Get help from the best in academic writing.

Nike In Today’s Increased Globalization Paper Help Me With My History Homework

PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

Being Unemployed and Types of Unemployment us history essay help: us history essay help

Unemployment is not a monolithic phenomenon, and unemployed people are not a homogenous group. There are numerous causes and explanations for why any one person is unemployed. Structural unemployment, frictional unemployment, and seasonal unemployment are some of the most common types.

Marcelle is experiencing cyclical unemployment, which is tied to macroeconomic forces beyond her control. As Marcelle puts it, the firm closed because the market contracted. Sluggish economic growth or basic supply and demand factors can lead to companies needing to downsize their workforces, rendering otherwise loyal and able workers redundant. When the entire economy is sluggish, workers like Marcelle will have a difficult time finding a job in the same or even in another industry. The entire economy is tightened up, restricting access to jobs and creating a large pool of unemployed laborers. Of course, part of the problem in Marcelle’s case and with others like her is corporate greed, as CEOs are unwilling to take pay cuts from their bloated salaries in lieu of laying off workers. Marcelle is most certainly eligible for unemployment insurance, either from her state or from federal funding sources. One of the keynotes of eligibility is being unemployed due to no fault of the person’s own (State of California Employment Development Department, 2014).

Dominic is in a different position. She experiences frictional unemployment. Frictional unemployment refers to individuals in personal transitions and who are unemployed due to the situations in their lives. For example, Dominic wanted to move from Cincinnati to New York City. Because she moved, she is temporarily unemployed. Because Dominic’s form of unemployment can be defined as voluntary, she would most likely not be eligible for unemployment insurance unless over time she were able to prove that finding work in New York City had proved to be impossible.

Beauvoir experiences structural unemployment. Structural unemployment is similar to cyclical unemployment in that it is related to macroeconomic forces beyond the control of the individual. In Beauvoir’s case, she has failed to maintain or upgrade her skills. The labor market has changed, as the job descriptions and roles for secretary have changed over time. She was let off, rather than her supervisor paying for Beauvoir to upgrade her skills. This means that she is eligible for unemployment insurance, and should then be able to upgrade her skills and find new work.

Francine’s unemployment is seasonal in nature. Seasonal unemployment can be defined as being structural in nature due to the seasonal nature of the skiing economy, (Moffatt, n.d.). However, Francine’s situation is far different from that of Beauvoir. Beauvoir wants to work, but cannot due to structural issues in the economic system related to the skills set of the current labor market. Francine could technically decide to work another seasonal job in the summertime, but chooses not to. Because her choice is to avoid working until the ski season begins again, Francine is not eligible for unemployment benefits. Some seasonal workers may, however, be eligible for unemployment assistance.

Based on these case studies, unemployment is generally due to either personal or macroeconomic factors. Personal factors such as moving or transitioning from school to the workforce may render a person ineligible for unemployment insurance. However, some types of personal factors such as seasonal unemployment might warrant unemployment insurance. Macroeconomic factors that cause unemployment, including changes to technology as Beauvoir experiences, or economic downturns as Marcelle has encountered, usually mean that the person is unemployed due to no fault of their own. Unemployment insurance is designed to help people like those.

References

Moffatt, M. (n.d.). What are the three types of unemployment? About.com. Retrieved online: http://economics.about.com/od/typesofunemployment/p/three_types_of_unemployment.htm

State of California Employment Development Department (2014). Eligibility. Retrieved online: http://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/eligibility.htm

Decision Making in Construction 2 pages Paper history assignment writing help

Decision

As the general contractor of a medium size, one of the most important decision points in construction is a go no-go decision. Go no-go decisions have become common in the modern construction industry because of the changing marketplace that has in turn generated complex procurement choices. In light of the changing marketplace in the construction industry, construction companies face new challenges in identifying the most suitable project proposals to adopt and develop vetting measures that help in making the appropriate go no-go decision (Illia & Rubin, 2014). Despite the complexities of such decisions, go no-go decisions remain very crucial choices in this sector because of their significance in weighing costs for the most appropriate project fit.

