« PreviousContinue »
soning, date of injury-1/25/07, time lost from work,-still sick, amount of settlement $500, attorney fees $200, wife went to work at $1.50 per week."
Lead poisoning, as found among the painters, plumbers, printers, lead burners, dry color workers, glazers, enamellers, cable splicers, etc., is the most serious of these poisons. In its milder forms it is so insidious that it completely baffles the average physician of today. We continually find the employe who by symptomatic and physiological tests, and that of the electric battery on the pupil of the eye, etc., is shown to have lead poisoning in its rather severe stage, and whose family physician is treating him for something wholly different. Thus lead poisoning lurks behind other diseases, does its deadly work, causing a great loss of time and wage and invariably an early death.
Lead poisoning, in particular, is the result of ignorance on the part of the employer and employe as to how the disease is incurred, viz. through contact with the solid metal, its entry into the system in the form of lead dust and lead vapor, enlightenment upon which would practically eliminate the disease in a very short time. The Illinois commission on “Occupational Diseases" has just subnuitted the results of its nine months investigation to the governor. Owing to the limited time in which it had to make its report the cominission confined its work to a study of the most crucial problems, particularly lead poisoning. The investiga tion in this field has brought out some most surprising results. See Illinois "Re. port of Commission on Occupational Diseases” p. 21-40.
The workmen are becoming keenly alive to the seriousness of the problem of the diseases resulting from occupation, as illustrated by an excerpt from a long letter received from a respresentative of one of the labor organizations os. Cleveland:
"Is there any way we can meet and discuss these questions?” meaning occu pational disease problems, “I consider them most vital, both to the individual emplover and State as undermining the health of the working men and putting the State to a great expense in maintaining hospitals and feeding the dependent little one's, r:ot to mention the deterioration of the race, which is the most vital question.
Trusting that you can get at the bottom of facts in this matter."
Following is a resolution which the brass molders and core-makers of Cleveland adopted and submitted to me:
"In view of the fact that a Commission has been appointed to make an investigation of the fatalities of dangerous industries, and at the present time are doing so, and in view of the fact that the brass molders and core makers of the City of Cleveland cannot recall any fatalities in the industry, which they are working in the specified time set by said Commission. While we cannot point to any fatalities while we were working at our respective trade, we can point to diseases which are caused by the smoke, fumes and dust, that is to be found in ali brass foundries, and at the present time have members sick from the above
In view of the above conditions a committee has been elected by the brass mulders and core makers to draw up the following resolution :
Whereas, The present appointed Commission that is making this investigation of the dangerous industries, does not include the branch of industries which cause fatal diseases like tuberculosis.
WHEREAS, It will be seen that the industries which are the cause of so mu h suffering through disease, are as much in need for an investigation, if not more, than the industries which are the cause of the loss of limb or life, and
WHEREAS, The diseased unfortunate soon gets into a state of helplessness and thereby unable to make a livelihood for himself or his family and thereby causing untold suffering; therefore be it
Resolved, That we, the brass molders and coremakers of Cleveland, request Mr. Emile E. Watson, Director of Investigation, to bring this matter before the Hon. Governor Harmon so that he may recommend to the next Assembly the appointing of such a Commission to investigate the dangerous conditions that have so long been neglected."
Thanking you for the effort you make in this humane act.
There is little doubt but that the problem of occupational diseases is a more serious one for Ohio than that of industrial accidents, which, however, should not minimize the importance of the latter problem.
(Signed) EMILE E. Watson.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE COMMISSION.
Some commissioners have favored the plan of the English Compensation act which places the liability directly upon the employers: this plan fixes a schedule of compensation to injured workmen and their families, and provides that in each case the employer shall pay the stated sum to the injured employe, or in the case of the employe's death, to his family, and it is expected (in fact it is the case in New York, where an optional statute was enacted last year) that the employers will then write employer's liability insurance to protect them in such cases, and thereby distribute the burden.
Since 50% of the employers of Ohio employ twenty men or less and have practically their entire capital invested in their business, beavy compensation ior total disability and death could not be paid and the injured workman would not receive the compensation. Employers of a few men and their employes could only be protected by a uniform plan of insurance practically compulsory in its nature.
The New York plan has not met with the approval of the commission for that reason and for the additional reason that it still retains the elements of enormous waste and litigation. It seems to us better for both the employer and employe, that all money that the employers pay out on account of personal injuries to their employes, shall every cent of it, go to the injured workmen.
The state actuary and his assistants shall have six months in which to classify the employments, fix the schedule of premiums and publish the same. Owing to the well known results of European experience and that of liability insurance companies in the United States, the state actuary can at the very beginning more accurately determine the schedule of premiums, which each class of employment should pay, and because he will, under the proposed plan, not have to cover in his calculations court costs, attorney fees and the costs of getting business nor that of profits, etc., but only the individual hazard of the business and the schedules of compensation with definite maximum and minimum limits.
As the actuary's office accumulates experience from year to year, based uport accurate statistics, the state actuary can adjust the inequalities in the classification of employments and the schedule of premiums.
