First Previous (PART I. Preliminary and General.) Next (PART III. Safety (General Provisions).)

10 1955

FACTORIES ACT, 1955

PART II.

Health (General Provisions).

Cleanliness.

10. —(1) Every factory shall be kept in a clean state and free from effluvia arising from any drain, sanitary convenience or nuisance and, without prejudice to the foregoing provision—

(a) accumulations of dirt, refuse, trade refuse and waste shall be removed daily by a suitable method 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) 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 such other method as may be approved of by an inspector,

(ii) where they are kept painted with oil paint or varnished, be repainted or revarnished at least once in every period of seven years, and at least once in every period of fourteen months be washed with hot water and soap or other suitable detergent or cleaned by such other method as may be approved of by an inspector,

(iii) in 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.

(2) In fulfilling, on an occasion when work is in progress, the requirements of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, the methods used shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be such as not to give rise to dust.

(3) Except where the Minister in any particular case otherwise requires, the provisions of paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any factory where mechanical power is not used and less than ten persons are employed.

(4) Where it appears to the Minister that in any class or description of factory or parts thereof any of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section are not required for the purpose of keeping the factory in a clean state, or are by reason of special circumstances inappropriate or inadequate for such purpose, he may, if he thinks fit, by order, made after consultation with the Minister for Health, direct that those provisions shall not apply to factories, or parts of factories, of that class or description or shall apply as varied by the order.

Overcrowding.

11. —(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 subsection (1) of this section, a factory shall be deemed to be so overcrowded as to cause risk of injury to the health of persons employed therein if the number of persons employed at a time in any workroom is such that the amount of cubic space allowed for every person employed in the room is less than four hundred cubic feet.

(3) If the Minister is satisfied that, owing to the special conditions under which the work is carried on in any workroom in which explosive materials are manufactured or handled, the application of subsection (2) of this section to the workroom would be inappropriate or unnecessary, he may by certificate except the workroom from that subsection subject to any conditions specified in the certificate.

(4) As respects any room used as a workroom at the date of the commencement of this Act, subsection (2) of this section shall for the period of three years after that date and, if before the expiration of that period effective and suitable mechanical ventilation has been provided in the room, for a further period of five years, have effect as if for the reference therein to four hundred cubic feet there were substituted a reference to two hundred and fifty cubic feet.

(5) Subsection (4) of this section shall cease to apply to a room—

(a) if the room passes into the occupation of any person other than the person who was the occupier thereof at the passing of this Act or his successor in the same business,

(b) if, during the first of the periods referred to in the subsection, the Minister requires the provision of effective and suitable mechanical ventilation in the room and default is made in complying with the requirement,

(c) if, during the second of the said periods, the effective and suitable mechanical ventilation provided in the room ceases to be maintained, or

(d) in a case where effective and suitable mechanical ventilation has been provided in pursuance of a requirement of the Minister, if, during either of the said periods, such ventilation ceases to be maintained.

(6) The Minister may, after consultation with the Minister for Health, make regulations, as respects any class or description of factory or parts thereof or any process, increasing the number of cubic feet which must under this section be allowed for every person employed in a workroom.

(7) In calculating, for the purposes of this section, the amount of cubic space in any room, no space more than fourteen feet from the floor shall be taken into account and, where a room contains a gallery, the gallery shall be treated for the purposes of this section as if it were partitioned off from the remainder of the room and formed a separate room.

(8) There shall be kept posted in each workroom a notice specifying the number of persons who, having regard to this section, may be employed in the workroom.

Temperature.

12. —(1) Effective provision shall be made for securing and maintaining a reasonable temperature in each workroom, but no method shall be employed which results in the escape into the air of any workroom of any fume of such character and to such extent as to be likely to be injurious or offensive to persons employed therein.

(2) In every workroom in which a substantial proportion of the work is done sitting and does not involve serious physical effort, a temperature of less than sixty degrees shall not be regarded, after the first hour, as being a reasonable temperature while work is going on, and at least one thermometer shall be provided and maintained in a suitable position in every such workroom.

(3) The Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Health, may, by regulations, for factories or for any class or description of factory or parts thereof, prescribe a standard of reasonable temperature (which may vary the standard prescribed by subsection (2) of this section for sedentary work) and prohibit the use of any methods of maintaining a reasonable temperature which, in his opinion, are likely to be injurious to the persons employed, and direct that thermometers shall be provided and maintained in such places and positions as may be specified.

Ventilation.

13. —(1) Effective and suitable provision shall be made for securing and maintaining by the circulation of fresh air in each workroom the adequate ventilation of the room, and for rendering harmless, so far as practicable, all fumes, dust and other impurities that may be injurious to health generated in the course of any process or work carried on in the factory.

(2) The Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Health, may, by regulations, prescribe a standard of adequate ventilation for factories or for any class or description of factory or parts thereof.

Lighting.

14. —(1) Effective provision shall be made for securing and maintaining sufficient and suitable lighting, whether natural or artificial, in every part of a factory in which persons are working or passing.