Contractors need to conduct a go no-go analysis in order to determine the best project fit depending on project specifications and needs. The analysis helps in several aspects including serving as a process of researching and collecting information when there is insufficient information to make the most suitable decision. Additionally, a go no-go analysis helps in exploring the different ways for approaching the project, examine the project’s impact on resources, relationships and other factors, and examine the significant opportunities and risks relating to the project implementation.

The go no-go decision making process is also crucial in Design-Bid-Build construction projects, which are commonly used by many building owners. These projects are preferred among many building owners because they utilize different companies for the design and construction segments of building projects (Bryan Construction Inc., n.d.). Notably, these types of projects consist of three major phases i.e. design, bid, and build. In the first phase i.e. design stage, building owners work in collaboration with the architect to determine the specifications of the design. Upon completion of the process, the architect provides bid documents, which include technical aspects and drawings of the building. The documents are used during the second phase to identify contractors through reviewing proposals from different contractors. After identifying the contractor, the construction process of the project commences depending on the initial bid documents and specifications.

For a Design-Bid-Build office building project in Auburn, Alabama, a go no-go decision will be important in ensuring that each of these three phases are carried out in an effective manner that meet initial specifications and needs. As previously mentioned, this process requires considering several decision points using a go no-go analysis. The first decision point to consider in making a go no-go decision is whether the technical specifications and drawings provided by the architect are suitable for an office building. The process of creating the building’s design specifications is usually completed by the architect in collaboration with the building owner. While the contractor is not involved in the first phase of the project, an evaluation of whether the design specifications are for an office building is an important decision point in making a go no-go decision. During this process, the design specifications will be evaluated in line with regulations that govern the development of office buildings in Alabama. This is an important consideration in go no-go decision making because states have slightly different regulations for construction of different kinds of properties. Compliance with Alabama’s Building Code during the design phase is an important issue of evaluation before proceeding with the construction process in order to avoid any legal hurdles that could arise if the office building does not meet the provisions of this Code.

The second decision point for consideration in a go no-go decision for a Design-Bid-Build office building project in Auburn, Alabama is whether there are adequate resources and time for completion of the project as required. Once a review of the design specifications is completed, the identification of necessary resources and time for project completion is important in a go no-go decision. One of the vital aspects of a go no-go decision is weighing the costs for the best project fit through a rigorous process that entails identification of the necessary resources and time for the construction. As a medium size general contractor, the determination of resources and time is vital to avoid premature termination of the project once construction begins.

The third consideration is whether we have expertise to complete the project if our proposal or bid is accepted. As previously indicated, the second phase of these kinds of construction projects involves bidding where different companies provide proposals based on bid documents provided by the architect and building owner regarding design specifications. Therefore, an examination of whether there is expertise to complete the office building based on the design specifications is significant in determining whether to proceed with the project or not. The evaluation of expertise also entails determining whether the company or contractor can successfully compete with the other candidates bidding for the project.

The final consideration in a go no-go decision relating to this project is evaluating whether the cost is worth the probable fee (Rudy, 2014). Some project bids involve certain bidding costs or fee, which must be evaluated before making a decision on whether to bid for the project or not. This is an important consideration that is carried out as part of initial evaluation of internal factors before committing to a construction project. If the cost is not worth the potential fee, then it will be inappropriate for the contractor to commit to the project and vice versa. This also helps in avoiding bidding for inappropriate projects that could result in loss or consumption of time and resources and eventual financial failure (Bagies & Fortune, 2006).

Decision Flowchart

Effective decision making is an important element in the construction industry because of its direct link to the success or failure of a building project. As an owner representative, it’s important to choose the best general contractor for typical building construction projects in the company. This process can be achieved through the use of a Decision Flowchart that incorporates several factors relating to successful project design and completion. For this company, the decision flowchart for choosing the best general contractor is as follows . . .

New Contractor

(No Performance Record)

Outline Project Details and Specifications

Research Potential Companies

Contractor with Performance Record

Determine Managerial Ability, Personnel Data, Technical Ability, and Building & Financial Capacity.

Evaluate Performance Record, Conduct Performance Analysis.

