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and progressive manufacturer began at once to do what was possible, so far as experience went, for the prevention of accidents. Granted, that in some cases there may have been a selfish element in this, as, by reducing the hazards of the occupation, they reduced the cost of insurance. But, again, I believe that the major part also had in mind the element of humanity. Several of the associations of manufacturers instituted an inspection department, employing safety engineers to inspect the factories of their members and to give advice as to devices for the protection of employes from accidents, and the results were that the number of accidents were materially reduced. The National Association of Manufacturers has maintained an active committee on Accident Prevention and Workmen's Compensation, and each month a bulletin is issued with diagrams showing causes of accidents and devices for preventing such accidents. This work is educational. And, being conducted by experts, it cannot result otherwise than to be of great aid in the prevention of loss of life or of limbs or of other serious accidents. About three years ago several of the associations of manufacturers felt that still better and broader work could be accomplished by a conference board composed of delegates from several associations of employers. And it has been my good fortune during this period to be a member of the Conference Board of Safety and Sanitation, composed of delegates of the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Founders' Association, the National Metal Trades Association, and the National Electric Light Association. During this period, this Conference Board, with the assistance and advice of experienced engineers has studied, originated and experimented on a large scale with the best theoretical skill to be obtained and the largest field of practical experiment, not only to secure practical safety devices but the best method of inculcating the spirit of caution, that indispensible psychological safeguard which is superior to every form of mechanical precaution. During the period of our joint effort the Board has adopted and standardized a wide variety of devices. Its activity has extended to experiment with such necessary but small things as foundry leggings and safe foundry shoes, and it has been successful, we believe, in not only securing the manufacture of a superior shoe for foundry work, but arranging for its production so that workers may practically secure it at cost. These are only two items in a considerable list of devices and conveniences which have originated with this Conference Board, to prevent accidents, and, in case of accidents, to provide the quickest method of applying first aid and thus reducing the period of suffering. This Conference Board also issues a monthly booklet entitled "The Spirit of Caution," endeavoring to educate both employers and employes to the end that accidents in many cases can be prevented, as well as to educate in the care of the unfortunate one who meets with the accident. It was the effort of this Board which secured for it the statement found in the majority report of the Federal Commission on Industrial Relations that it was one of the "three great private associations *** which are doing as much or more for safety than all the State and Federal Governments combined.”
I believe there is a keener sense of social responsibility among the great body of manufacturers than ever before, and the truth of this assertion is not minimized by the unwillingness of the manufacturer to embrace every new scheme of alleged social benefit that is proposed. New charges thrust suddenly upon industry are not translated with equal ease into the cost of production by all kinds of commodities or all forms of manufacture. A monopoly readily meets any new charge, but as we descend from that condition to forms of sharper competition, we not only find new difficulties in adding sudden charges, but we find the further difficulty that undue costs in the retail price of articles may seriously contract their consumption. I do not say this to militate against any sound proposal of social benefit because it necessarily carries new costs. I say it because it is the part of wisdom not only to be willing to pay for reform but to understand where its burden will fall, that we may not be disappointed and chagrined if social experiments undertaken without due preliminary inquiry fall back where no sound policy should permit them to fall upon the wage earner, either through reduced wages or lessened opportunity for employment. Enlightened industrial leadership should be ready at all times to make its contribution toward any demonstrated advance in distributing the burden of industrial sickness, accident or physical breakdown clearly attributable to circumstances of employment. Only let us be wise enough to take a page particularly from the experience of our Germanic brothers, who apparently more than any other students of socialized industry, have succeeded in the domain of work in helping the individual without hurting him, and who never take a forward step without applying to their progress the com
a piled, analyzed and recorded experience of their past.
Is it not, therefore, the part of wisdom, in the absence of recorded experience of our own, to consult such records of other peoples? They may not be adaptable in all their details for our usages but, where the experience has proved efficient, there must be much that can be used as a basis, at least, for our own social laws. New laws on social insurance must be regarded more or less as an experiment to be proved as experience demonstrates their efficiency and practical value-value to employe and employer-and, in the last analysis, to the public whose interest in these industrial problems is too often forgotten or neglected.
We cannot undertake to Germanize, Gallicize or Anglicize our industry or institutions, but we can learn with profit from the moral of an experience not our own. If seems to me that European social legislation has been so largely successful in industrial fields because it has been practical rather than speculative, and founded upon experience, rather than experiment. I think it is a serious error to either make the mistake or persist in the delusion that any new form of social insurance can be disproportionately placed upon either employer or employe. If public men or private doctrinaires endeavor to place the primary costs in larger nominal amount upon either wage-payer or wage-receiver, they deceive themselves as well as the public. A new burden placed upon industrial production finds but one fund out of which it can be paid, if it is paid at all, and that is the fruit of the joint effort of the directing and operating forces of industry. That partnership must pay all the bills out of what they make together, and unfair burdens injure both without helping either.
I should like, personally, to see in American social legislation a stronger tendency toward the joint administration of funds which both parties contribute. I believe in this, not merely because I think more economic administration could be secured but because I believe that every rational effort that maintains personal contact in industrial relationships between employer and employe helps both toward better mutual understanding of each other's motives and difficulties in meeting the problems which require their common thought and effort.
Finally, I am old-fashioned enough to view with suspicion movements for public provision for the care of private individuals that discourages either private initiative or individual frugality. Any form of public philanthropy which lessens the tendency toward individual thrift is harmful to the development of character. Let us, by social effort, help others to help themselves, but no nation with our traditions and beliefs should do aught to make any citizen regard himself as a dependent upon his government. I hold the conviction that we are better for believing that we are here to support our Government, not to have our Government support us.
* * * -American Industries.
NATIONAL METAL TRADES ASSOCIATION
The National Metal Trades Association will hold its Nineteenth Annual Convention at the Hotel Astor, New York, Wednesday and Thursday, April 25-26, 1917. The following dates have been set for the different committee meetings and convention sessions: Monday,
April 23—Executive Committee meeting. Tuesday,
“ 2+Administrative Council meeting. Tuesday evening 2+Alumni Dinner. Wednesday, “ 25—Convention. Wednesday evening 25—Convention Banquet. Thursday,
WHAT FIRST-AIDERS CAN DO*
With a Few Brief Instructions to Properly Direct Their
Efforts They Can Accomplish Very Efficient Work
A physician in private practice was examining an ugly looking wound on the wrist of an unfortunate machinist who had come to him for treatment. The machinist truly was unfortunate, for he had been at work only a few weeks, after a long hunt for a job. His family was large and in need of many things; and here he was with his hand and wrist so inflamed and swollen that he would have to "lay off” again for a couple of weeks.
The kind-hearted doctor, always interested in the cause of injuries and ailments of his patients, asked the machinist some questions which brought out this story:
“I was running a screw machine. I had just set the dies, but had forgotten that I had left a wrench on top of the machine. When I threw in the clutch the wrench was jarred off. It
wrist and made a slight cut which started to bleed.
So I put a quid of tobacco on the cut, tore a strip from a waste rag and tied it up. That night my wrist hurt me quite a bit. The next morning I told the man on the next
machine about it, and he “There is no good reason why you should
told me to use some oint
ment he had heard of. I bought some in a drug-store that night on my way home, but though I used it for four days my wrist got worse and worse.
*THE SPIRIT OF CAUTION, October Number, issued by the Conference Board on Safety and Sanitation, Magnus W. Alexander, Executive Secretary, West Lynn, Mass.