Important Provisions of the Factories Act, 1948
2. Interpretation:- In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-
(cb) “hazardous process” means any process or activity in relation to an industry specified in the First Schedule where, unless special care is taken, raw materials used therein or the intermediate or finished products, by-products, wastes or effluents thereof would-
(i) cause material impairment to the health of the persons engaged in or connected there with, or
(ii) result in the pollution of the general environment:
Provided that the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, amend the First Schedule by way of addition, omission or variation of any industry specified in the said Schedule
(n) “occupier” of a factory means the person who has ultimate control over the affairs of the factory ( * * * )(1) : (2) [Provided that
(i) in the case of a firm or other association of individuals, any one of the individual partners or members thereof shall be deemed to be the occupier;
(ii) in the case of a company, any one of the directors shall be deemed to be the occupier;
(iii) in the case of a factory owned or controlled by the Central Government or any State Government, or any local authority, the person or persons appointed to manage the affairs of the factory by the Central Government, the State Government or the local authority, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be the occupier:
(3)[(4)[Provided further that in the case of a ship which is being repaired, or on which maintenance work is being carried out, in a dry dock which is available for hire,-
(1) the owner of the dock shall be deemed to be the occupier for the purposes of any
matter provided for by or under -
(a) Section 6, Section 7, (5)[Section 7-A, Section 7-B, Section 11 or Section 12;
(b) Section 17, in so far as it relates to the providing and maintenance of sufficient and suitable lighting in or around the dock;
(c) Section 18, Section 19, Section 42, Section 46, Section 47 or Section 49, in relation to the workers employed on such repair or maintenance;
(6)[7-A. General duties of the occupier – (1) Every occupier shall ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all workers while they are at work in the factory.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), the matters to which such duty extends, shall include -
(a) the provisions and maintenance of plant and systems of work in the factory that are safe and without risks to health;
(b) the arrangements in the factory for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substance;
(c) the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as are necessary to ensure the health and safety of all workers at work;
(d) the maintenance of all places of work in the factory in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of such means of access to, and egress from, such places as are safe and without such risks;
(e) the provision, maintenance or monitoring of such working environment in the factory for the workers that is safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.
(3) Except in such cases as may be prescribed, every occupier shall prepare, and, as often as may be appropriate, revise, a written statement of his general policy with respect to the health and safety of the workers at work and the organisation and arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision thereof to the notice of all the workers in such manner as may be prescribed.]
(7)[7-B. General duties of manufacturers, etc. as regards articles and substances for use in factories. – (1) Every person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article for use in any factory shall -
(a) ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the article is so designed and constructed as to be safe and without risks to the health of the workers when properly used;
(b) carry out or arrange for the carrying out of such tests and examination as may be considered necessary for the effective implementation of the provisions of clause (a),
(c) take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that adequate information will be available-
(i) in connection with the use of the article in any factory;
(ii) about the use for which it is designed and tested; and
(iii) about any conditions necessary to ensure that the article, when put to such use, will be safe, and without risks to the health of the workers:
Provided that where an article is designed or manufactured outside India, it shall be obligatory on the part of the importer to see -
(a) that the article conforms to the same standards such article is manufactured in India, or
(b) if the standards, adopted in the country outside for the manufacture of such article is above the standards adopted in India, that the article conforms to such standards.
(2) Every person, who undertakes to design or manufacture any article for use in any factory, may carry out or arrange for the carrying out of necessary research with a view to the discovery and, so far as is reasonably practicable, the elimination or minimisation of any risks to the health or safety of the workers to which the design or article may give rise.
(3) Nothing contained in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall be construed to require a person to repeat the testing, examination or research which has been carried out otherwise than by him at his instance in so far as it is reasonable for him to rely on the results thereof for the purpose of the said sub-sections.
(4) Any duty imposed on any person by sub-sections (1) and (2) shall extend only to things done in the course of business carried on by him and to matters within his control.
(5) Where a person designs, manufactures, imports or supplies an article on the basis of a written undertaking by the user of such article to take the steps specified in such undertaking to ensure, so far as is reasonably particable, that the article will be safe and without risks to the health of the workers when properly used, the undertaking shall have the effect of relieving the person designing, manufacturing, importing or supplying the article from the duty imposed by clause (a) of sub-section (1) to such extent as is reasonable having regard to the terms of the undertaking.
(6) For the purposes of this section, an article is not to be regarded as properly used if it is used without regard to any information or advice relating to its use which has been made available by the person who has designed, mnufactured, imported or supplied the article.
Explanation. – For the purposes of this section, “article” shall include plant and machinery.]
31. Pressure plant – (8)[(1) If in any factory, any plant or machinery or any part thereof is operated at a pressure above atmospheric pressure, effective measures shall be taken to ensure that the safe working pressure of such plant or machinery or part is not exceeded.
