SAFETY PROVISIONS OF FACTORIES ACT 1948
Section 21 to 41 of Chapter III of the Factories Act, 1948 contained the safety provisions of factories act act 1948 of the workers. These provisions are made to provide the safe working environment in the factories to the workers. Safety is the basic and primary requirement and these provisions are incorporated in the act to ensure safety of workers against accidents and hazardous jobs. The details of the provisions are as follows:
SECTION 21: FENCING OF MACHINERY
There is compulsion on the part of occupier of the factory to ensure the proper fencing of machinery with the best method. No occupier can avoid this liability on account of any financial or mechanical reasons. The following machinery must be securely fenced by safeguards of substantial construction:
- Every moving part of the prime mover and every flywheel connected to a prime mover.
- The headrace and tailrace of every water-wheel and water turbine.
- Any part of a stock bar which projects beyond the headstock of a lathe.
- Every part of electric generator, motor or rotary convertor.
- Every dangerous part of any other machinery.
The state government may also prescribe by rules such further precautions in respect of any particular machinery or its part for securing the safety of the workers.
SECTION 22: WORK ON OR NEAR MACHINERY IN MOTION
This provision requires that the machinery shall be lubricated or examined while in motion only by the trained worker. The workers should be adult and his name should be mentioned in the registers of the factory to do the same work. He can do so only after wearing proper tight clothes supplied to him by the occupier of the factory.
Such worker shall not handle the belt at a moving pulley unless:
- The belt is not more than 15 centimeters in the width.
- The pulley is normally for the purpose of drive and merely a fly-wheel or balance wheel.
- The belt joint is either laced or flush with the belt.
- The belt, including the joint and pulley rim are in good condition.
- There is reasonable clearance between the pulley and any fixed plant or structure.
- Secure foothold and secure handhold should be provided wherever it feels necessary.
- Any ladder in use for carrying out the work should be firmly held by the second person.
No women or young worker is allowed to clean, lubricate or adjust any part of the machinery while it is motion if it is likely to expose her or him to risk or injury from any moving part.
SECTION 23: EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG PERSON ON DANGEROUS MACHINES
Section 2 applied only to the young persons. This section provides that no young person shall work on the dangerous machines unless:
- He has been fully instructed to the dangers arising in connection with the machine and the precautions to be observed.
- He has received sufficient training in work at the machine or he is under adequate supervision by a person who has a thorough knowledge and experience of the machine.
The state government is empowered to prescribe the machines that are dangerous for the young workers.
SECTION 24: STRIKING GEAR AND DEVICES FOR CUTTING OFF POWER
In every factory, suitable devices for cutting off power in emergencies from running machinery shall be provided and maintained in every work room.
Also the suitable striking gear or other efficient mechanical appliances shall be provided and maintained to work on transmission machinery.
When a device, which can inadvertently shift from ‘off’ to ‘on’ position is provided, sufficient provision should be made to lock that device in the safe position and out of the reach of non-authorized workers.
SECTION 25: SELF ACTING MACHINES
The use and installation of self acting machines within the distance of 45 centimeters from fixed structure is not allowed. The chief inspector may allow the use of such machines if installed before the commencement of the act along with some conditions to ensure safety.
SECTION 26: CASING OF NEW MACHINES
After the commencement of the Factories Act, 1948, it becomes compulsory to encase the new machinery. Any occupier who does not comply with the provision is punishable with the imprisonment for 3 months or with a fine which may extend to Rs. 500 or both.
SECTION 27: PROHIBITION OF EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN NEAR COTTON OPENER
No women or child can be employed to work for pressing the cotton or near the cotton opener. If the feed end and delivery end room are separated, then inspector may allow in writing the employment of women and children.
SECTION 28: HOISTS AND LIFTS
The hoists and lifts to be installed in the factory should be properly constructed and should be of good mechanical construction, sound material and adequate strength and properly maintained. It must be sufficiently protected by enclosures and must be fitted with gates. It must be examined every six months by a competent person. A register containing the prescribed particulars of every such examination shall also be kept.
The following additional requirements shall apply to hoists and lifts installed or reconstructed in a factory after the commencement of this act:
- There shall be at least two ropes or chains separately connected with a cage and balance weight, each capable of carrying the whole weights of the cage with its maximum load.
- Efficient devices shall be provided and maintained to support the cage in the event of breakage of ropes, chains or attachments.
- An efficient automatic device shall be provided and maintained to prevent the cage from over running.
No lifting machine will be considered as hoist or lift unless it has a proper cage. The state government may grant exemption in respect of any class of lifts from the provisions mentioned above if it thinks fit.
SECTION 29: LIFTING MACHINES, ROPES, CHAINS AND LIFTING TACKLES
The provisions applied to lifting machines, ropes, chains and lifting tackles are as follows:
- These shall be of good construction, sound material and adequate strength and free from defects.
- These should be properly maintained.
- These should be thoroughly examined by a competent person at least once in a year. A register shall be maintained containing the prescribed particulars of every such examination.
The state government makes rules prescribing additional requirements or providing from exemption from compliance with the above provisions where such compliance is unnecessary or impracticable.
SECTION 30: REVOLVING MACHINERY
In every factory, where the revolving machinery is installed, the notice should be placed near to it indicating the maximum safe working speed. Effective measure shall be taken in every factory to ensure that the safe working peripheral speed of every revolving vessel, cage, basket, flywheel pulley, disc or similar appliance driven by power shall not exceed the prescribed limits.
