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Factory & workshop acts explained & simplified online

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Hey Majesty s Inspector of Factories.

XonDon :


/IRancbester :




[Entered at Stationers' Hall.]


By Wright, Dain, Peyton, and Co.




PREFACE v.,vi.

INTRODUCTION vii., viii.

CHAPTER I. — General Definitions of terms used in the

Acts I — 9

CHAPTER II.— Duties of Occupiers— Of Owners— Of
Workpeople — Of Parents or Guardians — And Others
— Certificates of Fitness — Sanitation of Factories and
\Vorl<shops — Dangerous Factories or Workshops,
and Regulations as to Bakehouses .. .. .. 10—29

*" CHAPTER III.— Safety, by Fencing of Machinery—
^ Vats — Restrictions on Cleaninsj — Position of Seif-

■< acting Machine — Provisions against Fire .. .. 30 — 34

CHAPTER IV.— General Remarks as to Hours of
Employment and Meals — Exemptions — Periods of
Employment in Textile and Non-textile Factories
and Workshops conducted on various Systems —
Children in Sets or Alternate Day Systems —
Laundries — Overtime — Exceptions for Jews — Night
Work for Male Young Persons . . . . . . 35 — 60

a CHAPTER V. — Special Rules in Dangerous Trades —
Provisions of Cotton Cloth Act — Arbitrations, and
Rules for — Penalties Incurred by Infringements of
Acts — Evidence .. .. .. .. .. 61 — 74

S CHAPTER VI.— Duties of various Public Ofillcers and
^ Others under the Acts — Coroners — Inspectors-

Certifying Surgeons — Sanitary Authorities — Medical
Practitioners .. .. .. .. .. .. 75 — 77

CHAPTER VII.— Brief References to Quarries Act,

1S94 — Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1894

— Shop Hours Act, 1892 to 1895 — '^^'■^ Boiler
Explosions Act, 1882.. .. .. .. ., 78—81


required to be used under the various Acts . . . . 83 — 86

INDEX 87-111



Page 24, line 17, after " An Inspector may " insert " if so ordered
by the Secretary of State."

25, line 14, for " exemption " read " exception."

32, line 15, for " the machine " read " a machine shown to
be dangerous."

32, line 34, for "hoisting" read ^'horsing."

38, line II, for " Abstract " read " Notice."

51, line II, for "where the women" read "where the


The Factory Act of 1878 consolidated and brought
within its scope the numerous and partly obsolete Acts
relating to Factories and Workshops, from 1802 to the date
when it became law. Several Amending Acts have since
been passed, namely, in 1883, 1891, and 1895, besides the
Cotton Cloth Factories Act of 1889, and others having
more or less bearing on the subject, which are included
in the list given on the next page. This Factory
Legislation now covers such a wide field of operations,
and so many persons are affected by it, that it has been
suggested to the Author that a small portable Handbook,
with a Good Index, prepared by one who has experience
in administering the numerous Acts, would be found
useful to Employers and Employed, as well as to others
interested in the subject. It was pointed out that the
book should cover every point included in the various Acts;
be so written as to be easily understood; and that legal
phraseology should be avoided as far as possible, con-
sistently with precision and accuracy. Without venturing
to claim that the whole of these characteristics will be
found in this little volume, the Author has steadily aimed to
make it practically useful, reliable, and easy of reference.
It is scarcely needful to say that this Handbook is in
no way intended to supersede reference to the Acts
themselves, nor is it to be used to settle any nice legal


points ; but it is to be regarded solely as a convenient
untechnical guide for those who are called upon to
decide the various questions which daily arise in Factories
and Workshops, such, for instance, as to whether it would
be legal to work women during certain hours ; or to
allow work to be taken home to be finished ; or at what
age children can be employed, and what their educational
qualifications must be, and so on.

This book is published on the Author's sole responsi-
bility, and HAS NO official authority. It has been
compiled in the hope that it will lessen the difficulties
experienced by those who are not accustomed to studying
legal enactments, or who do not possess the time to wade
through the numerous Acts of Parliament which have
to be read together as if they were but one.

