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Chapter 14:08

Factories And Works Act

Acts 20/1948, 1/1955 (s. 6), 30/1957, 78/1959, 6/1961, 24/1962 (s. 2), 19/1963 (s. 12), 31/1965, 23/1968, 8/1976, 22/1976 (s. 87), 42/1976 (s. 31), 31/1983, 8/1988, 9/1997 (s. 10), 22/2001 (s. 4). R.G.Ns. 217/1970, 313/1970, 826/1973.




  1. Short title.
  2. Interpretation of “factory”.



  1. Appointment of inspectors.
  2. Powers of inspectors.
  3. Powers of inspector as to certain defects remediable by local authority.
  4. Inspector to produce certificate.



  1. Premises not to be used as factory unless registered.
  2. Submission of plans for building or alteration of building.
  3. Registration of factories.
  4. Requirements of inspector.
  5. Transfer and surrender of certificate of registration.



  1. Inspection of machinery by inspectors.
  2. Accident register and notification of accidents.
  3. Inquiries by inspectors.



  1. Interpretation in Part V.
  2. Gear used in connection with structural work.
  3. Powers of inspectors.
  4. Application of this Part.



  1. Acts or omissions by managers, agents or employees.
  2. Presumptions and proof by affidavit.
  3. Appeals from decisions of inspectors.
  4. Appeal from decision of Administrative Court or magistrate.
  5. Service of notice under this Act.
  6. Victimization forbidden.
  7. Provisions of Act cannot be varied by agreement or waived.
  8. Prohibition of deduction from wages.
  9. Disclosure of certain information prohibited.
  10. Offences in connection with safety appliances.
  11. Offences in relation to inspectors.
  12. Locking of factories.
  13. Exemption by Minister.
  14. Application to State.

AN ACT to provide for the registration and control of factories, the regulation of conditions of work in factories, supervision of the use of machinery, precautions against accident to persons employed on structural work and for matters incidental to the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st March, 1951.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Factories and Works Act [Chapter 14:08].

                       2    Interpretation

  • In this Act—

“activity” includes any process, handicraft or occupation;

“area” includes any number of areas whether or not contiguous;

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

“authority” means the National Social Security Authority established by the National Social Security Authority Act [Chapter 17:04];

“builder” means a person who employs anyone on structural work;

“building employee” means a person employed by a builder;

“commercial traveller” means an employee employed exclusively to travel from place to place for the purpose of selling or obtaining orders for goods, and includes an assistant travelling with such employee;

“employee” means any person who—

  • is employed by or works for an employer in or in connection with a factory, but does not include a person employed solely as a commercial traveller, caretaker or watchman or in the delivery of goods or messages; or
  • in any other manner whatsoever assists an employer in or about a factory in carrying on the business of such factory;

“employer” means a person who in connection with a factory employs or provides work for or permits anyone in any manner whatsoever to assist him in the carrying on of his business in or about a factory;

“excavation work” includes—

  • loosening, taking out and removing—

(i)      stone, soil and other material in connection with the making, repairing, reopening or closing of any trench, tunnel or similar excavation; (ii) clay;

(iii)   sand from river beds or river banks;

  • quarrying for stone or gravel; but does not include any excavation work on a mining location or farm which is associated with mining or farming operations thereon;

“inspector” means an inspector appointed under section four;

“institution” includes any charitable, educational or like institution, whether conducted by the State or by any other body or person;

“local authority” means—

  • a municipal council or town council; or
  • a rural district council declared in terms of subsection (2) to be a local authority for the purposes of this Act;

“machinery” means—

  • any locomotive or any stationary or portable engine, boiler or other steam apparatus; and
  • any appliance or combination of appliances intended for developing, receiving, storing, transmitting or converting power;

but does not include a vehicle;

“Minister” means the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or any other Minister to whom the President may from time to time assign the administration of this Act; “occupier”, in relation to a factory, means—

  • the person or persons (other than a manager who is not also the occupier) in whom is vested the right to control and manage the activities in such factory; or
  • the principal, superintendent or other person in charge of an institution in which any factory activity is carried on;

“officer” means a person on the fixed establishment of the Public Service or an inspector;

“premises” includes any land, structure, vehicle or vessel;

“structural work” means any work in connection with the erection, alteration, renovation, repair or demolition of any structure, bridge or building, and includes any railway line, road or irrigation, sewerage, excavation or similar work, but does not include any structural work on a mining location or farm which is associated with mining or farming operations thereon;

  • With the approval of the Minister to whom the administration of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] has been assigned, the Minister may by notice in a statutory instrument declare a rural district council to be a local authority for the purposes of this Act.

