The Industrial Revolution in Britain saw many consequences for ordinary working people in terms of their livelihood, family relationships and gender divisions in and outside work of which the major factor was ill health, injuries, and deaths. The concern about health issues in work started in this period of Britain which ranged from 1740 to the 1850s, in which the need was felt for policies and legislation of Workers Act as workers no longer owned the tools of their trade. Employers while felt the need for housing, therefore industrial towns emerged with housing for workers which were located around the factories and mills. A new concept of ‘traditional apprenticeship’ emerged according to which employers felt the need for their labor of providing food, clothing, and shelter.
On one hand, employers provide facilities while on the other, they make the conditions worst for their labor by restricting the conditions of and hours of work for the working population, marked by overwork, malnutrition and subsequent illness. Disease and death were the added ingredients to that environment where the pursuit of profits over road concerns for health.
Occupational health during the nineteenth century was largely linked with parliamentary reforms and the Public Health Movement in which the reforms spearheaded by the likes of Chadwick, Peel, Shaftesbury, and Southwood-Smith. These personalities contributed to creating the platform for further developments in the twentieth century. (Wilkinson, 2001, p. 30)