Gi Harmon Factory Fire Case Study

1237 Words 5 Pages
The first cause we found towards the deadliness of the fire was that when G.I. Harmon, an employee of the Labor Department, inspected the factory about a month before the fire he was held up by the factory owners, so, as G.I. Harmon was asked; “...they had plenty of time to remedy any defects that existed temporarily while you were there?”1 He answered yes.
One of the main causes of the fire that may have been quickly remedied was the waste strewn about the factory. According to Fire Marshal William Beers, the waste materials were placed under the cutting tables and “the boards that were nailed on the legs of the table formed the box or receptacle… was all wood.”2 This contraption was highly flammable and greatly increased the fire’s scope. Had the clippings not been temporarily cleaned up during inspection, the Labor Department would have been able to recommend a solution that was less flammable.
Another contributing factor to the deadliness of the fire was that small spaces between work tables slowed down exiting. According to labor department inspector GI Harmon the space leading to the Washington Place stairs between the end of the tables and machines and the wall was only eighteen inches,3 and that that was an inadequate amount of space to leave when in
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Before the fire, the factory owners manipulated our department when they should have invested in better equipment. Additionally, the Fire Department and the Buildings Department performed their jobs with inadequate care, contributing to the fact that there were many easily rectifiable problems within the Asch building that caused the fire. By following our recommendations, the causes of this fire will be less prevalent in future fires. All of our recommendations will increase the overall safety of the laborers, and will in the long term improve factory businesses and the welfare of the

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