                       3    Interpretation of “factory”

(1) Subject to this section, “factory” means—

  • any premises on which any person performs work in connection with any business, undertaking or institution, whether as an employer or employee, pupil or inmate of an institution or otherwise, in any one or more of the following activities—
    • the making of any article or part of any article;
    • the altering, repairing, renovating, ornamenting, painting, spraying, polishing, finishing, cleaning, dyeing, washing or breaking up of any article;
    • the adaptation for sale or use of any article;
    • the sorting, assembling or packing, including washing or filling bottles or other containers, of any articles;
    • the painting, spraying, construction, reconstruction, assembling, repairing or breaking up of vehicles or parts thereof;
    • printing by letterpress, lithography, photogravure or other similar process, including any activity associated with the printing industry;
    • the production and storage of gas in a holder of more than one hundred and fifty cubic metres

storage capacity;

  • the freezing, chilling or storage in cold storage of any article;
  • the slaughtering of livestock;
  • the generation of electricity;
  • photographic work;
  • any other activity added in terms of subsection (4); and
  • any premises on which bookkeeping, typewriting or any other clerical work incidental to any activity referred to in paragraph (a) is performed, if such premises form part of or are connected with the premises in which the said activity is carried on.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1), “factory” shall not include—

  • any premises on which fewer than five persons perform work in any activity referred to in subsection (1) unless mechanical power, other than for ordinary mining purposes, is used in the activity conducted on such premises, whether such power is derived from steam, electricity, gas, liquid or any other source;
  • premises on which any activity referred to in subparagraph (iv) or (viii) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) is only incidental to the conduct of a business engaged mainly in the sale of goods by wholesale or retail;
  • any premises on a mining location in which operations associated with such mining location are carried on;
  • private houses, hotels, boarding-houses, restaurants, refreshment or tea rooms or eating-houses in respect of any activity referred to in subsection (1) which is ordinarily and necessarily incidental to the conduct of such establishments;
  • any structural work;
  • premises on a farm whereon an individual or partnership or group of persons, other than a company, who is a farmer performs work in any activity referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) solely in connection with products which he has produced on a farm occupied by him or solely in connection with his farming operations, unless upon the premises an industry, business or undertaking is being carried on which has by regulation been declared to be an industry, business or undertaking which shall not fall within the exemption conferred by this paragraph;
  • a workroom in connection with a prescribed class of institution;
  • any premises used for the purpose of housing vehicles where only minor adjustments are carried out;
  • any factory for the manufacture of explosives, the owner of which holds a licence in terms of the Explosives Act [Chapter 10:08] to manufacture explosives on the premises concerned.
  • For the purposes of this section, “power” does not include hand or foot power used to operate any mechanical appliance.
  • The Minister may, by regulation, add any activity to those specified in paragraph (a) of subsection (1).
  • Before the making of regulations under subsection (4) the Minister shall—
  • cause to be published in the Gazette a notice setting forth the purport of the proposed regulation and calling upon all interested persons who have any objections to lodge them in writing at a specified address within thirty days of the date of publication thereof; and
  • cause to be published in one or more newspapers within seven days after the publication of such notice a statement directing the attention of all interested persons to that notice.
  • For the purposes of any provision of this Act, the Minister may in his discretion order that a part of a factory shall be deemed to be a separate factory or that two or more factories which are occupied by the same occupier shall be deemed to be a single factory.
  • Whenever in the opinion of the Minister the activities of a business would ordinarily constitute a factory if conducted on single premises and such activities have been subdivided into sections all or some of which are conducted on premises not constituting a factory, he may in his discretion order that all or any portion of the said premises shall be deemed to be a factory.



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