(2) The State Government may make rules providing for the examination and testing of any plant or machinery such as is referred to in sub-section (1) and prescribing such other safety measures in relation thereto as may in its opinion be necessary in any factory or class or description of factories.
(9)[(3) The State Government may, by rules, exempt, subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, any part of any plant or machinery referred to in sub-section (1) from the provisions of this section.
(10)[36. Precautions against dangerous fumes, gases, etc. – (1) No person shall be required or allowed to enter any chamber, tank, vat, pit, pipe, flue or other confined space in any factory in which any gas, fume, vapour or dust is likely to be present to such an extent as to involve risk to persons being overcome thereby, unless it is provided with a manhole of adequate size or other effective means of egress.
(2) No person shall be required or allowed to enter any confined space as is referred to in sub-section (1), until all practicable measures have been taken to remove any gas, fume, vapour or dust, which may be present so as to bring its level within the permissible limits and to prevent any ingress of such gas, fume, vapour or dust unless -
(a) a certificate in writing has been given by a competent person, based on a test carried out by himself that the space is reasonably free from dangerous gas, fume, vapour or dust; or
(b) such person is wearing suitable breathing apparatus and a belt securely attached to a rope the free end of which is held by a person outside the confined space.]
(11)[38. Precautions in case of fire. – (1) In every factory, all practicable measures shall be taken to prevent outbreak of fire and its spread, both internally and externally, and to provide and maintain-
(a) Safe means of escape for all persons in the event of a fire, and
(b) the necessary equipment and facilities for extinguishing fire.
(2) Effective measures shall be taken to ensure that in every factory all the workers are familiar with the means of escape in case of fire and have been adequately trained in the routine to be followed in such cases.
(3) The State Government may make rules, in respect of any factory or class or description of factories, requiring the measures to be adopted to give effect to the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2).
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (a) of sub-section (1) or subsection (2), if the Chief Inspector, having regard to the nature of the work carried on in any factory, the construction of such factory, special risk to life or safety, or any other circumstances, is of the opinion that the measures provided in the factory, whether as prescribed or not, for the purposes of clause (a) of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), are inadequate, he may, by order in writing, require that such additional measures as he may consider reasonable and necessary, be provided in the factory before such date as is specified in the order.
Provisions Relating to Hazardous Processes
41-A. Constitution of Site Appraisal Committees:- (1) The State Government may, for purposes of advising it to consider applications for grant of permission for the initial location of a factory involving a hazardous process or for the expansion of any such factory, appoint a Site Appraisal Committee consisting of -
(a) the Chief Inspector of the State who shall be its Chairman;
(b) a representative of the Central Boards for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution appointed by the Central Government under Section 3 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
(c) a representative of the Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution referred to in Section 3 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
(d) a representative of the State Board appointed under Section 4 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
(e) a representative of the State Board for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution referred to in Section 5 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
(f) a representative of the Department of Environment in the State;
(g) a representative of the Meteorological Department of the Government of India;
(h) an expert in the field of occupational health; and
(i) a representative of the Town Planning Department of the State Government,
and not more than five other members who may be co-opted by the State Government who shall be -
(i) A scientist having specialised knowledge of the hazardous process which will be involved in the factory,
(ii) A representative of the local authority within whose jurisdiction the factory is to be established, and
(iii) not more than three other persons as deemed fit by the State Government.
(2) The Site Appraisal Committee shall examine an application for the establishment of a factory involving hazardous process and make its recommendation to the State Government within a period of ninety days of the receipt of such applications in the prescribed form.
(3) Where any process relates to a factory owned or controlled by the Central Government or to a corporation or a company owned or controlled by the Central Government, the State Government shall co-opt in the Site Appraisal Committee a representative nominated by the Central Government as a member of that Committee.
(4) The site Appraisal Committee shall have power to call for any information from the person making an application for the establishment or expansion of a factory involving a hazardous process.
(5) Where the State Government has granted approval to an application for the establishment or expansion of a factory involving a hazardous process, it shall not be necessary for an applicant to obtain a further approval from the Central Board or the State Board established under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974-(6 of 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (14 of 1981).
41-B. Compulsory disclosure of information by the occupier. – (1) The occupier of every factory involving a hazardous process shall disclose in the manner prescribed all information regarding dangers, including health hazards and the measures to overcome such hazards arising from the exposure to or handling of the materials or substances in the manufacture, transportation, storage and other processes, to the workers employed in the factory, the Chief Inspector, the local authority within whose jurisdiction the factory is situated and the general public in the vicinity.
