The life of a modern factory worker can be precarious. Given the scale of the production process, the size of the units involved and the complexity of the machines that perform the task, it’s perhaps unsurprising that work accidents occur in factories at a significantly higher rate than they do in other industries and environments.
The life of factory workers has changed immeasurably from humble beginnings. Originally, skilled craftsmen would hone their techniques and methods for hours, producing unique products one at a time. Though work accidents were fewer, and affected less people, production rates were painfully slow.
Change was first afoot in the 1750s at the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Machines, mainly powered by water and steam, began to appear as Britain became a more connected place.
The largest and most significant leap forward in factory life took place in the early part of the 20th Century and the second Industrial Revolution. It was at that point that electrification of factories became widespread while, across the Atlantic, Henry Ford’s innovative mass-production techniques were used to churn out product after product.
From here, the manufacturing industry has grown and grown. Fortunately, we have moved on from the days of young children being asked to squeeze underneath and alongside dangerous machinery, but it’s an undisputed fact that work accidents do still happen.
Work Accidents Statistics
In fact, statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that, while factory workers may only account for 10% of Britain’s workforce, 16% of all recorded injuries at work are suffered on the production line. Even more seriously, a quarter of work fatalities over the course of a year occur in a factory.
It’s clear then, that safety is of paramount importance in the life of a modern factory worker. Safety essentials include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
– Non-slip surfaces on floors to prevent accidental slips
– Supply of protective clothing, e.g. hats, goggles etc.
– Relevant training and support for manual handling and heavy lifting
– Machines to be installed by experts
– Mechanised tools to be regularly and thoroughly inspected.
Making successful work accident claims
Should these not be adhered to, then work accident claims based on neglect could be successful. Workers who suffer a serious accident may well be due some work injury compensation.
This is particularly true for factory workers where the consequences may be extremely painful and damaging both immediately and later in life if caused by inhalation.
Date Published: October 31, 2013
Author: David Brown