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Industrial Safety provisions

The statutory safety provisions as applicable to factories in India are found in sections 21 through 40 of the Factories Act, 1948. A detailed version of each of these sections are listed below.

Safety provisions


The statutory safety provisions as applicable to factories in India are found in sections 21 through 40 of the Factories Act, 1948. A detailed version of each of these sections are listed below. The number mentioned in the right hand extreme refers to the actual number of section as found in the Act.


Section 21. Fencing of machinery


Section 22. Work on or near machinery in motion


Section 23. Employment of young persons on dangerous machines Section 25. Casing of new machinery


Section 27. Hoists and lifts


Section 28. Lifting machines, chains, ropes and lifting tackles Section 29. Revolving machinery


Section 30. Pressure plant


Section 31. Floors, stairs and means of access Section 32. Pits, sumps, openings in floors, etc. Section 33. Excessive weights


Section 34. Protection of eyes


Section 35. Precautions against dangerous fumes, gases, etc. Section 36 a. Precautions regarding the use of portable electric light Section 37. Explosive or inflammable dust, gas, etc


Section 38. Precautions in case of fire


Section 39. Power to require specifications of defective parts or tests of stability Section 40. Safety of buildings and machinery


Section 40 a. Maintenance of buildings Section 40 b. Safety officers


Section 41. Powers to make rule to supplement








Sections 21 to 40A, 40B and 41 of the Act lay down rules for the purpose of securing the safety of workers. Summary of the provisions of the Factories Act regarding the safety of the workers are stated below: (Sections 2l to 41) .


1. Fencing ot machinery. All dangerous machinery must be securely fenced e.g., moving .parts- of prime movers and flywheels connected to every prime mover. electric generators. etc.-Sec. 2l.



2. Work on or near machinery in motion. Work on or near machinery in motion must be carried out only by specially trained adult male workers wearing tightly fitting c1othes.-Sec. 22.


3. Employment of young persons on dangerous machines. No young person shall work at any danger()us machine' unless he has been specially instructed as to the dangers and the precautions to be observed. has received sufficient training about th~ work. and is under the supervision of some person having thorough knowledge and experience of the machine.-Sec. 23.


4.  Striking gear and devices for cutting off power. In every factory suitable devices for cutting off power in emergencies from running machinery shall be provided and maintained in every workroom.~. 24.


5.  Self-acting machines. Moving parts of a self-acting machine must not be allowed to come within 45 cms. of any fixed structure which is not part of the machine.-Sec. 25.


6. Casing of new machinery. In all machinery installed after the commencement of the Act. certain parts must be sunk, encased or otherwise effectively guarded e.g.. set screw. bolt. toothed gearing etc. -sec. 26.



7. Women and children near cotton Openers. Women and children must not be allowed to work near cot/On openers, except In certain cases.-Sec. 27



8.     Hoists, lifts, chains etc, Every hoist and lift must be so constructed as to be safe. There are detailed rules as to how such safety is to be secured. There are similar provisions regarding lifting machines. chains, ropes and lifting tackle .Sec. 28. 29.


9. .Revolving machinery. Where grinding is . carried on the maximum safe working speed of every revolving machinery connected therewith must be notified. Steps must be taken to see that the safe speed is not exceeded.-Sec. 30.


10. Pressure plant. Where any operation is carried on at a pressure higher than the atmospheric pressure, steps must be taken to ensure that the safe working pressure is not exceed~cL-.sec. 31.



. 11. Floors, stairs and means of access. All floors, steps, stairs, passage and gangways shall be of sound construction and properly maintained. Handrails shall be provided where necessary. Safe means of access shall be provided to the place where the worker will carry on any work.-Sec. 32.

12. Pits, sumps. openings in floors etc. Pits. sumps. openings in floors etc. must be securely covered or fenced.-Sec. 33.


13. Excessive weights. No worker shall be made to carry a load so heavy as to cause him injury.-8ec. 34.


14. Protection of eyes. Effective screen or suitable goggles shall be provided to protect the eyes of the worker from fragments thrown off in course of any manufacturing process and from excessive light if any.-Sec. 35.



15. Precautions against dangerous fumes. No person shall be allowed to enter any chamber. tank etc. where dangerous fumes are likely to ,be present. unless it is equipped with a manhole or other means of going out. In such space no portable electric light of more than 24 ,volts shall be used. Only a lamp or light of flame proof construction can be used in such space. For people entering such space suitable breathing apparatus, reviving apparatus etc. shall be provided. Such places shall be cooled by ventilation before any person is allowed to enter.-8ecs. 36 and 36A.



16.  Explosive or inflammable gas etc. where a manufacturing process produces inflammable gas. dust. fume. etc. steps must be taken to enclose the machine concerned, prevent the accumulation of substances and exclude all possible sources of ignition. Extra precautionary measures are to be taken where such substances are worked at greater than the atmospheric. pressure.-Sec. 37.



17. Precaution in case of fire. Fire escapes shall be provided. Windows and doors shall be constructed to open outwards. The means of exit in case of the fire shall be clearly marked in red letters. Arrangements must be made to give warning in case or fire -sec. 38



18. Specifications of defectives etc. and safety of buildings and machinery. If any building or machine is in a defective or dangerous condition, the inspector of factories can ask fer the holding of tests to determine how they can be made safe. He can also direct the adoption of the measure necessary to make them safe. In case of immediate danger, the use of the building or machine can be prohibited.-Secs. 39. 40.


19. Maintenance of Buildings. If the Inspector of Factories thinks that any building in a factory, or any. part of it. is in such a state of disrepair that it is likely to affect the health and welfare of the workers. he may serve on the occupier or manager or both in writing specifying the measures to be done before the specified date. Sec. 4OA.



Safety Officers. The State Government may notify to the occupier to employ a number of Safety Officers in a factory (i) wherein one thousand or more workers are ordinarily employed. or (ii) wherein any manufacturing process or operation which involves the risk of bodily injury, poisoning. disease or any other hazard to health of the persons employed in the factory .-Sec. 40B.



Rules. The State Government may make rules providing for the use of such further devices for safety as may be necessary. Sec. 41.


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