Original Document
Original Document
 Crystal Eastman, On Yearly Deaths in Pittsburgh, from Work Accidents and the Law, 1910.

…From the point of view of social welfare, the gravest feature of the situation is that the men killed in industry are young men.  Eighty-four per cent of the men in the year's list of deaths were not over forty; 58 per cent were not over thirty.
Pittsburgh people generally have an idea that it is the foreign laborers, and not Americans, who are killed and injured in such numbers every year. Whether or not there is any moral comfort in this idea, it must be abandoned; 228, or 42.5 per cent, of the men killed during the year were American born.  
It is a mistake, also, to suppose that it is the cheap, unskilled labor which suffers most from industrial accidents.

There is no bright side to this situation. By industrial accidents, Allegheny County loses more than 500 workmen every year of whom nearly half are American born, 70 percent are workmen of skill and training, and 60 per cent have not yet reached the prime of their working life. Youth, skill, strength, in a word, human power, is what we are losing. 

Is this loss a waste? This is a question which Pittsburgh and every industrial district must answer. If it is merely an inevitable loss in the course of industry, then it is something to grieve over and forget. If it is largely, or half, or partly unnecessary, a waste of youth and skill and strength, then it is something to fight about and not forget. 
No thorough study of the causes of accidents had been made in the United States when this investigation was begun. Pittsburgh had not even counted its killed and injured. Therefore, although lacking engineering knowledge and practical experience, I have attempted in Part I to analyze and discuss the causes of 400 industrial fatalities from such sources of information as we had. The tabulation schemes in Part I are those which naturally suggested themselves.  There has been no attempt to make technical classifications or to state with any finality the proportions of accidents which are preventable.

Accidents have been analyzed roughly in two ways, in order to determine (i) how they happen, and (2) why they happen. The first question suggests the separate study of different industries covered by Chapters II, III, IV and V, in which accidents are grouped according to the characteristic processes or employments of each industry. The second question suggests the personal equation, responsibility, discussed in Chapter VI, where accidents are grouped according to the persons involved. 

Credit: Crystal Eastman, Work-Accidents and the Law.  New York: Charities Publication Committee, 1910
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