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Returns of Votes cast upon the Question of the Acceptance or Rejec
tion of Chapter 807 of the Acts of 1913, etc. Con.
Date of Action.
Result of Action.
Dec. 2, 1913,
Dec. 9, 1913,
Dec. 2, 1913,
Returns of the Total Vumber of Votes cast upon the Question of the
Acceptance or Rejection of Chapter 807 of the Acts of 1913, being “ An Act to provide for compensating Certain Public Employees for Injuries sustained in the Course of their Employment,” submitted to the Voters of the Several Counties of the Commonwealth at the State Election held Nov. 4, 1913, and canvassed by the County Commissioners.
SETTLEMENTS IN FATAL INJURY CASES BY NON-INSURED
A study of Table 1 will show, first, that dependents of fatally injured workmen who are not insured under the Workmen's Compensation Act are inadequately provided for, receiving slightly more on the average than one-third of the amount paid dependents in the same position under said act; second, that a grave injustice is being perpetrated upon the widows and orphans of these non-insured, fatally injured employees by the failure on the part of their employers to provide adequately for them when the hazard of industry claims the breadwinner as a victim; and third, that the average age at which fatalities overtake these employees is thirty-eight, showing not only that industry is wasteful both of life and efficiency, but that the families of these fatally injured employees are deprived of reasonable compensation at a period of life when the supporting member of the family is approaching the peak of his earning capacity.
The table is incomplete because of the inability of the Board to send inspectors to interview parents, widows, orphans and other dependents of these fatally injured employees, the facts being gathered by correspondence with these dependents. The simple, tabloid presentation of these facts is eloquent, however, of the great need of a change in the method of compensating dependents of victims of industrial accidents whose employers fail to come under the law. Many of the settlements shown in the table are made only after months of delay, a direct departure from the ideal fostered by the Workmen's Compensation Act, which requires the payment of the first week's compensation to the widow at the end of the first week after the death of the employee. In all but the exceptional case this ideal is accomplished by the insurance company covering the risk, and the widow or other dependent is in receipt of the compensation due in accordance with the Board's idea of insurance efficiency. Investigations made by the Board indicate that, while the dependents are not as well situated financially as before
the death of the insured employee, they are enabled to so reorganize their households as to at least prevent pauperism.
Had the employees covered in the table been insured under the Workmen's Compensation Act, a total of $164,488 would have been due for burial expenses, or as payments to dependents. As a matter of fact, only $60,322.42 was paid, average payment in each case of $701.42 as against an average sum due, under insurance, of $1,900.57. The total number of dependents surviving these fatally injured, non-insured employees is 208, of whom 54 are widows, 113 children and 41 fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, the average payment per dependent being $236.
The lack of uniformity in the adjustment of claims may be noted by reference to the table, a settlement of several thousand dollars being agreed upon in cases where no dependents were left, while in other cases, where the liability was apparently of equal or greater weight, and widows and minor children survive, the notation is made of “no settlement,” or a ridiculously low figure. The uniform compensation provided under the Workmen's Compensation Act makes such settlements impossible, proriding automatically for the payment of half the financial loss suffered by the death of the employee for a period of three hundred weeks from the date of the injury.
WOMEN WAGE EARNERS.
In the statistical table regarding accidents to women the basic figures were taken from reports made to the Industrial Accident Board, with the exception of the number of employees, which was taken from the “ Statistics of Manufactures" for the year 1912. No information relating to the number of employees was available for many of the classifications; consequently, the study of such classifications is incomplete.
Considering the relationship between the percentage of employees and the percentage of accidents reported, we find that in all but three groups comparatively fewer women than men were injured. This is especially true in the following, in which the difference between the percentage of women employed and women injured is from 15 to 50 per cent.: candy makers, 49; straw workers, 49; silk mills, 48; broom and brush makers, 40; rubber factories, 39; linen mills, 32; other papers, 31; knitting mills, 28; button makers, 28; other chemical workers, 26; paper and pulp mills, 26; cotton mills, 24; box makers (paper), 23; woolen mills, 19; trunk makers, 19; shoe factories, 18; soap makers, 18; carpet mills, 17; printing and publishing establishments, 17; other miscellaneous industries, 17. Of candy makers, 74 per cent. were women, to whom 25 per cent. of the accidents occurred; of the straw workers, 60 per cent. were women, to whom 11 per cent. of the accidents occurred; in the silk mills women made up 69 per cent. of the employees, to whom 21 per cent of the accidents occurred; of the brush and broom workers, women comprised 55 per cent. of the employees, to whom 15 per cent. of the accidents occurred; 25 per cent. of the trunk makers were women, to whom 6 per cent. of the accidents occurred; 26 per cent. of the soap makers were women, to whom 8 per cent. of the accidents occurred. The three exceptions mentioned above are the clothing makers, fruit and vegetable canners and preservers and harness and saddle makers ; in these there is a small percentage of women employees, with a large percentage of accidents to them. Women comprise 37 per cent. of the clothing makers, with 54 per cent. of the accidents; 26 per cent. of the fruit canners, etc., with 85 per cent. of the accidents, and 25 per cent. of harness and saddle makers, with 32 per cent. of the accidents.
In the following industries the percentages of women employed and women injured were fairly equal, the difference being 15 per cent. or less. These were the corset makers, not specified industries, makers of blank books, etc., sail, awning and tent makers, other food preparers, copper and tin plate factories, watch and clock factories, not specified textiles, bakeries and foundries. Seven thousand five hundred and forty, or 8.4 per cent. of the total number of accidents reported, occurred to women, and considering only the industries in which accidents to women were reported, 8.9 per cent. of them were to women.
In 7 of the 20 industries reporting 1,000 or more accidents, We find women making up a fair proportion of the number of employees. The wholesale and retail trade heads the list with 7,541 accidents, 1,060 of them to women. Unfortunately, there are no statistics showing the number of employees in this classification. In cotton and woolen mills, shoe and rubber factories, paper and pulp mills, in not specified manufacturing industries and other miscellaneous industries, employees are made up of from 24 to 47 per cent. of women, to whom from 8 to 22 per cent of the accidents occurred.
The most hazardous of the group, so far as women are concerned, seem to be foundries, other iron and steel workers, other metal workers, not specified and miscellaneous industries, where women make up from 1.6 to 26 per cent. of the employees, with from .8 to 9 per cent. of the accidents, and the shoe factories and woolen mills following, in which women make up 34 and 39 per cent. of the employees, respectively, with 16 and 20 per cent. of the accidents. The least hazardous are the rubber factories, paper and pulp mills and cotton mills.
Of all the industries in which women make up 5 per cent. or more of the total employees, the least hazardous are the candy and straw factories and silk mills. The most hazardous were the clothing makers, fruit and vegetable canners, harness