CHAPTER 441
FACTORIES ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Definition of “factory”

   3.   Interpretation

   4.   Application of Act

PART II
ADMINISTRATION

   5.   Delegation of powers of Commissioner

   6.   Appointment of inspectors

   7.   Powers of inspectors

   8.   Duty to assist inspector

   9.   Obstructing inspector

   10.   Inspectors not to disclose information or source of complaints

PART III
REGISTRATION OF FACTORIES

   11.   Register of factories

   12.   Registration of existing factories

   13.   Registration of new factories

   14.   Notification of change in registered particulars

   15.   Drawings of factories

PART IV
APPEALS

   16.   Establishment of Appeals Board

   17.   Appeals to Board

   18.   Powers of Board

PART V
HEALTH: GENERAL PROVISIONS

   19.   Cleanliness

   20.   Overcrowding

   21.   General ventilation

   22.   Lighting

   23.   Sanitary conveniences

   24.   Enforcement of provisions of section 23 by local authority

   25.   Duty of inspector as to sanitary defects remediable by local authority

   26.   Medical supervision

PART VI
SAFETY: GENERAL PROVISIONS

   27.   Prime movers

   28.   Transmission machinery

   29.   Other machinery

   30.   Provisions as to unfenced machinery

   31.   Construction and maintenance of fencing

   32.   Construction and supply of machinery

   33.   Vessels containing dangerous substances

   34.   Self-acting machines

   35.   Training and supervision of inexperienced workers

   36.   Floors, steps, stairs, passages and gangways

   37.   Safe means of access and safe place of employment

   38.   Precautions in places where dangerous fumes are liable to be present

   39.   Precautions with respect to explosive or inflammable dust, gas, vapour or substance

   40.   Prevention and fighting of fire

   41.   Means of escape and warning in case of fire

   42.   Testing and examination of fire warning

   43.   Fire drills

   44.   Regulations for means of escape

   45.   Regulations for fire prevention

   46.   Regulations for special safety arrangements for the prevention of accidents

PART VII
SAFETY: LIFTING MACHINERY

   47.   Hoists and lifts

   48.   Hoists and lifts used for carrying persons

   49.   Teagle openings and similar doorways

   50.   Hoists and lifts: supplementary provisions and exceptions

   51.   Chains, ropes and lifting tackle

   52.   Cranes and other lifting machines

   53.   Register of chains, ropes and lifting tackle and lifting machines

PART VIII
SAFETY: STEAM BOILERS, ETC.

