Factories Act, 1948

Factories Act, 1948

The Factories Act, 1948, came into force on 1st April, 1949. It was enacted with a view to removing a number of defects, revealed in the working of the Act of 1934. The Act of 1948 not only consolidates but also amends the law regulating labour in factories. It extends to the whole of India. Section 116 provides that, unless otherwise provided, this Act also applies to factories belonging to the Central or any State Government.
Object of the Act
The object of this Act is to secure health, safety, welfare, proper working hours, leave and other benefits for workers employed in factories. In other words, the Act is enacted primarily with the object to regulate the conditions of work in manufacturing establishments coming within the definition of the term ‘factory’ as used in the Act.
General Scheme of the Act
The Act is divided into 11 Chapters and contains Schedule

• CHAPTER I.- Preliminary (Sections 1 to 7)
• CHAPTER II.- The Inspecting Staff (Sections 8 to 10)
• CHAPTER III.- Health (Sections 11 to 20)
• CHAPTER IV.- Safety and provisions related to hazardous processes (Sections 21 to 41)
• CHAPTER V.- Welfare of workers (Sections 42 to 50)
• CHAPTER VI.- Working hours of adults (Sections 51 to 66)
• CHAPTER VII.- Employment of young persons (Sections 67 to 77)
• CHAPTER VIII.- Annual leave with wages ( Sections 78 – 84)
• CHAPTER IX.- Special provisions ( Sections 85 to 91 A)
• CHAPTER X.- Penalties and procedure (Sections 91 to 106)
• CHAPTER XI.- Supplemental (Sections 107 to 120)


The First Schedule :List of Industries involving hazardous processes

The Second Schedule: Permissible levels of certain chemical substances in work environment

The Third Schedule :List of notifiable diseases

The Factories Act, 1948 (Act No. 63 of 1948), as amended by the Factories (Amendment) Act, 1987 (Act 20 of 1987)

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement. –

(1) This Act may be called the Factories Act, 1948.

(2) It extends to the whole of India

(3) It shall come into force on the 1st day of April, 1949.

Section 2. Important Definitions

(a) “adult” means a person who has completed his eighteenth year of age;

(b) “adolescent” means a person, who has completed his fifteenth year of age but has not completed his eighteenth year;

(bb) “calendar year” means the period of twelve months beginning with the first day of January in any year;

(c) “child” means a person who has not completed his fifteenth year of age;

(ca) “competent person”, in relation to any provision of this Act, means a person or an institution recognized as such by the Chief Inspector for the purposes of carrying out tests, examinations and inspections required to be done in a factory under the provisions of this Act having regard to-

(i) the qualifications and experience of the person and facilities available at his disposal, or

(ii) the qualifications and experience of the persons employed in such institution and facilities available therein, with regard to the conduct of such tests, examinations and inspections, and more than one person or institution can be recognized as a competent person in relation to a factory;

(cb) “hazardous process” means any process or activity in relation to an industry specified in the ‘First Schedule where, unless special care is taken, raw materials used therein or the intermediate or finished products, bye-products, wastes or effluents thereof would-

(i) cause material impairment to the health of the persons engaged in or connected therewith, or

(ii) result in the pollution of the general environment:

Provided that the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, amend the First Schedule by way of addition, omission or variation of any industry specified in the said Schedule;

(d) “young person” means a person, who is either a child or an adolescent;

(e) “day” means a period of twenty-four hours beginning at midnight;

(f) “week” means a period of seven days beginning at midnight on Saturday night or such other night as may be approved in writing for a particular area by the Chief Inspector of Factories;

(g) “power” means electrical energy, or any other form of energy, which is mechanically transmitted and is not generated, by human or animal agency;

(h) “prime-mover” means any engine, motor or other appliance, which generates or otherwise provides power;

(i) “transmission machinery” means any shift, wheel, drum, pulley, system of pulleys, coupling, clutch, driving belt or other appliance or device by which the motion of a prime-mover is transmitted to or received by any machinery or appliance;

(j) “machinery” includes prime-movers, transmission machinery and all other appliances, whereby power is generated, transformed, transmitted or applied;

(k) “manufacturing process” means any process for-

(i) making, altering, repairing, ornamenting, finishing, packing, oiling, washing, cleaning, breaking up, demolishing or otherwise treating or adopting any article or substance with a view to its use, sale, transport, delivery or disposal; or

