A factory is a place of work which can contain numerous risks and dangers to the health and safety of those working within it. Along with the machinery that is contained in the factory there is a risk from other sources such as the chemicals that are either used directly in the production process, created as a by-product of manufacturing or are used indirectly such as cleaning products.
Even when the machinery is stopped there is still a risk to a personís safety from factors such as sharp edges. There is also a risk from in-animate machinery restarting if it is being maintained and suitable safety precautions are not taken such as isolating and locking off the electrical supply to prevent it being accidentally switched back on whilst maintenance work is taking place.
The health and safety of factory provisions and consideration for workers has come a long way in the last hundred years or so. Back in Victorian times horrific injuries and fatalities were an all too common occurrence in the factories of Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution, and often involved children as they were small enough to get into the small spaces between machine parts in the factory and perform cleaning or maintenance, often whilst the machines were still running.
This improvement in the safety and welfare of factory workers has come about in large part thanks to the introduction of health and safety legislation such as the mandatory provision of protective equipment and minimum working ages, along with the increase in health and safety training courses and qualifications which give workers a much greater understanding of the hazards that they may face in a factory or their particular place of work, and the potential consequences and risk to themselves or others of their actions or inactions.