The Fire at the Triangle Waist Company – Case Study Example

The paper "The Fire at the Triangle Waist Company" is a wonderful example of a case study on English.
The fire at the Triangle Waist Company on the 25th of March 1911 in New York City is considered one of the gravest industrial disasters. The tragedy claimed the lives of 146 garment workers (Nobleman, 2008). The tragedy is also of significance as it exposed the industrial exploitation of workers and also lead to numerous legislative reforms.
On the day of the fire, Saturday, there were 500 workers working in the factory. Workers were paid minimum wages and were needed to work for 9 hours and 7 hours, respectively on weekdays and Saturdays. The fire started at around 4.05 and spread rapidly in no time. Many escaped through the elevators and the fire exit. But the main way out which could have saved the lives of many were the stairways leading to the Greene Street and Washington Place (Nobleman, 2008). But the fire did not allow the workers to exit through Greene Street stairway and the door leading to the Washington Place stairway was locked. This was done to ensure that the workers did not steal anything from the workplace. The fire could not be put out in time and hence lead to the death of 146 workers who were mainly immigrant women (ILR Cornel, 2011).
The fire was a tragedy but lead to numerous reforms to improve the working conditions and safety measures at the workplace. One of the main positives (if it can be called so) was the organization of workers through various unions to stand up against the exploitation of the workers. The high risks involved in working in high-rise factories were now exposed due to the tragedy. As a result, new laws and codes were created that required the specific requisites from building to ensure the safety of the workers in a building. Also, fire safety regulations were improved and more caution was taken in designing of fire exits and other safety devices.
But the trial of the owners was a disappointing one as justice was not done. The owners of the factory were allowed to walk away. It was their responsibility to ensure the safety of the workers which they had failed to do. Also, they further continued exploiting workers. Also, they made money out of the tragedy by claiming excessive money from the insurance companies (Nobleman, 2008).
The fire at the Triangle Waist Company is one of the greatest disasters in the industrial world. It claimed the lives of many innocent workers due to the negligence of the owners who instead of safeguarding their employees exploited them. But the disaster caught the attention of the general public and the authorities on industrial exploitation and unsafe workplaces. As a result, a lot of reforms were made to ensure such a tragedy would not occur again.