The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

737 Words3 Pages
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire most of all impacted all forms of industry, and changed the way workers worked. Along with the legislations that impacted women and children, laws also centered on the safety and well being of all workers. One of the main reforms and changes came through the formation of the New York Factory Investigating Commission, or the FIC: a legislative body that investigated the manufacturers for various infractions. They were based on protecting the workers: both their rights and their lives. The FIC investigated countless factories and “enacted eight laws covering fire safety, factory inspections and sanitation.” The FIC was highly focused on the health and safety of industrial workers, making reports and legislation that focused on “fire safety, building construction, machine guarding, heating, lighting, ventilation, and other topics” and on specific industries like “chemicals, lead trades, metal trades, printing shops, sweatshops and mercantile establishments.” Thirteen out of seventeen of the bills submitted by the FIC became laws, and “included measures requiring better fire safety efforts, more adequate factory ventilation, improved sanitation and machine guarding, safe operation of elevators” and other legislations focused for specific establishments.” Fire safety and new fire codes such as “mandate emergency exits, sprinkler systems, and maximum-occupancy laws,” such as the Fire Prevention Act of 1911, were put into place to limit the likelihood that another fire like the one at Triangle would occur, or be as drastic and deathly. Other organizations like the Joint Board of Sanitary Control “set and maintain standards of sanitation in the workplace,” as well as actually enforcing these stand... ... middle of paper ... ...s leading up to the fire and the aftermath of the event that makes this event so influential and important. The reforms made afterwards within New York legislation soon spread across the nation, and to almost every manufacturer in the country. It changed how workers were treated, the conditions in which they worked, and other legalities that protected their rights as workers and as human beings. This event also lead to the changing of lives through recognition women within the workforce, to women holding office in national politics, and eventually women’s suffrage. The fire impacted reformers and thinkers who went on to create the ideals within the New Deal. The majority of the legislation that was passed because of the outcome of the fire is still in effect today, over 100 years later. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire changed the nation’s workforce completely.
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