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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Emergence of Statutory Hygiene Precautions in the British Mining Industries, 1890-1914
Author(s): Mills, Catherine
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Keywords: Mining
Occupational Health
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2008
Citation: Mills C (2008) The Emergence of Statutory Hygiene Precautions in the British Mining Industries, 1890-1914, Historical Journal, 51 (1), pp. 145-168.
Abstract: It will be fifty years in 2008 since Oliver MacDonagh suggested that the adoption of new responsibilities by the state in the early nineteenth century was an inevitable response to the social consequences of the industrial revolution, and impervious to ideological and philosophical influences. This article revisits MacDonagh's model by examining the emergence of occupational health reform in the British mining industry in the early twentieth century. Until the introduction of statutory measures in 1905 to protect miners against developing silicosis and basic sanitation provisions to prevent cross- contamination of disease, state regulation of working conditions prioritized the prevention of accidental injuries. It is argued that this decisive shift in the scope and nature of government intervention can be understood as part of a process of institutional expansion of mining regulations that broadly parallels MacDonagh's model. Yet the precise details of when, and how, health reform emerged and the nature of these specific regulatory controls were influenced by a variety of factors, including visibility of risk, human agency, economic performance of the industry, and contemporary thinking in political economy.
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Rights: Published by Cambridge University Press. Copyright: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Rights granted by Cambridge University Press for use of this publication in Stirling University repository.

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