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for lectures or stereopticon views, or any educational or religious work. These men if literate are eligible to promotion at salaries ranging from $75 to $85 per month, and the company is anxious to aid in developing educational facilities and not only assures this Department of its co-operation, but of its assistance in any prac
Defects in all varieties of camps may be reduced to the following conditions: No facilities for garbage disposal, no toilets, drainage bad or no drainage, insufficient air space and overcrowding, no drinking water, no bathing facilities, no laundry facilities, no windows or insufficient windows, surrounding grounds unclean, vermin, cooking, eating and sleeping in the same room or car, shanty in need of repair, windows boarded or closed during the day or permanently closed, no fly screens, wooden bunks in tiers.
Box Cars In examining box cars for housing laborers, it has been discovered that the man employed by the railroad company to clean the camp, usually follows the laborers to the tracks and loafs during the entire day instead of performing the work for which he is paid.
Where a commissary is responsible for lodging laborers, said commissary should be obliged to maintain the premises under his care in a clean and sanitary condition. All commissaries for railroads charge laborers a fixed amount of rent for lodging in box cars that are supplied free by the company, therefore they should be compelled to keep these quarters clean, and to maintain a separate car for cooking and eating purposes.
A gradual improvement is taking place in box-car equipment, and many old cars are being destroyed each year. Recommendations this year to the various railroads by this Bureau in connection with box-car equipment have included installation of iron bunks, a separate cooking and eating car, painted or kalsomined walls, painted floors, licensing of all commissaries by this Bureau, regular weekly disinfecting and washing entire interior of car, iron gratings on windows to prevent necessity for closing during the day, discontinuance of sleeping in the commissary store car, windows in cars increased in number and size and screened.
Recommendations for Labor Camps The co-operation of the State Board of Health, the State Highway Department, all railway systems and all individual contractors is essential to success in the regulation and sanitation of labor camps. Under the present regulations of the State Board of Health concerning labor camps, a permit as to location is first issued by the local officer. Sometime later this Bureau is informed by the railroad, contractor, or other employer that a camp nas been established at a certain place, and an inspection is made by the Bureau investigator after schedules are arranged. The contractor, railroad company, or other employer is thereupon notified if any violations exist and recommendations for improvement are made.
The new sanitary code established by the Public Health Council of the State of New York, chapter 5 on labor camps, throws the entire burden of responsibility for enforcing sanitary conditions, as far as the Board of Health is concerned, on the local health officer. That this system has been entirely inefficient in the past is demonstrated by the fact that during the inspection of 689 labor camps by the Bureau during 1914, 303 cases disclosed violations of practically every provision of the sanitary code. The new chapter taking effect January 1, 1915, creates no better system of inspection than that heretofore provided because local health officers are frequently physicians in towns remote from the camp, and chapter 5 does not provide for any system of inspection, does not establish any minimum rules, does not provide any penalty for violations, does not provide for any manner of enforcement, except through a local health officer.
As has been disclosed through investigations conducted by this Bureau, the condition of labor camps in brickyards, more than those in any other industry, demonstrates the utter inefficiency of the local health officer and the local town board as allies of the State Health Department. These local authorities are either woefully ignorant or deliberately negligent of their duties.
Regulation 6 states that a permit may be revoked for cause by the local health officer or the State Commissioner of Health “after a hearing.” Although it may seem arbitrary to give the health officer power to revoke the permit without a hearing, nevertheless it would appear that in
many cases it
become necessary to immediately revoke the permit, and great harm could be done by waiting for a hearing in the matter, for conditions in the camp might become so dangerous that to continue the camp would become a menace to public health, and in a case of this kind the local health officer should be given absolute power of revocation.
Regulation 7 states that it shall be the duty of the owner, manager, foreman, etc., of the camp to detail one person, and that this person shall be responsible for the sanitary conditions of the camp. There is no reason why the owner, manager or foreman of a construction camp should escape liability by shifting the responsibility for the sanitary conditions of the camp to some other person. It is proper to detail a person to look after the sanitary conditions of the camp, but it seems that the manager, foreman or owner of the camp should be held responsible, for under the wording of regulation 7 the manager, owner, etc., of the camp could place any one person in charge and this person would be held responsible. This regulation would be stronger if it made the owner, etc., of the camp, responsible for the person in charge being a proper person.
Regulation 18 states that “the person in charge of the camp shall enforce regulation 6, chapter 2, of the sanitary code. Regulation 6 of chapter 2 states that this person, having knowledge of any person affected with any disease presumably communicable, shall report conditions to the local health officer and that the report shall contain “ all facts relating to the illness and physical condition of the affected person.” This appears to be an impossible requirement for a person in charge of the camp unless he is a physician or knows something of medicine.
