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The Oxford History of the Laws of EnglandVolume XIII: 1820–1914 Fields of Development$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239757.001.0001

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Safety in Factories, Shops, and Ships

Safety in Factories, Shops, and Ships

(p.558) V Safety in Factories, Shops, and Ships
The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Raymond Cocks

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses occupational safety in the 19th century. A focal point of law reform for 19th-century legislators lay in exploring the extent of the community's responsibility for controlling the rigours imposed by the workplace. The arguments swung between those who opposed any interference with the conditions of manufacturing and trade, and those who saw statute law (and regulations made under statutory powers) as the only effective response to working conditions which were often degrading and dangerous. In ways which were especially vivid to participants, the debates linked, say, the dangers of a cutting machine or the condition of a ship, to the broadest of social and economic issues.

Keywords:   English law, health and safety, health policy, law reform

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