employees during the year ending September 30, 1914.
There were 41 mines and 135 quarries operated during the year, though somewhat irregularly and with reduced force.
SUMMARY OF FIELD WORK FOR THE YEAR:
Mine and quarry inspections,
143 90 133 57 5 7 3 49 34
Tables below are arranged so as to show the comparative results for three years and only few explanatory remarks are necessary. The fact that the year passed without a single fatality from explosives and blasting is worthy of notice.
The re-equipment of some of the largest iron mines, for better safety of the employees as well as for the future increase of production, is most satisfactory. Modern hoisting equipments replace the old. Man-cages are introduced and much improvement is in evidence generally, with one exception where the title of the property has been in dispute.
The iron mines employed sixty-one per cent of the miners, and I have much pleasure in referring you to the steady decrease in fatality rates per 1,000 employed per annum in these mines during the last three years, namely: from 6.27 in 1912, to 5.6 in 1913, and to 3.77 in 1914.
The gypsum mining industry, employing 378 men (or twelve and a half per cent), was very unfortunate. Five gypsum miners were fatally injured, two by “haulage” and three by “falls from roof.” One“ haulage” fatality was caused by an electric loco motive running into the prostrate body of a miner and the other
fatality was caused by the squeezing of the brakeman between the car and the roof while assembling loaded cars from face. The other three fatalities were caused by “falls” from roof upon drillers and muckers who return to work before the roof is thoroughly inspected and made safe. It is pretty difficult for the mine foreman to prevent this entirely, especially when the men are working on tonnage, unless all the firing is done at end of shift, which is not always satisfactory. This high record of fatality is exceptional as records of previous years show.
Quarry fatalities are higher for this reason: In previous years commercial quarries only were inspected and this year one large quarry of a construction corporation was included in my inspections, and accounts for three additional fatalities with only 462 addition to the number of men employed. Without this construction corporation's quarry the rate of fatalities per thousand employed per annum in quarries would have been only 1.82.
NUMBER OF MEN EMPLOYED IN MINES AND QUARRIES IN 1914
To arrive at these figures a statement was secured from all operators of mines and quarries giving the average number employed by them monthly during the year, and from these monthly averages an annual average was computed. Fatal accidents given below are those that caused instant death or those that were reported as resulting in death by November 10th. Surface men in separators and crushers are not included as mine and quarry employees.
NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS IN MINES AND QUARRIES IN 1914
*3 Falls from roof or sides...
2 Falling or rolling material handled.
3 Electricity.. Sundries.
7 7 5
PERCENTAGE OF ACCIDENTS DUE TO EACH CLASS OF CAUSES
1914 Explosives and blasting ..
0.0 Hoisting, haulage and mine machinery.
30.44 Falls from roof or sides.....
30.43 Falling or rolling material handled.
0.0 Sundry causes (fall of persons, etc.).
23.81 23.81 19.05 4.75 9.52 19.05
* Includes two fatalities in non-commercial quarry. + Includes one fatality in non-commercial quarry.