SECTION 31: PRESSURE PLANT
If in any factory any part of the plant or machinery used in a manufacturing process is operated at a pressure, effective measures shall be taken to ensure that the safe working pressure of such part is not exceeded.
The state government may make rules providing for the examination and testing of any pressure plant.
SECTION 32: FLOORS, STAIRS AND MEANS OF ACCESS
In every factory, safe means of access should be provided and maintained at every place where the workers work. The floors, staircases and gangways shall be of sound construction and properly maintained. The floor must be free from the substances that may cause the person to slip.
When any person has to work at a place which is at height exceeding two meters, he must be provided with secure foothold and handled to ensure the safety.
SECTION 33: PITS, SUMPS, OPENINGS IN FLOOR ETC.
The pits, sumps, openings in floor must be properly covered or fenced so that it cannot be a source of damage to any worker. Securely fencing means covering or fencing in such a way that it ceases to be a source of danger to those who have occasion to go near there.
SECTION 34: EXCESSIVE WEIGHTS
The state government is empowered to make the maximum limit of weights to be lifted by the adolescent workers, adult male and female workers and children to be employed in the factory. No person is allowed to lift the weight which can be injurious to his or her health.
SECTION 35: PROTECTION OF EYES
There are many factories which are involving in that kind of manufacturing process which can cause:
- Risk of injury to the eyes from the particles or fragments thrown off in the course of the process.
- Risk to the eyes by reason of excessive light.
In such cases, there is compulsion of using the goggles or screen while on work. The goggles are to be provided by the occupier. Also the worker should be informed about the harm which can be caused due to any negligence while performing the job. Also the state government is empowered to make rules in such case.
SECTION 6: PROTECTION AGAINST DANGEROUS FENCES
To protect against the workers from the dangerous fences, no one is allowed to enter any pit, tank, chamber, flue or any other confined space in the factory. A worker is allowed only if:
- A certificate in writing has been given by a competent person, based on a test carried out by himself that the space is reasonable free from dangerous gas, fumes or vapour or dust.
- Such person is wearing suitable breathing apparatus and a belt securely attached to a rope the free end of which is held by the person outside the confined space.
The state government has the power to make rules prescribing the minimum dimension of manhole and may also grant exemptions in particular cases.
SECTION 36 A: PRECAUTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF PORTABLE ELECTRIC LIGHTS
There are some provisions laid down in relation to the use of portable electric lights as this can also harm the workers when it comes into the contact with any dangerous gas. The provisions are as follows:
- No portable lights having voltage of more than 24 volts is allowed to be used in a tank, chamber, pit or vat unless adequate safety devices are provided.
- If any inflammable gas is present in the confined space, then only flame proof portable light is allowed to be used.
SECTION 37: EXPLOSIVE OR INFLAMMABLE GAS
The factories may carry on the production process in which there is involvement of inflammable gas which may lead to explosion. In such cases, all practicable measures shall be taken to prevent such explosion by:
- Effective enclosure of the plant or machinery in the process.
- Removal or prevention of accumulation of such dust, gas, fume or vapor.
- Exclusion or effective enclosure of all possible sources of ignition.
Where any part of a plant or machinery contains explosive or inflammable gas or vapor at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, the part shall not be allowed to open unless
- The flow of gas or vapor must be effectively stopped.
- All practical measures must be taken to reduce the pressure to atmospheric pressure
- Where the fastening of such part has been loosened or removed, the fastening mist e secured or securely replaced.
The state government may make rules to allow exemption if it thinks fit in this regard.
SECTION 38: PREVENTION IN CASE OF FIRE
In every factory, all practicable measures should be taken to prevent the outbreak of fire internally as well as externally. The provisions are to maintain
- Safe means to escape for all the persons in case of fire as may be prescribed.
- The necessary equipment and facilities for extinguishing the fire.
Also all the workers of the factory must be well known to the fire extinguishers installed in the factory and know the way to use it.
The state government is empowered to make rules in this regard.
The chief inspector is empowered to make additional rules applicable to any class of factory and may order in writing to follow the rules.
SECTION 39: POWER TO REQUIRE SPECIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE PARTS OR TESTS OR STABILITY
In case the inspector, who examines the factory, finds that any part of factory building or machinery is dangerous to human life, the inspector may order the occupier of the factory:
To finish, drawings, specifications and other particulars as be may be necessary to determine whether such building, ways, machinery or plant can be used with safety.
To carry out the test in specified manner and inform the inspector of the result thereof.
SECTION 40: SAFETY OF BUILDINGS AND MACHINERY
The occupier has to ensure the safety of buildings and machinery in the workers are employed. In case there is any default, the inspector is empowered to serve the written notice to the occupier to get the building or machinery repaired. Also the inspector can prohibit its use unless it can get fully repaired.
SECTION 40 A: MAINTENANCE OF BUILDINGS
The inspector appointed under this act has to ensure that every factory has a repaired building which is not detrimental to health or safety to the workers. He may serve a written notice to the occupier of the factory to get the building of factory repaired before a specified date, if he finds any discrepancy.
SECTION 40 B: SAFETY OFFICERS
Section 40 B requires the appointment of safety officers in every factory:
- Wherein 1000 or more workers are ordinarily employed.
- Wherein the manufacturing process carried on in the factory is of hazardous nature in the eyes of state government.
The duties, qualifications and conditions of service of the safety officers shall be such as may be prescribed by the state government.
SECTION 41: POWER TO MAKE RULES
The state government may make rules requiring the use of such further devices and measures for safety as may be necessary.
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