The Factories Act

Concept of Welfare in Factories Act

In general terms, ‘welfare’ is nothing but the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group. Some people consider it as a statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need. Hence, it is pretty clear from the above statements that it is a thing that everyone desires. People working in different sectors and at different levels have different welfare needs. The workers working in the factories too have certain welfare needs. The Factories Act, 1948, defines certain provisions regarding this concept. In this article, we will look at all those provisions.


Provisions related to Welfare (Under Factories Act, 1948)

Section 42: Washing facilities

This section states that every factory should:

(a) Firstly, provide and maintain adequate and suitable facilities for washing for all the workers in the factory
(b) Secondly, provide separate and adequately screened facilities separately for men and women.
(c) Thirdly, make accessible all the facilities to all the workers

Special Point

The State Government may, in respect of any factory or class or description of factories or of any manufacturing process, prescribe standards of adequate and suitable facilities for washing.

Section 43: Facilities for storing and drying clothes

This section contests some powers with the State Government. It states that the State Government has the powers to direct the factories regarding the place of storing the clothes of the workers.

Moreover, they can also direct them regarding the manner of drying the clothes of the workers. It applies to the situation when workers are not wearing their working clothes.

Browse more Topics under The Factories Act

Learn more about Health Measures and Safety Provisions in Factories Act, 1948 here in detail

Section 44: Facilities for sitting

There are various kinds of jobs in a factory. Some of them require the workers to stand for a longer period of time. There is no doubt that human power to stand has limits. Looking at such case, this section states:

(a) Firstly, the factory should provide suitable arrangements for sitting for the workers. This is important because whenever the worker gets some free time, he/she may be able to take some rest by sitting. This will also enhance their efficiency.
(b) Secondly, if the Chief Inspector finds that any worker can do his work more efficiently while sitting, then he can direct the factory officials to arrange sitting arrangements for him.

Special Point:

The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that the provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply to any specified factory or class or description of factories or to any specified manufacturing process.

Section 45: First-aid-appliance

Injuries are somehow an inescapable part of life for the workers especially working in the factories. Looking at the safety and welfare of the workers this section provides that:

(a) The factory should provide and maintain proper first-aid boxes at every workroom. Under this Act, the number of boxes should not be less than one for every 100 or 50 workers. Moreover, the first-aid boxes should have all the relevant contents according to the Act.
(b) There should be nothing except the prescribed contents in a first-aid box.
(c) Each box should be under control of a first-aid in-charge who will handle all its requirements and its utilization. The in-charge should be an expert in First-aid field.
(d) In case the number of workers exceeds 500, then the factory should arrange an ‘Ambulance Room’ with the availability of all necessary equipment.

Section 46: Canteens

This section states:

(a) Every factory where the number of workers exceeds 250, then the State Government may direct the factory owners to provide and maintain a canteen for the workers.
(b) Moreover, the government may lay down certain conditions in the construction of canteen, like:

1.  the standard in respect of construction, accommodation, furniture and other equipment of the canteen
2. the foodstuffs to be served therein
3. the date by which such canteen shall be provided
4. the constitution of a managing committee for the canteen
5. the delegation to Chief Inspector subject to such conditions as may be prescribed

Section 47: Shelters, rest-rooms, and lunch-rooms

This section states:

(a) If the number of workers in a factory crosses 150, then the factory owners should construct and maintain shelters, rest-rooms and lunch rooms for the workers. It allows the workers to eat the food which they bring along with them.

Special Point:

Provided further that where a lunch-room exists no worker shall eat any food in the work-room.

(b) The shelters, rest-rooms and lunch rooms should be properly ventilated and lighted.
(c) The State Government may prescribe the standards, in respect of construction accommodation, furniture, and other equipment.

Section 48: Creches

Due to workforce diversity nowadays, women’s participation is increasing in all the sectors especially the industrial sector.

One of the factors that stop women to work in factories or any other sector is lack of care for their children during their working hours. In order to solve this problem and increase the engagement of women in factories, section 48 states:

(a) Where numbers of women workers exceed 30, then the factory should arrange a special room for the worker’s kids who are below the age of 6 years.
(b) The room should be properly lighted and ventilated

Solved Question For You

Question: What are the provisions mentioned in Section 47 of the Factories Act, 1948 related to welfare?

Answer: Section 47 of the Factories Act, 1948 states that if the number of workers in a factory crosses 150, then the factory owners should construct and maintain shelters, rest-rooms and lunch rooms for the workers.

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