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

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

The labour ministry has set up expert committees to review the standards under the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH&WC) Code, 2020. The Code has amalgamated thirteen different labour legislations and is aimed at simplifying the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions in establishments.

“The central government has constituted expert committees comprising 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 said in a statement on Thursday.

The committee on factories and dock works will be chaired by R K Elangovan, DG, DGFASLI (Directorate General, Factory Advice and Labour Institutes), Mumbai.

The panel on building & other construction works has been set up under the chairmanship of P L N Murthy, VP & Head Domestic Operations, L &T Hydrocarbon, Chennai, while D K Shami, Fire Advisor to the Government of India, MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) will chair the committee on fire safety.

As many as 113 standards under the Factories Rules framed under the Factories Act, 1948 would be reviewed.

The existing standards in the 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. Hence, there is a pressing need to update them to meet the current requirements due to technological progress and system improvements, the ministry said.

Further, it said the move will help to incorporate the advancements and progress made in the field of OSH&WC and to meet global standards in this regard.

As many as 102 rules will be reviewed under the Dock Workers (Safety, Health Welfare) Regulations, 1990.

Similarly, 196 standards will be reviewed under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Central Rules, 1998.

Fire safety norms in factories, dock works and construction sites are of paramount importance, Minister of Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar said in the statement.

Considering the recent spurt in fire accidents at workplaces causing pain and agony to workers and their families as well as huge losses to the national economy, a separate committee on fire safety standards has been formed, he said.

This is 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, the minister noted.

Further, Gangwar stressed that 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.

It will also result in a conducive environment for enhancing the efficiency of workers in the establishments and will provide win-win environment to all stakeholders and productivity will increase multi-fold, he added.

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