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Factories Act 1937

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Part XIISupplementary

Offences, Penalties and Legal Proceedings

130Offences

(1)In the event of any contravention in or in connection with or in relation to a factory of the provisions of this Act, or of any regulation or order made thereunder, the occupier, or (if the contravention is one in respect of which the owner is by or under this Act made responsible) the owner, of the factory shall, subject as hereinafter in this Act provided, be guilty of an offence.

(2)In the event of a contravention by an employed person of the provisions of Part X of this Act with respect to duties of persons employed or of a contravention by any person of any regulation or order made under this Act which expressly imposes any duty upon him, that person shall be guilty of an offence and the occupier or owner, as the case may be, shall not be guilty of an offence in respect of that contravention unless it is proved that he failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent the contravention.

(3)If the occupier of a factory avails himself of any special exception allowed by or under this Act and fails to comply with any of the conditions attached to the exception, he shall be deemed to have contravened the provisions of this Act.

(4)If any persons are employed in a factory otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act or of any regulation or order made thereunder, there shall be deemed to be a separate contravention in respect of each person so employed.

(5)Where an offence under this Act committed by a company is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to have been facilitated by any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, he, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

131Fines for offences for which no express penalty provided

Subject as hereinafter in this Act provided, any person guilty of an offence under this Act for which no express penalty is provided by this Act shall be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds, and, if the contravention in respect of which he was so convicted is continued after the conviction he shall (subject to the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-two of this Act) be guilty of a further offence and liable in respect thereof to a fine not exceeding five pounds for each day on which the contravention was so continued.

132Power of court to order cause of contravention to be remedied

Where the occupier or owner of a factory is convicted of an offence under this Act, the court may, in addition to or instead of inflicting a fine, order him, within the time specified in the order, to take such steps as may be so specified for remedying the matters in respect of which the contravention occurred, and may, on application, enlarge the time so specified, and where such an order is made, the occupier or owner shall not be liable under this Act in respect of the continuation of the contravention during the time allowed by the court, but if, after the expiration of that time as originally specified or enlarged by subsequent order, the order is not complied with, the occupier or owner, as the case may be, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds for each day on which the non-compliance continues.

133Fines in case of death or injury

If any person is killed, or dies, or suffers any bodily injury, in consequence of the occupier or owner of a factory having contravened any provision of this Act or of any regulation or order made thereunder, the occupier or owner of the factory shall, without prejudice to any other penalty, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds; and subject to the provisions of section five of the Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914, the whole or any part of the fine may be applied for the benefit of the injured person or his family or otherwise as the Secretary of State determines :

Provided that—

(a)in the case of injury to health, the occupier or owner shall not be liable to a fine under this section unless the injury was caused directly by the contravention; and

(b)the occupier or owner shall not be liable to a fine under this section if an information against him under this Act in respect of the act or default by which the death or injury was caused, has been heard and dismissed before the death or injury occurred.

134Fine for offence by parent

If a young person is employed in any factory in contravention of the provisions of this Act, the parent of the young person shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds, unless it appears to the court that the contravention occurred without the consent, connivance, or wilful default of the parent.

135Forgery of certificates, false entries, and false declarations

If any person—

(a)forges or counterfeits any certificate required by, under, or for the purposes of, this Act or any order or regulation made thereunder;

(b)gives or signs any such certificate knowing it to be false in any material particular ;

(c)knowingly utters or makes use of any such certificate so forged, counterfeited, or false as aforesaid;

(d)knowingly utters or makes use of as applying to any person any such certificate which does not so apply;

(e)personates any person named in any such certificate;

(f)falsely pretends to be an inspector;

(g)wilfully connives at any such forging, counterfeiting, giving, signing, uttering, making use, personating or pretending as aforesaid ;

(h)wilfully makes a false entry in any register, notice, certificate, or document required by under or for the purposes of this Act or any order or regulation made thereunder to be kept or served or sent;

(i)wilfully makes or signs a false declaration required by, under or for, the purposes of this Act or any order or regulation made thereunder;

(j)knowingly makes use of any such false entry or declaration as aforesaid ;

he shall, without prejudice to any other penalty, be guilty of an offence under this Act, and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

136Penalty on persons actually committing offence for which occupier is liable

Where an act or default for which an occupier or owner is liable under this Act is in fact the act or default of some agent, servant, worker or other person, that agent, servant, worker or other person shall be guilty of an offence and liable to the like fine as if he were the occupier or owner, as the case may be.

