Centre sets up panel to review safety rules in factories

Separate committee on fire safety standards also been formed

Seventy years after they were last revised, the Centre has set up an expert committee to review the rules for safety, health and working conditions in factories. Other committees are being set up to review existing rules for docks and construction work, as well as to look at new fire safety standards, according to a Labour Ministry statement.

“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 presently provided under the above mentioned Rules and Regulations as well as to align the same with National Building Code, 2016,” said Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar.

This is the next step in the labour reforms agenda, after 13 different labour legislations were amalgamated into the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 enacted last year.

The existing rules for factories, docks and construction works have not been reviewed since their last notification in 1950, 1990 and 1998 respectively. Since then, technological progress, system improvements and global standards have all undergone many changes.

The expert committees set up to update them will include members from both the public and private sectors with industry and subject expertise. The Fire Safety committee will be chaired by Home Ministry’s Fire Advisor D.K. Shami, while the Building and Other Construction Works committee will be chaired by L&T Hydrocarbon’s vice president P.L.N. Murthy. The head of the Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes, R.K. Elangovan, will chair the Factories and Docks committees, said the statement.

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