A timeline of health and safety

1819: Peterloo Massacre, Manchester

August 16, 1819

Peterloo Massacre

The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, Lancashire, England on Monday 16 August 1819 when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

1833: HM Factory inspectorate formed

June 27, 1833

The first factory inspectors were appointed under the provisions of the Factories Act 1833. Initially their main duty was to prevent injury and overworking in child textile workers. The four inspectors were responsible for approximately 3,000 textile mills and had powers to enter mills and question workers. They were also able to formulate new regulations and laws to ensure the Factories Act could be suitably enforced. Despite serious opposition from contemporary politicians and employers, the factory inspectors were enthusiastic and were able to influence subsequent legislation relating to machinery guarding and accident reporting. By 1868 there were 35 inspectors and sub-inspectors, each responsible for a distinct geographical area. Changes to legislation during the period 1860 to 1871 extended the Factories Act to practically all workplaces and the inspectors took on the role of technical advisers in addition to their enforcement duties. Major technological developments, world wars and the changing nature of employment have provided a constant challenge to factory inspectors over subsequent years.

1835: Tolpuddle Martyrs

March 6, 1835

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of six agricultural labourers in the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset, England, who were convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers in 1834.

1842: Lune Street Massacre Preston

August 12, 1842

1843: Mines inspectorate formed

January 1, 1843

1888: TUC founded

June 2, 1888

Inaugural meeting of TUC in Manchester Mechanics Institute

1893: First women factory inspector appointed

June 27, 1893

1898: Match Girls’ Strike

July 1, 1898

Bryant and May, Match girls strike.

1915: Quintinshill rail crash

May 22, 1915

Quintinshill rail crash – 226 killed

1957: Windscale fire

October 10, 1957

Windscale fire in Cumbria