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The Triangle Waist Fire and Legal Implications

Workplace accidents are inevitable even with all precaution measures introduced, which is why placing the focus on workers’ safety should be one of legislators’ primary concerns. However, as the Triangle Factory incident has shown, imperfections in current safety policies are identified and the respective changes are introduced only after a catastrophe occurs. Due to the devastating effects of the Triangle Waist Factory fire, there have been changes to safety regulations, primarily, increased access to facilities within a building and the inclusion of modern fire equipment, precise and clear guidelines regarding fire safety, and the appointment of managers responsible for workers’ safety, were introduced.

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In retrospect, the terrifying outcomes of the fire at the Triangle Waist factory indicate that the practices for ensuring workers’ safety were nonexistent at the time. Indeed, the inconsistency of fire codes offered to the workers at the Triangle Waist factory proved to be inconsistent with the standards established at the time on a statewide level (Sparks and Shipp 2021). Moreover, the fact that the employees did not have access to most parts of the building, with all of the rooms but the one in which they worked being locked, shows complete neglect for the safety of the staff in case of an emergency (Sparks and Shipp 2021). Thus, glaring negligence was evident in the practices used at the Triangle Waist factory.


However, while the Triangle Factory disaster was truly devastating, it has caused state officials to revisit the standards for workplace safety. Due to its tragic outcomes, the fire incident has led to a series of changes in the areas such as the accessibility of life-saving resources for staff members in case of an emergency. Namely, the incident sparked the development of the Factory Investigating Commission, a body that supervised the workplace conditions in which staff members had to function, identifying possible sources of hazard and monitoring compliance with the newly set safety requirements (Sparks and Shipp 2021). Tracking down the changes to the present-day setting, with multiple clauses introduced to prevent accidents in the workplace and remove safety hazards from the workplace environment, one should admit that the Triangle Waist factory fire changed the perception of workplace safety tremendously.

Apart from the introduction of the body responsible for maintaining safety in the workplace, additional tools for maintaining proper safety rates among staff members were introduced as a result of the fire at the Triangle Waist factory. Namely, since the fire spread quickly due to the absence of resources for minimizing the threat, additional tools and equipment for mitigating fire in the workplace setting was included in the range of available resources (Sparks and Shipp 2021). Thus, the level of control over workplace disasters increased after the analysis of the fire incident in question.

Finally, the fact that the workers at the Triangle Waist factory were effectively locked away from the resources that thy could use and could not access other rooms in order to manage the fire while it was comparatively small-scale has led to providing workers with the opportunity to access all major workplace facilities. The described effect has been particularly important since it implied recognizing the staff member’ rights, particularly, the right to access vital services and facilities within the building (Sparks and Shipp 2021). Therefore, even though the drastic effects of the catastrophe cannot be ignored, it has also incited a series of vital changes in the workplace safety department on a statewide legal level.


Sparks, Hanna, and Shipp, Maple. “How 1911’s Horrific, Deadly Triangle Building Fire Rewrote Labor Laws.New York Post, 2021. Web.

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