Introduction to Factories Act:

The factory defined as “A factory is a facility or collection of structures where products are produced or assembled using machinery or labour.” 

Figure: Factories act in labour laws

The Factories Act 1948 is an important part of Indian labour laws that regulates working conditions in factories to ensure the Industrial safety, health and welfare of workers. Enacted by the Indian Parliament, the Act aims to create a safe and conducive working environment, prevent exploitation of workers and protect workers’ rights. This comprehensive Act plays a pivotal role in establishing domestic industrial labour standards and practices, applicable to all manufacturing processes identified in the Act.

Historical Context and Significance of Indian Factory Act:

The Indian factories act 1948 is essential for several reasons

Boosting Productivity: By ensuring a safe and healthy working environment, the factories Act indirectly boosts worker productivity and efficiency.

Regulation of Working Hours


It standardised working hours and ensured fair compensation for overtime, preventing worker exploitation.

Preventing Child Labour


It sets stringent rules against child labour, ensuring that young persons are not subjected to hazardous working conditions.

Promoting Health


It mandates proper sanitary conditions in factories, contributing to the overall health of workers.

Worker Protection


It provides a legal framework to ensure workers’ safety, health, and welfare as per labour laws.

Key Objectives of factories act 1948

The factories act 1948 important points, can be summarised as follows:

  • Implementation of necessary workers and Industrial safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries within the factory premises.
  • Establishing guidelines for working hours, overtime, and rest intervals to protect workers from overexertion.

Enhancing hygienic conditions and providing adequate facilities for the overall well-being of factory workers.

Regulating employment conditions for young persons and women to ensure their safety and rights.

Enforcing regular inspections and compliance checks to uphold the provisions of the factories Act 1948.

Health Provisions in Factories Act 1948 

The factories act 1948 lays down several health provisions to ensure a safe and hygienic working environment:

Factories Act Health provisions HD Image

Factories must maintain a high level of cleanliness, including regular cleaning of floors, workrooms, and passages. This also involves proper disposal of waste and effluents.

Factories are required to make adequate arrangements for the treatment and disposal of waste and effluents to prevent environmental pollution and health hazards as per factories act 1948.

Adequate ventilation must be provided to ensure that the factory remains well-ventilated. Measures must be taken to control the temperature to provide a comfortable working environment.

Effective measures must be in place to prevent the inhalation of dust and fumes, which can be hazardous to health.

Factories must ensure sufficient and suitable lighting, both natural and artificial, to prevent accidents and health issues related to poor visibility.

Provision of wholesome drinking water at suitable points conveniently accessible to all workers is mandatory.

Factories must provide adequate and separate latrine and urinal facilities for male and female workers in a factory, maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

Safety Provisions under the Factories Act 1948

Safety provisions are a crucial part of the factories Act 1948, aimed at preventing workplace accidents and ensuring the security of workers:

indian constitution

Every dangerous part of machinery should be securely fenced to prevent accidents. This includes moving parts, which should be covered to avoid contact.

Detailed precautions are prescribed for cases where workers have to work on or near moving machinery.

Precautions must be taken for revolving machinery to prevent accidents as per labour laws act.

Every hoist and lift must be of good mechanical construction, sound material, and adequate strength, properly maintained, and examined regularly.

Floors, steps, stairs, passages, and gangways must be of sound construction and properly maintained.

Adequate worker’s Industrial safety measures must be in place for lifting machines and devices, including proper maintenance and regular inspection.

No young person shall work on dangerous machines unless they have been fully instructed regarding the dangers and the precautions to be observed and have received sufficient training.

Any plant or machinery operated under pressure must comply with safety standards to prevent accidents.

No person shall be required to lift, carry or move any load so heavy as to be likely to cause injury.

Effective screens or suitable goggles must be provided to protect the eyes of workers from injury by exposure to excessive light or particles.

Welfare Provisions in Factories Act

The welfare provisions under the factories Act 1948 ensure that workers have access to essential facilities and a decent working environment:

Labour act working hours and Overtime under factories act

Regulation of working hours is a critical aspect of the factories Act 1948, aimed at ensuring workers are not overburdened:

Weekly Hours

According to the Act, no adult employee may be forced to work more than 48 hours in a week in a factory.

