Florence Kelley and the Machine: First Female Factory Inspector

florence kelley, women in history at hercules slr

March is Women’s History Month—To celebrate, we’re sharing the store of Florence Kelley, a woman who’s responsible for many of the seemingly basic work-rights we have today. 

Florence Kelley is a social and political activist who made significant contributions to work and labour standards for factory workers and children—Read on to learn more about her incredible life. 

FLORENCE KELLEY: EARLY LIFE 

Florence Kelley was born to William D. Kelley, abolitionist, judge, founder of the Republican party and congressman. Florence was often sick as a child, and she would read to pass the time–Learning was heavily encouraged heavily by her father. 

Florence’s father, William Kelley, encouraged learning in all its forms. Kelley wanted his daughter to be aware of how children in other circumstances worked, and he would take her to tour factories where children manufactured steel & glass in dangerous conditions, for long hours and very little money. 

At Zurich University, Kelley translated the popular German book « The Condition of the Working Class in England » by Frederick Engels, a project she is well-known for. 

These experiences and her studies informed the work she would dedicate her life to.

FLORENCE KELLEY: LIFE AT HULL HOUSE 

Florenece Kelley at Hercules SLR
Florence Kelley

Hull house was a social settlement in the Chicago slums that helped residents and community-members with things like childcare, kindergarten and college classes and grew to include shops and even community-clubs. Women who lived there typically worked there, too. Classes focused on traditional subjects, and also taught the community about topics like civil rights & duties. 

Hull house’s main work and achievement was to develop and enact state child labour laws, a juvenile court system and protection agencies for children. Hull House also supported Women’s Suffrage and various international peace movements. Unfortunately, Hull House was demolished in 1961 and the small, original house was made into a museum. Here, Kelley focused her attentions to 

Following Florence’s work with the Hull House inhabitants, Florence Kelley studied and submitted a report to the Illinois State Bureau of Labor. This led to Kelley being named Chief Factory Inspector in Chicago—The first woman to hold the position.

FLORENCE KELLEY: FACTORY CRUSADER 

Kelley eventually stepped down as Chief Factory Inspector, but also worked as a special agent inspecting both the work, and living conditions in Chicago garment factories. With this experience, she then began work with the National Consumer League as their National Secretary. 

During this time, Kelley organized Consumers’ Leagues at local and state-levels and travelled, speaking out about the league’s various causes, like worker-rights issues. She founded the New York Child Labor Committee in 1902, and went on to found the National Child Labour Committee just two years later, in 1904. 

She often attended protest meetings, and would speak against sweatshop work conditions in factories. Kelley brought the media into factories. During this time, a very high number of children were diagnosed with smallpox in one large Chicago factory. Kelley presented her investigation findings’ to Illinois lawmakers, which saw that families infected with illness like diphtheria and smallpox were steadily manufacturing clothes during their illness.

Her efforts were huge in passing the Illinois Factory act of 1893. This act was actually based on a previous legislation draft she had written, and included some of the ideas she championed throughout her career. These details of the act included: 

  • An 8-hour work day for women 
  • Restricted child labour 
  • Establish an office of factory inspections

Other causes Florence Kelley published writings and crusaded for, were:

  • Compulsory schooling, available for all children
  • Children under 14 should  be prohibited from work
  • A minimum wage for workers 

Meanwhile, she also lived at a location known as the Henry Street Settlement, where she continued to promote social reformations, particularly those that involved child labour practices. She worked for the National Consumer League for 34 years, until her death. 

FLORENCE KELLEY: LEGACY

Who knows where the North American workforce would be without the work of Florence Kelley? She not only studied, but took action to ensure work conditions were better for women, children and families.

Her contributions were brave, vital and important for women, children and all industrial workers. 


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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries. 

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Meet your Hercules SLR Inspector, Quincy Warner

inspector at hercules slr
Quincy Warner is a qualified inspector at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario. Read on to learn more about his career path in safety and inspections and Hercules SLR. 

We sit down with Quincy to talk about his duties as Inspector at Hercules SLR, including his professional safety experience, fall arrest, equipment inspections and his travels with Hercules SLR—Read on to learn more. 

« Hercules SLR will train you to better your self for that job. I am an inspector and I’ve had so much training in the 3 months that I’ve been here. It’s been great see they really show their employees they care. »
– Quincy Warner

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I have worked in health and safety for over 15 years, and the last 5 have been in fall arrest. I also did training for fall arrest/protection, and how to inspect soft goods like self-retracting lifelines (SRL’s) and safety harnesses. 

What made you decide to go into this industry? 

I was looking for a change from what I was doing the last year or so, which was working on SRL’s. I was doing recertification of equipment, and teaching customers how to use the different types of SRL’s. Hercules has more to offer me with me being an inspector I can do a little more then just the SRL’S and fall arrest.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

I worked for a safety company in their tech services department. There, I helped work on SRL’S and did on-site soft good inspections for customers, and also trained them on different health and safety issues seen in the workplace. 

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?   

inspector, hercules inspection, chain repair

Quincy at work, inspecting a length of chain – quite a lengthy process, since each link needs to be inspected.

