According to sources, several small explosive devices were also set off at the Air Products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.
An Islamist flag was found near the attack site and a man has been arrested.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is said to be on his way to the scene.
The attack happened around 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT), according to local media.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has ordered to step up the security around Lyon after the attack.
The attack comes nearly six months after Charlie Hebdo and Supermarket attack in and around Paris that killed 17 people.