(2) The occupier shall, at the time of registering the factory involving a hazardous process, lay down a detailed policy with respect to the health and safety of the workers employed therein and intimate such policy to the Chief Inspector and the local authority and, thereafter, at such intervals as may be prescribed, inform the Chief Inspector and the local authority of any change made in the said policy.
(3) The information furnished under sub-section (1) shall include accurate information as to the quantity, specifications and other characteristics of waste and the manner of their disposal.
(4) Every occupier shall, with the approval of the Chief Inspector, draw up an on-site emergency plan and detailed disaster control measures for his factory and make known to the workers employed therein and to the general public living in the vicinity of the factory the safety measures required to be taken in the event of an accident taking place.
(5) every occupier of a factory shall,-
(a) if such factory engaged in a hazardous process on the commencement of the Factories (Amendment) Act, 1987, within a period of thirty days of such commencement; and
(b) if such factory proposes to engage in a hazardous process at any time after such commencement, within a period of thirty days before the commencement of such process,
inform the Chief Inspector of the nature and details of the process in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.
(6) Where any occupier of a factory contravenes the provisions of sub-section (5), the licence issued under Section 6 to such factory shall, notwithstanding any penalty to which the occupier of factory shall be subjected to under the provisions of this Act, be liable for cancellation.
(7) The occupier of a factory involving a hazardous process shall, with the previous approval of the Chief Inspector, lay down measures for the handling, usage, transportation and storage of hazardous substances inside the factory premises and the disposal of such substances outside the factory premises and publicize them in the manner prescribed among the workers and the general public living in the vicinity.
41-C. Specific responsibility of the occupier in relation to hazardous processes. – Every occupier of a factory involving any hazardous process shall -
(a) maintain accurate and up-to-date health records or, as the case may be, medical records, of the workers in the factory who are exposed to any chemical, toxic or any other harmful substances which are manufactured, stored, handled or transported and such records shall be accessible to the workers subject to such conditions as may be prescribed;
(b) appoint persons who possess qualifications and experience in handling hazardous substances and are competent to supervise such handling within the factory and to provide at the working place all the necessary facilities for protecting the workers in the manner prescribed:
Provided that where any question arises as to the qualifications and experience of a person so appointed, the decision of the Chief Inspector shall be final;
(c) provided for medical examination of very worker -
(i) before such worker is assigned to a job involving the handling of, or working with, a hazardous substance, and
(ii) while continuing in such job, and after he has ceased to work in such job, at intervals not exceeding twelve months, in such manner as may be prescribed.
41-D. Power of Central Government to appoint Inquiry Committee. – (1) The Central Government may, in the event of the occurrence of an extraordinary situation involving a factory engaged in a hazardous process, appoint an Inquiry Committee to inquire into the standards of health and safety observed in the factory with a view to finding out the causes of any failure or neglect in the adoption of any measures or standards prescribed for the health and safety of the workers employed in the factory or the general public affected, or likely to be affected, due to such failure or neglect and for the prevention and recurrence of such extraordinary situations in future in such factory or elsewhere.
(2) The Committee appointed under sub-section (1) shall consist of a Chairman and two other members and the terms of reference of the Committee and the tenure of office of its members shall be such as may be determined by the Central Government according to the requirements of the situation.
(3) The recommendations of the Committee shall be advisory in nature.
41-E. Emergency standards. – (1) Where the Central Government is satisfied that no standards of safety have been prescribed in respect of a hazardous process or class of hazardous processes, or where the standard so prescribed are inadequate, it may direct the Director-General of Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes or any institution specialised in matters relating to standards of safety in hazardous processes, to lay down emergency standards for enforcement of suitable standards in respect of such hazardous processes.
(2) The emergency standards laid down under sub-section (1) shall, until they are incorporated in the rules made under this Act, be enforceable and have the same effect as if they had been incorporated in the rules made under this Act.
(12)41-E. Permissible limits of exposure of chemical and toxic substances – (1) The maximum permissible threshold limits of exposure of chemical and toxic substances in manufacturing processes (whether hazardous or otherwise) in any factory shall be of the value indicated in the Second Schedule.
(2) The Central Government may, at any time, for the purpose of giving effect to any scientific proof obtained from specialised institutions or experts in the field, by notification in the Official Gazette, make suitable changes in the said Schedule.
41-G. Workers’ participation in safety management. – (1) The occupier shall, in every factory where a hazardous process takes place, or where hazardous substances are used or handled, set up a Safety Committee consisting of equal number of representatives of workers management to promote co-operation between the workers and the management in maintaining proper safety and health at work and to review periodically the measures taken in that behalf:
Provided that the State Government may, by order in writing and for reasons to be recorded, exempt the occupier of any factory or class of factories from setting up such Committee.
(2) The composition of the Safety Committee, the tenure of office of its members and their rights and duties shall be such as may be prescribed.
