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All about the Factories Act, 1948 in India

Bhawna Dang

| Updated: Apr 03, 2020 | Category: Legal, Legal Law

All-about-the-Factories-Act,-1948-in-India

The Factories Act 1948 in India, has been enacted to ensure adequate safety measures for the workers and employees of a workplace that comes under the ambit of a Factory and to promote the health and safety of the workers. The Factories Act is one of the key legislations under the employment and labour laws in India, and this makes it important to have a thorough knowledge of the Act. This guide discusses the key provisions of the Factories Act 1942.

What is a Factory under Factories Act 1948?

A factory means any premise which includes the following:

  • Where the manufacturing process is performed with the aid of power or carried on ordinarily, then whereon:
    1. ten or more workers are working,
    2. Or have worked on any day of the preceding twelve months.
  • Where the manufacturing process is performed without the aid of power or carried ordinarily on then whereon:
    1. twenty or more workers are working or,
    2. had worked on any day of the preceding twelve months

It doesn’t include a mine subject to the provisions of the Mining Act or the mobile units which belong to the Armed Forces of the Union, railway running shed or a hotel, restaurant or eating place.

What is Manufacturing Process under Factories Act?

A manufacturing process under the Factories Act 1948 is defined as any process relating to the following activities:

  1. Altering, repairing, ornamenting finishing, packing, oiling, washing, clean, break up, demolish, or otherwise treating article or substance for its use, sale, transport, delivery or disposal; or
  2. Pumping oil, water, sewage or any other content; or
  3. Generating, transforming or transmitting power; or
  4. Composing types for printing, printing by letterpress, lithography, photogravure or different similar process or bookbinding;
  5. Constructing, repairing, refitting, finishing or breaking up ships or vessels;
  6. Preserving any article in cold storage.

Occupier means the individual who holds ultimate controls under the Factories Act, 1942.

Procedure for Registration under Factories Act 1948

A State Government has the authority to make rules relating to factories that operate within its territories. Each factory that requires registration under the Factories Act 1948 needs to apply for the following:

Permission for Premises

Prior consent of the State Government/ Chief Inspector is required for the premises for establishing the factory or doing any construction or extension of factories.

Submission of Plan

The applicant may submit the plan of any class or description of factories to the Chief Inspector or the State Government. Specification of project needs to be submitted along with the nature of such a plan, confirming by whom that need to be certified.

Fees Payable

The necessary fees in this regard shall be payable for such registration and licensing and the renewal of licenses.

Notice by the Occupier

The occupier is required to give a minimum of fifteen days before the occupier can begin to occupy or use any premises as a factory. The occupier is required to send the Chief Inspector a written notice containing the following particulars as per the Factories Act.

  1. The name and address of the factory, occupier, owner of premises or building, and communication address.
  2. The nature of the manufacturing process which has carried in the factory:
    • During the last twelve months if the factory is in existence on the date of commencement of Act.
    • Shall be carried during the next twelve months in the factories;
    • The total rated horsepower installed or to be installed in the factory, which shall not include the rated horsepower of any separate stand-by plant;]
  3. The name of the manager of the factory.
  4. The number of workers about to be employed in the factory;
  5. During the last twelve months Average number of workers employed per day in case the factory is in existence from the date of the commencement of this Act; 

If the application has been submitted to the state government or chief Inspector by registered post and no order has been received from them within three months of filing the request, then it has deemed approval if the applicant has also submitted the plan.

Audit Checklist and Compliances under Factories Act, 1942

The Factories Act 1948 covers the following points from the perspective of workers:

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Welfare
  • Working Hours of Adults
  • Annual Leave with Wages

All about the Labor Laws: Employment Laws that you Must Know.

Cleanliness for Workers

  • Accumulation of dirt and refuse shall remove on a daily basis.
  • Floors must be sanitized and cleaned at least once in every week by washing, using a disinfectant, or by some other effective method.
  • Effective means of drainage shall be maintained; during the manufacturing process.
  • All walls and partitions, ceilings or tops of rooms and all walls, sides and tops of passages and staircases shall:
    • Paint shall be done once every five years.
    • Washable water-paint shall be repainted with the one coat of such paint once in every three years and washed once in every period of six months;
    • Where they have smooth surfaces, be cleaned in every period of fourteen months by such method as may be prescribed;
    • In every 5 Years, there shall paint all the doors and window frames and all other window or metallic framework
    • In any other case, it shall be kept whitewashed, or colour-washed, and the whitewashing / colour washing shall carry out in every period of fourteen months; Entry in register to shall be entered to record maintained in this regard.

Disposal of Waste and Effluents

A practical arrangement shall be made to arrange for the disposal of waste and Effluent.

Ventilation & Temperature

  • Adequate ventilation for the clean air, and
  • A temperature that is safe for workers as well as reasonable conditions of comfort and to prevent injury to health;
  • Walls and roofs shall be of material designed in such manner that workroom temperature shall be kept low.

Further, where the nature of work engaging in the production of excessively high temperature, appropriate measures shall be taken to protect the interest of the workers from such conditions by separating the process from the workroom which produces such heat or by installing the hot parts or other effective means so that the room temperature shall be maintained.

Dust and Fumes

  • Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent the inhalation of dust and fumes and accumulation of it in any workroom. Exhaust appliance if necessary, shall be installed.
  • Exhaust shall be conducted in the open air if internal combustion engine shall be operated.

Artificial Humidification

In case the factory is providing artificial humidification, the State Government may make rules for:

  • Prescribing standards for humidification.
  • Regulating the method used in this regard
  • Directing the prescribed test for determining the humidity
  • Prescribed manner to be followed.

Overcrowding

  • There shall be no overcrowding in the workroom, which may impact the health of the employee.
  • There shall be at least a gap of 14.2 cubic metres of space for every worker employed therein.

Lighting

All glass windows and skylights used for providing the natural lighting to the workroom shall be kept clean from all the areas.

In every factory, adequate provisions shall be made to prevent:

  • Glare directly from a source of light/ reflection from a smooth and polished area.
  • Formation of shadows to such extent which causes eye-strain or the risk of accident to any worker.

Drinking water

  • There shall be a sufficient supply of wholesome drinking water at a suitable convenient point.
  • It shall legally be marked as “drinking water” which shall be understood by the majority of the director.
  • There shall be a provision for cooling drinking water during hot weather where there are more than 250 employees.

Latrines & Urinals

  • Sufficient accommodation for the purpose of latrines & urinals of prescribed types shall be provided conveniently situated and accessible to workers at all times.
  • Separate accommodation shall be provided for male and female workers;
  • Accommodation shall be adequately lighted and ventilated.
  • Should be in a clean and sanitary condition at all times;
  • Sweepers shall be employed in this regard

Spittoons

Sufficient number of spittoons should be provided, which must be clean and hygienic.

Conclusion

An application under the Factories Act can be made by an occupier to the state government and every occupier in India is required to adhere to the compliances laid down under the Factories Act 1948. Further, an occupier is required to mandatorily ensure the health, safety, welfare, working hours, annual leave with wages as per the Factories Act 1948. Non-compliance with the provisions of the Act shall be treated as the violation of the Act and stringent punishment may be imposed in such regard.

See Our Recommendation: A Review of the Code on Wages, 2019.

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Bhawna Dang

Bhawna Dang is a competent and skilled professional, holding an educational background in M. Com, Company secretaryship and LL. B. She holds ample experience of 4 years working as an Advisory Associate with a blend of corporate background. She has extensive knowledge in handling matters relating to Reserve Bank of India and has also worked on various secretarial and listing compliances of corporates.

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