The Factories Act

Health Measures and Safety Provisions in Factories Act, 1948

Health is an important part of everyone’s life. Being healthy does not only mean being ‘disease free’. It includes physical, social, and mental health too. Maintaining sound health is undoubtedly a concern for everyone but it is more necessary for those who are constantly under threat of health hazards. These are the factory workers. They are constantly under the danger of health risks. Hence, it becomes necessary to concentrate on the health of the workers in the factories as well as people in society. In order to standardize the health measures and safety provisions, the Factories Act, 1948 lays down certain ‘health measures’.

Health measures and safety provisions factories act

Health Measures and Safety Provisions as per Factories Act, 1948

  • Section 11: Cleanliness in every factory
  • Section 12: Disposal of effluents and wastes
  • Section 13: Ventilation and Temperature
  • Section 14: Dust and Fume
  • Section 15: Artificial Humidification
  • Section 16: Overcrowding
  • Section 17: Lighting
  • Section 18: Drinking Water

Section 11: Cleanliness in Every Factory

Under Section 11, every factory need to keep itself clean and free from effluvia arising from any drain, privy or other nuisance, and in particular-

  • Accumulation of dirt and refuse should be removed daily by any effective method from the floors of workrooms and from staircases and passages and disposed of in a suitable and efficient manner.
  • In case the floor is subject to become wet during the working time, then they should take proper drainage process or steps.
  • Clean the worker’s floor every week with proper disinfectant or any other effective method of cleaning.
  • Paint or repaint walls, ceilings, and staircases of the factory once in every 5 years.
  • Repaint the walls once in every 3 years in case of washable water paints.
  • Paint and varnish all doors and window-frames and other wooden or metallic framework and shutters at least once in a period of 5 years.

Special Point on Health Measures

If in view of the nature of the operations carried on in a factory or class or description of factories or any part of a factory or class or description of factories, it is not possible for the occupier to comply with all or any of the provisions of sub-section (1), the State Government may by order exempt such factory or class or description of factories or part from any of the provisions of that sub-section and specify alternative methods for keeping the factory in a clean state.

Section 12: Disposal of Effluents and Wastes

Under this section following things should be considered:

(a) It is necessary for the factories to arrange proper and effective waste treatment and its disposal.
(b) The State Government may make rules prescribing the arrangements for the disposal and treatment of waste and effluents.

Section 13: Ventilation and Temperature

This section states:

  • Effective and suitable provisions should be made in every factory for securing and maintaining in every workroom proper ventilation by circulation of fresh air. It also involves providing an adequate temperature at the workplace. For this, they should select the material of the walls accordingly.
  • The State Government may prescribe a standard of adequate ventilation and reasonable temperature for any factory or class or description of factories.
  • Lastly, if it appears to the Chief Inspector that excessively high temperature in any factory can be reduced by the adoption of suitable measures, he can order them to use such a method.

Section 14: Dust and Fume

This section states that:

  • If dust and fume release in the manufacturing process of a factory then they should take effective measures to prevent its inhalation and accumulation in the workplace. For this, they should use proper exhaust appliances in the workplace.
  • In any factory, no stationary internal combustion engine shall be operated unless the exhaust is conducted into the open air.

Section 15: Artificial Humidification

1. In respect of all factories in which the humidity of the air artificially increases, the State Government may make rules,-

  • Firstly, prescribing standards of humidification;
  • Secondly, regulating the methods used for artificially increasing the humidity of the air;
  • directing tests for determining the humidity of the air for correct carrying out and recording.
  • Lastly, prescribing methods for securing adequate ventilation and cooling of the air in the workrooms.

2. In any factory in which the humidity of the air artificially increases, they should purify the water (drinking water) before the supply.

Learn more about Allied Provisions Act 1948 here in detail.

Section 16: Overcrowding

This section states:

  • Firstly, no room in any factory shall be overcrowded to an extent injurious to the health of the workers employed therein.
  • Secondly, a factory built after the commencement of this Act at least 14.2 cubic meters of space for every worker employed therein, and for the purposes of this subsection, no account shall be taken of any space which is more than 4.2 meters above the level of the floor of the room.
  • If the Chief Inspector by order in writing, may or may not post a notice specifying the maximum number of workers who may be employed in the room.

Section 17: Lighting

This section states:

Firstly, There should be proper lighting in all the places of the factory from where the workers of the factory pass.

In every factory, effective provision shall, so far as is practicable, be made for the prevention of-

  • glare, either directly from a source of light or by reflection from a smooth or polished surface;
  • the formation of shadows to such an extent as to cause eye-strain or the risk of accident to any worker.

Section 18: Drinking Water

This section states that in every factory, there should be proper arrangements for a sufficient supply of wholesome drinking water and shall be legibly marked as “drinking water”.

Section 19: Latrines and Urinals

This section states that every factory should make arrangements of latrine and urinals for the employees and the rules are laid down by the State Government in this behalf.

Section 20: Spittoons

There should be a sufficient number of spittoons in the factories for the employees and they should be in clean and hygienic condition according to this law

Solved Questions on Health Measure and Safety Provisions Act

Question: What health measures and safety provisions are mentioned in Section 19 and Section 20 of the Factories Act, 1948?

Answer: Section 19 states that every factory should provide adequate latrine and urinal accommodation. On the other hand, Section 20 states that every factor should proper spittoons. Moreover, these spittoons should be in hygienic conditions.

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