Government Panels To Review Safety, Working Condition Norms In Factories
An employee uses a press punch to cut lock components at a factory in the Tala Nagri Industrial Area of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)

Government Panels To Review Safety, Working Condition Norms In Factories

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The central government on Thursday set up expert committees to conduct a holistic review of the norms for safety, health and working conditions in factories, mines and construction sites.

The expert committees have “industry and subject experts from both public and private sector across the country to review the existing rules and regulations on safety, health and working conditions standards, pertaining to factories, docks and construction work”, the Ministry of Labour and Employment said in a statement.

The committee that will review factories and dock works-related regulations will be chaired by Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institute’s Director-General RK Elangovan.

The panel to review safety standards for building and other construction works will be led by L&T Hydrocarbon Chennai Vice President and Head (domestic operations) PLN Murthy. The one on fire safety will be chaired by the Indian government’s Fire Advisor DK Shami, according to the statement.

There are a total of 411 regulations that will be reviewed by these committees and this is the first time that such an exercise will be conducted in decades.

Also read: Government Defers Labour Codes Implementation; Employees’ Take Home Pay To Remain Same For Now

“The existing standards in form of rules and regulations pertaining to factories, docks and construction works have not been reviewed since their last notification in 1950, 1990 and 1998 respectively, and hence there is a pressing need to update them to meet the current requirements due to technological progress and system improvements,” the Labour Ministry said.

The official statement also cited Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar to say the government aims to establish uniform and updated standards for safety and health of workers throughout the country, which will result in enhancing the efficiency and productivity of workers.

“...considering the recent spurt in fire accidents at workplaces causing pain and agony to our workers and their families as well as huge losses to the national economy, a separate committee on fire safety standards has been formed so as to have a comprehensive and holistic approach for fire safety provisions,” the statement cited Gangwar as saying.

The government had recently amalgamated 29 central labour laws into four codes—one each on wages, industrial relations, occupational safety health and working conditions, and social security

However, the rollout of the new labour codes, which was supposed to take place on April 1, has been pushed back due to a delay by state governments in framing their own sets of rules.

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