This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
(36.) The Factories and Workshops Acts. The Factories and Workshops Acts in force are those of 1878, 1883, 1891, and 1895, and the Cotton Cloth Factory Acta of 1889 and 1897. The Factory Acts may also be said to include the Shop Hours Acts, 1892, 1893, 1895; the Truck Acts, 1831 and 1887; the Quarries Act, 1894; and the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1894.
These acts deal with Factories, Workshops, Domestic Factories, and Domestic Workshops.
(37.) Textile and Non-Textile Factories - Workshops. Factories are divided into textile and non-textile. The definition of "Factory" given in the Acts is long and complicated; it includes a list of various manufactures which under any circumstances are factories, while others such as hat-works, rope-works, bake-houses, lace-warehouses, shipbuilding yards, quarries, pit-banks, and laundries, are "Factories" if strain or other |>ower is employed, but "Workshops*' if only manual labour is employed. Outside the list it may Ik? generally stated that trades where no steam or power is employed, come under the definition of "Workshop", but those where power is used, under the definition of "Factory". Domestic Factories and Workshops are buildings in which workers dwell who are all members of the same family, and in which no power is used.
(38.) General Scope of the Factory Acts. The Acts quoted above deal with overcrowding, ventilation, nuisances, and cleansing or purifying. They regulate the hours of work, holidays, and meal-times; they restrict. the employment children, young persons, and women;1 they make provision for the education of children legally employed, they provide against accidents from machinery, and also provide special precautions to be taken, in certain extra-dangerous trades.
(39.) Duties and Powers of Local Authorities as to Factories and Workshops. The Local Sanitary Authority has the duty of inspecting "Workshops and Workplaces", whereas "Factories en inspected by special inspectors appointed by the Home Office; nevertheless the general sanitary state of factories comes under the supervision of the Local Sanitary Authority, besides which a Home Office Inspector is obliged to report sanitary defects to the Local Authoritv (Factories and Workshops Act. 1878, §4). It is the duty of the Local Authority to inform the Inspector what measures they have taken to attend to the matter reported to them (Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, §3), and if the Local
Authority have not attended either to this particular complaint, or have failed in any case to abate nuisances in Factories, Workshops, or Laundries, the Secretary of State can authorize the Inspector to take proceedings, the latter then having for that particular case the powers of the Sanitary Authority. On conviction the expenses fall on the Sanitary Authority (ibid. 1891. §§ 1 and 2).
Factories or Workshops in such a condition that any manufacturing process carried on therein cannot be so carried on without danger to health or to life or limb, may be closed by complaint of an Inspector before a Court of Summary Jurisdiction (Factories and Workshops Act, 1895. §§ 2, 5). Or they may be-restricted (ibid., § 28), or the Chief Inspector may make rules to be confirmed by the Secretar of State for their special regulation (Factories and Workshops Act, 1891, §8).
In trades where dust, gas, or vapour is produced or evolved, an Ins] may direct a fan or other mechanical contrivance to be provided (Factories and Workshops Act, 1878, § 36; Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, § 33).
Factories have to be cleansed, limewhited, or painted and varnished, at certain periods, unless such processes are for special reasons inapplicable (Fac-tories and Workshops Act, 1878, § 33). Workshops are to be limewashed. cleansed, or purified when necessary, on notice by the Sanitary Authority (Factories and Workshops Act, 1891, § 4).
The minimum cubic space in Factories and Workshops is now definitely fixed at 250 cubic feet per adult, but overtime workers must be provided with 400 cubic feet; these numbers, where other illuminants than electricity are employed, may be revised by the Secretary of State (Factories and Workshops Act, 1878, § 3; Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, § 1).
1 A "child" is a person under 14. a "young person" above 14 and under 18, a "woman" 18 years of age and above.
In poisoning by lead, phosphorus, or arsenic, or infection by anthrax, contracted in a Factory or Workshop, the medical attendant is bound to notify to the Chief Inspector of Factories (Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, § 29). Occupiers of Factories, Workshops, or Laundries, or others, must not allow wearing apparel to be made, cleaned, or repaired in any dwelling-house or building occupied therewith, whilst any inmate is suffering from scarlet fever or small-pox, under a penalty of £10 or less (Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, § 6). Lavatories for the purpose of personal cleanliness are obliged to be provided for workers in lead, arsenic, or other poisonous substances (Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, § 30).
(40.) Bakehouses. Bakehouses in towns with over 5000 inhabitants are subject to some special regulations with regard to regular limewhiting and cleansing (Factories and Workshops Act, 1878, § 34), with regard to the prevention of persons sleeping on the same level with the bakehouse, in a room communicating directly with the said bakehouse, and for the prevention of any addition to the number of underground bakehouses. No new underground bakehouse can now be constructed in towns; only those may be used which were in existence and use on January 1st, 1896 (Factories and Workshops Act, 1895, § 27).