Employers' associations of the different classes of employments in co-operation with the state actuary's office and the Inspector of Workshops and Factories will be enabled to perfect the necessary methods for prevention of accidents.
The effect of the enactment of the proposed legislation will be not only to relieve the employers of the load of litigation and expense which they now bear in this counection, and to secure to their workmen and families of their workmen certain and prompt srovision in case of accidents. “But also to restore between emploves and workmen a feeling of friendship and co-operation which is certain to he reflected in the yearly trial balance."
In closing, the commission wishes to acknowledge the assistance which was rendered them by numerous employers, employes, and representatives of labor and especially Messrs. Charles Wirmel, State Labor Commissioner, and Thomas P. Kerns, Chief Inspector of Workshops and Factories, Fred C. Schwedtman, James A. Emery, Robert B. Carey and F. J. Heer, in printing our report.
The report on Fatal Accidents of the expert investigators, Emile E. Watson, investigator in chief, William P. Harms, and William R. Peacock, the appendices on the historical resume of the operations of various plans of compensation and insurance of workmen against injuries and the legal report of the chairman to the commission is submitted herewith.
KECOMMENDATIONS OF THE EMPLOYER'S
LIABILITY COMMISSION OF OHIO.
The Commission, in submitting its report to the General Assembly, legs leave to make the following recommendations:
Mr. E. E. Watson, the Investigator-in-chief of the Commission, las called our attention in his report on fatal accidents in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, to the great need of the investigation of occupational discases which undermine the health of working men and put the State to great expense in maintaining hospitals and caring for little ones.
Inasmuch as European countries recognize occupational diseases as an important factor in their industrial problems, and many of our own industries develop the same without any systematic provision for tieir cure and prevention.
The Commission recommends that the General Assembly take such action as is most wise to correct the dangerous conditions which have so long existed and which injure the health and safety of industrial Workers of this State.
The Commission further recommends Section 1028 of The General Code of Ohio be amended to read as follows:
SECTION 1028. [Penalty.) Whoever, being a person, firm or corporation, fails to comply with any provision of the preceding section, or fails to comply with such orders for changes as are issued by the chief inspector, within thirty days thereafter shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than three hundred dollars for each offense. All fines collected under this section shall inure to the benefit of the county hospital for tuberculosis. In prosecutions for violations of this section, by or under the direction of the chief inspector, such inspector shall not be required to give security for costs or adjudged to pay any costs. In cases where the accused is acquitted, the costs shall be paid from the treasury of the county in which such proceedings were brought. (93 v. 156 $ 6; 94 V. 42 § 2; 100 v. 64 $S 5, 6.)
3. The Commission further recommends that Section 1030 of the General Code le amended to read as follows:
SECTION 1030. [Penalty. Whoever, being the owner or operator of a shop or factory, violates any provision of the preceding section shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, and for cach subsequent offense not less than fire hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.. (94 v. 43 $ 4.) 4.
The Commission further recommends that the number of district inspectors le increased and that the salaries of tlie chief, assistant and deputy inspectors of Workshops. Factories and Public Buildings be increased.
WUCREAS, Our modern industrial conditions have outgrown the common law and statutory remedies hitherto given to employes in the State of Ohio for injuries incident to their employment, and the injuries now annually received by thousands of workmen not only burden that community. by converting industry into idleness, plenty into poverty, but also give rise to speculative ad unscrupulous litigation which is a disgrace to our system of justice, and
WHEREAS, Most of the European nations have already corrected, and the United States Government, and many of our States are now seeking to correct, this deplorable condition by a system of assured compensation which will tend to prevent accidents, to support the families, and to safeguard the general welfare of the States, and will provide simplicity, rapidity and certainty of remedy, and
WHERESS, Commissions appointed by many of our States have investigated this subject, both at home and abroad, to determine what the facts demand and the constitution allows, and numerous conferences have been held between the Commissioners of those States, many. of whom vere appointed to represent employer, employes, or bar associations, with representatives of the Federal Government and private institutions interested in the subject, including a committee of the National Conference on Uniform State Laws, at which conferences various theories and provisions of bills have been discussed, with a view to making them applicable to the situation within the constitutions, and
WHEREAS, It has been the satisfactory experience of more than twenty foreign countries and seems to be the unanimous view of those well informed on the subject, that a code, changing the basis of compensation for an employe from that of negligence or fault of the emplover to that of a risk of the industry or that of industrial insurance, should replace the present inadequate system, and
WHEREAS, The Seventy-eighth General Assembly of the State of Ohio, did by an Act, authorize and empower the Governor of the State of Ohio, to appoint a Commission to enquire into Employers' Liability and Employes
' Compensation and other matters, and to formulate such a code to protect adequately the general welfare under the police power of this State, which draft this Legislature has herein followed as consistently as possible without interests in this state: Therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
RICHTS AND REMEDIES GRANTED AND AMENDI:D.
Par. (a). The state of Ohio and any county city, township, incorporated town or village, school district thereof and any
( Ixui )