Page images

other than rock drillers whose deaths are tabulated above, 7 are reported as dying at more advanced ages. Of the total of 178 deaths 68 were ascribed to phthisis and 48 to bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory organs, the average age of all at death being 53 years.

The committee record their conviction that the dust developed in drilling by machinery, the use of which has much increased in recent years, is the predisposing cause of the excessive mortality among metalliferous miners, and that the use of a small water jet would easily prevent the production of dust. It also recommends the adoption of approved special rules for metalliferous mines and the prohibition of the use of percussion rock drills unless satisfactory precautions for preventing the inhalation of dust have been taken.


I Probiviri Industriali, 86 pp.; Basi Tecniche di una Cassa di Ma

ternità, 61 pp.; I Carusi nelle Solfare della Sicilia, 42 pp.; L'Ispezione del Lavoro, 64 pp. Ufficio del Lavoro, Ministero di Agricoltura, Industria e Commercio, 1904.

These four volumes are the first of a new series of publications issued by the bureau of labor of the Italian department of agriculture, industry, and commerce. They contain the results of inquiries conducted by that office upon the application of certain laws enacted by Parliament for the betterment of conditions among the working classes. The first volume of the series relates to the operation of the act of June 15, 1893, governing the creation of councils of prudhommes for the settlement of industrial disputes. This report consists of three parts, the first containing a discussion of the means provided by law for the organization of the boards, the second dealing with their functions, and the third with their jurisdiction and powers. Certain defects existing in the terms of the present law are pointed out and measures for their correction are suggested. The facts presented in the report are illustrated by means of several tabular statements.

The second volume, which is designed to assist in the application of article 6 of the law of June 19, 1902, governing the employment of women and children, consists of an inquiry into the essential requisites necessary to the support and maintenance of a maternity fund. The first portion of the report contains a brief account of the movement in Parliament for the creation of a fund of this character and of the investigations undertaken in connection therewith by the ministry of agriculture, industry, and commerce, and subsequently by the bureau of labor. The second half of the report is devoted entirely to tables.

In the third number of the series are published the results of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the employment of young boys (carusi) as laborers in the sulphur mines of Sicily. The


first part of the report is devoted to an examination of the principal literature bearing on the subject of child labor in the mines, together with a summary of the recommendations made by eminent writers with a view to alleviating the conditions under which the children are compelled to work. Other chapters contain a history of the investigation made by the labor office and a discussion of the probable effects upon the sulphur industry of the enforcement of the new law regulating the employment of women and children. The report concludes with a brief examination of the measures necessary to correct the limited scope and efficacy of the present law.

The fourth volume contains a study of the labor-inspection service in Italy as organized under the provisions of existing labor laws. The report consists of three parts, the first tracing the origin and development of the inspector's office, the second explaining its present organization and powers, and the third describing the investigations conducted by the labor bureau among the persons interested in its operation. The last chapter comprises a summary of the replies made by various employers' associations, labor exchanges, and other organizations to the inquiries sent out by the bureau concerning the efficacy and needs of the inspection service.


(Except in cases of special interest, the decisions here presented are restricted to those rendered by the Federal courts and the higher courts of the States and Territories. Only material portions of such decisions are reproduced, introductory and explanatory matter being given in the words of the editor. Decisions under statutory law are indexed under the proper headings in the cumulative index, page 655 et seq.]


EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY-EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN-AGE LIMITBRINGING CASE WITHIN STATUTE—Van Wyck v. Dickinson, Supreme Court of Michigan, 111 Northwestern Reporter, page 1033.—In this case Leroy Van Wyck sued, by his next friend, to recover damages for injuries received while in the defendant's employment, and from an adverse judgment in the circuit court of Kent County he brought this appeal. Two points were involved, one the condition of the machine at which Van Wyck was employed and the other the application of the statute making 16 years the minimum age of employment of children in establishments where life or limb is endangered. Van Wyck was 15 years of age at the time of the accident causing the injury. On both these points the supreme court held with the court below that the plaintiff had no ground for recovery. As to the child-labor statute, Judge Ostrander, speaking for the court, said:

We are asked to give some effect to the statute (act No. 113, p. 157, Laws 1901) which forbids the employment of children under the age

of 16 years in a manufacturing establishment at employment where life or limb is endangered. Section 2 of this act was amended in 1905 (act No. 171, p. 239), and it appeared that the mother of plaintiff, before defendant hired the boy, made the sworn statement required by said section (relating to age and ability to read and write). It is not averred that it was negligence to employ plaintiff in this establishment, at this work. (Borck v. Michigan Bolt and Nut Works, 111 Mich. 129, 69 N. W. 254.) [Bulletin No. 12, p. 640.] It is contended that, so long as the facts show an employment prohibited by the statute, it is immaterial, so far as the question of defendant's negligence is concerned, whether the statute is declared upon or not. If by this is meant that it is unnecessary to aver an employment such as the statute prohibits, the contention is not sound, and the point is ruled by the case abové cited. Whether a defendant is conducting a manufacturing establishment within the meaning of the statute, and whether the particular employment endangers life or limb, are questions of fact, and if it is claimed that the facts exist the rules of pleading demand a tender of the issues so that defendant may be informed of the case he is required to meet. 16251-08-14


[ocr errors]


Company, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, 57 Southeastern Reporter, page 129.—John McMillan was injured by the explosion of dynamite caps used in shooting down coal in the mine in which he was employed, and sued to recover damages. McMillan was a car loader and went for the caps under the direction of an employee known as a “bank boss." Judgment was in his favor in the circuit court of McDowell County. On appeal this judgment was reversed on the ground that the bank boss was not the company's representative in the matter in hand, and it was not therefore liable for his acts.