Regulation 19 states that it should be the duty of “the person in charge of the camp” to immediately “isolate the affected case." Unless it is possible to place a physician in charge of each and every labor camp, there should be some rule or regulation requiring competent persons, such as visiting nurses, to make frequent inspections of these camps. No mention is made in the sanitary code of penalties for any violations, but the penalty is fixed by the Public Health Law, nor is there any mention of the number of visits a public health officer shall be required to make to the differ ent camps. All of which makes chapter 5 particularly ineffectve.
It is therefore urged:
1. That the State Board of Health shall co-operate with this Department to the extent that certain definite rules and minimum regulations in relation to sanitation and housing of laborers shall be formulated, and that such rules be complied with by all applicants for a permit to maintain such labor camp within the State of New York before such permit is issued, and that a copy of said application be sent to this Bureau upon receipt by the State Board of Health.
2. That the total capacity of shanties and cars, where laborers are lodged, be required to be posted on the outside of each car or shanty for the information of investigators, as most inspections are made during the day time, when it is difficult to obtain evidence of overcrowding.
3. That commissary agents shall be compelled to post the price of their goods in their stores so that immigrants can ascertain the cost of provisions before making purchases.
4. That perishable goods be kept in a cold place and storekeepers be obliged to protect their wares from flies and other contamination.
5. That this Bureau be empowered to enforce previously issued recommendations within a specified time when living conditions are found to be unsanitary.
6. That all commissary store-keepers be licensed by this Bureau under the same provisions as lodging house keepers; by this method they could be compelled to sell provisions at regular market prices and to comply with sanitary requirements under penalty of revocation of licenses.
A commissary store if properly licensed and regulated need not necessarily be an evil, in fact it may be a benefit to the laborers who, at the end of a hard day's work may be enabled to purchase their supplies at the camp, and on credit, when any other procedure might well be a hardship.
The following recommendations as to construction and location of permanent camps are made:
Site.— Should be dry or be properly drained. Should be substantially free from trees. Should be remote from breeding places of mosquitoes.
Shacks.-- Four hundred cubic feet air space per occupant. Preferably
divided into rooms with two cots each; every man to have his own bed which preferably should be made of metal. Building to be tight, constructed of tight matched boards or covered with water-proof paper.
Permanent ventilation on ridge, preferably of louver type, about 44 square feet per occupant. Windows should contain at least 3 square feet of glass per occupant, and doors at ends of corridors should have glass lights. Distance between shacks should be equal to at least height of shack to ridge. Plans should be filed with responsible authority.
Water.- Should be satisfactory in quality as shown by bacteriological and chemical analysis before approval and its continued purity should be provided for by frequent inspection and analysis. Quantity should be sufficient at all times. Storage should be guarded against contamination.
Disposal.- Solid wastes should be incinerated. Liquid wastes should be treated by means of cess-pools, septic tanks, filters or chemicals according to local conditions.
Food Supplies.-- Sources should be inquired into. Especially in the case of milk, tea and green vegetables. Screen all storage places.
Sanitaries.- Number must be adequate, allowing one seat to every 20 inmates of camp. Should be within reasonable distance from each house and not so placed as to menace a water supply. Houses must be fly proof.
Medical Attendance.- Hospitals should have capacity of 1 per cent of working force and 600 cubic feet of air space per bed. An isolation room should be provided.
Stables.— Should be at least 150 feet from dwellings. Floors should be graded so as to avoid accumulations of water, and this drainage collected in tight cess-pool. Manure should be removed daily.
Fumigation.— Bull pens at least once a week. Boarding houses weekly.
Family houses in which some boarders are kept every two weeks. All other houses once a month.
STATE CAMP SCHOOLS Hearings before the Committee on Education of the House of Representatives of the Sixty-third Congress, second session, on illiteracy in the United States, developed the fact that there are (census of 1910) over 406,000 illiterates in the State of New York, that over 254,000 of these are in New York City, and that 96 per cent. of the illiterates in New York City are foreign born.
The result of an experiment conducted by the Board of Education in a factory in New York City demonstrates that an illiterate factory worker “can become literate in twelve weeks; that is to say, in 60 hours, at a total cost to the employer of the wages for 60 hours.” Therefore, what can be accomplished in a factory for a factory worker can undoubtedly be accomplished for a laborer in a box car or a camp, at the cost of 60 hours' work to the employer and an exceedingly small cost to the Department of Education.