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The Triangle Fire : America Changed

678 words - 3 pages

Immediately Prior to 1911, workplace hazards were a heavily demanded issue by industrial workers and unions, but typically disregarded by factory and business owners, as they were generally more concerned with manufacturing output and profits. On May 25, 1911, the Triangle Waist Company fire forever changed the way that businesses in America operate. The city of New York came together and demanded better working conditions, improved building safety regulations and government legislation that would prevent such a catastrophic event in the future.
As women started working in industrial factories in the early 1900s, they quickly realized that they would have to fight to obtain favorable working ...view middle of the document...

Although built to be fireproof, agencies discovered that most factory buildings had wooden staircases, inadequate fire escapes, and blocked exits (27), all of which proved to be ineffective in moving large numbers of occupants out of the building. As the fire raged through the nine story building, survivors recalled that there was no water (17), fire hoses only reached the seventh floor (20) and extension ladders only reached the sixth story (103). All of these building shortfalls were the ultimate result of lenient regulations and defiant owners, who were more concerned with their profit and production than they were with the lives of their employees.
After the fire, it was immediately evident that factory owners blatantly disregarded the minimal safety regulations that had been set, which resulted in the creation of commissions who created laws to facilitate better working conditions, required stricter policies for worker protection and mandated building requirements as it related to fire safety. A new fire bureau was formed, which set new standards for lighting, ventilation and sanitation (32), with the...

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