Factories Act, 1955

Underground rooms.

64.—(1) Work shall not be carried on in any underground room (not being an underground room used only for the purpose of storage or for some purpose excepted by order of the Minister) which is certified by the Minister to be unsuitable for the purpose as regards construction, height, light or ventilation, or on any hygienic ground, or on the ground that adequate means of escape in case of fire are not provided.

(2) Where the Minister certifies under subsection (1) of this section as unsuitable any room which is in actual use, he shall suspend the operation of the certificate for such period as he considers reasonable with a view to enabling the occupier to render the room suitable or to obtain other premises.

(3) In the case of any underground room which at the commencement of this Act does not form part of a factory or is not used as a workroom in a factory or is used only for the purpose of storage or for some purpose excepted by order under subsection (1) of this section, the occupier—

(a) shall, before the room is used for work for which it may be certified as unsuitable under this section, give notice in writing to the Minister and supply the Minister with such information as the Minister may require him to give,

(b) shall not use the room for any such process as may be specified in regulations made by the Minister, being a process of a hot, wet or dusty nature, or which is liable to give off any fume, without the consent in writing of the Minister.

(4) If the occupier is aggrieved by any decision of the Minister under this section—

(a) he may, within twenty-one days of the date of issue of the certificate or the refusal of the consent, as the case may be, appeal by way of complaint to the District Court,

(b) pending the final determination of an appeal against a decision under subsection (1) of this section in the case of a room in actual use, no offence shall be deemed to be committed by reference to that subsection in respect of the room to which the appeal relates,

(c) the decision of the Court shall in all cases be binding on the occupier and the Minister.

(5) In this section, “underground room” means any room which or any part of which is so situate that half or more than half the whole height thereof, measured from the floor to the ceiling, is below the surface of the footway of the adjoining street or of the ground adjoining or nearest to the room.