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TABLE 11.--CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS: PER CENT OF PERSONS KILLED OR INJURED
AND BY INDUS
Establishments of the naval administration:
..(86 cases) Establishments of the military administration: 1907.
.(2,233 cases). .
.(52 cases). Building operations (States and Empire):
(248 cases). 1897
-(188 cases). Marine navigation:
1 Included in associations 4-11.
PROPORTION OF ACCIDENTS DUE TO THE FAULT OF THE EMPLOYER, OF
THE WORKMAN, ETC.
Table 12 shows the per cent of accidents compensated for the first time in 1907 and in 1897, distributed in the proportion of those due to the fault of the employer, those due to the fault of the workman, and those due to four other specified causes. It is freely admitted that it was no easy task to decide which party was at fault in an accident, and therefore the per cents in the table are subject to some degree of uncertainty. The table does, however, give in a general way reliable information as to the party at fault, and the data as here compiled are regarded, both in Germany and in other countries, as entirely trustworthy. It is necessary to make a few statements in explanation of the terms used at the head of the table in order to clearly define what is meant by the fault in each case.
The accidents due to the fault of the employer include three classes: First, “ defective apparatus, arrangements, etc.," includes accidents caused by faults in the plant generally, in the machinery, in poor or inadequate maintenance of the buildings or machinery; the employ
BY ACCIDENTS COMPENSATED FOR THE FIRST TIME, 1907 AND 1897, BY CAUSES TRIES-Conclud ed.
ment of poor material; imperfect methods of work, especially the instructions given workmen; the use of loosely fastened parts of the plant, such as poor stairways, ladders, etc.; insufficient lighting of the workrooms, failure to remove snow or ice from the working places, etc.; second, “absence of or defective safety appliances” includes the failure to use proper apparatus, such, for instance, as one prescribed by the regulations of the association or one which is customary in the industry; and, third, "absence of or defective regulations, supervision, etc.,” includes cases of imperfect management, insufficient number of supervisors, detailing unsuitable, especially youthful, workers for tasks which are beyond their powers or for tasks which are especially dangerous, etc. The term “fault of the employer” includes also the acts of foremen, supervisors, managers, etc.
The accidents due to the fault of the workmen are classified into five groups: First, "lack of skill, inattention, or carelessness," includes accidents due to lack of ordinary skill or lack of ordinary care or caution which may reasonably be expected of a workman and includes the number of accidents which are generally comprised
under the designation of carelessness due to the zeal in work or to lack of forethought or failing to keep in mind the danger of the operations, etc.; in general these accidents are not of great importance, the more serious cases being included in the other classes under "acts contrary to rules, regulations, etc.;" second,“failure to use safety appliances or removal of same" includes instances where the workman has either not used the prescribed apparatus or has not used it in the prescribed manner or has (contrary to regulations) entirely removed it; third, “acts contrary to rules, regulations, etc.," includes cases where the workman consciously disobeys existing rules for the prevention of the accident, rules established by law or official regulations, or rules established by the employer or his representative; fourth, “horseplay, mischief, intoxication, etc.," includes those acts usually understood by these terms; fifth, "unsuitable clothing" includes accidents due to wearing of loose overalls, fluttering aprons, neckcloths, ribbons, unsuitable footgear, having the hair arranged in high coiffures, etc.
The third group includes accidents due to the fault of the employer and of the workman at the same time and includes cases where accidents would have been included in those due to some of the causes already mentioned.
The fourth group includes accidents caused by fellow workmen or by a third party, but not including the employer.
The fifth group includes accidents in which no one was at fault; it especially includes accidents due to the general hazard of the industry, such as in case where, according to the present development of protective appliances and by the use of all reasonable supervision, the accident still occurs.
The last group includes accidents due to “other causes" and refers especially to cases where the accident has been caused by an act of God, such as lightning, sudden storm, etc., or due to other unforeseen occurrences or to the workman suddenly becoming ill and the like.
