By Warren Spiers
Although there may be something charming about manually operated tools for both domestic and commercial purposes, not many people could argue with the opinion that modern-day technology has benefited us in many ways.
Modern manufacturing companies that count their blessings for the cutting-edge and high-performance machinery they have at their disposal will be the first to say that without the development we have had in industrial machinery since the industrial revolution, we would quite simply be struggling to keep up with demand.
Indeed, during the course of history, people have changed the manufacturing process dramatically. Instead of items being produced by hand, the owners of the facilities created ways to have machines produce the items.
Of course, due to the various complex systems that are part and parcel of modern industrial machines such as electronics and electrical systems used to power our factory machines, making sure all work is carried out safely has become a much more serious business.
The vast changes in the way we use machines and carry out a variety of production engineering tasks, now known as the Industrial Revolution, began in England in the 18th century – eventually spreading to other parts of Europe such as France and Germany and then across the pond to the United States by the late 18th century.
The development in industrial practices including manufacturing, mining, glass making and agriculture had a huge impact on the economies of those nations that had adopted these methods of implementing engineering procedures. One type of industry that could be used Although there may be something charming about manually operated tools for both domestic and commercial purposes, not many people could argue with the opinion that modern-day technology has benefited us in many ways.Waras a good example is the textile industry.
Before the Industrial Revolution, textiles were often made of wool and were handspun. But, with the invention of the spinning wheel and the loom, cotton was produced much more quickly and eventually replaced wool in the textile field. Of course, the advent of regulations on the operations of these and other machinery in this modern age such as PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) has led to using industrial machinery becoming a much safer activity.
Regardless of the fact that most people who embraced the Industrial Revolution were impressed by humanity’s new ability to harness nature’s energy for material welfare, there was still much work to do regarding safety standards in factories.
In fact, it could be said many pro-industry individuals and groups were so obsessed with the development of the UK through engineering excellence that they began to overlook the health and safety of those souls charged with the task of operating potentially dangerous machines.
Fortunately, it was only a matter of time before the industrial world of Britain grew a conscience and gradually started to introduce a range of health and safety regulations leading to the birth of the HSE (Health and Safety Executive).
Before we had such needed authorities in place to protect the people working in factories and other industrial spaces, men, women and children had to earn their daily crust under terrible conditions. Moreover, the increasing British goods exportation around the globe brought its views of the first industrial revolution in its wake which helped shape values and public policies including safety regulations.
Even though it is recorded the British economy did, in fact, benefit from the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the different types of industrial machinery that we were able to utilize for the manufacture of a myriad of goods, some modern-day historians will beg to differ.
That being said, it must be noted without the huge development we have experienced in machinery used in almost any kind of industry, we could have never become one of the world’s leaders in engineering.
Of course, it is not just our ability to produce high-quality products at a fast rate that has made the UK a contender in global manufacturing but also the safety regulations we so strictly enforced. Anyone considering starting up a business that uses a variety of industrial machinery would be wise to conduct some research on the different types of industrial machines and equipment on the market today.
Warren Spiers is the managing director of Spiers Engineering Safety, a UK-based company in the engineering safety industry. Based in the West Midlands, United Kingdom, Spiers Engineering Safety provides consultancy solutions in CE Marking, PUWER inspection, Machine Risk Assessment and Engineering.