E. M. R.

Birmingham, March, 1896.

abstracts of the contents of which are set forth in the
following pages : —
The Factory and Workshop Acts, 187S (Principal Act), 1883, 1891,

The Cotton Cloth Factories Act, 1889.
The Quarries Act, 1S94.

The Prevention of Cruelty to, and Protection of, Children Act, 1894.
The Shop Hours Regulation Acts, 1892 to 1895.
The Boiler Explosions Act, 1882.


The Factory Acts apply to the following Classes of
Works :—

1. Textile Factories.

2. Non-textile Factories.

3. Workshops.

4. Workshops in which neither children nor young

persons are employed.

5. Domestic Factories and Workshops.

6. Laundries, as Non-textile Factories or Work-


7. Docks, Wharves, Quays, and Warehouses.

8. Premises where machinery worked by mechanical

power is used in structural work on a

9. Buildings over 30ft. in height being constructed

or repaired by means of scaffolding.
10. Buildings over 30ft. in height where more than

20 persons (not being domestic servants)

are employed for wages.
It will be perceived that the Acts range over a large
field, which has been considerably extended by recent
legislation, and to each class distinct regulations pertain ;
the Occupiers of some works having not only the ordinary
Factory Laws to obey , but Special and more stringent Rules
as well; whilst those of others, notably Nos. 7 to 10 of
above list, have only the Fencing of Machinery and
Notification of certain Accidents to carry out.


It will be tlie endeavour of the writer to explain and
point out the various regulations as applicable to the
different manufacturing processes; the exceptions from
the main law permitted to, and the more onerous
provisions exacted from, certain works ; and, by the aid
of a good Index, to enable those interested to perhaps
grasp the subject better than if they had the Acts
themselves before them. The term " protected classes,"
which will occur frequently in this handbook, is used
always to signify children, young persons, and women.

It may also be useful to point out that manual
labour, by way of trade or for purposes of gain, in or
incidental to Glovemaking, Straw-plaiting, and Pillow-
lace Making, by members of a family dwelling in a
private house or private room, does not constitute
such house or room a Workshop, under the Factory
and Workshop Acts.

Without exhausting all the Definitions given in the
Acts, those which are of most use are given as a
preliminary step, for, without their being understood in
their strict legal meaning, but little practical benefit
could be gained by any person on a technical subject so
complicated as the Factory Acts ; and then the Duties
of Employers, Owners, Workpeople, and Parents, with
Sanitary provisions, the Safety of Machinery by Fencing,
and Precautions against Fire, the Periods of Employ-
ment with Meal Hours, Overtime and Nightwork, with
Special Exceptions and Restrictions ; Special Rules in
Dangerous Trades, Arbitrations, and brief references
to Penalties incurred on infringement of the Acts ; with
the duties and powers of the various Public Ofificers ; will
be treated on in separate chapters, the whole concluding
with a very full Index.

Factory and Workshop Acts






"Principal Act" means, "the Factory
and Workshop Act, 1878."

"Child" means a person under the age of
14 years. But a child having reached the
age of 13, and having obtained a certificate of having
attained the prescribed school standard (now the 5 th), or
of having attended a certified efficient school for the
prescribed number of attendances, may be employed as
a "Young Person." No child under 11 years of age can
be legally employed in a Factory, Workshop, or Laundry.



"Young Person" means a person, male
or female, of the age of 14 years and
under the age of 18 years.

"Woman" means a woman of 18 years
and upwards.

Parent. "Parent" means a parent or guardian of,

or person having the legal custody of, or
control over, or having direct benefit from the wages of
a child or young person.

Occupier. This is to be taken in the ordinary accepta-
tion of the word, no definition being given
in the Act.


Actual "Actual Employer" is used in the Act of

Employer, jg^^ for those cases where the occupier of
the premises may not be the Actual Employer
of a certain person, and it is to place the duty of
reporting an accident on to the right shoulders, i.e., the
Actual Employer.

Owner. " Owner" means " the person for the time

being receiving the rack-rent of the lands or
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
lands or premises were let at a rack-rent." (See p. 28).

