Introduction to legal provisions of employee health and safety

As per the factories ordinance, an employer has a major role to play in promoting the health, safety, and welfare of an employee working in an organization. First of all, management should be monitored to check the quality of the workplace, cleanliness, reasonable temperature, overcrowding, lighting, ventilation, drainage system, and sanitary convenience. To protect the well-being of an employee there are different provisions under the factories ordinance. One of the major employment laws in our country is “Factory Ordinance” No.45 of 1942, 22 of 1946. This ordinance is making provisions for the health, safety, and welfare of the workers in factories. All the factories are to be registered with the department of labour.

Introduction to legal provisions of employee health and safety

There are some legal provisions under the health and safety abide by the factories in Sri Lanka. Those are,

Health (General Provisions)

  • Cleanliness
  • Overcrowding
  • Ventilation
  • Lighting
  • Sanitary Convenience
  • Power to require medical supervision
  • Temperature
  • Regulations increasing the amount of cubic space allowance for each person

Safety (General Provisions)

  • Transmission machinery
  • Construction and maintenance of fencing
  • Construction and sale of new machinery
  • Cleaning of machinery by women and young people
  • Chains, ropes and lifting tackle, cranes, and other lifting machines
  • Steam boilers, steam receivers, and steam containers

Provisions to protect the employee health and safety

Every factory shall be kept in a clean state and free from effluvia arising from any drain

  1. Accumulation of dirt and refuse shall be removed daily by a suitable method from the flows and benches of workrooms and from the staircases and passages.
  2. The flow of every workroom shall be cleaned at least once in every week by washing or if it’s effective and suitable by sweeping or other methods.
  3. Clean all walls partitions, ceilings,s or tops of rooms and sites and tops of passages and staircases
  4. A factory shall not, while work is carried on, being so overcrowded as to cause risk of injury to the health of the person employee therein.
  5. Secure and maintain a reasonable temperature in the workroom.
  6. Maintain proper ventilation by the circulation of fresh air.
  7. Provide sufficient and suitable lightening whether natural/artificial in every part of the factory.
  8. Provide and maintain effective ways for drainage of flows.
  9. Provide sufficient and suitable sanitary conveniences.

General Provisions for the safety

  1. Fence securely every dangerous part of prime, motors, transmission machinery, and other machineries.
  2. Fence securely or cover securely vessels containing dangerous substances such as scale ding or poisonous liquids to prevent any personnel from falling into such vessels.
  3. Fence securely ladders, stairs, or gangways with upper and lower ail and with toe boards.
  4. Not to allow a woman/young persons to clean any part of a prime mover of any transmission machinery while it’s in motion.
  5. Avoid having young persons to work at dangerous machines unless they have been fully instructed regarding the dangers involved.
  6. Use chains, ropes, and lifting tackle which are of good construction, soil material, adequate strength, and free from patent defect
  7. Follow all the safety requirements including periodical examinations.
  8. The organization should be provided to enable an employee to leave the factory when he/she need it, when he/she is inside the factory for working, or during meal time.
  9. Shall not be locked or fastened in such a manner that they can’t be easily and immediately opened from the inside

Therefore, all factories operating in Sri Lanka should follow the factories Ordinance and pay attention to the welfare of the employees

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