The Factories Act is a social legislation which has been enacted for occupational safety, health and welfare of workers at work places. This legislation is being enforced by technical officers i.e. Inspectors of Factories, Dy. Chief Inspectors of Factories who work under the control of the Chief Inspector of Factories and overall control of the Labor Commissioner, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.
SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ACT ARE
1. Approval of Factory Building Plans before construction/extension, under the Delhi Factories Rules, 1950.
2. Grant of Licenses under the Delhi Factories Rules, 1950, and to take action against factories running without obtaining License.
3. Renewal of Licenses granted under the Delhi Factories Rules, 1950, by the Dy. Chief Inspectors of Factories.
4. Inspections of factories by District Inspectors of Factories, for investigation of complaints, serious/fatal accidents as well as sue Moto inspections to check compliance of provisions of this Act relating to
III. Welfare facilities
IV. Working hours
V. Employment of young persons
VI. Annual Leave with wages etc.
The enforcement of this legislation is being carried out on district basis by the district Inspectors of Factories. After inspection, Improvement Notices are issued to the defaulting managements and ultimately legal action is taken against the defaulting managements. The Inspectors of Factories file Challans against the defaulters, in the Courts of Metropolitan Magistrates. The work of Inspectors of Factories is supervised by the Dy. Chief Inspector of Factories on district basis.
It applies to factories covered under the Factories Act, 1948. The industries in which ten (10) or more than ten workers are employed on any day of the preceding twelve months and are engaged in manufacturing process being carried out with the aid of power or twenty or more than twenty workers are employed in manufacturing process being carried out without the aid of power, are covered under the provisions of this Act.
COMPLIANCE UNDER THE ACT
The Factories act mandates the following compliance for the entities on which it is applicable:
(i) Sections 6 and 7 - Licensing of factory: An Occupier is required to get the license before commencement of production.
(ii) Chapter III - Health provisions in factory: An employer is required to observe the health provisions like cleanliness, disposal of waste effluents, ventilation and temperature, dust and fume, over crowding, lighting, drinking water, latrine and urinals and spittoons.
(iii)Chapter IV - Safety provisions: The employer is required to observe the safety provisions like fencing of machinery, work on or near machinery in motion, employment of young persons in dangerous machine, self acting machine, prohibition of woman and child labor near cotton openers, revolving machinery, pressure plant, protection of eyes and appointment of Safety Officer etc.
(iv)Chapter V - Welfare provisions: An employer is required to follow welfare provisions such as washing facilities, facilities for storing and drying clothing, facilities for sitting, first aid appliances, canteen, shelters, lunch room, rest room, and appointment of Welfare Officer.
(v)Chapter VI - Working hours of adults: An employer is required to follow the working hours and relating provisions such as weekly hours, weekly holiday, compensatory holiday, daily hours, intervals for rest, spread over, night shift, prohibition of over lapping shifts, extra wages for overtime and restriction on double employment etc.
(vi) Chapter VII - Employment for young persons: An employer is required to obey the provisions relating to prohibition of young children, non adult workers to carry tokens, certificate of fitness, working hours for children, notice of period for work for children etc.
(vii) The employer is also required to comply with the following provisions :
1. To allow annual leave with wages to the workers.
2. To maintain Register of annual leave with wages, Register of accidents, Register of whitewashing, Register of humidity, Register of inspections, Register of adult workers etc.
This Act provides for a maximum punishment up to two years and or a fine up to Rs. 1 lac. or both.
1. Ravinder Sharma v. State of Punjab (1995)70 Fac LR 43(SC).
2. Provincial Government v. R. Robinson AIR 1947
3. State of Gujarat v. Jethalal AIR 1964 SC 779.
4. B. Shah v. Presiding Officer AIR 1978 SC 12.
5. Wilmot v. Puton , I K.B. 237.