Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Factories Act, 1948 : Provisions for Labour Welfare in India

Some of the provisions relating to the Labour Welfare as mentioned in the Factories Act, 1948 are: (1) Washing Facilities (2) Facilities for storing and drying clothing (3) Facilities for sitting (4) First aid appliances (5) Canteens (6) Shelters, rest rooms and lunch rooms (7) Creches and (8) Welfare officers
The Factories Act, 1948 contains the following provisions relating to Labour Welfare: 

(1) Washing Facilities:

In every factory (a) adequate and suitable facilities shall be provided and maintained for the use of workers; (b) separate and adequately screened facilities shall be provided for the use of male and female workers; (c) such facilities shall be easily accessible and shall be kept clean.

(2) Facilities for storing and drying clothing:

In every factory provision for suitable place should exist for keeping clothing not worn during working hours and for the drying of wet clothing.

(3) Facilities for sitting:

In every factory, suitable arrangements for sitting shall be provided and maintained for all workers who are obliged to work in a standing position so that the workers may take advantage of any opportunity for rest which may occur in the course of work. If in any factory workers can efficiently do their work in a sitting position, the Chief inspector may require the occupier of the factory to provide such seating arrangements as may be practicable.

(4) First aid appliances:

Under the Act, the provisions for first-aid appliances are obligatory. At least one first-aid box or cupboard with the prescribed contents should be maintained for every 150 workers. It should be readily accessible during all working hours.
Each first-aid box or cupboard shall be kept in the charge of a separate responsible person who holds a certificate in the first-aid treatment recognised by the State Government and who shall always be readily available during the working hours of the factory.
In every factory wherein more than 500 workers are ordinarily employed there shall be provided and maintained an ambulance room of the prescribed size containing the prescribed equipment. The ambulance room shall be in the charge of properly qualified medical and nursing staff. These facilities shall always be made readily available during the working hours of the factory.

(5) Canteens:

In every factory employing more than 250 workers, the State government may make rules requiring that a canteen or canteens shall be provided for the use of workers. Such rules may provide for (a) the date by which the canteen shall be provided, (b) the standards in respect of constitution, accommodation, furniture and other equipment of the canteen; (c) the foodstuffs to be served therein and charges which may be paid thereof; (d) the constitution of a managing committee for the canteens and representation of the workers in the management of the canteen; (e) the items of expenditure in the running of the canteen which are not to be taken into account in fixing the cost of foodstuffs and which shall be borne by the employer; (f) the delegation to the Chief inspector, of the power to make rules under clause (c).

(6) Shelters, rest rooms and lunch rooms:

In every factory wherein more than 150 workers are ordinarily employed, there shall be a provision for shelters, rest room and a suitable lunch room where workers can eat meals brought by them with provision for drinking water.
Where a lunch room exists, no worker shall eat any food in the work room. Such shelters or rest rooms or lunch rooms shall be sufficiently lighted and ventilated and shall be maintained in a cool and clean condition.

(7) Creches:

In every factory wherein more than 30 women workers are ordinarily employed there shall be provided and maintained a suitable room or rooms for the use of children under the age of six years of such women.
Such rooms shall provide adequate accommodation, shall be adequately lighted and ventilated, shall be maintained in clean and proper sanitary conditions and shall be under the charge of women trained in the care of children and infants.
The State government may make rules for the provision of additional facilities for the care of children belonging to women workers including suitable provision of facilities:—
(a) For washing and changing their clothing
(b) of free milk or refreshment or both for the children, and
(c) for the mothers of children to feed them at the necessary intervals.

(8) Welfare officers:

In every factory wherein 500 or more workers are ordinarily employed, the occupier shall employ in the factory such number of welfare officers as may be prescribed under Sec. 49(1). The State government may prescribe the duties, qualifications and conditions of service of such officers.