Rest Periods

After five hours of nonstop work, employees must be given a minimum of thirty minutes off.

Spread Over

To protect the safety and wellbeing of employees, especially women, special measures are in place for night shifts. There can be no more than one change in night shifts per week.

Daily Hours

An adult worker’s workday should not consist of more than nine hours, and breaks for rest are required.

night shift

The legislation includes provisions for specific exemptions for certain categories of workers or establishments. For instance, it may exempt certain groups of employees who fall under other specialized Indian labour laws.

over time

Workers must be compensated for overtime at twice the ordinary rate of wages. The Act ensures that workers do not work for more than 60 hours a week and more than 12 hours a day, including overtime as per labour act.

Employment of Women and Young Persons

The factories act 1948 includes specific provisions to protect women and young persons (aged 14 to 18):

Prohibition of Child Labour


The Act strictly prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 in any factory.

Adolescents


Adolescents (aged 15 to 18) are allowed to work only if they have a certificate of fitness from a certifying surgeon. They are not permitted to work during the night (10 PM to 6 AM).

Women Worker


Special provisions ensure the Industrial safety and welfare of women workers in a factory. They are not allowed to work between 7 PM and 6 AM, with certain exceptions.

Maternity Benefits


The Act ensures that women workers are entitled to maternity benefits, including maternity and annual leave with wages, ensuring they are not deprived of their earnings during the maternity period.

Factory Act Compliance and Inspections

The Act mandates regular inspections and labour law compliance checks to enforce its provisions:

Appointed inspectors of factories conduct regular inspections to ensure factories comply with the Act’s provisions. They have the authority to enter any factory premises, examine workers, and inspect documents and machinery.

India factory Act prescribes penalties for non-compliance with its provisions. Employers found violating the Act can face fines and imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence.

Factories are required to maintain detailed records and registers regarding workers’ employment, working hours, wages, and health and safety measures. These records must be readily available for inspection and audit by authorities.

Factories must promptly report any accidents resulting in death or serious injury to the Factory Inspector and other authorities as prescribed.

Factories are required to submit annual returns detailing various aspects of their operations, including the number of workers employed, hours worked, wages paid, and other labour laws compliances with health and Industrial safety standards.

Factory compliance in India

Amendments and Modern Developments of factories Act

Since its inception, the Factories Act 1948 has undergone several amendments to address emerging challenges and align with international labour standards. Key amendments and developments include:

With the advent of new technologies and machinery, the Act has been periodically updated to incorporate safety standards for modern equipment and processes.

India’s ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions has influenced amendments to the Factories Act, ensuring labour laws compliance with global labour standards.

The introduction of digital platforms for record-keeping and compliance reporting has streamlined the enforcement of the Act. Factories are now required to maintain digital records and submit returns online, improving transparency and accountability.

Various amendment acts have been introduced to update labour safety Indian labour law working hours, standards, and other provisions by the directorate of industrial safety and health. These amendments aim to enhance worker protection and adapt to changing industrial practices.

All compliance registers under the Factories Act, 1948

Compliance registers are essential for maintaining safety, health, and welfare standards in factories. Below is a detailed list of all required compliance registers, along with the necessary details for each.

Key Compliance Areas of Registers under Factories Act:

  1. Worker Registries: Registers for adult and child workers, detailing their employment status and working conditions.
  2. Health and Safety: Registers for medical examinations, hazardous processes, dangerous operations, and noise exposure.
  3. Maintenance and Inspections: Detailed records of maintenance activities, inspections of equipment like hoists, lifts, and pressure vessels, and environmental controls like ventilation and humidity.
  4. Attendance and Wages: Muster rolls, leave with wages, and overtime records to ensure proper tracking of working hours and compensation.
  5. Accidents and Preventive Measures: Detailed accident registers and records of preventive measures taken to avoid dangerous occurrences.

Important registers under the Factories Act

These registers are essential for legal compliance, worker safety, and operational efficiency. Regular updates and accurate records help in inspections and audits, ensuring that factories adhere to the required standards and provide a safe working environment for all employees.

