In its bid to improve the working environment and prevent the exploitation of factory workers,the state government has decided to apply the provisions of Factories Act to even the units having just one worker.
The Labour and Employment Department of the Gujarat government has issued a notification to this effect. The decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 85 of the Factories Act,1948.
The notification declares that all the provisions of the Act will apply to classes or places where Schedule XVII and Schedule XVIII under Rule 102 of Gujarat Factories Rules,1963 are applicable,wherein a manufacturing process is carried out by one or more workers. These workers may be directly employed or working with the permission of,or under agreement with factory owners.
V N Patel,Director,Industrial Health and Hygiene,Gujarat government,said: This will help us fix the responsibilities for occupational hazards in cases of silicosis and silicotuberculosis among the agate workers of Khambhat and the stone quartz grinders.
The workers in mining,milling,textile and cement industries,suffering from asbestosis,will also be benefited by this,he added.
Jagdish Patel of Peoples Training and Research Centre,Vadodara,called for a strict implementation of the law. The earlier move to reduce the number of workers from 10 to five for applicability of the Act didnt produce the desired results. Instead of indulging in self praise,strict implementation of the notification must be ensured, he said.