137Power of occupier or owner to exempt himself from liability on conviction of the actual offender

(1)Where the occupier or owner of a factory is charged with an offence under this Act, he shall be entitled, upon information duly laid by him and on giving to the prosecution not less than three days' notice in writing of his intention, to have any other person whom he charges as the actual offender brought before the court at the time appointed for hearing the charge; and if, after the commission of the offence has been proved, the occupier or owner of the factory proves to the satisfaction of the court—

(a)that he has used all due diligence to enforce the execution of this Act and of any relevant order or regulation made thereunder; and

(b)that the said other person had committed the offence in question without his consent, connivance, or wilful default,

that other person shall be summarily convicted of the offence, and the occupier or owner shall not be guilty of the offence, and the person so convicted shall, in the discretion of the court, be also liable to pay any costs incidental to the proceedings. The prosecution shall have the right in any such case to cross-examine the occupier or owner if he gives evidence and any witnesses called by him in support of his charge, and to call rebutting evidence.

(2)When it is made to appear to the satisfaction of an inspector at the time of discovering an offence—

(a)that the occupier or owner (as the case may be) of the factory has used all due diligence to enforce the execution of this Act; and

(b)by what person the offence has been committed; and

(c)that it has been committed without the consent, connivance or wilful default of the occupier or owner and in contravention of his orders,

the inspector shall proceed against the person whom he believes to be the actual offender without first proceeding against the occupier or owner of the factory.

138Proceedings against persons other than occupiers or owners

Where, under this Act, any person is substituted for the occupier or owner with respect to any provisions of this Act, any order, summons, notice, or proceeding, which for the purpose of any of those provisions is by or under this Act required or authorised to be served on or taken in relation to the occupier or owner, is hereby required or authorised (as the case may be) to be served on or taken in relation to that person.

139Owner of machine liable in certain cases instead of occupier

Where in a factory the owner or hirer of a machine or implement moved by mechanical power is some person other than the occupier of the factory, the owner or hirer shall, so far as respects any offence under this Act committed in relation to a person who is employed in or about or in connection with that machine or implement, and is in the employment or pay of the owner or hirer, be deemed to be the occupier of the factory.

140Prosecution of offences and recovery and application of fines

(1)All offences under this Act shall be prosecuted and all fines under this Act shall be recovered summarily.

(2)In any proceedings under this Act it shall be sufficient in the information to allege that the factory is a factory within the meaning of this Act and to state the name of the ostensible occupier of the factory, or, where the occupier is a firm, the title of the firm.

(3)The court shall in any proceedings under this Act, if required by either party, cause minutes of the evidence to be taken and preserved.

(4)Where, with respect to or in consequence of any accident in a factory, a report is made by the court appointed to hold a formal investigation under this Act or under the Boiler Explosions Acts, 1882 and 1890, or a coroner's inquest is held, and it appears from the report,

or from the proceedings at the inquest, that any of the provisions of this Act, or any orders or regulations made thereunder, were not complied with at or before the time of the accident, summary proceedings against any person liable to be proceeded against in respect, of such noncompliance may be commenced at any time within three months after the making of the report or the conclusion of the inquest.

(5)Where any offence is committed under this Act by reason of a failure to make an examination, enter a report, or do any other thing, at or within a time specified by this Act or any regulation or order made thereunder, the offence shall be deemed to continue until the examination is made, or the report entered, or the other thing done, as the case may be.

(6)Subject to the provisions of section five of the Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914, all fines imposed under this Act shall, save as otherwise expressly provided for by this Act, be paid into the Exchequer.

(7)Where a proceeding is taken before a court of summary jurisdiction with respect to an offence under this Act alleged to be committed in or with reference to a factory, no person shall be qualified to act as a member of the court who is the occupier or owner of the factory, or the husband, wife, parent, son, daughter, brother, or sister of the occupier or owner of the factory, or a person engaged in, or an officer of any association of persons engaged in, the same trade or occupation as any person charged with the offence.

