Girl machinery textile mill photograph north carolina 1908

Worker Safety

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    Child Labor in the Early 1900s

    In the early 1900s, it was common for children as young as four to work, often overworked, in factories, fields, etc.
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    Safer Factories being Produced

    Between 1900 and 1979 the rate of work-related deaths decreased 96 percent when compared to the GNP adjusted for inflation. Similarly, 97 percent dropped in coal mining and railroad industries during the same period. (Essentially, factory owners were losing productivity because workers were dying, so owners made factories safer, therefore increasing the GNP in the economy because more product was being made.).
  • NCLC

    The National Child Labor Committee was created. A (now famous) photographer called Lewis Hine was hired by this committee to take pictures around the country and show the true nature of child labor.
  • Child Labor 1910

    Child Labor 1910
    Children made up 18.4% of the nation's workforce.
  • NCLC against child labor

    NCLC against child labor
    The NCLC attempts to create national legislation against child labor, however, the difference among the states made it extremely difficult, as in some states children make up a lot of the workforce, and to take them out would have a large effect on the workforce in that area.
  • New Child Labor Amendment

    New Child Labor Amendment
    Congress approved a new amendment against child labor, however not enough states approved it, therefore it was void.
  • The Great Depression Begins

    The Great Depression Begins
    The Great Depression was the "worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world". It caused a decline in manufacturing, mass unemployment, and a dramatic increase in poverty worldwide.
  • National Labor Relations Act

    The National Labor Relations Act gave workers that worked in private sectors(non-government agencies such as corporations or individual businesses. the ability to unionize, take part in collective bargaining (negotiate wages and conditions), and strike.
  • National Apprentice Act

    The National Apprentice Act regulated and made a better work environment for an apprentice (a student learning a craft). The idea of apprenticeship worked well in the past, however, it was often abusive.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed, which stopped children under the age of 16 from working in an industry setting. Domestic and agricultural labor were excluded (house and farm work). This also gave workers a guaranteed 8-hour workday, minimum wage, a 40 hr work week, and overtime payment. This also gave around 700,000 Americans a raise due to the minimum wage.
  • Order 8802 was put into effect by President Roosevelt

    Order 8802 was put into effect by President Roosevelt
    Order 8802 made sure any place that received federal funding was not discriminatory in any way for employment.
  • Executive Order 10988

    It gave workers the right to unionize.
  • Equal Pay Act

    It banned differences in pay based on gender.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act

    Outlawed hiring discrimination based on age.
  • Farmington, West Virginia

    Accumulations of coal cause an explosion which kills 78 miners.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act is signed

    Occupational Safety and Health Act is signed
    The O.S.H.A. Act was signed by President Richard Nixon to help protect workers nationwide, after a "public outcry against rising injury and death rates on the job". O.S.H.A. has been working to improve working conditions and reduce injuries and fatalities nationwide since then.
  • Logan County, West Virginia

    In Buffalo Creek, one of the Pittston Coal Company's coal slurry impoundment dams bursts, releasing 175 million gallons of wastewater, killing 125 people, and leaving 4,000 homeless. All of this happened 4 days after it was checked and cleared.
  • Willow Island, West Virginia

    An unfinished cooling tower at a coal power plant collapses and causes 51 men to fall to their deaths.
  • Whirlpool Corporation v. Marshall

    The US Supreme Court decided that workers have the right to refuse work if it endangers their personal health.
  • American Textile Mfrs. Institute, Inc. v. Donovan

    "Challenged the validity of the standard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia."
  • Romeoville, Illinois

    A gas tank explodes which causes a massive fire, killing 17 workers.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut

    Bridgeport, Connecticut
    An unfinished apartment building at L'Ambiance Plaza collapses due to structural deficiencies, killing 28 construction workers.
  • Norco, Louisiana

    A malfunction in the catalytic cracking unit used to break down crude oil into gasoline causes an explosion that killed 7 and injured 42.
  • Auburn, Indiana

    At a local metal-plating plant, 5 workers are killed due to the improper mixing of chemicals.
  • North Sea

    The Piper Alpha (oil rig) explodes and kills 167 men.
  • Pasadena, Texas

    Pasadena, Texas
    During a maintenance check, a large number of flammable gases are ignited causing a series of explosions. The explosions killed 23 people and injured 314.
  • Hamlet, North Carolina

    At a never inspected chicken processing plant, 25 workers die in a fire due to the locked fire doors. The fire was caused by a faulty modification in a hydraulic line.
  • Fire Protection in Shipyard Standard

    Fire Protection in Shipyard Standard
    This new standard released by OSHA protected shipyard workers from fire hazards on ships and on land-based facilities. This helped to decrease worker injuries and deaths dramatically since shipyard fatalities and injuries were (and still are) one of the most common places for accidents in the workplace.
  • Darby Mine No. 1 disaster,

    Darby Mine No. 1 disaster,
    At Holmes Mill, Kentucky, a methane explosion at the Darby mine kills 5 workers. This apparently happened because of a leak in a containment area.
  • Cranes and Derricks Standard

    Cranes and Derricks Standard
    In 2010, OSHA passed this new standard. It aimed to prevent accidents in the leading cause: cranes and construction sites. It was applied on more than 250,000 worksites, prohibiting workers who are not crane and derrick-certified to operate the machinery. It also required these cranes to have inspections on a daily, monthly, and annual basis, among other regulations.
  • Worker deaths since 1970

    Worker deaths since 1970
    When the OSHA Act was passed in 1970, around 40 worker fatalities happened per day in the U.S. Currently, that number is down to about 10-15 worker deaths, about 3 times less than what we used to have. This truly shows how big of an impact OSHA has had on worker health and safety for the better. However, even though this number is significantly smaller than what it used to be, it's still around 5,475 deaths per year, which is way too much.
  • Amazon warehouses conditions and unions

    Amazon warehouses conditions and unions
    Amazon warehouses are known across the country for having poor worker conditions, giving workers short breaks and very far in between, and not paying workers much for the work they are doing. As of late, there have been attempts to unionize at these warehouses and improve these conditions, and a current event in New York seems promising.
  • Looking Into the Future

    Looking Into the Future
    Looking into the future, we believe fatality rates will get better over time. Recent data shows that average workplace deaths are going down, and although this rate may be slow, it is still decreasing. Every time OSHA releases a new standard, there is a substantial drop in workplace accidents, showing the strong impact of these regulations. As workplace standards evolve over time, we predict workplaces around the country will get safer for the workers and evolve with the standards as well.