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possess a considerable amount of technical knowledge; and consequently in the fifties, an examination for subinspectors was instituted similar to that for the civil service.
At present, the British factory inspectorate comprises: (1) A central department of technical experts under a chief inspector which elaborates methods for better protection; and (2) divisional and district inspectors responsible for the enforcement of the safety provisions.
All the divisional and the majority of the district inspectors are trained engineers. The qualifications required for the various posts will be dealt with later.
In Germany (Prussia) the first legislation on industrial safety, enacted in 1869, was also of a quite general nature; without any detailed provisions it required employers to equip their undertakings in such a way as to provide the best possible safety and hygienic conditions.
To supervise the enforcement of the new legislation, technically trained factory inspectors were appointed. The inspectors were empowered to issue orders to employers as to the measures to be taken in order to prevent accidents in their establishments; but they had first to obtain the approval of a higher authority, and in the case of a dispute between an employer and an inspector it was for the courts to decide whether the inspector's orders should be complied with.
This system was found unsatisfactory as it hindered rapid progress in the prevention of industrial accidents; and under an act of 1891 amending the German Industrial Code the factory inspectors were empowered to issue individual orders with the force of law in matters of industrial safety. The employers were given the right of appeal to the higher administrative authorities. Safety measures which had been found suitable in practice in certain branches of industry or in certain types of establishment were made general by order of the Federal Council where this was feasible.
Thus in Germany the administrative methods of factory inspection developed in a way quite different from that adopted in Great Britain. In Great Britain the inspectors' right of issuing individual orders was gradually limited; in Germany it was extended, with the idea that this would accelerate progress in technical protection. In both countries, however, technically trained experts were appointed to enforce the legal provisions on industrial safety.
In France accident-prevention legislation was introduced at a later date than in Great Britain and Germany. The French authorities, therefore, were able to benefit from the experience gained in these two countries.
The result was that in France even the earliest safety legislation was made rather detailed and contained many really technical regulations. It was consequently easy to enforce and required less technical training and experience on the part of the factory-inspection staff.
If, in spite of this, the first inspectors appointed in France were technically educated and trained experts, this was perhaps due to the force of example of other countries. I may, perhaps, add here that the conditions of appointment were subsequently so simplified that an intelligent worker could qualify. At present, however, the inspectors are appointed by means of a competitive examination covering all the subjects with which they ought to be acquainted in order to be properly qualified for their work; an indication of these subjects will be given later.
In most European countries industrial safety is the chief concern of the factory inspectorate, and the factory-inspection services are distinct from the accident-insurance administrations. In some countries, however, e.g., Germany and Switzerland, the accident-insurance institutions have their own inspection services, concerned with the supervision of safety measures and empowered by law to issue orders to employers. This is particularly the case in Switzerland, where the right to issue orders in safety matters is given exclusively to the Swiss Accident Insurance Institute and not to the Federal factory inspectors.
Centralization of inspection is the rule in most countries; however, for special purposes, e. g., the inspection of steam boilers, electrical plants, lifts, and acetylene generators, separate inspection services are frequently set up. These are branches in which the activity of the inspectors frequently includes tests, etc., requiring special apparatus and for which-as in the case of boilers and other pressure vessels-it is usually essential to inform the employer in advance in order to have the necessary preparations carried out in time.
With the development of industry, the introduction of new processes and working methods, and the subsequent need for better measures for the protection of workers against accidents and other occupational risks, the tendency in all European countries has been for the factoryinspection staff to become more and more specialized in matters of industrial health and safety.
It is by no means an exaggeration to say that the factory inspectorates today are looked upon everywhere in Europe as bodies of experts in these matters. In this capacity the inspectors are continually called upon: (a) To advise the employers and managements of industrial undertakings as to the best ways of complying with the legal provisions respecting health and safety of their employees; (b) to study the conditions in industrial establishments in order to see whether the existing legislation is inadequate or requires modification to meet new developments, and advise the governments or other competent authorities as to the best means of improvement; (c) to investigate particular problems affecting the safety and health of industrial workers, and to collect information on causes of accidents and occupational diseases, etc.
It may be of interest to note, in this connection, that in many European countries the labor-protection acts provide that employers intending to erect new factory buildings, or to rebuild or alter existing premises, may submit their plans to the competent factory inspector for examination. The inspector must then determine whether such plans are in conformity with the protective legislation and advise the employer, free of charge, as to any additions or modifications required for this purpose.
The above considerations will certainly suffice to show that in Europe the factory inspector's post is a specialized one, requiring considerable technical training and experience. A brief survey of the conditions of appointment to posts in the inspection service in various countries is given below. I may, perhaps, point out here that, for appointment to a post as technical inspector, in most cases a degree or diploma from a university or technical high school is required; and, in view of the difference in classification of educational institutions that exists between European countries and the United States of America, it should be borne in mind that in Europe the "technical high schools” rank as the highest institutions of their kind, corresponding to, for example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States of America.
Another very important feature of the post of factory inspector, common to practically all European countries, is that from the lowest to the highest grades it is a permanent civil-service post having definitely defined conditions with regard to salaries, annual leave, and pension rights. In other words, after passing the probationary stage, and provided that they commit no serious fault in carrying out their duties, the factory-inspection officials enjoy a permanent status, with possibility of promotion to the various higher grades, and with remuneration, pension rights, etc., granted under the general regulations concerning civil servants.
If now we consider the actual methods of appointment and training of factory-inspection staff in some of the European countries, this can best be done on the basis of the statements submitted by the various governments in reply to a questionnaire sent out by the International Labor Office on the occasion of the Regional Conference of Representatives of Labor Inspection Services held at The Hague, in October 1935.
