Thursday, October 27, 2011

Deaths during railroad construction

From: "Karen Zahm" thezahmmer@yahoo.com

I'm looking for information on deaths that occurred during the construction of the railroad. Numbers, causes, safety hazards that were ignored, any narrative information would be great.


Workplace fatalities since 1933.  Courtesy Peter Risdon's Weblog.
Workplace fatalities since 1933. Courtesy Peter Risdon's Weblog.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The phrase "safety hazards that were ignored" is a misconception based on a fallacy.

Safety is something that is more valued by richer societies, so as the United States became wealthier, safety improved dramatically (90% drop in workplace fatalities from 1923 to 2003). The construction of the transcontinental railroad was not less safe than current construction because hazards were ignored, nor due to racisim, but because the country was less wealthy so that the costs of making jobs safer were in that era simply unaffordable. The construction of the transcontinental railroad made the country richer so contributed to safety. (For example, deaths due to transportation accidents dropped by about sixty fold with travel by rail instead of by horse.)

See the graph of improvements in occupation safety over time. (Noting that any effect of government regulation with the creation of OSHA is undetectable.)

10/29/2011 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle Xanders said...

These types of accidents are what OSHA safety training prevents. OSHA helps employers, employees and the industry as a whole by saving life, time, and money. It definitely helps to develop the industry as it reduces extra expenses that occur from hazards like accidents, injuries and chemical related illness.

3/19/2012 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, the fact that the slope of the curve is unchanged shows that OSHA's creation in 1970 had no effect on safety.

3/19/2012 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See related discussion.

3/19/2012 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See related discussion.

3/19/2012 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an example of the ability of a wealthy society to afford increased safety, U.S. childhood traffic fatalities dropped 41% from 2000 to 2009.

4/16/2012 10:43 PM  
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