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Duties of Occupier under Factories Act 1948

Shubhangi Jain

| Updated: Aug 17, 2022 | Category: Industrial Compliance

Duties of Occupier

The Factories Act 1948 was enforced on 1st April 1949 with the objective of regulating the working conditions within the factory along with the regulation of the health, safety, and welfare of the workers, the duty of which was handed over to the Occupier of the factory.

The article discusses the Duties of Occupier under the Factories Act 1948[1], which can help in the smooth functioning of the factory’s operations.

Who is an Occupier?

According to Section 2 (n) of the Factories Act 1948, an occupier can be defined as a person who has the ultimate control over the affairs of the factory. In simple terms, Occupier is someone who is responsible for all the matters related to the factory.

What are the Duties of Occupier under Factories Act 1948?

The Duties of Occupier under the Factories Act 1948 are –

Obtain License for the Establishment of Factory

The first and foremost duty of the Occupier under the Factories Act 1948 is to obtain permission in writing from the State Government or the Chief Inspector for the site on which the factory is to be situated under section 6 of the Act.

Serve Notice to the Chief Inspector for the Permission of Factory

The Occupier needs to serve a notice to the Chief Inspector as per section 7 at least 15 days before starting using the factory premises. The Notice must contain the following information –

  • Name and Address of the Occupier and the factory
  • Name of the owner of the premises
  • Address for communication
  • Nature of the manufacturing process which would be carried out in the factory
  • Total No. of house powers that are required to be installed
  • Name of the manager of the factory
  • No. of employees that are likely to be employed in the factory
  • Any other particulars as prescribed under the Act

Act as a Manager of the Factory

It is one of the Duties of the Occupier to act as a manager of the factory and manage everything in the factory till the time an actual manager is appointed in the factory.

Maintain and Provide the Plant and Systems of Work

The Occupier is obligated to provide the required plant and factory work systems to facilitate the smooth functioning of operations of the factory and avoid any delay in the same.

Make Adequate Arrangements in the Factory to ensure Safety.

The duties of the Occupier include making arrangements within the factory to ensure safety and avoid any risks of injuries or health of the workers by ensuring proper arrangements for the use, storage, handling, and transportation of substances or articles.

Provide Training to the Workers

The Occupier is responsible for providing adequate training, information, instruction and supervision to its workers as are essential to ensure the safety and health of the workers of the factory.

Maintain a Safe and Healthy Working Condition

The Occupier must ensure to provide safe and healthy working conditions to its workers by keeping a check on the cleanliness and hygiene and fulfilment of basic necessities like drinking water and sitting space to the factory workers.

Formulate a Policy for the Factory

The Occupier must formulate a policy for the factory consisting of the health and safety measures within the factory and make sure that the workers abide by the policy.

Appoint Safety Officer

The Factories Act provides the Duties of Occupier such as the appointment of the Safety Officer. 

According to Section 40-B of the Act, the safety officer must be appointed by the Occupier in case there are 1000 or more workers in the factory or

If the State Government is of the opinion that the manufacturing process carried out within the factory can cause any bodily injury, disease, poisoning or any other hazard to the workers’ health.

Disclose Compulsory Information  

As per Section 41- B, it is the duty of the Occupier to disclose the compulsory information and obtain approval of the Chief Inspector regarding the following.

  • The hazardous process is carried on in the factory.
  • The policy formulated by the Occupier about the health and safety measures untaken for the workers involved in the hazardous process
  • Design the site emergency plan and detailed disaster control measures for the workers’ safety and obtain the chief inspector’s approval for the site plan and the enlisted measures.

The Occupier must note that he is obligated to inform the same to the workers in the factory as well as the general public within the vicinity of the factory.

  • Measures for the use, storage, handling, and transportation of hazardous substances or articles inside the factory and their disposal outside the factory and spread awareness about such measures among the workers and general public within the vicinity of the factory area.

Fulfil the Specific Responsibility regarding hazardous Process

Section 43-B, there are certain specific Duties of Occupier that he must fulfil. The duties include the following –

  • Maintenance of the (adequate and up-to-date) health or medical records of the workers of the factory
  • Appointment of qualified personnel for handling the hazardous substances
  • Facilitation of the medical examination of the workers.

Set up a Safety Committee

Another duty as per the Duties of Occupier under Factories Act 1948 is to set up a Safety Committee in the factory involving the hazardous process. the safety Committee must comprise of equal representatives of workers and management to promote co-operation between the both to maintain the health and safety standards and review the same periodically.

Take Remedial action in case of Danger.   

The Occupier is obligated to take instant remedial action in imminent danger and send a report of the same to the Chief Inspector.

Provide the Welfare Activities

The Occupier must ensure to provide all the welfare facilities as mentioned in Chapter V of the Factories Act 1948.

Formulate a Scheme for Annual Leave with Wages

The Occupier, along with the chief inspector, must formulate a scheme for annual leave with the wage for the factory workers after agreement with the representatives of the Works Committee established under Section 3 of the Industrial Dispute Act 1947 or any other relevant Act.

Conduct Occupation and Heath Survey

Another duty on the list of Duties of the Occupier is conducting health and occupational surveys of the workers in the factory. The Occupier must ensure sufficient arrangements for the testing and examining of the plant and machinery, collection of samples or any relevant data required for conducting the survey.

Conclusion

The above discussion helps to conclude that the Occupier plays a very important role in the management and smooth functioning of the factory. Hence it is necessary for the workers and every person associated with the factory, either directly or indirectly, to be aware of the Duties of the Occupier under the Factories act 1948, along with the Occupier himself. 

Read our Article: All about the Factories Act, 1948 in India

Shubhangi Jain

Shubhangi has completed her B. A.LLB (H) with specialization in Business Laws from Amity University. She is particularly interested in legal research and writing and wishes to utilize her knowledge to create informative legal content. She has prior experience in corporate and criminal litigation and has great drafting skills. She has also published various research papers in reputed journals.

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