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The Factories Act

Provisions Relating to Hazardous Processes

In general terms, the word ‘hazardous ‘ is not new to anyone. Generally, it means ‘dangerous’. If we talk about the dangerous or hazardous processes then it means the processes which may cause damage to life or health. This topic is very important in the context of factories due to the main involvement of big pieces of machinery in production.

Introduction to Hazardous Process under Factories Act

In terms of the law, ‘hazardous processes’ means any process or activity in relation to an industry where, unless special care is taken, raw materials used therein or the intermediate or finished products, by-products, wastes or effluents thereof would-

(a) cause material impairment to the health of the person
(b) result in pollution or the general environment

In this article, we will look at the various rules and provisions related to the hazardous processes in the Factories Act, 1948.

Hazardous Processes under factories act

Hazardous Processes Under Factories Act, 1948

Section 41A: Constitution of Site Appraisal Committees

This section states that the factory should appoint a ‘Site Appraisal Committee’ consisting. This committee will be responsible for suggesting the location of the factory which includes hazardous process. This committee will include:

(a) the Chief Inspector of the State
(b) a representative of the Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution
(c) a representative of the Department of Environment in the State
(d) a representative of the Meteorological Department of the Government of India
(e) an expert in the field of occupational health
(f) a representative of the Town Planning Department of the State Government

Browse more Topics under The Factories Act

Learn more about Allied Provisions of Factories Act, 1948 here in detail.

Special Point:

The Site Appraisal Committee shall have the power to call for any information from the person making an application for the establishment or expansion of a factory involving a hazardous process

Section 41B: Compulsory disclosure of information by the occupier

This section states:

  • Firstly, the occupier of every factory involving a hazardous process shall disclose in the prescribed manner all information regarding dangers and the measures to overcome the same.
  • Secondly, the occupier shall, at the time of registering the factory lay down a detailed policy with respect to the health and safety of the workers
  • Thirdly, the information should be completely accurate
  • Lastly, every occupier shall, with the approval of the Chief Inspector, draw up an on-site emergency plan. He should also draw up detailed disaster control measures for his factory. Moreover, the factory should announce it to all the workers and the public in general.

Section 41C: Specific responsibility of the occupier in relation to hazardous processes

This section states that every occupier of a factory involving any hazardous process should:

  • accurately maintain the health and medical records of all the workers in a factory. It is mainly for those workers who are working in the manufacturing of toxic or harmful substances.
  • appoint persons who possess qualifications and experience in handling hazardous substances. They should also be competent to supervise such handling within the factory. Moreover, they should provide all the necessary facilities for protecting the workers in the manner prescribed.
Provided that where any question arises as to the qualifications and experience of a person so appointed, the decision of the Chief Inspector shall be final.
  • provide for medical examination of every worker before assigning any production task involving hazardous substance.

Section 41D: Power of Central Government to appoint an Inquiry Committee

  • This section states that The Central Government in some extraordinary situations may appoint an Inquiry Committee for a factory manufacturing hazardous material.
  • They inquire into the standards of health and safety observed in the factory. They do so to find out the causes of any failure or neglect in the adoption of all measures or standards.
  • Moreover, the committee should consist of a Chairman and two other members. The Central Government determines the tenure of the members. Also, the recommendations of the Committee shall be advisory in nature.

Section 41E: Emergency standards

This section states that in certain cases when The Central Government thinks that the factory is unable to apply certain security measures then it is allowed to direct the Director-in-charge of the factory to implement the measures or standards on an immediate basis. This mainly applies to factories involving the production of hazardous substances.

Section 41F: Permissible limits of exposure of chemical and toxic substances

This section states:

  • Firstly, the maximum permissible threshold limits of exposure of chemical substances should be as per Schedule Two.
  • Secondly, the Central Government may, at any time, for the purpose of giving effect to any scientific proof may make suitable changes in the said Schedule.

Section 41G: Workers’ participation in safety management

This section states that the occupier shall, in every factory where a hazardous process takes place, should set up a Safety Committee. This safety will comprise an equal number of representatives of workers and management.

It is mainly formed to promote co-operation between the workers and the management in maintaining safety and perfect health at work.

Questions on Hazardous Process under Factories Act

Question: What are the provisions of hazardous processes are given in Section 41F of The Factories Act, 1948?

Answer: This section states that the maximum permissible threshold limits of exposure of chemical substances should be as per Schedule two and the Central Government may, at any time, for the purpose of giving effect to any scientific proof may make suitable changes in the said Schedule.

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