141Appeal from orders made on complaint

Any person aggrieved by an order made by a court of summary jurisdiction on determining a complaint under this Act may appeal therefrom to a court of quarter sessions.

142Special provisions as to evidence

(1)If a person is found in a factory at any time at which work is going on or the machinery is in motion, except during the intervals for meals or rest, he shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have been then employed in the factory:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to a factory in which the only persons employed are members of the same family dwelling there.

(2)Where in any proceedings under this Act with respect to a young person it appears to the court that that young person is apparently of or below the age alleged by the informant, it shall lie on the defendant to prove that the young person is not of or below that age.

(3)Where any entry is required by this Act or by any order or regulations made thereunder to be made in the general register or in any other register or record, the entry made by the occupier of a factory or on his behalf shall, as against him, be admissible as evidence of the facts therein stated, and the fact that any entry so required with respect to the observance of any provision of this Act or of any order or regulation made thereunder has not been made, shall be admissible as evidence that that provision has not been observed.

143Proceedings for offences in respect of the employment of children

For the purposes of any proceedings under this Act in respect of the employment of children in contravention of section fourteen of the Education Act, 1918, or section one of the Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act, 1920, or any other enactment prohibiting the employment of children which is incorporated with this Act, references in this Part of this Act to young persons shall be construed as including references to children within the meaning of any such enactment.

144Service and sending of documents, &c

(1)Any document (including any summons or order) required or authorised to be served under this Act may be served—

(a)on any person by delivering it to him, or by leaving it at, or sending it by post to, his residence;

(b)on any firm by delivering it to any partner of the firm, or by leaving it at, or sending it by post to, the office of the firm;

(c)on the owner or occupier of a factory (including any such owner or occupier being a company to which the Companies Act, 1929, applies), in any such manner as aforesaid, or by delivering it, or a true copy thereof, to any person apparently not under the age of sixteen years at the factory.

(2)Any such document may be addressed for the purpose of the service thereof on the occupier of a factory, to " the occupier " at the proper postal address of the factory, without further name or description.

(3)The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply with the necessary modifications to documents required or authorised under this Act to be sent to any person, firm, owner or occupier, and to the sending, addressing, and delivery of such documents.

145Certificates of birth

Where the age of any person is required to be ascertained or proved for the purposes of this Act any person shall on presenting a written requisition in such form and containing such particulars as may be from time to time prescribed by the Minister of Health and on payment of a fee of sixpence, be entitled to obtain a certified extract under the hand of a registrar or superintendent registrar of the entry in the register under the Births and Deaths Registration Acts, 1836 to 1929, of the birth of that person; and such form of requisition shall on request be supplied without charge by every superintendent registrar and registrar of births, deaths and marriages.

146Power of county court to modify agreements

If by reason of an agreement between the owner and the occupier of premises the whole or any part of which has been let as a factory the said owner or occupier is prevented from carrying out any structural or other alterations in the premises which are necessary to enable him to comply with the provisions of this Act or of any regulation or order made under this Act or in order to conform with any standard or requirement imposed by or under this Act, he may apply in accordance with county court rules to the county court, and the court, after hearing the parties and any witnesses whom they desire to call, may make such an order setting aside or modifying the terms of the agreement as the court considers just and equitable in the circumstances of the case.

147Power of county court to apportion expenses

Where in any premises the whole or any part of which has been let as a factory any structural or other alterations are required in order to comply with the provisions of this Act or of any regulation or order made under this Act or in order to conform with any standard or requirement imposed by or under this Act and the owner or occupier as the case may be alleges that the whole or part of the expenses of the alterations ought to be borne by the occupier or owner, the owner or occupier may apply in accordance with county court rules to the county court, and the court, after hearing the parties and any witnesses whom they may desire to call, may make such an order concerning the expenses or their apportionment as the court considers just and equitable in the circumstances of the case, regard being had to the terms of any contract between the parties, or in the alternative the court may at the request of the owner or occupier determine the lease.

148Application of Arbitration Acts

The Arbitration Acts, 1889 to 1934, shall not apply to proceedings under this Act except in so far as they may be applied by regulations made under this Act.

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