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WORK-WEARINESS.

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WORK-WEARINESS. While it ought to be the aim of every worker to utilise the last ounce of mental activity or physi- cal energy to meet the nation's needs, it is incumbent upon those responsible for the administration of the works to ensure the maximum output-for the minimum of fatique. The imperative call made by theMinister of Munitions and the Board of Admiralty renders difficult any concession which would in the smallest degree reduce the volume of out- put; that is the problem set works managers. The difficulty, too, is intensified by the insuffi- ciency of workers, skilled and otherwise. The works manager is perfectly conscious of the fact that long hours, involving excess- ive fatique, are not conductive to the maximum of production,even where the. most efficient of machine tools are utilised,because longer time is taken to re-set the machine at the fourth or fifth hour of continuous work, and there is a tendency for the degree of accuracy to be lessened. Were it possible in all cases to run three shifts of eight hours each, with even a break on Sunday,the output per machine would be enormously greater, with a smaller percentage of waste work. This ideal condition, however, is not realisable, and the works management are forced, as rule, in order continuously to utilise machine-tools, to worK in double shifts, involving eleven or even twelve hours' work with only occasional breaks, and even to insist on an amount of Sunday labour, which, under normal con- ditions, would not be economi- cally justifiable. Perhaps those who are most to be sympathised with on the score of work-weari- ness are the staff—the managers, foremen, and establishment men —who cannot, like ordinary work- men, take a day off when fatique demands it. But in their case there is no complaint. In large establishments, probably more than in small factories, attention is given to overcome those con- ditions which are indirectly, but nevertheless pronouncedly, con- ducive to fatique—namely defects of ventilation and heating. There can be no doubt that ventilated air has a serious debilitating effect, particularly where the air becomes moist as well as heated; and we fear that in some of the smaller factories, where the maximum use has been demanded per unit of lioor area, the conditions are unsatis- factory.

BARMOUTH PROOF.