Labour Ministry forms panels to review standards under OSH&WC Code

The labour ministry has set up three expert committees to review the existing rules and regulations pertaining to safety, fire and other working conditions and to suggest safety related standards for factories under the the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH&WC) Code, 2020.

The OSH&WC Code has been enacted after amalgamating thirteen different labour legislations and to simplify the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions in establishments.

The committee, composed of industry and subject experts from both public and private sector across the country, has been set up for Factories and Dock Works, for Building & Other Construction Works and on fire safety.

“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,” labour ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The expert committees for Factories and Dock Works will be chaired by Dr RK Elangovan, director general, DGFASLI, Mumbai while the expert committees for the Building & Other Construction Works will be headed by PLN Murthy, vice president and head (domestic operations), L&T Hydrocarbon, Chennai and the Fire Safety committee under the chairmanship of DK Shami, fire advisor to the government of India, MHA.

“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,” labour and employment minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said.

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According to minister Gangwar, this process will pave the way for establishing uniform and updated standards of safety and health of workers throughout the country by regulatory compliances with pro-active participation of the stakeholders and will result in conducive environment for enhancing the efficiency of workers in the establishments and will provide win-win environment to all stakeholders & productivity will increase multifold.

The Factories Act, 1948 has 113 standards set up in 1950 while the Dock Workers Regulations 1990 has 102 standards and the Building & Other Construction Workers Rules, 1998 has 196 standards.



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