Interview the Contractor

Rate Interview Performance

Hire the Best Co

ntractor

References

Bagies, A and Fortune, C (2006) Bid/ no-bid decision modelling for construction projects. In: Boyd, D (Ed) Procs 22nd Annual ARCOM Conference, 4-6 September 2006, Birmingham, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 511-521.

Bryan Construction Inc. (n.d.). Design-Bid-Build Construction Projects. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://bryanconstruction.com/company/articles-info/design-bid-build-construction-projects/

Illia, T. & Rubin, D.K. (2014, October 6). Firms Refine Steps to Bid the Right Job. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.enr.com

Rudy, L.J. (2014, June 11). Getting Started with Go/No-Go Decision Making. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from https://business.tutsplus.com/articles/getting-started-with-gono-go-decision-making — cms-21362

Social Construction of Technology Term Paper ap art history homework help: ap art history homework help

Social Construction of Technology

Technology

almost everything is negotiable: what is certain and what is not: who is a scientist and who is a technologist; what is technological and what is social; and who can participate in the controversy. (Pinch & Bijker, 1984)

The Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) is a theory within several areas including philosophy of technology, sociology of science, and science & technology studies. The theory was developed in the 1980s by Bijker and Pinch. The theory takes the position of social constructivism with respect to technology, and factors such as its meaning, its function, and its design. SCOT is additionally a theory taught to students in the hard and applied sciences, such as engineering and information technology. SCOT is sometimes referred to as technological constructivism, which is a direct response to technological determinism, a significant aspect of the issue of technology to consider in conjunction with SCOT. The theory is relatively young, as are many of the fields in which this subject falls. The theory has seen an increased amount of attention in the 21st century as the world experiences an intense increase of the use, accessibility, and proliferation of digital technology.

The social construction of technology (SCOT) grew out of the combination of three distinct bodies of work: the science — technology — society (STS) movement, the sociology of scientific knowledge and the history of technology. The first started in the 1970s, mainly in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Its goal was to enrich the curricula of both universities and secondary schools by studying issues such as scientists’ social responsibilities, the risks of nuclear energy, the proliferation of nuclear arms, and environmental pollution. The movement was quite successful, especially in science and engineering faculties(Bijker, 2009,-Page 89)

SCOT is a theory that is not yet fifty years old, yet if global culture continues steadily upon this trajectory of increased use and production of integrated digital/communication/information technology, this is a theory that will continue to grow in relevance and prominence with time. Furthermore, as the quotation states and indirectly suggests, some of countries that are the earliest and strongest advocates of SCOT are countries that have substantial wealth, cultural influence, and welcome progressive thinking or innovation. With exponential increase in the forms of technology, the markets for technology, and the number of technological devices, the potential for SCOT to be applicable to an array of industries and produces augments substantially. There are a few fundamental aspects to the theory including interpretative flexibility, relevant social groups, design flexibility, and closure. The paper will elaborate upon the theory, its components, its criticism, and counterargument or oppositional perspective. The paper serves to critique the theory of SCOT through analysis.

SCOT applies to a specific perspective or orientation regarding the nature and consequences of technology. SCOT sees the most powerful and effective forms of technology having significant power, influence, and meaning in the social reality or social context within which the technology is produced and used. Theorists who refer to and use SCOT to explain the social affects of technological phenomena ask a series of questions about the technology and the social context. They perform a rigorous analysis and backtracking in order to understand how and what the technology means in the present.

SCOT holds that those who seek to understand the reasons for acceptance or rejection of a technology should look to the social world. It is not enough, according to SCOT, to explain a technology’s success by saying that it is “the best” — researchers must look at how the criteria of being “the best” is defined and what groups and stakeholders participate in defining it. In particular, they must ask who defines the technical criteria by which success is measured, why technical criteria are defined in this way, and who is included or excluded. SCOT is not only a theory, but also a methodology: it formalizes the steps and principles to follow when one wants to analyze the causes of technological failures or successes. (Communicationista, 2012)

The social world, the social context, and the social reality are the keys when choosing to implement or apply SCOT to a particular technology. SCOT seeks to understand the technology outside of its technological or mechanical specifications. There are theorists and experts across a variety of fields, including those directly related to the development, production, and use of technology who contend that technology is inherently neutral and inherently artificial. The technology takes a shape or a moral stands with its use when humans direct the ways in which the technology is produced, consumed, distributed, and other factors. Farlano substantiates this statement as she writes:

Social construction, a common perspective within science and technology studies since the late 1970’s, has three important assumptions: science and technology are social, active and not inherently natural. (Farlano, 2012)

Science and technology are social artifacts that function as part of the institution of culture and to larger extents, ideology and hegemony. Science and technology, from the technological constructivist perspective, are not passive beings and constitute beings in the first place.