   54.   Steam boilers: attachments and construction

   55.   Steam boilers: maintenance, examination and use

   56.   Steam boilers: restriction on entry

   57.   Steam receivers and steam containers

   58.   Air receivers

   59.   Notification before use of steam or air receivers

   60.   Notification of proposed modifications to pressure parts

   61.   Exceptions as to steam boilers, steam receivers and containers and air receivers

   62.   Interpretation of terms in Part VIII

PART IX
WELFARE: GENERAL PROVISIONS

   63.   Drinking water

   64.   Washing facilities

   65.   Accommodation for clothing and change rooms

   66.   Facilities for sitting

   67.   First-aid

   68.   Welfare regulations

PART X
HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE: SPECIAL PROVISIONS AND REGULATIONS

   69.   Removal of and prevention of inhalation of dust or fumes

   70.   Meals in certain dangerous trades

   71.   Protective clothing, appliances and screening

   72.   Lifting excessive weights

   73.   Power of inspector to require certificate of fitness for work

   74.   Power to make regulations for safety and health

   75.   Power to take samples

PART XI
NOTIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENTS, DANGEROUS OCCURRENCES AND INDUSTRIAL DISEASES

   76.   Notice of accidents

   77.   Notification of dangerous occurrences

   78.   Industrial diseases

   79.   Regulations extending scope of sections 76 and 78

PART XII
SPECIAL APPLICATIONS AND EXTENSIONS

   80.   Tenement factories

   81.   Parts of buildings let off as separate factories

   82.   Building operations and works of engineering construction

   83.   Mines

   84.   Power to extend application of provisions of Act

PART XIII
MISCELLANEOUS

   85.   Posting of abstract of Act, regulations and notices

   86.   General register

   87.   Periodical return of persons employed

   88.   Preservation of registers and records

   89.   Duties of persons employed

   90.   Prohibition of deductions from wages

PART XIV
OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

   91.   Offences

   92.   General penalty

   93.   Penalty on person actually committing an offence for which other person is primarily liable

   94.   Person primarily liable may exempt himself from liability on conviction of actual offender

   95.   Proceedings against persons not primarily liable

   96.   Owner of machine liable in certain cases instead of occupier

   97.   Prosecution of offences

   98.   Special provisions as to evidence

   99.   Power of Court to order cause of contravention to be remedied

   100.   Service, etc., of documents

   101.   Power of High Court to modify agreements

   102.   Power of High Court to apportion expenses

   103.   Power of Chief Inspector of Factories in relation to dangerous or defective factory

PART XV
GENERAL

   104.   Penalties

   105.   Regulations

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to make further and better provision for the regulation of the conditions of employment in factories and other places as regards the safety, health and welfare of persons employed therein; to provide for the safety, examination and inspection of certain plant and machinery; and to provide for purposes incidental to or connected with the matters aforesaid.

[1st May, 1967]

Act 2 of 1966,

Act 49 of 1968,

Act 20 of 1974,

Act 24 of 1975,

Act 13 of 1994.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Factories Act.

2.   Definition of “factory”

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the expression “factory” means any premises in which, or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which, persons are employed in manual labour in any process for or incidental to any of the following purposes, namely—

      (a)   the making or assembling of any article or of part of any article;

      (b)   the altering, repairing, ornamenting, finishing, cleaning or washing or the breaking-up or demolition of any article; or

      (c)   the adapting for sale of any article;

being premises in which, or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which, the work is carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain and to or over which the employer of persons employed therein has the right of access or control.

   (2) Whether or not such premises are factories by virtue of sub-section (1), the expression “factory” also includes the following premises in which persons are employed in manual labour, that is to say—

      (a)   any premises in which the business of sorting any articles is carried on as a preliminary to the work carried on in any factory or incidentally to the purposes of any factory;

      (b)   any premises in which the business of washing or filling bottles or containers or packing articles is carried on incidentally to the purposes of any factory;

      (c)   any laundry carried on as ancillary to another business, or incidentally to the purposes of any public institution;

      (d)   any premises in which the construction, reconstruction or repair of locomotives, vehicles or other plant for use for transport purposes is carried on as ancillary to a transport undertaking or other industrial or commercial undertaking;

      (e)   any premises in which printing by letterpress, lithography, photogravure, or other similar process, or bookbinding is carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain or incidentally to another business so carried on;

      (f)   any premises in which articles are made or prepared incidentally to the carrying on of building operations or works of engineering construction, not being premises in which such operations or works are being carried on;

      (g)   any premises in which persons are regularly employed in the generating, transforming or controlling of electrical energy for supply by way of trade or for supply for the purposes of any industrial or commercial undertaking;

      (h)   any premises in which mechanical power is used for the purposes of or in connection with a public water supply;

      (i)   any sewage works in which mechanical power is used and any pumping station used in connection with any sewage works; and

      (j)   any premises in which the refrigeration of any article is carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain, except where such refrigeration is incidental to the conduct of a business engaged mainly in the sale of goods by retail.

   (3) Any line or siding, not being part of a railway, which is used in connection with and for the purposes of a factory, shall be deemed to be part of the factory; and if any such line or siding is used in connection with more than one factory belonging to different occupiers, the line or siding shall be deemed to be a separate factory.

   (4) A part of a factory may, with the approval in writing of the Commissioner, be taken to be a separate factory and two or more factories may, with the like approval, be taken to be a single factory.

   (5) Any workplace in which, with the permission of or under agreement with the owner or occupier, two or more persons carry on any work which would constitute such workplace a factory if the persons working therein were in the employment of the owner or occupier shall be deemed to be a factory for the purposes of this Act, and, in the case of any such workplace not being a tenement factory or part of a tenement factory, the provisions of this Act shall apply as if the owner or occupier of the workplace were the occupier of the factory and the persons working therein were persons employed in the factory.

   (6) Where a place situate within the close, curtilage or precincts forming a factory is solely used for some purpose other than the processes carried on in the factory, that place shall not be deemed to form part of the factory for the purposes of this Act, but shall, if otherwise it would be a factory, be deemed to be a separate factory.

   (7) Premises shall not be excluded from the definition of a factory by reason only that they are open air premises.

   (8) Any premises belonging to or in occupation of the Republic or any local or other public authority shall not be deemed not to be a factory, and building operations or works of engineering construction undertaken by or on behalf of the Republic or any such authority shall not be excluded from the operation of this Act, by reason only that the work carried on thereat is not carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain.

