Working Conditions in the Industrial Revolution

The government has made laws saying that employers have to look after the workforce and provide safety equipment and other things for them. Because of this working today is pretty safe. At the start of the Industrial Revolution none of these laws existed and so working in a factory could prove to be very dangerous indeed. Industries such as the cotton trade were mainly hard for workers to endure long hours of labor.

The nature of the work being done meant that the workplace had to be very hot, 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 machines whilst they worked. Children were often employed to move between these dangerous machines, as they were small enough to fit between tightly packed machinery.

This led to them being placed in a great deal of danger 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. Exhaustion naturally leads to the worker becoming slow, which again makes the work place more dangerous.

Positive Effects

There were some positive effects of the Industrial Revolution. The improved production made products available to the people at cheaper prices. The population of industrial cities grew and this created more communication of ideas. These were positive effects, as well as the important reforms made in education and health and working conditions in factories as a result of the Industrial Revolution.

The reforms helped improve living standards as a large number of people lived in reasonable comfort. It is certain that the impact of the changes that occurred were different for people of different classes and geography. As a whole, the benefits outweighed the problems of the Industrial Revolution. Britain changed from a country to an urbanized society as factories brought former farmers together to one spot for the purpose of production. People began not to depend on only their own resources as farmers. Jobs were much easier with area of labor.

They had only to concentrate on one specific task as a worker in a factory. The threat of starvation was small, which as a farmer, had never been far away if a harvest didn’t work out as planned. Also, bringing people together who had been traditionally isolated brought more attention and action politically.

Negative Effects

Although it seems like there were a lot of positive effects it didn’t compare to the negative effects that took a drastic hurt on working classes. One of the most crucial negatives was child labor. These factory owners had 8 years old kids working in their factories for about 16 hours a day. Keep in mind that the breaks given were extremely short! Their lunch breaks were so short that they couldn’t go home and get something to eat. They had to eat a little snack or something in that category that they had brought with them to work.

Many accidents occurred injuring or killing children on the job. Also many of these children were orphans and had no actual home to go to after work. The treatment the children in factories were often cruel, and the children’s safety was generally neglected. The people who the children served would beat them, verbally abuse them, and had no concern for their safety.

The view of the work being done meant that the workplace had to be very hot, steam engines creating the heat in this and other industries. Machinery was not always fenced off and workers would be exposed to the moving parts of the machines even as they worked.

Another issue was education. Many of these minors had no type of education because they were given no to time to go to school. Also many women weren’t permitted to teach. This was a big issue because these people (kids) would have little to no type of reading or writing skills for now or the future mainly because of demand of child employment or in other words, work.

Opinionated Fixtures

From my point of view I feel that these young children should have been allowed a childhood education. In addition to that statement, I feel that should be given the opportunity to grow up and make better of themselves. This would have been a better method than to just have children at six years old locked in factories doing the unbearable. Another suggestion is to allow the women with the appropriate amount of knowledge to teach. If the knowledge is there why let it sit there and rot. It is very cruel and inconsiderate to not allow someone teach just because those people are females.

These factories were extremely hazardous and unsafe. They caused a vast amount of deaths, which is not a good look at all. Instead of these factory owners being all gassed up about their success economically and politically they should have used some of the money to secure their employees by purchasing merchandise that will favor their health more than basically damage and kill them. At least they could have made sure that all the machinery was fenced off at all times. All in all, the Industrial Revolution was somewhat for better when it came to the economic or political category but on the other hand dramatically for the worst when it came down to health of the people.

~Interesting Fact~

Not all factories were as bad as this. Robert Owen 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 reformers. 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.