Farlano and other technological constructivists argue that with the application of SCOT, they argue that science and technology are alive. Those who believe technology is neutral would fall more along the technological constructivist side of the debate, as opposed to the viewpoint of technological determinism. Pinch and Bijker, the originators of SCOT, argue their reasoning as to why their theory took the shape that it does and how that shape relates to their understanding of the life of technology in the social world:

Research concerned to measure the exact interdependence of science and technology seem to have asked the wrong question because they have assumed science and technology to be well-defined monolithic structures. In short, they have not grasped that science and technology are themselves socially produced in a variety of social circumstances. It does seem, however that there is now a move towards a more sociological conception of the science-technology relationshipIn other words, science and technology are both socially constructed cultures and bring to bear whatever cultural resources are appropriate for the purposes at hand. In this view the boundary between science and technology is, in particular instances, a matter for social negotiation, and represents no underlying distinction: it then makes little sense to treat the science-technology relationship in a general unidirectional waythe social construction of the science-technology relationship is clearly a matter deserving further empirical investigation. (Pinch & Bijker, 1984,-Page 403 — 404)

As Pinch and Bijker understand science and technology, there are an interpretatively flexible as the theory of SCOT, yet the academic and professional precedence is to regard them as lacking a dynamic connection as well as retaining a stern rigidity. Pinch and Bijker advocate for the liberation of traditional perspectives about the relationship between science and technology, as well as liberation from traditional viewpoints about how we are to understand and derive meaning from this relationship. Some may argue and did argue that these theorists were asking a great too much from the academic and scientific communities. Yet they were not deterred and persisted, just as their theory of SCOT has. Furthermore, should these authors choose to revisit this theory again with respect to the advances made in technology and permutations in culture with 21st century technology, there would still be a great deal about which to think, to write, and to argue. So much of the most popular forms of technology currently are socially-based or socially contingent. There is now, and not at the time when they first wrote the theory, a kind of technology exclusively branded social technology, which is closely related to and sometimes overlaps with social media. This kind of technology has a presence and a domination in the social context of many cultures in no other way experienced in quite a span of human history. With forms of technology such as Google Analytics and Big Data, we are now further breaking down boundaries between science and technology as well as science and art, aesthetics (philosophy) and science, and more. SCOT foreshadowed the destruction of such boundaries and will prove useful as the world attempts to keep up with the accelerated generations/iterations of technology that affect the world in great and small ways. Embedded within the states of SCOT methodology is the capacity to reconceptualize itself the way it reconceptualizes the relationship between science and technology.

The first stage of the SCOT research methodology is to reconstruct the alternative interpretations of the technology, analyze the problems and conflicts these interpretations give rise to, and connect them to the design features of the technological artifacts. The relations between groups, problems, and designs can be visualized in diagrams. (Communicationista, 2012)

The theory continues to demonstrate that it is meticulously designed and substantially effective in the past, in the present, and likely in the future. The author comes to this critique of the theory of SCOT through analysis of its parts, organization, methodology, function, and capacity to endure.

SCOT is more than a supposition, it is a theory grounded in specific methodologies and techniques. Farlano explains:

The social construction of technology (SCOT) is a particular way of conceptualizing and understanding the social shaping of technology as well as, in turn, the technological shaping of society. This perspective can be understood to include the interplay between socio-economic, political, cultural and environmental factors in the process of technological developmentThis viewpoint is in stark contrast to the perspective of technological determinism or realism, which stresses the inherent properties of technologies and their impacts on society. (Farlano, 2012)