(2) The Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Health, may, by regulations, prescribe a standard of sufficient and suitable lighting for factories or for any class or description of factory or parts thereof, or for any process.

(3) All glazed windows and skylights used for the lighting of workrooms shall, so far as practicable, be kept clean on both the inner and outer surfaces and free from obstruction.

(4) Subsection (3) of this section shall not affect the whitewashing or shading of windows and skylights for the purposes of mitigating heat or glare.

Drainage of floors.

15. —Where any process is carried on which renders the floor liable to be wet to such extent that the wet is capable of being removed by drainage, effective means shall be provided and maintained for draining off the wet.

Slippery floors.

16. —Where any process is carried on which renders the floor liable to cause persons employed to slip, effective means shall be provided and maintained for protecting the persons employed from slipping.

Sanitary conveniences.

17. —(1) Sufficient and suitable sanitary conveniences for the persons employed in a factory shall be provided, maintained and kept clean and—

(a) where a piped water supply is in the factory, all sanitary conveniences shall be individually flushed water closets, except urinals which shall have suitable flushing arrangements,

(b) sanitary conveniences shall not communicate with any workroom except through the open air or through an intervening ventilated space,

(c) effective provision shall be made for lighting the sanitary conveniences, and

(d) where persons of both sexes are or are intended to be employed (except in the case of factories where the only persons employed are members of the same family dwelling there), the sanitary conveniences shall afford separate accommodation for persons of each sex.

(2) The Minister may, after consultation with the Minister for Health, make regulations determining for factories or for any class or description of factory what is sufficient and suitable provision for the purposes of this section.

(3) This section shall be enforced by the sanitary authority.

Powers of inspector as to sanitary defects remediable by sanitary authority.

18. —(1) Where an inspector finds any act or default, in relation to any drain, sanitary convenience, water supply, nuisance, or other matter in a factory which is liable to be dealt with by the sanitary authority under this Part of this Act or under the law relating to public health, he shall give notice thereof in writing to the sanitary authority, and it shall be the duty of the sanitary authority to make such inquiry into the subject of the notice, and take such action thereon, as seems to them proper for the purpose of enforcing the law, and to inform the inspector of the proceedings taken in consequence of the notice.

(2) Where an inspector finds any such act or default as is referred to in subsection (1) of this section, he may take with him into the factory a medical officer of health, a health inspector or an officer of the sanitary authority.

(3) If, within one month after notice of an act or default is given by an inspector under this section to a sanitary authority, proceedings are not taken for punishing or remedying the act or default, the Minister may take the like proceedings for the punishment or remedying thereof as the sanitary authority might have taken, and shall be entitled to recover from the sanitary authority as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction all such expenses incurred by him in and about the proceedings as are not recovered from any other person and have not been incurred in or about any unsuccessful legal proceedings.

Powers in case of default of sanitary authority.

19. —(1) If the Minister is satisfied that any sanitary authority have failed to enforce any of the provisions of section 17 of this Act, he may, by authorisation in writing and after notifying the sanitary authority, authorise an inspector to take, during such period as may be mentioned in the authorisation, such steps as appear necessary or proper for enforcing those provisions.

(2) Where an inspector is authorised under this section—

(a) he shall, for the purpose of his duties under the authorisation, have the same powers in enforcing the provisions specified in the authorisation as he has in enforcing the provisions of this Act generally,

(b) he may, for the purpose of his duties under the authorisation, take the like proceedings for enforcing the provisions so specified, or for punishing or remedying any act or default, as might be taken by the sanitary authority,

(c) he shall be entitled to recover from the sanitary authority as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction all such expenses incurred by him in and about any such proceedings as are not recovered from any other person and have not been incurred in or about any unsuccessful legal proceedings.

Power to require medical supervision.

20. —(1) Where it appears to the Minister that in any factory or class or description of factory—

(a) cases of illness have occurred which he has reason to believe may be due to the nature of a process or other conditions of work,

(b) there may be risk of injury to the health of persons employed—

(i) from any substance or material brought in for use or handling, or

(ii) from any change in the conditions of work or other conditions,

(c) by reason of changes in any process or in the substances used in any process, or by reason of the introduction of any new process or new substance for use in a process, there may be risk of injury to the health of persons employed in that process, or

(d) persons are or are about to be employed in work which may cause risk of injury to their health,

he may, after consultation with the Minister for Health, make special regulations requiring such reasonable arrangements to be made for the medical supervision (not including medical treatment other than first-aid treatment and medical treatment of a preventive character) of the persons, or any class of the persons, employed at that factory or class or description of factory as may be specified in the regulations.

(2) Where the Minister proposes to exercise his powers under this section in relation to a particular factory and for a limited period, he may exercise those powers by order instead of by special regulations.

(3) An order under subsection (2) of this section shall cease to have effect at the expiration of such period not exceeding six months from the date when it comes into operation as may be specified in the order, but—

(a) the Minister may by a subsequent order or orders extend the said period,

(b) if the occupier of the factory by notice in writing to the Minister objects to any such extension, the original order shall cease to have effect as from one month after the service of the notice, without prejudice to the making of special regulations in relation to the factory.