According to these statements, the manner in which inspectors are selected, appointed, and trained, and the qualifications required of candidates are as follows:
Belgium.-Inspectors are selected by means of examinations. The examining board is composed of university professors and civil servants. Candidates must *The countries represented at this conference were: Belgium, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Multigraphed copies of the reports submitted to this conference can be obtained from the International Labor Office, Geneva, Switzerland.
possess an engineering diploma, testifying to a 5-years' course at a Belgian university.
Candidates who have passed the examination are appointed in order of merit according to the number of posts available; they are appointed on probation for 6 months, and after this period their appointment is definitely confirmed, if they have given satisfaction.
Finland.--Appointments are made on the basis of candidates' applications. The chief inspector is appointed by the government without application. The chief inspector, the assistant inspectors, and the special inspectors in the department of labor must all be graduate engineers. The district inspectors and assistant district inspectors must be graduate engineers and have at least 5-years' experience in industry; for the district inspectors, 1 year's experience in the factoryinspection service is also required.
Woman factory inspectors must possess a technical-college or university degree in economics or hygiene and have experience in welfare work.
France.—Department (district) inspectors are appointed by competitive examination, the conditions and program of which are fixed by the central commission of labor,
Candidates are examined in the various subjects an inspector may need in the performance of his duties; as, for instance: labor legislation, particularly the laws to be enforced by the inspectors; the elements of industrial hygiene; engineering and electricity; accident prevention (written and oral examinations). There are also practical examinations in industrial hygiene, engineering, electricity, and accident prevention, which are carried out at the Conservatoire of Arts and Crafts with the actual machinery concerned.
An optional practical test in industrial work (oral) has been instituted for the benefit of candidates who can show at least 10 year's practical experience as employers, engineers responsible for the execution of practical work, foremen, and workers or apprentices in establishments using machinery.
Women applying for posts of inspectors generally take the same examinations except those in engineering, electricity, and accident prevention and the optional practical test in industrial work.
Having successfully passed the examination the candidates are appointed as department inspectors on probation. After 1 year's probation, if satisfactory, they are appointed as permanent inspectors in the lowest (fifth) grade; they may then be promoted successively to the various higher grades.
Divisional inspectors are selected from among the department inspectors not below the first grade.
The annual promotions are decided on by the minister of labor on the recommendation of a special grading commission, which includes two divisional and two department inspectors chosen from among those who are not eligible for inclusion in the promotion list.
Germany.—A special course of training for factory inspectors was instituted in Prussia in 1897. Certificated engineers or chemists who had completed their university education were appointed as probationers (Gewerbereferendare) and received 18 months' practical training with a factory inspector. After this they had to spend another 18 months in the study of law and political science and to pass an examination, after which they were appointed as assistant inspectors (Gewerbeassessoren) in the factory inspectorate. As far as we know, this system is still in force. Other German States have adopted similar systems.
Great Britain.—The inspectorate is recruited by means of competitions held under regulations made by the civil-service commissioners with the approval of H. M. treasury.
As regards qualifications, candidates must satisfy the commissioners that they have such experience and have received such systematic education, general or
technical (or both together), as in their opinion fits them for the post; in general, candidates should possess a university degree or other equivalent qualification in engineering, industry, or science; but the commissioners may dispense with such qualification in the case of a candidate with suitable works or other special practical experience.
The training of new inspectors is undertaken by the inspectorate itself and for the first few weeks they accompany experienced inspectors on their visits to factories and are encouraged to make reports on what they have seen. Use is also made of the Home Office Industrial Museum for demonstrations and lectures to new inspectors. All inspectors are on probation for the first 2 years, and at the end of this period have to undergo a qualifying examination in factory law and sanitary science.
Italy.-Inspectors are selected by means of public examination; they must pass a medical examination and possess the required educational qualifications; viz., a university degree (or secondary-school certificate in the case of an assistant inspector) and special knowledge of scientific, legal, and technical questions in relation to economic, commercial, and industrial matters.
Netherlands.- Inspectors are selected as far as possible from among engineers trained at the Technical University of Delft. They are appointed in the first place as assistant inspectors, and after about 2 years, if they have shown due ability, they are promoted to the rank of inspector. During the first 2 years the assistant inspectors receive training in inspection work.
The chief inspectors are selected from among the inspectors. This promotion is by merit, but as a general rule seniority is taken into account.
Norway.-The law prescribes that inspectors must have technical qualifications before being appointed. Special technical qualifications have in some cases been required in order that the service may represent the different branches of scientific knowledge.
Sweden.--Candidates for posts of factory inspector must have attended a technical college or acquired a corresponding training, and during not less than 8 years in all must have been engaged in an activity that may be regarded as a suitable preparation for the work of a factory inspector and have served as an assistant to a factory inspector.
A woman inspector must have passed an examination in suitable subjects at a university or college and have engaged in such studies and activities as may be considered likely to give a good theoretical and practical knowledge of industrial and general hygiene, conditions of employment, social legislation, etc.
Switzerland.--All labor-inspection officials are appointed by means of public examination. Candidates are mostly selected from technical or industrial occupations and pass direct into the inspection service. A probationary period is usually required for the higher posts. Training is obtained in the service itself.
The qualifications which the candidates must possess are determined in each particular case. A good general education is always required, with an understanding of technical and labor questions and, in addition, experience of employment in an industry or, exceptionally, in an appropriate administrative department. Preference is given to candidates with advanced knowledge of technical questions or natural science, but capable persons without these qualifications may also be appointed. A further condition is a knowledge of two of the national languages.
Owing to the various duties incumbent on the inspection service, it is so arranged that the following branches of study are represented in each of the four district inspectorates: Graduated ordinary (civil) and mechanical engineers, chemists and electrical engineers, and persons holding a degree in natural science.