SCOT argues that there is a fluctuating and semiotic relationship between technology and social reality. Those who agree with SCOT would say that just as art imitates life and life imitates art, the same can be said, relatively, for technology and society as well. Technology shapes the society, which seems transparently intuitive, yet at the same time, the culture influences the technology. Regardless of the flow of influence, this kind of push, pull, ebb and flow, shaping and sculpting occurs constantly and with great intensity & frequency in the heavily mediated, technological cultural landscape of the 21st century. Communicationista drives this point home:

Currently, of course, there is speculation about the way that information and communication technologies (ICTs) may be determining our world, its social structures and economies, as well as individual consciousnessAdvocates of SCOT — that is, social constructivists — argue that technology does not determine human action, but that rather, human action shapes technology. They also argue that the ways in which a technology is used cannot be understood without understanding how that technology is embedded in its social context. (Communicationista, 2012)

This explanation of SCOT speaks to the semiotic aspect of technology and how semiotics plays a role in the overall use of the theory. The quotation also speaks to the predominance of technological determinism as the theoretical explanation for the relationship between technology and society. SCOT was in some ways, a welcome change from the technological deterministic viewpoint. From the SCOT point-of-view, humans are the agents of our change in society. Humans have the power to create technology and human actions shape the kinds of technology that are produced as well as influence the functions of the technologies produced. This quotation moreover concurs with prior statements regarding the nature of technology, in that it is essentially meaningless without and/or outside of social context. Therefore the consideration for the social context of a specific piece of technology should be, if it is not already, considered as part of its structural design. In fact, supporters of SCOT may go so far as to argue that something is not a definitively a piece of technology without social context. SCOT, as a relatively new theory, at least expands the debate and considerations of how technology relates to society. Again, such issues will grow in prevalence as the world continues to become more and more technologically dependent or integrated.

This paper argues in support of the relevance and utility of SCOT with respect to technology and issues of politics, sociology, culture, communication, consumption, and behavior. Just over a decade after the theory of SCOT was published in the mid 1980s, here came the mid and late 1990s and the beginning of the technological surge. In the attempt to stay relevant, the original theorists added a slight modification to their theory so that it could keep up with the technological and theoretical times. Klein and Kleinman elaborate:

Since the original presentation of this framework, one major concept has been introduced into SCOT. To the four foundational concepts, Bijker (1995) added that of the technological frameA technological frame may promote certain actions and discourage others: “Within a technological frame not everything is possible anymore (the structure and tradition aspect), but the remaining possibilities are relatively clearly and readily available to all members of the relevant social group (the actor and innovation aspect)” (Bijker 1995, 192). Bijker’s introduction of the technological frame to the SCOT framework is an important first step toward recognition of structure, yet numerous possibilities exist for additional insights. (Klein & Kleinman, 2002,-Page 31)

There are numerous occasions when a theory is developed and the originators hold fast to the original form or idea of the theory. There are times when researchers come up with theories that do not stand up to the changes over time, or perhaps were to restricted or confined in the structure or reasoning to lend itself to flexibility. This does not prove to be the case with Pinch and Bijker’s theory of SCOT. The theory, in its structure, retains some of the impermanent closure and interpretative flexibility, which are core concepts to the theory itself. Structurally, SCOT practices what it preaches contentwise. The demonstrates to this author that this theory was soundly structured and proves to be an enduring, useful theoretical perspective with potential to remain so for at least a few more decades without significant modification.

The paper will now consider the counterargument to SCOT as part of its analysis and critique of the theory. On the other end of the spectrum from technological constructivism is technological determinism. Bijker summarizes the technological determinist viewpoint and provides insights regarding the faults of the determinist argument:

Technological determinism was taken to comprise two elements: (1) technology develops autonomously, and (2) technology determines to an important degree societal development. This view was seen as intellectually poor and politically debilitating. Technological determinism implies a poor research strategy, it was argued, because it entails a teleological, linear and one-dimensional view of technological development. And it was considered politically debilitating because technological determinism suggests that social and political interventions in the course of technology are impossible, thus making politicization (see below) of technology a futile endeavor. To bolster this critique on technological determinism, it was necessary to show that the working of technology was socially constructed — with the emphasis on social. (Bijker, 2009,-Page 89)