Rack-rent. " Rack-rent " means " rent which is not less
than two-thirds of the full net annual value
of the property out of which the rent arises ; and the
full net annual value shall be taken to be the rent at
which the property might reasonably be expected to let
from year to year, free from all usual tenants' rates and
taxes and tithe commutation rent-charge (if any), and
deducting therefrom the probable average annual cost of
the repairs, insurance, and other expenses (if any)
necessary to maintain the same in a state to command
such rent."

Person. " Person " includes a body of persons,

corporate or incorporate.

Sanitary " Sanitary Authority " means an Urban or
Authority. Rural Sanitary Authority within the meaning
of the Public Health Act, 1875, and any
Commissions, Board, or Vestry in the Metropolis, having
the like powers as such Urban Sanitary Authority. But
for Scotland and Ireland it means respectively the
Authorities under the Public Health Acts 1867 and
1878 and Amending Acts.

Local See above definition, " Sanitary Authority."

Authority. ' '


Week. " Week " means the period between midnight

on Saturday night and midnight on the
succeeding Saturday niglit.

Night. "Night" means the period between 9 o'clock

in the evening and 6 o'clock in the
succeeding morning.

Prescribed- " Prescribed" means prescribed for the time
being by a Secretary of State.

House. "House" is defined in the Public Health

Acts to include " Factories and other
buildings in which persons are employed in any manu-
factures, trades, or businesses."

Textile " Textile Factory " means any premises

Factory. wherein or within the close or curtilage of
which, steam, water, or other mechanical
power is used to move or work any machinery employed in
preparing, manufacturing, or finishing, or in any process
incident to the manufacture of cotton, wool, hair, silk,
flax, hemp, jute, tow, china-grass, cocoa-nut fibre, or
other like material, either separately or mixed together,
or mixed with any other material, or any fabric made
thereof —

Provided that print works, bleaching and dyeing
works, lace warehouses, paper mills, flax scutch mills,
rope works, and hat works shall not be deemed to be
Textile Factories. (See pp. 4, 5).

Non-textile '• Non-textile Factory " means :—

(i) Any works, warehouses, furnaces, mills, foundries,
or places named in Part I. of the Fourth
Schedule to Act of 1878. (See pp. 4, 5).


(2) Also any premises or places named in Part II.

of the said Schedule, wherein or within the
close or curtilage or precincts of which, steam,
water, or other mechanical power is used in aid
of the manufacturing process carried on there.
(See p. 5).

(3) Also any premises wherein or within the close or

curtilage or precincts of which, any manual
labour is exercised by way of trade, or for
purposes of gain in or incidental to the following
purposes, or any of them ; that is to say —

(a) In or incidental to the making of any article, or
part of any article, or

{b) In or incidental to the altering, repairing,
ornamenting, or finishing of any article, or

[c) In or incidental to the adapting for sale of any

And wherein, or within the close or curtilage
or precincts of which, steam, water, or
other mechanical power is used in aid of the
manufacturing process carried on there.

1st Part, It may here be remarked that all manufac-

4thSehedule turing premises where machinery is used,

Aet.""^^^ moved by any kind of motive power, are

Factories, and also some where no such

machinery is used, such as —

" Print Works," where figures, patterns, &c., are
printed on any textile fabric, not being paper.

" Bleaching and Dyeing Works."

" Earthenware Works or China," except bricks and
tiles, not being ornamental tiles.

" Lucifer Match Works."

"Percussion Cap Works."

" Cartridge Works."

" Paper Staining Works."


" Fustian Cutting Works."

" Blast Furnaces."

"Copper Mills."

•'Iron Mills," ie., where iron is converted into

malleable iron, steel, or tin plate, or making or

converting steel.
"Foundries," except where the process is carried on

by not more than five persons, and as subsidiary

to the repair or completion of some other work.
' Paper Mills."
" Tobacco Factories."
"Letterpress Printing Works."
" Bookbinding Works."
«' Flax Scutch Mills."

2nd Part, On reference to Part II. of the Fourth
4th Schedule Schedule, it will be seenthat the following
Act^^*^^'^^ works are Factories or Workshops accord-
ing to whether machinery moved by power
is or is not used : —

" Hat Works."