The distribution of the total number of accidents among the various causes shows that 12.06 per cent were due to the fault of the employer, 41.26 per cent to the fault of the workman, and 37.65 per cent to the general hazard of the industry. The most interesting fact presented by the table is the showing that the proportion due to the fault of the employer has decreased; that the proportion due to the general hazard of the industry has also decreased; and that the proportion due to the fault of the workman has increased in 1907 as compared with 1897. The report states that this change in the proportion is due to the introduction of preventive measures, safety appliances, etc.; this is shown especially in the columns marked "defective apparatus, arrangements, etc.," and "the absence of or defective safety appliances.” In the accidents due to the fault of the employer, where, in connection with motors, transmission apparatus, working machinery,
elevators, and steam boilers, a marked improvement has occurred. In the accidents due to the fault of the workman 28.96 per cent were caused by lack of skill, inattention, or carelessness, this being the highest percentage in any cause save general hazard of the industry; in 1897 this group included 20.85 per cent of the total number of accidents and its increase to 28.96 per cent is responsible for the principal part of the increase in the percentage of accidents due to the fault of the workman. In distributing the accidents among the apparatus, etc., causing the injury, there are a few cases where the fault of the workman is conspicuous; thus of the accidents caused by motors, engines, etc., 69.94 per cent were due to the fault of the workman; of the accidents caused by transmission apparatus, 67.54 per cent were due to the fault of the workman; of the accidents caused by the operation of railways, 57.79 per cent were due to the fault of the workman. The report calls special attention to the fact that in discussing accidents due to the fault of the workman emphasis must be placed on the fact that in very few cases could a serious fault or gross negligence be charged against the workman; by far the greatest number of accidents due to the workman's fault were caused by awkwardness, slight carelessness, and lack of caution, which are due to a greater or less degree to the natural weakness of ordinary human beings and in many cases should rather be considered as unavoidable. Of the accidents due to the fault of the employer the highest proportion is found among those caused by steam boilers, etc., in which 32.89 per cent were credited to the fault of the employer; of the accidents due to collapse, fall, etc., of substances, 21.58 per cent were due to the fault of the employer.
The report also urges that in developing systems of preventive measures attention should be paid to the fact that no human being can be expected to continually keep in mind the fact that certain dangers are present in his occupation. Of the accidents due to the general hazard of the industry, the cause showing the highest proportion was that of animals (bite, kick, push, etc.), where 89.15 per cent originated in this manner; loading, unloading, etc., had 52.10 per cent; inflammable, hot, or corrosive substances had 50.51 per cent; shipping and water transportation had 50.06 per cent, while the lowest proportion was shown by transmission apparatus, which had 7.06 per cent due to this cause. In 9 of the 17 classes of causes of injuries there is a decrease in the proportion due to the hazard of industry, while in 7 of the others there is an increase in the proportion, and 1 was not reported in 1897; in some cases this increase is quite marked, as, for instance, steam boilers had but 16.03 per cent in 1897 and 30.20 per cent in 1907 due to the general hazard of the industry. Many of these instances have also a sharp decrease in the proportion of accidents due to the fault of the employer; thus accidents caused by steam boilers, etc., had 64.89 per cent due to the fault of the employer in 1897 and 32.89 per cent in 1907.
TABLE 12.–FAULT OF THE EMPLOYER, OF THE WORKMEN, ETC.: PER CENT OF ACCI
OF INJURY, Source: Amtliche Nachrichten des Reichs-Versicherungsamts, 1910,
I. Motors, engines, etc. (prime movers):
.(972 cases).. 1897 III. Working machinery: 1907.
(14,217 cases).. 1897 IV. Elevators, hoists, etc.: 1907.
.(4,097 cases).. 1897. V. Steam boilers, etc.: 1907.
.(149 cases).. 1897., VI. Electric currents: 1907.
.(184 cases).. 1897. VII. Explosives: 1907.
.(516 cases).. 1897. VIII. Inflammable, hot, or corrosive substances: 1907.
-(2,868 cases).. 1897. IX. Collapse, fall, etc., of objects: 1907
(12,249 cases).. 1897 X. Falls, falls from stairs, ladders, etc.: 1907.
-(9,178 cases).. 1897. XI. Loading, unloading, etc.: 1907
.(11,392 cases).. 1897. XII. Teaming, drayage, etc.: 1907.
.(5,387 cases).. 1897 XIII. Operation of railways: 1907.
.(7,886 cases).. 1897. XIV. Shipping and water transportation: 1907
.(862 cases).. 1897 XV. Animals (bite, kick, push, etc.); 1907.
.(1,332 cases).. 1897. XVI. Tools, hand apparatus, etc.: 1907.
.(3,338 cases).. 1897. XVII. Miscellaneous: 1907
.(6,104 cases).. 1897.
10. 22 21. 66
99.83 98. 69
12.04 17. 40
4.27 5. 36
5. 27 2.60
21.58 25. 36
6. 21 18.00
1 Number of cases in 1897 not reported.