In addition, to the determinist view, numerous scholars criticize the original formulation of SCOT, calling it insufficient. Pinch and Bijker realized this, readily acknowledge this weakness in the theory and even participate in this critique, part of which is aforementioned and came in the mid-late 1990s. Essentially, SCOT assumes that groups are equal and that all relevant social groups with respect to technology or other cultural artifacts are present and equally represented in the design process. This presumption fails to adequately attend to power asymmetry between groups. (Klein & Kleinman, 2002) This aspect of the theory does not stand up well to debate with access and quality of access to the Internet around the world is an easy example to use to undermine implicit equality in their theory. Just as a technological framework was added to enhance the scope and accuracy of the theory, perhaps a framework with respect to class and gender would assist in the productive expansion and application of SCOT.

There is further division within the debate among the technological determinists. Early in the 21st century, the idea of hard and soft determinism created a rift on that side of the spectrum.

Hard determinists would view technology as developing independent from social concerns. They would say that technology creates a set of powerful forces acting to regulate our social activity and its meaning. According to this view of determinism we organize ourselves to meet the needs of technology and the outcome of this organization is beyond our control or we do not have the freedom to make a choice regarding the outcome. Soft Determinism, as the name suggests, is a more passive view of the way technology interacts with socio-political situations. Soft determinists still subscribe to the fact that technology is the guiding force in our evolution, but would maintain that we have a chance to make decisions regarding the outcomes of a situation. (Communicationista, 2009)

It would be interesting to look at which cultures around the world side more with determinism and which side more with constructivism. The constructivism side is more active, which makes sense that the countries that agree most with SCOT are powerful and progressive nations in the West, which is more active culturally relative to cultures from the East. In any case, the paper sides more with SCOT, though the paper acknowledges the philosophical practicality of the determinist view. It may hold true to a limited extent, but this paper agree that SCOT is a more relevant, practical, and useful theory when considering the science-technology connection and their relationship to society. Many argue that the people of the world, especially those in the industrialized world, have grown more lazy and selfish, some of which is attributed to forms of technology. At least with the use of SCOT, the theory puts more of the responsibility and accountability for the state of the world and the quality of life back upon human beings, making us responsible for our current state, and capable of enacting the necessary change for the better.

References:

Bijker, W.E. (2009). Chapter 15 — Social Construction of Technology. Olsen, J.K.B., Pedersen, S.T., & Hendricks, V.F. (eds) A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Blackwell Publishing Limited: Oxford, UK.

Bijker, W.E., & Hughes, T.P., & Pinch, T.J. (1987). The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press: Cambridge, MA.

Communicationista. (2009). Technological Determinism vs. Social Construction of Technology. Web, Available from: http://communicationista.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/technological-determinism-vs.-social-construction-of-technology/. 2012 October 27.

Forlano, L. (2012). Social Construction of Technology. Social Science Research Council — The Media Research Hub, Web, Available from: http://mediaresearchhub.ssrc.org/icdc-content-folder/social-construction-of-technology/. 2012 October 28.

Keel, R.O. (2011). The Social Construction of Technology. Web, Available from: http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/280/soconstr.html. 2012 October 26.

Klein, H.K., & Kleinmen, D.L. (2002). The Social Construction of Technology: Structural Considerations. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 27(1), 28 — 52.

Jackson, M.H., Poole, M.S., & Kuhn, T. (2001). The Social Construction of Technology in Studies of the Workplace. Lievrouw & Livingstone. (eds) Handbook of New Media. Sage Publications: London, UK.

MacKenzie, D., & Wajcman, J. (1999). The social shaping of technology, 2nd edition. Open University Press: Buckingham, UK.

Pinch, T.J., & Bijker, W.E. (1984). The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology might Benefit Each Other. Social Studies of Science, 14, 399 — 441.

Prell, C. (2009). Rethinking the Social Construction of Technology through ‘Following the Actors’: A Reappraisal of Technological Frames. Sociological Research Online, 14(2), Web, Available from: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/2/4.html. 2012 October 28.

Changes in Fire Safety and Prevention in Building Construction history assignment example

History of Building Construction and Changes Related to Fire Safety & Prevention

History of Building Construction and Changes Related to Fire Safety and Prevention

Major Cases in the United States That Have Led to Changes in Fire Safety and Prevention in Building Construction

Though numerous tragic fires have contributed to our current Fire Safety and Prevention measures, a few cases dominate our country’s collective memory in the establishment and refinement of the “Life Safety Code.”

