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Factories Act 1937

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Part IIIWelfare (General Provisions)

41Supply of drinking water

(1)There shall be provided and maintained at suitable points conveniently accessible to all persons employed an adequate supply of wholesome drinking water from a public main or from some other source approved in writing by the district council, such approval not to be withheld except on the ground of the un-wholesomeness of the water.

(2)A supply of drinking water which is not laid on shall be contained in suitable vessels, and shall be renewed at least daily, and all practicable steps shall be taken to preserve the water and vessels from contamination; and a drinking water supply (whether laid on or not) shall, in such cases as the inspector for the district may direct, be clearly marked " Drinking Water."

(3)Except where the water is delivered in an upward jet from which the employed persons can conveniently drink, one or more suitable cups or drinking vessels shall be provided at each point of supply with facilities for rinsing them in drinking water.

42Washing facilities

(1)There shall be provided and maintained for the use of employed persons adequate and suitable facilities for washing which shall include soap and clean towels or other suitable means of cleaning or drying, and the facilities shall be conveniently accessible and shall be kept in a clean and orderly condition.

(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe, either generally or as respects any class or description of factory or as respects the persons employed in any process, a standard of adequate and suitable washing facilities.

(3)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for the exemption of factories from any of the requirements of this section in cases where by reason of the difficulty of obtaining an adequate supply of water, or the fact that accommodation is restricted and adequate and suitable washing facilities are otherwise conveniently available, or such other special circumstances as may be specified in the regulations, the application of the requirement would in his opinion be unreasonable.

(4)This section shall come into operation on the first day of July, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine :

Provided that, as respects persons employed in any process in which lead, arsenic or any other poisonous substance is used, or any process prescribed by the Secretary of State, being a process liable to cause dermatitis or any other affection of the skin, this section shall come into operation at the commencement of this Act.

43Accommodation for clothing

(1)There shall be provided and maintained for the use of employed persons adequate and suitable accommodation for clothing not worn during working hours; and such arrangements as are reasonably practicable or, when a standard is prescribed, such arrangements as are laid down thereby shall be made for drying such clothing.

(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe, either generally or as respects any class or description of factory, a standard of suitable accommodation for such clothing and of arrangements for drying such clothing.

(3)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for the exemption of factories from any of the requirements of this section in cases where by reason of such special circumstances as may be specified in the regulations the application of the requirement would in his opinion be unreasonable.

44Facilities for sitting

There shall be provided and maintained, for the use of all female workers whose work is done standing, suitable facilities for sitting sufficient to enable them to take advantage of any opportunities for resting which may occur in the course of their employment.

45First-aid

(1)There shall be provided and maintained so as to be readily accessible a first-aid box or cupboard of the prescribed standard, and where more than one hundred and fifty persons are employed an additional box or cupboard for every additional one hundred and fifty persons. For the purposes of this provision the number of persons employed in a factory shall be taken to be the largest number of persons employed therein at any one time, and any fraction of one hundred and fifty shall be reckoned as one hundred and fifty. Where the persons employed are employed in shifts, the calculation of the number employed shall be according to the largest number at work at any one time.

(2)Nothing except appliances or requisites for first-aid shall be kept in a first-aid box or cupboard.

(3)Each first-aid box or cupboard shall be placed under the charge of a responsible person who shall, in the case of a factory where more than fifty persons are employed, be trained in first-aid treatment, and the person in charge shall always be readily available during working hours. A notice shall be affixed in every workroom stating the name of the person in charge of the first-aid box or cupboard provided, in respect of that room.

(4)If an ambulance room is provided at the factory and such arrangements are made as to ensure the immediate treatment there of all injuries occurring in the factory, the chief inspector may by certificate exempt the factory from the requirements of this section to such extent and. subject to such conditions as he may specify in the certificate.

46Welfare regulations

(1)Where it appears to the Secretary of State that owing to the conditions and circumstances of employment or the nature of the processes carried on, provision requires to be made in relation to any of the matters to which this section applies for securing the welfare of the persons employed or any class of them, he may make special regulations requiring such reasonable steps to be taken in connection therewith as may be specified in the regulations, either in addition to, or in substitution for, or by way of extension or variation of, any of the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act.

(2)This section applies to the matters dealt with in the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act; to arrangements for preparing or heating, and taking, meals ; to the supply of protective clothing; to ambulance and first-aid arrangements; to the supply and use of seats in workrooms; to rest rooms; and to arrangements for the supervision of persons employed.

(3)This section shall not apply to factories in which the only persons employed are members of the same family dwelling there.

(4)Special regulations under this section are in this Act referred to as " welfare regulations " and any such regulations may—

(a)be made for a particular factory or for factories of any class or description;

(b)be made contingent in respect of particular requirements upon application being made by a specified number or proportion of the employed persons concerned, and prescribe the manner in which the views of the persons employed are to be ascertained;

(c)provide for the employed persons concerned being associated in the management of the arrangements, accommodation or other facilities for which provision is made, in any case where a portion of the cost is contributed by the persons employed; but no contribution shall be required from the persons employed in any factory, except for the purpose of providing additional or special benefits which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, could not reasonably be required to be provided by the employer alone, and unless two-thirds at least of the employed persons affected in that factory, on their views being ascertained in the prescribed manner, assent.

(5)Welfare regulations may impose duties on owners and, so far as relates to the use of any facilities provided, on employed persons.

(6)The Secretary of State may by regulations extend the matters to which this section applies so as to include other matters affecting the welfare of employed persons or any class of them.

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