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WSH Act: what is a factory

In accordance with the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act, certain types of workplaces are defined as factories.

Definition of a factory

A factory is any premises in which any of the following is carried out:

  • The making of any article or part of any article.
  • The alteration, repair, ornamentation, finishing, cleaning or washing of any article.
  • Breaking up or demolishing any article.
  • Adapting any article for sale.

Examples of factories include manufacturing plants, car-servicing workshops, shipyards and construction work-sites.

What is considered a factory

The following premises are considered to be factories:

Construction

  • Any premises where building operations or any work of engineering construction are carried out.

Manufacturing

Any premises:

  • Using an assembly-line manufacturing process to manufacture any goods or products using mechanical power, for the purposes of trade or gain (excludes restaurants or kitchens).
  • Used for the manufacturing of fabricated metal products, machinery or equipment, for the purposes of trade or gain.
  • Used for the manufacturing of wood products using mechanical power, for the purposes of trade or gain.
  • Used for the production of gas for commercial sale.
  • Used for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.

General

Any premises where:

  • Mechanical power is used in connection with making or repairing any article as part of any business carried on for trade or gain.
  • Mechanical power is used in connection with sorting, packing, handling or storing articles for trade, gain or as part of another business.
  • Articles are made or prepared incidentally to any building operations or any work of engineering construction, not being premises in which such operations or work are being carried out.

Flammable, corrosive or toxic substances

Any premises:

  • Used for the processing or manufacturing of flammable, corrosive or toxic substances, including petroleum, petroleum products, petrochemical or petrochemical products.
  • Where the treatment, coating or electroplating of metal products involving the use of flammable, corrosive or toxic substances is carried out.
  • Where the washing or filling of bottles, containers or vessels that contain or had contained flammable, corrosive or toxic substances is carried out. This excludes premises where vehicles are filled with fuel as a commercial undertaking.

Printing

  • Any premises where printing by letter press, offset, lithography, photogravure, rotogravure or other similar process, or the binding of such printed materials, is carried out.

Storage facilities

Any premises:

  • Used for the storage of gas (including liquefied gas) in a container having a storage capacity of not less than 140 cubic metres. This excludes premises where gas is stored for filling vehicles with fuel as a commercial undertaking.
  • Used for the bulk storage of toxic or flammable liquid (excluding liquefied gas) in a container, not being an underground container, that has a storage capacity of not less than 5,000 cubic metres.

Shipyards

  • Any yard (including any dock, wharf, jetty, quay and the surrounding area) where the construction, reconstruction, repair, refitting, finishing or breaking up of ships is carried out. It includes the waters adjacent to any such yard where the construction, reconstruction, repair, refitting, finishing or breaking up of ships is carried out by or on behalf of the occupier of that yard.

Utilities

  • Any premises where work is carried out for generating electrical energy for trade or gain.
  • Any premises where mechanical power is used for or in connection with a water supply.
  • Any sewage works that use mechanical power and pumping stations.

Vehicle repair

  • Any premises where the construction, reconstruction or repair of locomotives, aircraft, vehicles or other plant used for transport purposes is carried on as ancillary to a transport undertaking or other industrial or commercial undertaking. This excludes premises used for housing locomotives, aircraft or vehicles where only cleaning, washing, running repairs or minor adjustments are carried out.