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

One hundred years ago, government did not exert much safety control over business, so the types and extent of fire safety were freely controlled by employers (Pinkerson, 2011). For example, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, employing hundreds of immigrants and was insured for fire damage to benefit the owners but had little concern for its workers (Pinkerson, 2011): Triangle arbitrarily provided 27 buckets of water to extinguish fires, doors that were either locked to prevent employee theft or opened inward, an elevator that was inadequate for the weight of many individuals, and fire escapes that were also insufficient for a great number of people escaping fire at the same time (Yaz). In addition, the fire department itself amazingly did not have fire ladders and/or hoses that could reach the highest floors of the Factory (Pinkerson, 2011). On March 25, 1911, the combination of careless fire safety measures and overcrowded conditions led to one of the most tragic fires in U.S. History. As approximately 275 employees, mostly women with the average age of 19, left work for the day, a fire broke out (Yaz) in the Factory. With an inadequate amount of water to douse the fire, fire ladders and hoses too short to reach the Factory’s upper floors, locked escape routes, doors opening inward that trapped onrushing employees attempting to escape, and an elevator and fire escape that collapsed under the weight of many panicked would-be escapees (Rosa), many trapped individuals simply jumped to their deaths. In all, 146 employees were killed in the fire (Rosa).

The resulting outrage initially had little or no effect: the owners of the factory were tried for manslaughter but were acquitted (Yaz) and actually financially benefited from the fire due to their fire insurance (Pinkerson, 2011). In addition, the Factory owners were sued by 23 surviving families, who eventually received approximately $75.00 each (Rosa). Fortunately, the outrage was sustained and as a result: New York state established “The Factory Commission” to examine the causes and possible improvements; this commission, in turn, established the “Fire Prevention” arm of the New York City Fire Department. Setting about to prevent a similar tragedy in the future, the “Fire Prevention” arm required: doors that open outward (Pinkerson, 2011), no blockage of escape routes; multiple fire exits, clear paths to exits; the building must have firefighting equipment, employees must be trained in the use of that firefighting equipment and floors too high for Fire Department ladders must have sprinklers and portable fire extinguishers; each place of employment must have a written and posted fire escape plan and employees must be trained to use those escape plans by fire drills; the employer must maintain and control all work areas that are potential fire hazards. Following New York State’s suit, other states eventually established these fire safety measures and the measures were eventually adopted by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a Life Safety Code (Flannery Associates, 2008). A byproduct of that outrage and initial disappointing results was the strengthening of unions such as “The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union” and expanded its influence to affect not only fire safety but also fair wages and dignity for employees. Finally, “Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition” was established to honor the Triangle victims and also to keep close tabs on worker safety because it believes that proactive fire safety measures are still needed (Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, 2011).

b. Cocoanut Grove Fire

On November 28, 1942, the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub of Boston, MA, caught fire. Built for a maximum occupancy capacity of 460, the nightclub contained approximately 1,000 occupants and had no sprinkler system, the wall and ceiling decorations caught fire quickly and the fire then spread quickly, many windows and doors were sealed shut, the exit doors swung opposite the flow of panicking patrons trying to escape the fire and the main exit was a revolving door. As a result 492 people were killed attempting to escape (Office of the Vice President for University Operations, the University of Texas at Austin, 2009). A direct result of this fire is further refinement of the “Life Safety Code” established after the Triangle Fire (Flannery Associates, 2008), paying closer attention to “use groups” and related fire safety, fire prevention and building codes for: “building height and area, type of construction, built-in fire protection systems, and means of exit systems” (Flannery Associates, 2008).

c. MGM Grand Fire

On November 21, 1980, a smoldering, undetected fire at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino killed 85 people and injured an additional 700 due to “83 building code violations, .design flaws, installation errors and materials that made the fire worse” (Command Safety, 2010). The MGM Grand fire directly led to further NFPA “Life Safety Code” requirements: “stairwell doors must now remain unlocked on the inside of the stairwell so that people can get from the stairwell back to guest room floor” (Command Safety, 2010), OR “stairwells doors may be locked but they must be constructed to automatically unlock when the building’s fire alarm system activates” (Command Safety, 2010), OR ” hotels may use selected re-entry, in which there may be no more than four intervening floors between unlocked doors and signs must be provided to direct occupants to the floors with unlocked doors” (Command Safety, 2010).

