Factory inspections began in the late 1800 in some states. State laws required inspectors to visit factories and identify failures to comply with the laws and to find ways to protect workers from harm. These laws preceded workmen’s compensation laws that began in 1911 and after. The reproduced article first appeared in a periodical that addressed may social issues of the time. Worker protection was just one of those issues.
William English Walling, once a factory inspector in Illinois, became a labor reformer and later was noted as a founder in 1909 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)