Register NameDetails
Register of Adult Workers (Form 12)Contains details of all adult workers, including name, age, nature of work, group, relay, and shift timing.
Register of Child Workers (Form 14)Lists child workers with details such as name, age, nature of work, hours of work, and fitness certificates.
Register of Leave with Wages (Form 15)Records leave taken by workers and the wages paid during leave periods.
Register of Accidents and Dangerous OccurrencesDetailed records of all accidents and dangerous occurrences in the factory, including nature and causes.
Register of Compensatory Holidays (Form 9)Details of compensatory holidays granted to workers who have worked on weekly holidays or other off days.
Muster Roll (Form 25)Daily attendance records of all workers.
Register of Overtime (Form 10)Records overtime hours worked by each worker, including dates, hours, and overtime payments.
Register of Whitewashing, Painting, etc. (Form 7)Details of whitewashing, painting, and other maintenance activities carried out in the factory.
Register of Humidity (Form 6)Records humidity levels in the factory, including measurements and control measures implemented.
Register of Lime Washing, Painting, or Varnishing (Form 7)Details of lime washing, painting, or varnishing activities, including dates and areas covered.
Register of Adult Workers Employed on Overtime (Form 11)Details of adult workers who have worked overtime, including hours and nature of work.
Register of Examination of Hoists and Lifts (Form 8)Records periodic examinations and maintenance of hoists and lifts.
Register of Examination of Pressure Vessels (Form 8)Details inspections and examinations of pressure vessels and plant.
Register of Water Sealed Gas Holder (Form 8)Records examinations and maintenance of water-sealed gas holders.
Register of Examination of Ventilation Systems (Form 8)Details inspections and maintenance of ventilation systems.
Register of Tests of Emission of Explosive or Inflammable Dust, Gas, etc.Records tests for detecting emissions of explosive or inflammable dust, gas, or vapors.
Register of Testing and Examination of Plant and MachineryDetails periodic testing and examination of plant and machinery.
Register of Trained Workers for Handling Hazardous ProcessesLists workers trained to handle hazardous processes, including training details and dates.
Register of Medical Examination (Form 6)Records medical examinations of workers, especially those engaged in hazardous processes.
Register of Workers Exposed to NoiseDetails workers exposed to high noise levels, including exposure duration and protective measures.
Register of Workers Engaged in Hazardous ProcessesLists workers engaged in hazardous processes, including exposure levels and health monitoring records.
Register of Dangerous Operations (Form 8)Records operations considered dangerous, including nature, safety measures, and monitoring results.
Register of Cleaning and Maintenance of Dust Extraction SystemDetails cleaning and maintenance of dust extraction systems.
Register of Examination of Fire ExtinguishersRecords periodic examination and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
Register of Maintenance of Floors, Stairs, and PassagewaysDetails maintenance of floors, stairs, and passageways to ensure safety and cleanliness.

Conclusion:

The Factories Act 1948 remains the cornerstone of labour laws in India and reflects the country’s commitment to protecting the health, safety and welfare of factory workers in a factory. By establishing clear guidelines and regulations, labour law bare act ensures a balanced and humane working environment and promotes productivity and economic growth. Factories must diligently comply with the provision of Indian labour law for private companies and ensure compliance through regular inspections and updates to safety measures.

According to the regulations of the Factories Act, 1948:

  • In the event of having over 250 workers, it is mandatory to supply cool drinking water during the hot season.
  • If there are 1000 or more workers, the appointment of a Safety Officer is required
  • A first aid box must be available if there are 150 workers.
  • An ambulance room should be provided if there are more than 500 workers.
  • For factories requiring further advice or compliance support, we recommend that you consult a legal expert or health and Industrial safety advisor as per factories act 1948.
industry

Some charts that can help illustrate key aspects of the Factories Act 1948 in India:

Chart 1: Objectives of the Factories Act 1948
Objective  Description
Ensuring Safety     Implementation of Industrial safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries by the directorate of industrial safety and health.            
Promoting Health    Enhancing hygienic conditions and providing necessary health facilities.
Regulating Working HoursEstablishing guidelines for Indian labour law working hours, overtime, and rest intervals.
Protecting Workers  Safeguarding the rights and well-being of women and young workers.
Mandating InspectionsEnforcing regular labour law inspections and compliance checks
Main Objectives of the Factories Act India
Chart 1: Objectives of the Factories Act 1948
Objective  Description
Ensuring Safety     Implementation of Industrial safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries by the directorate of industrial safety and health.            
Promoting Health    Enhancing hygienic conditions and providing necessary health facilities.
Regulating Working HoursEstablishing guidelines for Indian labour law working hours, overtime, and rest intervals.
Protecting Workers  Safeguarding the rights and well-being of women and young workers.
Mandating InspectionsEnforcing regular labour law inspections and compliance checks
Main Objectives of the Factories Act India

