Factories Act

This article is written by Kanti, a student at the University of Delhi. In this article, she provides the complete compliance checklist under the Factories Act, 1948.

The Factories Act, 1948 is a social act which was passed to strengthen the position of workers, who are working in the factories across the country.

To whom does it apply?

This Act is applicable to all factories which have employed 10 or more than workers on any day of the preceding 12 months, 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.

Definition of factory

Section 2(m) of the Factories Act, 1948 defines ‘factory’ as any premises-

  • Where ten or more workers are working or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of the power, or is ordinarily so carried on, or
  • Where twenty or more workers are working or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of the power, or is ordinarily so carried on, but does not include:
  1. Mines subject to the operation of the Mines Act, 1952,
  2. A mobile unit belonging to the armed forces of the Union,
  3. Railway running shed or a hotel, restaurant or eating place.

Compliance Checklist under the Factories Act:

Under the Factories Act, the following compliances should be followed-

Section 6 and 7 (Licensing of Factory)

The occupier of the factory is required the previous permission from the State Government or the Chief Inspector in writing for the site on which factory is to be situated.

And to get a license, the occupier must send the notice under section 7 of the act to the Chief Inspector, at least 15 days before he begins to use the premise as a factory containing the following details

  • Name and address of the occupier
  • Name and address of the factory
  • Name and owner of the premise
  • Address for communication
  • Nature of the manufacturing process to be carried in the factory
  • Total horsepower to be installed
  • Name of the manager of the factory
  • Number of workers likely to be employed
  • Other particulars which may be prescribed

Chapter III (Health Provisions)

  • Cleanliness– Every factory must be clean and there should be no accumulation of dirt. Floor, windows, passage, benches of workrooms, staircase etc. should be cleaned on a regular basis with disinfectant.   
  • Disposal of wastes and effluents– the factory shall have proper arrangements for the treatment of wastes and effluents.
  • Ventilation and Temperature– the factory premises should have adequate ventilation by the circulation of the fresh air. The walls and roofs should be of such quality that temperature in the factory doesn’t rise beyond the reasonable conditions of comfort.
  • Dust and Fume– If the work carried in factories is such that dust and fume are released in substantial quantities, effective measures should be taken to prevent its accumulation in any workroom.
  • Artificial Humidification– If the humidity in any factory is increased artificially, the water used for this purpose should be taken from a public water supply or should be purified before it is used.
  • Overcrowding– No room in any factory shall be overcrowded to the extent that it becomes injurious to the health of the workers employed in the factory.
  • Lighting– The working area for the workers and the passage have adequate and sufficient light, natural or artificial or both.
  • Drinking Water– There should be suitable points in every factory which provide a sufficient supply of drinking water and the ‘drinking water’ shall be mentioned in the language understood by the workers.
  • Latrines and Urinals– Sufficient latrine and urinal accommodation should be there in every factory and they should be accessible to the workers all the time while they are present in the factory. The accommodation so provided should be separate for male and female with proper lights and ventilation.
  • Spittoons– Every factory shall have a sufficient number of spittoons placed at a convenient place. The spittoons should be clean regularly.
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Chapter IV (Safety provisions)

  • Fencing of Machinery– Every moving part of a prime mover and every flywheel should be fenced securely unless they are safe to be used otherwise.
  • Work on Near Machinery in Motion– When it becomes necessary to examine any part of the machinery while the machinery is in motion, such task should be done only be a specially trained adult male worker wearing tight fitted cloth.
  • Employment of Young Persons on Dangerous Machines– Only a fully instructed person about the dangers arising in connection with the machine and precautions to be observed, shall be allowed to work on dangerous machines under the supervision of a person who is knowledge and experience of the machine.
  • Striking Gear and Devices for Cutting-off Power– An appliance should be provided and maintained to move driving belts to and from fast and loose pulleys.
  • Self-Acting Machines– No self-acting machine shall be kept in such a space over which any person is liable to pass.
  • The Casing of New Machinery– Every set, screw, bolt or key in all machinery driven by power and installed in a factory should be encased effectively to prevent danger.
  • Prohibition of Employment of Women and Children near Cotton-openers– Ia cotton-opener work is done by the factory, no woman or child should be employed for pressing cotton in such work.
  • Hoists and Lifts– Every hoist and lift should be sound, adequately strong and properly maintained.
  • Lifting Machines, Chains, Ropes and Lifting Tackles– All parts of lifting machines, chain, rope and lifting tackle should be of good construction, sound material and free from defects. They should be thoroughly checked by a competent officer at least once in 12 months.
  • Revolving Machinery– Revolving machinery shall be permanently affixed to or placed and there should be a notice indicating the minimum safe working area around the machinery.
  • Pressure Plant– If a factory is using any machinery which is operated at a pressure above the atmospheric pressure, then the pressure should be kept under check.
  • Floors, Stairs, and Means of Access– All floors, stairs, and passages should be properly constructed and maintained.
  • Pits, Sumps, Opening in floors etc.-If there is any vessel, tank or pit in the floor which may be a source of danger shall be securely covered or fenced.
  • Excessive Weight– No worker employed in the factory shall be made to carry or move any load which might cause any injury to him.
  • Protection of Eyes– If any process is carried out in the factory which involves a risk of injury to the eyes from particles or fragments, suitable goggles or effective screens should be provided to the workers who are working in such circumstances.
  • Precautions Against Dangerous Fumes, Gases etc.- No person should be allowed to enter any confined space until precautionary measures have been taken to remove such fumes and gases.
  • Precautions Regarding the Use of Portable Electric Light– No portable electric light of more than 24 volts should be used in any confined space or chamber or tank.
  • Explosive or Inflammable Dust, Gas etc.– All precautionary measures should be taken to prevent an explosion of gases which are likely to explode on ignition.
  • Precaution in Case of Fire– The factory should take all the practical measures to prevent the outbreak of fire and its spread, both inside and outside the factory. Safe means of escape should be in the factory for the persons, in case of a fire.
  • Maintenance of Building– The building of the factory should be maintained properly so that it does not cause any injury to the health of the workers.
  • Appointment of Safety Officer– In a factory, where the number of employers is more than 1000 than the factory is required to appoint a safety officer.