The reasoning by which this conclusion was reached is set out in the following extract from the opinion of the court, as given by Judge Brannon:

The first question is: Who gave the order to McMillan to get the dynamite caps? The mine boss. Not a bit of authority in him to so order McMillan is shown. It was not within his statute duties. In fact, it is not shown what was his authority, or that the company ever gave him any authority. The evidence simply calls him a "bank boss." We suppose that he is a mine boss appointed by the company under the mandate of the statute in the code (ed. 1899), appendix, page 1052 [Ann. Code 1906, sec. 410]. That appointment did not give him authority to order McMillan to get the caps. His act would not bind the company. Assume that McMillan was working outside of the line of labor for which he was employed, and sent by the mine boss to a new, a different, a dangerous service, still it must appear that the order to get the dynamite was the company's order. “Where the injury was received by the servant while doing work outside the scope of his employment, it often becomes a material question whether he was acting under proper authority; for it is clear, upon general principles, the negligence can not be predicated of the master's omission to instruct a servant as to work which he was neither expected nor ordered to do. As, in the case of an order given by a superior employee in respect to matters within the scope of the original employment of the injured servant, the master is not bound by an order of the kind considered in the present chapter, unless it was one which the directing employee had authority to give. Where the servant, in doing work outside the scope of his employment, was acting without proper authority, it is clear that the failure to give him instructions can not be imputed to the master as negligence." (1 Labatt, Master and Servant, secs. 240, 457.) “The mere assumption of an employee of the power to control his fellows, without a delegation of such power by the employer, will never render the employer liable for the orders of such subordinate, and, if an employee sees fit voluntarily to recognize such self-constituted authority, he assumes the risk of obedience, or should look to such employee for redress.” (White on Personal Injuries, sec.

( 222.) Thus we see that one giving orders must have authority from the master. We held in Williams v. Thacker Coal Company, 44 W. Va. 599, 30 S. E. 107 [Bulletin No. 19, p. 879), that a mine boss is a fellow-servant with other employees, and that, when the coal operator has complied with the statute by making a fit appointment, its duty is

[ocr errors]

at an end, and he is not responsible for damages resulting from his negligence. It has been held elsewhere that the coal operator is not responsible even for those acts which fall within the scope of the duties of the mine boss, though resulting from his negligence. (Waddell v. Simoson, 112 Pá. 567, 4 Atl. 725; Lehigh Valley Coal Co. v. Jones, 86 Pa. 432; Delaware Canal Co. v. Carroll, 89 Pa. 374; Lineoski v. Susquehanna Coal Co., 157 Pa. 153, 27 Atl. 577; Reese v. Biddle, 112 Pa. 72, 3 Atl. 813.) These cases are found in 2 Labatt, Master and Servant, note “0,"page 1451.

But, now, with special eye to the question whether the coal operator must answer for the order of the mine boss: He is really the representative of the State appointed for the protection of the lives of the miners. He has been said not to be the officer of the corporation. The company was bound to appoint him whether it would or

He is put into the mine by the power of the State to watch the condition of the mine, to hold the mine operator up to his duty in certain things. The statute prescribes certain duties for him. He has no others. He has power to watch the condition of the mine in certain respects, to detect its wants, to demand their cure, and to bring the mine operators up to the standard required by the act. It has been said that he performs functions for the State, in behalf of the miners, and is not the representative of the coal operator, unless it be shown that the coal operator, by his own act, has committed other duties and granted powers to him. The Pennsylvania court in Delaware Canal Company v. Carroll, 89 Pa. 374, said: "There is no room for the allegation that a mining boss under the mine-ventilation act of 1870 is an agert of the mine owner or a coemployer. He is clothed with no power of engaging and discharging miners and the laborers at pleasure. He is merely a fellow-servant with the miner. He is nowhere in the act designated as the agent of the owner of the mines. His duties are specified in the same manner that the duties of the engineer are specified in the sixteenth section, and as the duties of other employees are defined in various other sections. He has no general power of control. His duties are confined to special matters. That they are different from those of others of his fellow-colaborers, or even that they are of a higher grade, does not matter.” In Red Stone Coke Company v. Roby, 115 Pa. 364, 8 Atl. 593, the court declared that the mine boss "is a creature of the legislature, selected by the mine owner in obedience to the command of the law, and in the interest and for the protection of the miners." In the Colorado case of Coal Company v. Lamb, 6 Colo. App. 255, 40 Pac. 251, the court said: “We are unable to see how he is, in any sense, either as vice principal or otherwise, the representative of the master, or how he can stand in any other relation to his colaborer than that of a fellow-servant.” This coal company had a superintendent. And as said in Lehigh Valley Company v. Jones, cited, this mine boss did not supersede the superintendent. It was for the superintendent to give the order. He had no part in this transaction. The statute does not make the mine owner liable for the acts of the mine boss. In the Colorado case of Coal Company v. Lamb, 6 Colo. App. 255, 40 Pac. 251, it is held: “The mine boss, under the coal mining act of 1885, is, in the absence of proof that he had other authority than that derived from the statute, a fellowservant with the miners, and the mine owner is not responsible to





« PreviousContinue »