The Factories Act 1948 was enforced on 1st April 1949 with the objective of regulating the work...
The safety of the workers of the factory is one of the most crucial aspects of the Factories Act 1948. In lieu of the same, the Factories Act contains provisions regarding the appointment of the safety officer and the Duties of the Safety Officer in matters related to the safety of workers.
This article discusses the Duties of the Safety Officer, which can help in maintaining the safety of the workers working in the factory.
A Safety Officer is an officer appointed by the occupier of the Factory where the no. of workers in the factory is more than one thousand. The safety officer is appointed to ensure the safety of the workers within the factory.
According to Section 40 B and 112 of the Factories Act 1948, the Duties of the Safety Officer are –
One of the major Duties of the Safety Officer under the Factories Act is to assist and advise the factory management in fulfilling the obligations of maintaining a safe environment for the factory workers and preventing any bodily injuries to them as prescribed by the Act.
The safety measures for each department can vary depending on the nature of work carried out by the various departments. Therefore, the Safety officer has to guide the various departments of the factory about the various safety measures required to be taken to prevent any personal or bodily injuries to the workers in that particular department.
Another duty of the safety officer is the evaluation of the effectiveness of the action plan executed or proposed to be executed by the management of the Factory. This is a crucial task and needs utmost attention as the safety of the workers within the factory depends on the Safety Officer’s evaluation.
The safety officer must advise on the job studies and conduct the safety study on the selected jobs. Job study refers to analysing the roles and responsibilities that need to be carried on by the person selected for that particular job. For instance, if a supervisor is being hired in the factory, it is the duty of the safety officer to conduct a detailed study of all the safety measures to be followed for the supervisor’s safety, depending on his job profile.
The Safety Officer is obligated to ensure the quality of the factory’s protective equipment and advise the store purchase department’s personnel about the same to avoid any quality issues regarding the protective equipment.
Another duty of the safety Officer is to advise the concerned personnel on the matters related to plant safety in order to avoid any mismanagement regarding the Plants, i.e. Machinery within the factory.
This duty is inclusive of the prescribed Duties of the Safety Officer, which deal with the inspection of the plant to ensure the safe working condition of the plant and the procedure followed by workers while working on the plant. This also includes providing advice on the safety measures that the workers must adopt to prevent any accidents or personal injuries.
The Safety Officer is required to provide advice on matters related to the investigation and reporting of fatal accidents or diseases within the factory to enable an effective and successful investigation and reporting process.
A detailed description of these Duties of the Safety officer is mentioned below.
The safety officer is required to thoroughly investigate the fatal accidents in the factory and suggest remedial measures to the management to ensure the proper treatment followed by the speedy recovery of the injured workers.
The safety officer needs to investigate the industrial diseases contracted by the workers and the dangerous occurrences reportable under rules 110 and 112 of the Uttar Pradesh Factories Rules, 1950 and take action to avoid the occurrence of such industrial diseases.
The Safety Officer must facilitate the maintenance of necessary records related to accidents, industrial diseases, and other dangerous occurrences. This can help the safety officer to determine the pattern of the accidents or the disease and take adequate actions to prevent the same.
The occupier of the factory sets up the Safety Committee. The safety Committee comprises equal representatives of workers and management. The safety officer should act as the safety committee’s advisor and manage this committee’s operation.
The Safety Officer must take the initiative to spread awareness about maintaining work and procedure safety conditions. This can be done by organising competitions, campaign contests or any other activities that can develop the interest of the workers in adopting the safety measures.
This is another duty among other Duties of the Occupier that must be fulfilled by the occupier mandatorily, which is to organise training programs either independently or in collaboration with departments to impart training for the prevention of accidents or injuries in the factory along with conducting safety seminars at least once a year.
The Safety Officer must prepare an annual report containing information about the accidents and injuries happening in the factory and the remedial measures regarding such accidents and injuries and present the report before the annual meeting of the Board of directors’ annual meeting.
It can be concluded that the safety officer plays a very important role in the safety of the factory and therefore it is important for the safety officer as well as the other members of the factory to be aware about the Duties of Safety Officer to ensure the safety of the workers and other personnel in the factory.
Read our Article: Duties of Occupier under Factories Act 1948