ABSTRACT

IT was early found that industry was responsible, not only for injuries to the workers, but also for certain diseases. Coal mining, for instance, was recognized as a cause of 'miners' pthisis' as it was then called, while certain types of match manufacturing gave rise to a deterioration of flesh and bone, called 'phossy jaw'. So, though the first Workmen's Compensation Acts and employers' liability legislation dealt mainly with injuries resulting from accidents, it was not long before a committee (1904) began to inquire into diseases, which could be traced back to industrial processes and activity as directly as could industrial accidents. The result of this was the introduction of new amending legislation culminating in the famous 1906 Workmen's Compensation Act. This extended the liability of employers to provide compensation in respect of certain diseases. Thereafter, a further committee was established to inquire, among other things, into the working of this part of the Act, and their findings may well be quoted here, as in spite of continuous efforts, particularly by the T.D.C., to alter the situation, the principles then laid down operated to the period of our inquiry.