41-H. Right of workers to warn about imminent danger. – (1) Where the workers employed in any factory engaged in a hazardous process have reasonable apprehension that there is likelihood of imminent danger to their lives or health due to any accident, they may bring the same to the notice of the occupier, agent, manager or any other person who is incharge of the factory or the process concerned directly or through their representatives in the Safety Committee and simultaneously bring the same to the notice of the inspector.
(2) It shall be the duty of such occupier, agent, manager or the person incharge of the factory or process to take immediate remedial action if he is satisfied about the existence of such imminent danger and send a report forthwith of the action taken to the nearest Inspector.
(3) If the occupier, agent, manager or the person incharge referred to in sub-section (2) is not satisfied about the existence of any imminent danger as apprehended by the workers, he shall, nevertheless, refer the matter forthwith to the nearest Inspector whose decision on the question of the existence of such imminent danger shall be final.
(13)[87-A.Power to prohibit employment on account of serious hazard. – (1) Where it appears to the Inspector that conditions in a factory or part thereof are such that they may cause serious hazard by way of injury or death to the persons employed therein or to the general public in the vicinity, he may, by order in writing to the occupier of the factory, state the particulars in respect of which he considers the factory or part thereof to be the cause of such serious hazard and prohibit such occupier from employing any person in the factory or any part thereof other than the minimum number of persons necessary to attend to the minimum tasks till the hazard is removed.
(2) Any order issued by the Inspector under sub-section (1) shall have effect for a period of three days until extended by the Chief Inspector by a subsequent order.
(3) Any person aggrieved by an order of the Inspector under sub-section (1), and the Chief Inspector under sub-section (2), shall have the right to appeal to the High Court.
(4) Any person whose employment has been affected by an order issued under sub-section (1), shall be entitled to wages and other benefits and it shall be the duty of the occupier to provide alternative employment to him wherever possible and in the manner prescribed.
(5) The provisions of sub-section (4) shall be without prejudice to the rights of the parties under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947).
(14)[96-A.Penalty for contravention of the provisions of Sections 41, 41-C and 41-H. – B (1) Whoever fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of Sections 41-B, 41-C or 41-H or the rules made thereunder, shall, in respect of such failure or contravention, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees, and in case the failure or contravention continues, with additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such failure or contravention.
(2) If the failure or contravention referred to in sub-section (1) continues beyond a period of one year after the date of conviction, the offender shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years.
(15)[104-A.Onus of proving limits of what is practicable, etc. - In any proceeding for an offence for the contravention of any provision of this Act or rules made thereunder consisting of a failure to comply with a duty or requirement to do something, it shall be for the person who is alleged to have failed to comply with such duty or requirement, to prove that it was not reasonably practicable or, as the case may be, all practicable measures were taken to satisfy the duty or requirement.]
111- A. Right of workers, etc. – Every worker shall have the right to -
(i) obtain from the occupier, information relating to worker’s health and safety at work.
(ii) get trained within the factory wherever possible, or, to get himself sponsored by the occupier for getting trained at a training centre or institute, duly approved by the Chief Inspector, where training is imparted for workers’ health and safety at work.
(iii) represent to the Inspector directly or through his representative in the matter of inadequate provision for protection of his health or safety in the factory.
118-A. Restriction on disclosure of Information. – (1) Every Inspector shall treat as confidential the source of any complaint brought to his notice on the breach of any provision of this Act.
(2) No Inspector shall, while making an inspection under this Act, disclose to the occupier, manager or his representative that the inspection is made in pursuance of the receipt of a complaint:
Provided that noting in this sub-section shall apply to any case in which the person who has made the complaint has consented to disclose his name.
1. Omitted by Act 20 of 1987 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
2. Ins. by Act 20 of 1987 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
3. Ins. by Act 94 of 1976 (w.e.f. 26-10-1996)
4. Subs. by Act 20 of 1987 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
5. Ins. by Act 20 of 1987 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
6. S.7-A ins. by Act 20 of 1987, S.4(w.e.f. 1-23-1987)
7. Ins. by Act 20 of 1987, S.4(w.e.f. 1-6-1988)
8. Subs. by Act 20 of 1987, S.15 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
9. Ins. by Act 94 of 1976 (w.e.f. 26-10-1976(
10. Subs. by Act 20 of 1987, S.17 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
11. Subs. by Act 20 of 1987, S.19(w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
12. Enforced along with Second Schedule w.e.f. 1-6-1988.
13. Ins. by Act 20 0f 1987, S.26 (w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
14. Ins. by Act 20 of 1987, S.34(w.e.f. 1-12-1987)
15. Ins. by Act 20 of 1987, S.34(w.e.f. 1-12-1987)