On the Line
In the automotive industry, Assembly Line success was dominating, and quickly spread worldwide. Ford France
and Ford Britain in 1911, Ford Denmark 1923, Ford Germany 1925; in
was the first native European manufacturer to adopt it. Soon, companies
had to have assembly lines, or risk going broke by not being able to
compete; by 1930, 250 companies which did not had disappeared.
Sociological work has explored the social alienation and boredom that many workers feel because of the repetition of doing the same specialized task all day long. Because workers have to stand in the same place for hours and repeat the same motion hundreds of times per day, repetitive stress injuries are a possible pathology of occupational safety. Industrial noise also proved dangerous. When it was not too high, workers were often prohibited from talking. Charles Piaget, a skilled worker at the LIP factory, recalled that beside being prohibited from speaking, the semi-skilled workers had only 25 centimeters in which to move. Industrial ergonomics later tried to minimize physical trauma.