In 1913, the Great Western Railway introduced an occupational safety education campaign that appeared to be a radical break with all previous methods of promoting safety in the British industrial workplace. In this paper, I assess the extent to which this “new” campaign reinvented occupational safety education in Britain. I argue that the Great Western combined new techniques of communicating safety messages with the relatively traditional content of those messages. Rather than a simple repetition of previous attempts or an absolute re-invention of safety, “Safety First” was a renewal of existing conceptions of occupational safety education. I examine both the methods of conveying safety messages and the messages themselves, and place the campaign within the broader context of power relationships among union, state, and company.
|Journal||Business and Economic History Online|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|