3.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“article” includes any solid, liquid or gas, or any combination thereof;

“bodily injury” includes injury to health;

“boiler book” means a book kept in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (11) of section 55;

“building operation” means the construction, structural alteration, repair or maintenance of a building (including repainting, redecoration and external cleaning of the structure), the demolition of a building, and the preparation for and laying the foundation of an intended building, but does not include any operation which is a work of engineering construction within the meaning of this Act;

“child” means a person under the apparent age of fourteen years;

“class or description”, in relation to factories, includes a group of factories described by reference to locality;

“Commissioner” means the Labour Commissioner;

“competent person”, in relation to any particular duty or function, means a person who has had adequate training and experience to enable him to perform that duty or function;

“driving-belt” includes any driving strap or rope;

“electricity substation” means any premises, or part thereof, in which no person is regularly employed and in which electrical energy is transformed or converted to or from pressure above medium pressure if such premises or part thereof are large enough for a person to enter after the apparatus is in position;

“fume” includes gas and vapour;

“general register” means a register kept under the provisions of section 86;

“harbour” includes any harbour properly so called, whether natural or artificial, and any estuary, navigable river, pier, jetty or other works in or at which craft can obtain shelter, or ship or unship goods or passengers;

“inspector” means the Chief Inspector of Factories or any other inspector appointed under the provisions of section 6;

“machinery” includes any driving-belt;

“magistrate” means a magistrate empowered under the Subordinate Courts Act to hold a subordinate court of the first or second class;

“maintained” means maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair;

“medium pressure” means a difference of electrical potential between any two conductors, or between a conductor and earth, in a system normally exceeding 250 volts but not exceeding 650 volts at the point where the electrical energy is used;

“occupier” means the person or persons in actual occupation of a factory, whether the owner or not;

“owner” means the person for the time being receiving the rents or profits of the premises in connection with which the word is used, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee for any other person, or who would so receive the same if the premises were let;

“plant” includes any equipment, gear, machinery, apparatus or appliance, or any part thereof;

“prime mover” means every engine, motor or other appliance which provides mechanical energy derived from steam, water, wind, electricity, the combustion of fuel or other source;

“process” includes the use of any locomotive;

“railway” means any railway used for the purpose of public traffic, whether passenger, goods or other traffic, and includes any works of the railway company or railway authority connected with a railway;

“sanitary convenience” includes a privy, urinal, pail closet, pit closet, earth closet, chemical closet and water closet;

“standard specification” means a specification of construction approved from time to time by the British Standards Institution, and includes a specification which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, in any case, is equivalent to a specification approved by that Institution;

“tenement factory” means any premises where mechanical power from any prime mover within the close or curtilage of the premises is distributed for use in manufacturing processes to different parts of the same premises occupied by different persons in such manner that those parts constitute separate factories;

“transmission machinery” means every shaft, wheel, drum, pulley, system of fast and loose pulleys, coupling, clutch, driving-belt or other device by which the motion of a prime mover is transmitted to or received by any machine or appliance;

“work of engineering construction” means the construction of any railway line or siding, otherwise than upon an existing railway, the construction of any road, and the construction, structural alteration, repair (including repointing and repainting) or demolition of any dock, harbour, inland navigation, tunnel, bridge, viaduct, waterworks, reservoir, pipeline (for whatever purpose required), aqueduct, sewer, sewage works or gasholder, and includes such other works as the Minister may by regulation specify;

“young person” means a person who has attained the apparent age of fourteen years but who has not attained the apparent age of eighteen years.

   (2) A woman, child or young person who works in a factory, whether for wages or otherwise, either in a process or in cleaning any part of the factory used for any process, or in cleaning or oiling any part of the machinery or plant, or in any other kind of work whatsoever incidental to or connected with the process or connected with the article made or otherwise the subject of the process therein, shall, save as is otherwise provided by this Act, be deemed to be employed therein for the purposes of this Act or of any proceedings thereunder.

   (3) A young person who works in a factory, whether for wages or otherwise, in collecting, carrying or delivering goods, carrying messages or running errands shall be deemed to be employed in such factory for the purposes of this Act or of any proceedings thereunder.

   (4) For the purposes of this Act, an apprentice shall be deemed to be a person employed.

[S 3 am by Act 24 of 1975.]

4.   Application of Act

   (1) Save as in this Act otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act shall apply only to factories as defined by this Act but shall, except where the contrary intention appears, apply to all such factories.

   (2) The provisions of this Act shall apply to any factories belonging to or in occupation of the Republic and to building operations and works of engineering construction undertaken by or on behalf of the Republic.

