The Factories Act, 1948 – Brief Notes

The main object of this act is to provide safety measures for the workers employed in a factory and also to promote their health. An establishment to be a factor must include fulfilling the following conditions-

a) A manufacturing process must be carried out

b) There must be a premise

c) Ten or more persons must be employed where a manufacturing process is carried with the aid of power. Where the manufacturing process is carried without the aid of power twenty or more persons must be employed on any day in the last 12 months.

Mobile units of armed forces, hotels, eating places, restaurants, mines, a railway running sheds cannot be termed as a factory.

An Adult (who has completed the age of 18), Child (who has not completed the age of 15 years), Adolescent (who has completed the age of 15 years but has not completed 18 years of age) can be employed in a factory.

  • No adult worker is allowed to work in a factory for more than 48 hours a week and is entitled to a holiday per week.
  • The structure of the factory must have proper lights, ventilation, drainage, temperature, drinking and bathroom facilities etc.
  • As a general rule, women cannot be employed in Night shifts but the act has been amended to allow night shifts for women employed in sectors like Special Economic Zones, IT sector and textiles while the employer must provide safeguards and transport.
  • The act provides that any inspection of a machine in motion can only be carried out by a trained male worker. Thus, it prohibits women workers to function on or near machinery in motion.
  • Under this act, penalties include imprisonment up to 1 year and/or fine up to 1 lakh rupees.