My biggest reason for joining the SLR team is you can move around in this company. By that, I mean you can ask to do or be placed in another job and they will train you to better your self for that job. I am an inspector and I had so much training in the last 3 months that I have been here and it has been great they really show the employee that they care and want you to progress with in the company.

« I can’t wait to get out in to the field and start working with our customers. » – Quincy Warner, Inspector

 

 

 

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

So far, Hercules SLR has sent me to a lot of places but the best was going out to head office in Halifax. I really learned a lot while I was out there and had fun meeting all the different people. We trained at the Hercules Training Academy for a week, and that was amazing to have offered to me and complete. 

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

I would like to go out to the different branches and shadow the different tech guys and girls. I find every branch has similar jobs, but the industry can be different. I’d like to see some new things out in the field that you might not find back at your branch. 

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career as Inspector at Hercules SLR?

I started with Hercules SLR recently, and I’m most proud to have completed most of my training. I’m also proud to have learned a lot about this industry, and learned the things I have in just last three months.

I can’t wait to get out in to the field and start working with our customers. 


WANT MORE READING? LOOK NO FURTHER

  •  Synthetic Round Sling – Free Inspection Download Guide
  •  Get to Know your Langley, BC Inspector, Chris Davies
  •  Safety Inspection: Make your Harness a Habit
  •  Tips from our Brampton, ON Experts: Safe Rigging Practices 
  •  Fall Protection Training: Don’t Get Left Behind
  •  Hercules Training Academy – Securing, Lifting and Rigging 
  •  Tool Fall Protection: More Important than you Think
  •  Are the Technicians Inspecting your Gear Qualified? 
  •  Women in Industry: Inspection Technician Heather Young  

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Get to know your Langley NDE Inspector, Chris Davies

nde-inspection-magnetic-particle-tesrting-ndt

Chris Davies is one of our talented Inspection Technicians in Langley, British Colombia who conducts non-destructive examinations (NDE). He has a wide-array of industry experience in both aviation and the oil and gas industries. We sat down with Chris to discuss his career path to Inspector and the field of NDE.

NDE is also commonly known as NDT, which stands for non-destructive testing. This method is used to test for defects in materials without compromising their integrity. This means they can be used in the future, or repaired. This is an economical option and is often used in inspections, manufacturing and fabrication industries.

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I started in the Aviation field back in 1989 at the age of 19 as a surface processor for Okanagan Helicopters owned by Canadian Helicopters, working in the Engineering Support Division in (Richmond BC). From 1999 to 2001 I worked for Helipro Component Services here in Langley, BC as the NDE and Surface-Processing Supervisor.

Since then, I’ve worked with a few very large Aviation Companies until 2013. In early 2013 I started working for Acuren at the Kearl Lake Oil Sands Project in Northern Alberta for Exxon Mobile (Imperial Oil Canada).

This plant is next-generation style, and uses a Froth process to extract heavy crude from the sand. At their Main Plant, I was an Owner/Operator for Exxon Mobile—my main duties included monitoring steam lines, and I also conducted corrosion and wear surveys.

Along with all of that, I was also the sole inspector who was qualified and trained on lifting gear. Annually, I inspected all rigging on site. I left Kearl lake in early 2017, since being away from home over half the year took a bit of a toll on my personal life.

What made you decide to go into this industry?

I started a job search for something that wouldn’t take me far from home so often, and noticed a local company looking for Inspectors. Particularly, they were looking for technicians with visual and non-destructive examination and lifting equipment experience—it just seemed like a perfect fit for me.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

I worked mainly in the Aerospace and Oil and Gas Industry. In these industries I did Visual Examinations on Caterpillar D9’s , D10’s, 740 EJ’s, 797F, 797C and 700 Ton Heavy Mining Shovels (CAT 7495’s). These are both Diesel and Electric. And, as I mentioned earlier, I also inspected all the lifting gear at the Imperial Oil Kearl lake worksite.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

During an introduction interview with Deanna MacDonald, our branch manager here in Langley, BC we discussed the challenges she faced since taking over the facility. Deanna made a compelling case that hiring a few more employees with the right skills and training could make Hercules SLR a strong name in the Inspection Industry. This was exciting to me, and I wanted to become a key player in this goal.

Langley, BC Inspector Chris Davies with his wife

Where have you traveled during your time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR?

During my time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR, I have travelled to Brampton, Ontario for a rigging course. I’ve also travelled to various locations in Vancouver.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

In the future at Hercules SLR I’d like to travel offshore, or possibly to remote locations to conduct examinations, or to get more training.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I’m most proud to have set up the NDE Inspections department here in Langley. There’s a whole routine to inspections. We deal with the customer and explain the whole process, and we always meet (but usually exceed!) the timeline our client expects. We’re also able to offer a lower cost than our competitors typically—the NDE department is truly my baby, and I’m very proud of it and what we’ve been able to do so far.

 

Interested in reading more about non-destructive testing at Hercules SLR? Check out our blog on non-destructive testing at our facility in Langley, BC, or our blog on magnetic-particle testing done at the Hercules Training Academy in Dartmouth, NS.