PART II
ADMINISTRATION

5.   Delegation of powers of Commissioner

The Commissioner may delegate to any other public officer in writing and subject to such restrictions, reservations, exceptions and conditions as he may think fit, all or any of the powers conferred upon him by or under this Act.

6.   Appointment of inspectors

   (1) There shall be appointed as public officers a Chief Inspector of Factories and such other inspectors as shall be necessary for the proper administration of this Act.

   (2) Every inspector shall be furnished with a certificate of appointment in the prescribed form, and when visiting a factory or place to which any of the provisions of this Act apply shall, if required, produce such certificate to the occupier of or other person holding a responsible position of management at the factory or place.

[S 6 am by Act 24 of 1975.]

7.   Powers of inspectors

An inspector shall, for the purposes of this Act, have power—

      (a)   to enter, inspect and examine, by day and night, any factory, and every part thereof, when he has reasonable cause to believe that any person is employed therein, and to enter, inspect and examine by day any place which he has reasonable cause to believe to be a factory and any part of any building of which a factory forms part and in which he has reasonable cause to believe that explosive or highly inflammable materials are stored or used;

      (b)   to take with him a police officer if he has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his duty;

      (c)   to require the production of the registers, certificates, notices and documents required under the provisions of this Act to be kept and to inspect, examine and copy any of them;

      (d)   to make such examination and inquiry as may be necessary to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act are complied with in respect of any factory and of any persons employed therein;

      (e)   to require any person whom he finds in any factory to give such information as it is in his power to give as to who is the occupier of the factory;

      (f)   to examine, either alone or in the presence of any other person, as he thinks fit, with respect to matters under this Act, the occupier, or any person whom he finds in a factory or whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be or to have been within the preceding three months employed in a factory, and to require every such person to be so examined and to sign a declaration of the truth of the matters respecting which he has been so examined:

Provided that no person shall be required under this paragraph to answer any question or to give any evidence tending to incriminate himself;

      (g)   in the case of an inspector who is a medical practitioner, to carry out such medical examinations as may be necessary for the purposes of his duties under this Act; and

      (h)   to exercise such other powers as may be necessary for carrying this Act into effect.

8.   Duty to assist inspector

The occupier of every factory and his agents and servants shall furnish the means required by an inspector as necessary for an entry, inspection, examination, inquiry, the taking of samples, or otherwise for the exercise of his powers under this Act in relation to that factory.

9.   Obstructing inspector

   (1) No person shall obstruct an inspector in the execution of his duties under this Act.

   (2) If any person wilfully delays an inspector in the exercise of any power under this Part, or fails to comply with the requisition of an inspector in pursuance of this Part, or to produce any register, certificate, notice or document which he is required by or in pursuance of this Act to produce, or wilfully withholds any information as to who is the occupier of any factory or conceals or prevents, or attempts to conceal or prevent, a person from appearing before or being examined by an inspector, that person shall be deemed to obstruct an inspector in the execution of his duties under this Act.

   (3) Any person who obstructs an inspector shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding three hundred penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month.

[S 9 am by Act 13 of 1994.]

10.   Inspectors not to disclose information or source of complaints

   (1) No inspector shall, save in the performance of his duty, publish or disclose to any person the details of any manufacturing, commercial or working process which may come to his knowledge in the course of his duties.

   (2) Unless authorised by the complainant, an inspector shall not divulge to any person the source of any complaint bringing to his notice any defect or breach of the provisions of this Act and shall give no intimation to any owner, occupier or employer or a representative of such owner, occupier or employer that a visit of inspection was made in consequence of the receipt of such a complaint.

   (3) Any inspector who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence.

PART III
REGISTRATION OF FACTORIES

11.   Register of factories

The Commissioner shall maintain a register of factories, in which he shall cause to be entered such particulars in relation to every factory as may be prescribed.

12.   Registration of existing factories

   (1) Every person who on the commencement of this Act occupies a factory shall within three months thereafter apply to the Commissioner, by written notice containing the particulars prescribed under section 11, for the registration of the factory.

   (2) Upon receipt of an application under sub-section (1), the Commissioner shall cause the factory to be registered and shall issue to the occupier thereof a certificate of registration.

13.   Registration of new factories

   (1) No person shall occupy or use as a factory any premises which were not so occupied or used on the commencement of this Act and in respect of which a certificate of registration under this section has not been issued.