Chart 2: Key Safety Provisions in Factories Act
ProvisionDescription
Fencing of Machinery       Secure fencing of dangerous machinery parts
Work Near MachineryPrecautions for working near moving machinery.      
Employment on Dangerous MachinesInstruction and training for young persons on dangerous machines. 
Hoists and Lifts       Regular maintenance and examination of hoists and lifts.
Submission of detailed annual returns on operational aspects.directorate of industrial safety and health measures and inspections for lifting devices.                   
Revolving Machinery    Precautions to prevent accidents with revolving machinery.             
Pressure Plant         Safety standards for machinery operated under pressure.                
Floors, Stairs, and Access Sound construction and maintenance of floors, stairs, and access routes.
Excessive Weights      Regulations on the manual handling of heavy loads
Protection of Eyes     Provision of protective screens or goggles for eye safety.             
Safety & security rules in Factories Act
Chart 3: Welfare Provisions in the factories Act
ProvisionDescription
Washing Facilities      Adequate and suitable washing facilities
Storage and Drying FacilitiesArrangements for drying and storing protective clothing
Sitting Facilities      Suitable sitting arrangements for workers employed in standing positions. 
First-Aid Appliances    First-aid boxes or cupboards with prescribed contents
Canteens  Provision of canteens in large factories.                              
Shelters, Rest Rooms, Lunch RoomsAdequate shelters, rest rooms, and lunch rooms with drinking water
CrechesSuitable rooms for children of women workers in a factory 
Welfare Officers        Appointment of welfare officers in large factories.                    
#FACTORIES_ACT 1948 Welfare rules
Chart 4: Key Health Provisions as per factories act 1948
ProvisionDescription 
Cleanliness              Regular cleaning of floors, workrooms, and passages
Disposal of Waste and EffluentsProper treatment and disposal systems for waste and effluents.         
Ventilation and Temperature  Adequate ventilation and temperature control.                           
Dust and Fume Control    Measures to prevent inhalation of harmful dust and fumes
Lighting                 Sufficient and suitable natural and artificial lighting.                
Drinking Water           Provision of wholesome drinking water.                                  
Latrines and Urinals     Adequate, clean, and separate facilities for men and women      
Health Provisions in factories act 1948
Chart 5: Employment Provisions for Women and Young Persons
ProvisionDescription
Prohibition of Child LabourNo employment of children under 14 years in factories
AdolescentsEmployment with a fitness certificate; no night shifts.                
Women Workers          No work between 7 PM and 6 AM, with exceptions.                        
Maternity Benefits     Entitlement to maternity benefits and Annual leave with wages.          
Provisions of Employment for Women and Young Persons in factories act
Chart 6: Working Hours and Overtime Regulations in the factories Act
RegulationDescription
Weekly Hours           Maximum of 48 working hours per week.                                  
Daily Hours            Maximum of 9 working hours per day.                                    
Rest Intervals         At least half an hour rest after 5 hours of continuous work.           
Spread Over            Indian labour law working hours including rest intervals not to exceed 10.5 hours a day. 
Night Shifts           Special provisions and restrictions for night shifts, especially for women.
OvertimeCompensation for overtime at twice the ordinary wage rate.             
Provisions of Working Hours and Overtime rules in factories act
Chart 7: Inspections and Compliance Mechanisms in the factories Act

MechanismDescription
Factory Inspections    Regular inspections by Factory’s Inspectors.                             
Penalties for Non-ComplianceFines and imprisonment for violations.                                 
Records and Registers  labour act working hours, Maintenance of employment, and health records.          
Notice of Accidents    Rapid reporting of serious accidents.                                 
Annual Returns         Submission of detailed annual returns on various operational aspects.  
Inspections and Compliance the factories act