'* Rope Works," premises which have no internal

communication with a Textile Factory, except

such communication as is necessary for the

transmission of power.
*' Bakehouses."
" Lace Warehouses."
" Shipbuilding Yards."
"Quarries," any place not being a mine, where

persons work in getting slate, stone, coprolites,

or other minerals.
" Pit Banks."

The Definitions in these two Schedules as given
above are abbreviated.


Workshop. " Workshop " means : —

(i) Any premises or places named in Part II. of ihe
Fourth Schedule to this Act, which is not a
Factory within the meaning of this Act. (See

(2) Also any premises, room, or place, not being a
Factory within the meaning of this Act, in which
premises, room, or place, or within the close or
curtilage or precincts of which premises, any
manual labour is exercised by way of trade or
for purposes of gain in or incidental to the
following purposes or any of them ; that is to
say : —

{a) In or incidental to the making of any article or
of part of any article, or

[b) In or incidental to the altering, repairing,

ornamenting, or finishing of any article, or

(c) In or incidental to the adapting for sale of any

article, and to which or over which premises,
room, or place, the employer of the persons
working therein has the right of access or

But a room solely used for the purpose of sleeping
therein shall not be deemed to be part of a Factory or

Section 39, Act 1895, gives the Secretary of State
power to grant by order to any class of Factories or
Workshops that different branches or departments may be
treated as if they were different Factories or Workshops.

Laundries. "Laundries" are, by Sec. 22, Act 1S95,
subject to most of the regulations either as
"Non-textile Factories " or " Workshops."


Docks, Docks, Wharves, Quays, Warehouses, and

Wharves, Builders' Yards, and any premises wliere
Ware^-' machinery, worked by steam, water, or other

houses, and mechanical power, is temi)orarily used in
Builders' construction of a building, are by Sec. 23,
Yards. ji^^^ 1895, subject to certain regulations of

the Factory Acts, such as those with respect
to accidents, dangerous employments, machinery, and
powers of Inspectors.

ScafTolding. The Employer of persons using scaffolding
in construction or repairs to any building
exceeding 30ft. in height — in respect to notice of
accidents — is deemed the Occupier of a Factory ; and
the occupier of any building exceeding 30ft. in height
in which more than twenty persons, not being domestic
servants, are employed for wages, is deemed the
Occupier of a Factory, also in respect to notice of

Domestic '• Domestic Factory " or " Domestic Work-
Factory or shop" means, where persons are employed
WorkshoD. ^' home, in a private house, room, or place,
which, though used as a dwelling, is by
reason of the work carried on there a factory
or a workshop, and in which neither steam, water, nor
other mechanical power is used in aid of the manu-
facturing process carried on there, and in which the only
persons employed are members of the same family
dwelling there.

Thus a private house, room, or place where book-
binding is carried on is a " Domesiic Factory," if no
motive mechanical power is used ; but if the Occupier
should put in a small gas engine or other motive power,
he would cease to be the occupier of a Domestic
Factory and become the occupier of a Non-textile


Tenement " Tenement Factory " means " where
Factory. mechanical power is suppHed to different

parts of the same building occupied by
different persons for the purpose of any manufacturing
process or handicraft in such manner that these parts
constitute in law separate Factories," .... and
" all buildings situate within the same close or curtilage
shall be treated as one building."

White " White Lead Factory " means " every Factory

Fapfopv ^"^ Workshop in which the manufacture of
^' white lead is carried on,"

Retail " Retail Bakehouse" means "any bakehouse

Bakehouse, qj. place, the bread, biscuits, or confectionery
baked in which are not sold wholesale, but
by retail, in some shop or place occupied together with
such bakehouse," but, " shall not include any place which
is a Factory."

Cotton " Cotton Cloth Factory " means " any room,

Cloth shed, or workshop, or any part thereof, in

taetopy. ■which the weaving of cotton cloth is carried

Blast " Blast Furnaces " means, " any blast fur-

Furnaces, nace or other furnace or premises in or
on which the process of smelting or other-
wise obtaining metal from the ore is carried on."

Iron Mills. "Iron Mills" means, "any mill, forge, or
other premises in or on which any process
is carried on for converting iron into malleable iron,
steel, or tin-plate, or for otherwise making or con-
verting steel."