   (2) Upon written application supported by the particulars prescribed under section 11 being made to the Commissioner for the registration of any premises to which sub-section (1) refers, the Commissioner shall—

      (a)   if he is satisfied that the premises comply with the provisions of this Act or any orders or regulations made thereunder, cause the premises to be registered and a certificate of registration to be issued; or

      (b)   if he is not so satisfied, refuse to register the premises and shall state in writing the grounds for such refusal.

14.   Notification of change in registered particulars

The occupier of any factory registered under this Part shall forthwith notify the Commissioner in writing of any material change in the particulars last notified in relation to that factory under section 12 or 13.

15.   Drawings of factories

   (1) No building shall be erected or converted for use as a factory and no extension shall be added to any existing factory save in accordance with drawings showing plans and sections of the proposed erection, conversion or addition which have been approved by the Commissioner under sub-section (2).

   (2) Upon written application supported by such particulars as may be prescribed being made to the Commissioner for the approval of any drawings described in sub-section (1), the Commissioner shall—

      (a)   if he is satisfied the drawings provide for suitable premises for use as a factory of the type proposed, issue a certificate of approval of such drawings; or

      (b)   if he is not so satisfied, refuse to issue any certificate of approval of the drawings and shall state in writing the grounds for such refusal.

PART IV
APPEALS

16.   Establishment of Appeals Board

   (1) For the purpose of hearing and determining appeals in accordance with the provisions of this Part or any proceedings incidental thereto or connected therewith, there is hereby established an Appeals Board (hereinafter in this Part called “the Board”).

   (2) The Chairman and members of the Board shall be appointed from time to time by the Judicial Service Commission for such period as the said Commission may think fit.

17.   Appeals to Board

   (1) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Commissioner under the provisions of section 13 or 15 may appeal to the Board therefrom.

   (2) Every notice of appeal shall be in writing stating the grounds of the appeal and shall be lodged with the Chairman of the Board who, on receipt of such notice, shall appoint a day and place for the hearing of the appeal and shall notify the parties accordingly.

   (3) The procedure for the institution and hearing of appeals to the Board shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Part and any rules which may be made by the Chief Justice, by Statutory Instrument, under this section for the purpose of regulating such procedure.

   (4) On the hearing and determination of any appeal under this Part—

      (a)   the Commissioner shall be a party to the proceedings;

      (b)   any party to the proceedings may appear in person or by counsel or any agent thereunto authorised by him in writing.

18.   Powers of Board

   (1) The Board may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Commissioner with which the appeal is concerned.

   (2) The Board shall not make any order as to costs unless it considers the decision of the Commissioner to have been unreasonable or the grounds of appeal to have been frivolous.

   (3) Any decision by the Board under this Part shall be final and shall not be challenged in any proceedings whatsoever.

PART V
HEALTH: GENERAL PROVISIONS

19.   Cleanliness

   (1) Every factory shall be kept in a clean state, and free from effluvia arising from any drain, sanitary convenience or nuisance.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1)—

      (a)   accumulations of dirt and refuse shall be removed daily from the floors and benches of workrooms, and from the staircases and passages;

      (b)   the floor of every workroom shall be cleaned at least once in every week by washing or, if it is effective and suitable, by sweeping or other method;

      (c)   where any process is carried on in circumstances which render the floor liable to be wet to such an extent that the fluid is capable of being removed by drainage, effective means shall be provided and maintained for draining off the fluid;

      (d)   all inside walls and partitions, and all ceilings or tops of rooms, and all walls, sides and tops of passages and staircases shall—

      (i)   where they have a smooth impervious surface, at least once in every period of fourteen months be washed with hot water and soap or other suitable detergent or cleaned by other suitable method;

      (ii)   where they are kept painted in a prescribed manner or varnished, be repainted in a prescribed manner or revarnished at such intervals of not more than seven years as may be prescribed, and shall at least once in every period of fourteen months be washed with hot water and soap or other suitable detergent or cleaned by other suitable method;

      (iii)   in all other cases, be kept whitewashed or colour washed and the whitewashing or colour washing shall be repeated at least once in every period of fourteen months.

   (3) Where it appears to the Commissioner that in any factory or class or description of factory or parts thereof any of the foregoing provisions of this section are by reason of special circumstances inappropriate or unnecessary, he may, if he thinks fit, by order direct that those provisions shall not apply to that factory or to factories or parts of factories of that class or description, or shall apply as varied in the order.

20.   Overcrowding

   (1) A factory shall not, while work is carried on, be so overcrowded as to cause risk of injury to the health of the persons employed therein.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1), the number of persons employed at a time in any workroom shall not be such that the amount of cubic space allowed for each is less than twelve cubic meters.

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