The Triangle Factory Fire occurred on March 25, 1911 in the city of New York and killed 145 workers who were mostly immigrants of Italian and Eastern Europe descent. It is one of the most infamous incidents in the history of the American industrial antiquity as the deaths were essentially preventable. Nevertheless, most of the victims died as a result of deserted safety structures and locked doors within the sweatshopedifice. This tragedy resulted to widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and resulted to the growth of a sequence of laws and regulations that protected the safety of workers. This paper examines the laws that were passed after the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911 and their effect to the labor market.
There was an inquiry by a commission of nine people on safety and working environments in the New York sweatshops. This led to the formulation of thirty-six novel laws during the period of 1911 to 1914. Further, the commission investigated on issues such as low wages, child labor, unsanitary situations, long hours, and low wages.The commission drafted 15 bills of which 7 were defeated due to republican opposition but later passed in the following years.
The Automatic Sprinklers, Fire Drills and Worker Safety were passed in 1912 to become laws. It had the following elements. First, all the factories were required to be registered, fire drills and automatic sprinklers were to be placed in the building, there was to be physical inquiry of the kids before issuance of employment certificate, smoking in factories was prohibited and gas jets were to be protected, there was prohibition of eating lunch in rooms that had poisonous substances and there was to be adequate cold and hot washing amenities for such establishments. Lastly, it entailed a summary power of Commissioner of Labor over unsanitary and unclean factories.
The Fire Escapes, Occupant Limits, Bathrooms, Cannery Conditions and Child Labor Laws were passed in 1913.It contained reorganization of labor department, fire drills and fire alarm signal structure, fire-proof vessels, fire exits and escapes, penalties for violation of labor laws and industrial code, the alteration to greater New York charter, prohibition of employment of kids under the age of fourteen, manufacturing in residences, hours of labor of females in canneries, physical inspection for kids working in factories, alteration to child labor law, compulsory education law, seats allocated to women in factories and there was a bill checking on females night work in the factories. There was to be cleanliness in factory premises and workrooms, proper ventilation, washing facilities, accident prevention, elevators, and foundries.
The Sanitation Regulations and Limited Hour for Children were passed in 1914. This law checked on the sanitation and merchant formations. The provision covered for seats for the workers of female gender, the cleanliness of the premises, size and ventilation of the room, water closets, clean water for drinking,provision of clean dressing rooms and washrooms.There was limitation of the number of hours that women worked to fifty-four hours in a week in the state of New York. The labor hours for kids aged fourteen and sixteen years in trade establishments reduced from 54 to 48 hours a week and their engagement prohibited for more than 8 hours a day or after 6 o’clock in the evening on any particular day.
There was also the Post-Fire Legislation that surged the power of New York Labor Department. The new laws ensured that there was an increase in funding to the Department of Labor in the state of New York. The regulation is what led to the establishment of an Industrial Board to propagate the Industrial Code. The move ensures that there is a force of law that protects the workers from working in unfit conditions.
The state of New York established the Fire Prevention to modernize inspections, codes and enforcement of the laws that had been passed in parliament to avert future cases of similar nature. The New York City Board passed an act in 1911 to end the confusion over the responsibilities of different city sections and agencies for assessments, conception of codes, and execution. The Bureau of fire deterrence barred smoking in factories and changed building codes to necessitate extinguishers, fire alarms, and hoses.
Additionally, a member of the commission known as Frances Perkins who became the labor secretary for Roosevelt helped in writing the Federal Labor Laws. The laws that are of critical importance to the US labor market as the person Perkins was one of the onlookers in the Triangle Factory Fire. Among her celebrated achievement include the federal laws that that set floors on wages, restraint on working hours nationwide, and initiatedthe social security system. Perkins deal is believed to have been motivated by the Triangle Fire experience in the state of New York. She strongly believed that the laws had been made based upon the experiences that she had in New York and the sacrifices of the victims that had died in that dreadful fire in 1911.
The effect of the laws to the labor market is that the New York State government launched a factory care commission and approved more than 30 laws that reformed the workplace. The legislation set standards that allowed minimum wages, maximum hours, and the situation of the workplace. The working conditions for the factory have improved in a great way and the cases of fire accidents have reduced.
In conclusion, the paper has analyzed the laws that were passed after the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911 and their effect to the labor market. The New York fire safety commissioner began reviewing the city’s sweatshops ultimately finding the hundreds were perilous. The New York fire safety commissioner has been the model of factory staff’s rights.
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