Labor Day, Georgia Workers’ Comp and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

With Labor Day having just passed, I am reminded of the strides we have made in worker safety.  In 1911, perhaps the largest preventable work place disaster in American history occurred at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City.  The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, mostly immigrant women ages 11 to 48.  Managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to prevent stealing.  This caused many of the victims to jump to their deaths from the 8th, 9th and 10th floors.  Unfortunately, the fire truck ladders could not reach beyond the 6th floor.  This fire marked the beginning of improved conditions for garment workers.

Today there are still many hazards that cause injuries to workers in Georgia and around the nation.  Thankfully, the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act is a safety net for injured workers and their families, providing medical treatment and income benefits.  Additionally, workers’ compensation laws have resulted in fewer injuries and deaths in the work place because employers seek to reduce their premiums by implementing safety programs.  Fewer injuries mean everyone wins.  If you have been injured in the Atlanta or North Georgia area and have any questions, I hope you will call me at 770-284-3737 or visit me at

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