The Good Ol’ Days!
Did you know there used to be hospitals solely dedicated to work place accidents?
This photo is of The Poplar Hospital for Accidents; the name of the hospital sums up exactly what it was, somewhere to put people if they had a serious workplace accident. Serious Injuries and fatalities were common at the docks due to lack of safety and the high risk nature of the jobs and activities. If you had an accident and became disabled or died at work, there was little or no compensation from the company or the government back then.
The Thames river was a major artery of import and export in to London, and has changed beyond recognition. When you look at Docklands nowadays, you can hardly imagine the river jammed up with freight and cargo boats, or how dirty and polluted the river and surrounding area was. Plus lets not forget all the large, noisy, moving machinery that workers had to work with or around.
The hospital was built in the late 1800’s at the peak of the Docklands export and import activities. Could you imagine if the government announced the opening of such a hospital nowadays? Just imagine the sight of such a hospital, and the injuries and imagine sufferings sustained by the dock workers within it’s walls. These days it just would not be classed as morally acceptable.
Should you have made it to the hospital alive, antibiotics were not freely available and penicillin only came on to the market in the late 1920’s: Not much was known about the spread of germs back then; and you would have been lucky to survive the hospital due to it being a major source of infection.
A lot of people think that health and safety has gone mad, or safety wasn’t needed in the past.
We know which times we’d rather work and live in, how about you. Do you want to get with the times? – then click here
Check out the full history of the Docklands working conditions here?