Employ- " A child, young person, or woman who
ment. works in a Factory or Workshop, whether

for wages or not, either in a manufac-
turing process or handicraft, or in cleaning any part of


the Factory or Workshop used for any manufacturing
process or handicraft, or in cleaning or oiling any part of
the machinery, or in any other kind of work whatsoever
incidental to or connected with the manufacturing process
or handicraft, or connected with the article made or
otherwise the subject of the manufacturing process or
handicraft therein, shall, save as is otherwise provided by
this Act, be deemed to be employed therein within the
meaning of this Act." And "an apprentice shall be
deemed to work for hire."

Machinery, This expression shall include any driving
strap or band ; and the Judges of the
Queen's Bench have decided that this word includes
all the operative parts of machinery.

Dangepous There is no definition given ot this expres-
Machinepy- gjor,, but for certain purposes (cleaning
of machinery by young persons) such parts
of machinery shall, unless the contrary be proved, be
presumed to be dangerous as are so notified by an
Inspector to the Occupier of a Factory.

Mill _ "Mill Gearing." This expression compre-

Gearing. hends every shaft, whether upright, oblique,
or horizontal, and every wheel, drum, or
pulley by which the motion of the first moving power is
communicated to any machine appertaining to a manu-
facturing process.

Wheel "Wheel Race" means, " the trough which

Race. leads the water from the sluice on to the


Ppoeess. This expression shall include the use of any

Dang-epous " Dangerous Trades " are such as are from
Trades. time to time so declared by the Secretary

of State. (See p. 62).



There is no definition given in the Factory Acts of
the term " Occui)ier " which occurs so frequently therein,
but it is used in the sense of the Owner or Tenant of
premises who employs any person or persons in a manu-
facturing process (or other work specially brought within
the scope of the Acts, such as Laundries, &c.), and is,
therefore, synonymous with the term Employer as used
in common parlance.

Notice cf Every person on commencing to occupy
Commeneing". premises as a Factory or Workshop must
give written notice (on Form 35 ) to the
Inspector of the district within one month after he
begins so to occupy.

The above applies also to any Workshop not
employing any child, young person, or woman, i.e., where
men only are employed.

Every person wtio is in occupation of a Workshop at
the commencement of the Act shall, before the expiration
of twelve months (dating from ist January, 1896), unless
he has already done so in compliance with above, also
send this notice. (Form 35.)

Abstracts Every Occupier of a Factory or Workshop

and Notices. (except a Workshop only employing
men, or Domestic Factories and Work-
shops), must keep affixed at the entrance to his Works
and in such other parts thereof as an Inspector directs —
(i) An Abstract of the prescribed Acts;

(2) Name and address of prescribed Inspector;

(3) Name and address of Certifying Surgeon ;

(4) Notice of the public clock by which time is

regulated (to be fixed by the Inspector).


(5) Form 46. Notice of cubic space of each room,
with number of persons who may be employed; and

(6) All other Notices required by this Act to be affixed.

Abstracts The Notices "Period of Employment"

and Notices. and "Time for Meals," at the top of the
sheet which contains the Abstract, are to.
be duly filled in by the occupier, and
signed by him. In filling up the "Period of Employ-
ment" it is essential to follow exactly the directions given
in the Abstract, which are: — "Period of Employment to
be either between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. ; or between 7 a.m.
and 7 p.m. , or between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. On
Saturday, or the day legally substituted therefor, the
period of employment to begin at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m.
or 8 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.
respectively." No shorter hours may be affixed —
for instance, 7 am. to 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. to i on
Saturdays would be illegal. The notices required
are numerous in some cases, consisting of Special
Exceptions — such as places forbidden for meals, or work
by children, women, and young persons ; Special Regula-
tions in Dangerous Trades — overtime notices, and records,
&c., &c. (See list of Special Exception Forms, pp. 84, 85.)
No Special Exception can legally be acted upon unless
the proper notice has been affixed in the Factory, and
served on the Inspector seven days previously.

But in a Tenement Factory the Owner, amongst other
duties, has to affix these notices, an Occupier in such a

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Online LibraryEugene Mervyn RoeFactory & workshop acts explained & simplified → online text (page 1 of 8)