(ii) pumping oil, water, sewage, or any other substance; or

(iii) generating, transforming or transmitting power; or

(iv) composing types for printing, printing by letter press, lithography, photogravure or other similar process or book-binding; or

(v) constructing, reconstructing,, repairing, refitting, finishing or breaking up ships or vessels; or

(vi) preserving or storing any article in cold storage ;

(l) “worker” means a person employed directly or by or through any agency (including a contractor) with or without the knowledge of the principal employer whether for remuneration or not in any manufacturing process, or in cleaning any part of the machinery or premises used for a manufacturing process, or in any other kind of work incidental to, or connected with the manufacturing process, or the subject of the manufacturing process but does not include any member of the armed forces of the Union;

(m) “factory” means any premises including the precincts thereof-

(i) whereon 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 power, or is ordinarily so carried on, or

(ii) whereon 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 without the aid of power, or is ordinarily so carried on,- but does not include a mine subject to the operation of the Mines Act, 1952 (XXXV of 1952) or a mobile unit belonging to the armed forces of the Union, a railway running shed or a hotel, restaurant or eating place;

Explanation I.—For computing the number of workers for the purposes of this clause all the workers in different groups and relays in a day shall be taken into account;

Explanation II.—For the purposes of this clause, the mere fact that an Electronic Data Processing Unit or a Computer Unit is installed in any premises or part thereof, shall not be construed to make it a factory if no manufacturing process is being carried on in such premises or part thereof ;

(n) “occupier” of a factory means the person, who has ultimate control over the affairs of the factory,

Provided that-

(i) in the case of a firm or other association of individuals, any one of the individual partners or members thereof shall be deemed to be the occupier;

(ii) in the case of a company, any one of the directors, shall be deemed to be the occupier:

(iii) in the case of a factory owned or controlled by the Central Government or any State Government, or any local authority, the person or persons appointed to manage the affairs of the factory by the Central Government, the State Government or the local authority, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be the occupier :

Provided further that in the case of a ship which is being repaired, or on which maintenance work is being carried out, in a dry dock which is available for hire,

(1) the owner of the dock shall be deemed to be the occupier for the purposes of any matter provided for by or under-

(a) section 6, section 7, section 7A, section 7B, section 11 or section 12;

(b) section 17, in so far as it relates to the providing and maintenance of sufficient and suitable lighting in or around the dock;

(c) section 18, section 19, section 42, section 46, section 47 or section 49, in relation to the workers employed on such repair or maintenance;

(2) the owner of the ship or his agent or master or other officer-in-charge of the ship or any person who contracts with such owner, agent or master or other officer-in-charge to carry out the repair or maintenance work shall be deemed to be the occupier for the purposes of any matter provided for by or under section 13, section 14, section 16 or section 17 (save as otherwise provided in this proviso) or Chapter IV (except section 27) or section 43, section 44 or section 45, Chapter VI, Chapter VII, Chapter VIII or Chapter IX or section 108, section 109 or section 110, in relation to-

(a) the workers employed directly by him or by or through any agency; and

(b) the machinery, plant or premises in use for the purpose of carrying out such repair or maintenance work by such owner, agent, master or other officer-in-charge or person ;

(o) [Omitted];

(p) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made by the State Government under this Act;

(q) [Omitted];

(r) where work of the same kind is carried out by two or more sets of workers working during different periods of the day, each of such sets is called a “group” or “relay” and each of such periods is called a “shift”.

Section 3. Reference to time of day.-

In this Act references to time of day are references to Indian Standard Time being five and a half hours, ahead of Greenwich Mean Time:

Provided that for any area in which Indian Standard Time is not ordinarily observed the State Government may make rules-

(a) specifying the area,

(b) defining the local mean time ordinarily observed therein, and

(c) permitting such time to be observed in all or any of the factories situated in the area.

Section 4. Power to declare different departments to be separate factories or two or more factories to be a single factory.-

The State Government may, on its own or on an application made in this behalf by an occupier, direct by an order in writing and subject to such conditions as it may deem fit, that for all or any of the purposes of this Act different departments or branches of a factory of the occupier specified in the application shall be treated as separate factories or that two or more factories of the occupier specified in the application shall be treated as a single factory.

Provided that no order under this section shall be made by the State Government on its own motion unless an opportunity of being heard is given to the occupier.

Factories Act, 1948
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