2. Fire Safety and Prevention in Building Construction Codes and Construction Practices Impacted by Forensic Analysis from September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

The forensic analysis of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has been pointedly criticized. For example, “Contrary to federal and state laws concerning crime scenes, the debris from WTC was never subjected to a forensic investigation…Thus, the most crucial physical evidence to reveal the causes of the collapse of the towers was intentionally and illegally destroyed without public examination” (Firmage, 2006). Nevertheless, the 911 Commission and others revealed and are responding to some of the most distressing failures of 9/11.

One of the significant problems for emergency responders was the inability to locate and track each other within the towers (Pennwell Corporation, 2003); consequently, “Being able to locate and track emergency responders in structures is one of the most significant challenges facing us; it has been defined as the number one priority of the ERT advisory group,’” according to Colonel Jim Ball (U.S. Air Force, Ret.), consultant to the ERT program (Pennwell Corporation, 2003). In response to that problem, technologies are being developed that will allow responders to see through the structure’s walls and communicate with each other. Called “3-D responder locator systems,” the devices were still in development in 2003 (Pennwell Corporation, 2003). In addition, due to the towers’ shocking collapse, the various commissions are trying to increase structural integrity of buildings by developing performance criteria for building codes, standards, tools and a practical guide for construction firms to avoid the “progressive structural collapse” we saw in the two towers (Pennwell Corporation, 2003). The commissions are also developing practical guidance on increasing steel and concrete structures’ fire resistance (Pennwell Corporation, 2003). In addition, during the attacks, the towers lost power and communications, generators were shut down for safety reasons and the elevators stopped (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 2004). In at least partial answer to this problem, the commissions are looking into the possibility of building “protected” elevators to be used by firefighters if stairwells are unavailable for evacuation (Pennwell Corporation, 2003). Finally, due to numerous firefighters’ deaths in the towers’ collapse, we are looking into systems that can predict the possibilities of a structure’s collapse (Pennwell Corporation, 2003) before firefighters enter the structure.

Works Cited

Command Safety. (2010). 1980 MGM Grand Hotel Fire – Thirty Years Ago. Retrieved from commandsafety.com: http://commandsafety.com/2010/11/1980-mgm-grand-hotel-fire-thirty-years-ago/

Firmage, J.P. (2006, August 8). Intersecting Facts and Theories on 09/11. Retrieved from Journal of 911 Studies: http://www.journalof911studies.com/articles/Intersecting_Facts_and_Theories_on_911.pdf

Flannery Associates. (2008, January). Section 1: Fire and People: Unit 4 – Occupancy Types and Means of Egress. Retrieved from cuny.edu: http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~tflan/documents/101docs/FIS101OccupancyTypesandExits.pdf

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. (2004). Commission Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Office of the Vice President for University Operations, the University of Texas at Austin. (2009, February 5). Fire Prevention Services: Historic Fires. Retrieved from utexas.edu: http://www.utexas.edu/safety/fire/safety/historic_fires.html

Pennwell Corporation. (2003, September 4). Fire Technology for a Safer Tomorrow. Retrieved from Fire Engineering: http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-157/issue-5/features/fire-technology-for-a-safer-tomorrow.html

Pinkerson, D. (Director). (2011). Triangle: Remembering the Fire [Motion Picture].

Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. (2011). Remember the Triangle Fire Coaltion. Retrieved from Rememberthetrianglefirecoaltion.org: http://rememberthetrianglefire.org/

Rosa, P. (n.d.). HistoryBuff.com — History Library — The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Retrieved from HistoryBuff.com: http://www.historybuff.com/library/refshirtwaist.html

Yaz, G. (n.d.). The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911: Leap for Life, Leap of Death. Retrieved from csun.edu: http://www.csun.edu/~ghy7463/mw2.html