Did you know? Our Langley service department also has two inside test beds for high-quality, fast turnaround for inspections and repairs. We also have an inspection management system, CertTracker® that lets you track your equipment and annual inspections, maintenance and certifications.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Discover Langley: advantages of non-destructive testing

advantages-of-non-destructive-testing-magntic-particle

What is Non-destructive Testing?

Advantages of non-destructive testing are numerous.

Non-destructive testing (commonly known as NDT) uses different methods to test, inspect and evaluate defects in materials or mediums without compromising the integrity of the product. Internal and external damages can be found, and the product can then be repaired or used after testing—this makes NDT an excellent choice when multiple parts or materials need inspection.

For example, NDT can be used to find defects in metal used during the automotive fabrication process. Advantages of non-destructive testing include the sample size, time, and most essentially—the product is able to be used or repaired in the future.

At Hercules SLR, we conduct two types of NDT—Magnetic Particle (MP) and Liquid Penetrant (LT) testing.

Advantages of Non-Destructive Testing in Langley, ON: what do we do?

Here in Langley, BC we use three main techniques when we conduct Magnetic Particle testing. These are Dry Powder, Black & White and Fluorescent Particle testing methods. Each has a specific application and sensitivity.

advantages-of-non-destructive-testing-port-container-pin
An example of a pin tested at the Langley, BC facility.

The most common items we get in Langley for testing would be Port Container Pins. We receive 50-100 per month. After that, our most tested item are tow sockets. We also do annual Lifting Gear Inspections. The Ports are a key to our future expansion here in Langley.

Dealing with the materials that we do, responsible disposable is more important now than ever. At the NDT department in Langley, we properly dispose aerosol cans and waste in designated waste containers that conform and comply with all environmental laws and standards.

Hercules SLR Inspectors: varied skill set

The CGSB (Canadian General Standards Board) is one of the biggest standard’s development and conformity assessment organizations in Canada, a part of the Government of Canada, Department of Public Works and Government services. They support the economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental interests of stakeholders including government, industry and consumers. They’re also a charter participant of the National Standards System (NSS).

Essentially, having CGSB certification means you’re held to a very high standard and have the training to ensure you’re giving the highest quality service you can.

Chris Davies, our Langley Inspector has CGSB certifications in Magnetic Particle Inspection Level 2 and CGSB Liquid Penetrant Inspection Level 2; he’s also written his CGSB Ultrasonic Testing (UT) Level 1 exam.

Additional courses and certification that Hercules SLR technicians have include:

  • LEEA Rigging & Hoist Course
  • Crosby Clamp Inspectors Course
  • Kito Academy
  • Continental Rigging & Hoisting Certification
  • Confined Space Entry and Monitor
  • Fall Protection
  • Fire Extinguisher Training Certification
  • H2S Alive Certification
  • Management & Employee Relations Course
  • Dealing with Difficult Employees Course
  • WHMIS training
  • Lean Manufacturing/Production
  • 5S Production Methods
  • Dangerous goods training
  • Wildlife Awareness Certification

Advantages of Non-destructive Testing: technology keeps up

Connective communication technology plays a large role in NDT,  and the industry has embraced changes in technology and sharing knowledge.  We use the internet to source NDT-related blogs, sample defect photos and research on changing topics within industry. In the past, we only had very expensive books, manuals or had to make time-consuming phone calls to other colleagues in the industry.

Advanced technology has allowed us to move things a bit more quickly!

Non-destructive Testing: industry experience varies

We’re proud of the wide range of industry experience found at the Langley, Hercules SLR branch.

Chris Davies, a Langley Inspector who’s worked in aviation and oil and gas explains some advantages of non-destructive testing in different industries and the variety of experience they provide. « Aviation and Nuclear Industries are an entirely different world from the majority of typical day-to-day NDE Inspections. I only experienced this late in my career while working for the Oil and Gas Industry. The level of skill and experience varies due to types of inspections done, amount of exposure to actual defects and hands-on inspection, versus how long an individual has been licenced. »

He gives this example:

If Jane Doe works in the Aerospace Sector for 2 years, but works 7.5 hours a day on a wet bench (MPI) or dip tanks (LPI), she averages about 260 work days or 1900-2000 hours of experience per year and exposure to dozens of defects per day.

If John Doe works in the Oil/Gas Industry for 15 years, but works an average of 1-2 hours of actual hands-on and uses a Yoke and inspects on Closure, Socket or Stitch Welds. Let’s say he works a 10-on-10 off schedule. He works 183 days, or has 300-370 hours of experience per year and finds few defects per month.

The difference in hands-on experience is significant:

  • Jane, after 2 years, has almost the same hands-on experience as Joe has after 15 years.
  • Jane has over 10 times the exposure to find discontinuities (defects), versus Joe with 15 years of industry experience.

Advantages of Non-destructive Testing: found everywhere

Today, non-destructive tests are used in industries like Aviation, Space, Ships, Bridges, Refineries Mining, Nuclear, Manufacturing, Fabrication and in-service inspections.

Ever drive a car? Chances are, you use something in your daily life that’s been NDT inspected  at some point in time.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.