Chapter V (Welfare Provisions)

  • Washing Facilities– Separate and adequate facilities to be provided for male and female worker. The facilities should be clean and conveniently accessible.
  • Facility for Storing and Drying Clothing– The factory should provide a suitable place for keeping the clothes not worn during the working hours and for the drying of wet clothes.
  • Facilities for Sitting– The workers who are obliged to work in a standing position should be given proper suitable sitting arrangements during their rest hours.
  • First-aid Appliances– First-aid boxes or cupboards containing with necessary contents, should be maintained and provided during all the working hours.
  • Canteens– If the factory has more than 250 workers employed, minimum one canteen should be provided and maintained by the occupier.
  • Shelters, Restrooms, and Lunch Rooms- A factory having more than 150 workers should provide adequate and suitable restrooms and lunch rooms, with provision for drinking water.
  • Creches– If the factory employs more than 30 women workers, it should provide a suitable room for the use of children under the age of 6 years of such women.
  • Welfare Officers– If a factory has more than 500 employers, such numbers of welfare officers should be employed as may be prescribed.

Chapter VI (Working Hours of Adults)

  • Weekly Hours– Any adult worker should not be allowed to work in a factory for more than 48 hours a week. 
  • Weekly Holidays– No worker should be made work for continuously 10 days without any holiday. No worker should work on the first day of the week unless he has or will have a holiday on one of the 3 days immediately before or after the said day.
  • Compensatory Holidays– If a worker is deprived of any of the weekly holidays, he should be allowed take that holiday in that month or within the two months immediately following that month.
  • Daily Hours– No worker should be allowed to work in a day more than 9 hours a day. (Subject to the previous approval of Chief Inspector)
  • Intervals for Rest– The working hours of an adult worker should be set in a way that he doesn’t work for more than 5 hours without taking an interval for rest of at least half an hour.
  • Spread over– The working periods of an adult worker in a factory shall be arranged in such a manner that they do not work for more than ten and a half hours a day including the intervals for rest.
  • Night Shifts-If a worker works on a night shift, the hours he has worked for after the midnight should be counted in the previous day.
  • Prohibition of Overlapping Shifts– Not more than one worker should be given works of the same kind at the same time.
  • Extra Wages for Overtime– If any worker works for more than 48 hours in any week, he should be entitled to wages at the rate of twice his ordinary rate of wages.
  • Restriction on Double Employment– A worker should not be allowed to work in a factory if he is already doing work in one.
  • Notice of Periods of Work for Adults– A notice should be put every day clearly showing the periods in which adult worker may be required to work that day.
  • Register of Adult Workers– Every factory is required to maintain a register of adult workers showing the name and nature of the work of a worker.
  • Hours of Work to Correspond with Notice and Register– No worker should be allowed to work any work other than mentioned in the notice and the register.

Chapter VII (Employment for young persons)

  • Prohibition of Employment of Young Children– No child who is less than 14 years of age be allowed to work in any factory.
  • Non-adult Workers to Carry Tokens– An adolescent should not be allowed to work in a factory unless a certificate of fitness has been granted to him under section 69 of the Act.
  • Certificate of Fitness– A certifying surgeon can issue a certificate of fitness to an adolescent only when the manager of the factory and the guardian of the adolescent sign a document that he will be employed in that particular factory.
  • Working Hours for Children– No child should be allowed to work more than four and a half day in a day and should not be allowed to work in the night at all.
  • Notice of Periods of Work for Children– Every factory should display and maintain a notice every day for the periods during which children will be allowed to work.
  • Register of Child Workers– A register should be maintained in the factory mentioning the name of the child worker, the nature of his work, the group in which he is included, the shift of his group and his certificate of fitness. No child worker should be allowed to work in the factory unless his name is entered in the register of child workers.
  • Hours of Work to Correspond with Notice– No child should be employed in the factory otherwise in accordance with the notice of periods of work for children displayed in the factory.

An adolescent (both male and female) who has obtained a certificate of fitness can work in the factory only during the time period of 6 A.M.- 7 P.M.

Chapter VII (Annual Leave with Wages)

  • Annual Leave with Wages– Every worker who has worked for 240 days or more in a factory in a year should be allowed to have leaves with wages in the subsequent year.
  • Wage During Leave Period– A worker who has taken leave under section 79 or 80 of the act, shall be entitled to wages at a rate equal to the daily average of his total earnings for the day during the month immediately preceding his leave.
  • Payment in advance in Certain Cases– A worker who has been allowed leave for less than four days, in the case of an adult, and five days, in the case of a child, should, before his leave begins, be paid the wages due for the period of the leave allowed.     

In addition, the occupier a Health Register in respect of persons employed in occupations declared to be dangerous operation under section 87 of the Act.

  • Maintain a Bound Inspection Book.
  • Annual return to be filed on time.
  • Report form Health Officer.

Read the full Factories Act, 1948 HERE.


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