Working Conditions in the Industrial Revolution

Working Conditions and Factory Reform

Lesson Objectives
1. Investigate how early factories were dangerous and unhealthy places
2. Investigate the first laws made to improve working conditions
3. Continue preparation for Assignment 1

Working today is usually quite safe. The government has made saying that employers have to look after the workforce and provide safety equipment and other things for them. At the start of the Industrial Revolution none of these laws existed and so working in a factory could prove to be very indeed.
Factory work
Industries such as the cotton trade were particularly hard for workers to endure long of labour. The nature of the work being done meant that the workplace had to be very , steam engines contributing further to the heat in this and other industries. Machinery was not always fenced off and workers would be exposed to the moving parts of the whilst they worked. Children were often employed to move between these dangerous machines as they were enough to fit between tightly packed machinery. This led to them being placed in a great deal of and mortality (death rates) were quite high in factories. Added to the dangers of the workplace also consider the impact of the hours worked. It was quite common for workers to work 12 hours or more a day, in the hot and physically exhausting work places. naturally leads to the worker becoming sluggish (slow), which again makes the workplace more dangerous.
Not all factories were as bad as this. Robert and Titus salt for example were both regarded as good employers in this respect. They were amongst a group of people who were known as . These people wanted changes to the way that factories were run. They faced opposition from other mill owners who knew that reforms would cost them money and give the workers more rights.
(Text by Dan Moorhouse Schoolshistory.org)

The reformers gradually managed to force changes to the way that workers were treated. Some of these reforms are listed in the next exercise