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:
- ten or more workers are working,
- 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:
- twenty or more workers are working or,
- 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:
- 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
- Pumping oil, water, sewage or any other content; or
- Generating, transforming or transmitting power; or
- Composing types for printing, printing by letterpress, lithography, photogravure or different similar process or bookbinding;
- Constructing, repairing, refitting, finishing or breaking up ships or vessels;
- 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.
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.
- The name and address of the factory, occupier, owner of premises or building, and communication address.
- 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;]
- The name of the manager of the factory.
- The number of workers about to be employed in the factory;
- 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:
- Working Hours
- Annual Leave
Cleanliness for Workers
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.
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
- Paint shall be
done once every five years.
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
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.
In case the factory is providing artificial humidification, the State
Government may make rules for:
standards for humidification.
- Regulating the
method used in this regard
- Directing the
prescribed test for determining the humidity
manner to be followed.
- 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.
All glass windows and skylights used
for providing the natural lighting to the workroom shall be kept clean from all
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.
- 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
- Accommodation shall be adequately lighted and ventilated.
- Should be in a
clean and sanitary condition at all
- Sweepers shall be employed in this regard
Sufficient number of spittoons should be
provided, which must be clean and hygienic.
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.