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In Focus: Factories Act 1961

Accidents at work can be a deeply unsettling and unnerving time for the victims, as well as a concerning, not to mention expensive, period. The modern British workforce should be grateful to work in an era in which numerous health and safety laws and legislations are in place to protect their wellbeing and help to prevent workplace injuries.

There were a number of key watershed moments along the road to the comparatively safe and secure working environments most of us enjoy today. One of which was undoubtedly the introduction of the Factories Act 1961. The mission of the Act, officially introduced on the 22nd June 1961, was to “consolidate the Factories Acts 1937 to 1959 and certain other enactment relating to the safety, health and welfare of employed persons.”

In broad terms, the health part of the Act covered:

  • Cleanliness;
  • Overcrowding;
  • Temperature;
  • Ventilation;
  • Lighting;
  • Drainage of floors;
  • Sanitary conveniences; and
  • Power to require medical supervision.

The safety section of the Act covers a wide range of aspects, including:

  • Prime movers;
  • Transmission machinery;
  • Other machinery;
  • Fencing;
  • Training and supervision of young persons and new employees;
  • Hoists and lifts; and
  • Steam boilers.

The Act also deals with the threat of industrial illnesses and poor health in later life as a result of working conditions by including sections on:

  • The provision of drinking water;
  • Washing facilities;
  • Accommodation for clothing; and
  • Seated facilities and break rooms.

The Act also goes into considerable detail on safety and welfare, detailing the importance of protecting the eyes in certain working conditions, coping mechanisms for working in humid factories, lifting excessive weights and prohibiting the employment of women and young people in certain elements of the manufacturing process and industry.

Given Britain’s long tradition of factory work, it is perhaps something of a concern that so much time passed before proper health and safety laws preventing accidents at work were introduced. Although much of employee safety is now covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, the Factories Act 1961 still applies to this day.

Few things can knock you off an even keel quite like an accident at work. It’s important, therefore, to remember that help is only a phone call away. Accident Advice Helpline offer a free phone service to discuss the validity and strength of your accident claim. From here, we can take your case on a no win no fee basis. Call us today on 0800 689 5659.