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Hazardous Processes

Hazardous Processes:

Disposal of Waste and Effluents:

Hazardous Processes: Every occupier of a factory shall make effective arrangements for the treatment of wastes due effluents due the manufacturing process carried on in the factory, so as to render them innocuous and for their disposal.

The State Government may make rules prescribing the arrangements to be made. If the State Government has not prescribed any rules in this respect, it may require that the arrangements made by the occupier be approved by the prescribed authority.

Even since the Bhopal gas disaster, workers, society and the Government have become alert about the hazardous processes. Everyone felt that proper arrangements must be made for safety and security of workers as well as members of the general public against the hazardous processes. Moreover, it was also felt that the factories involving hazardous process should not be allowed to be installed in the residential areas of the cities and towns. Therefore, the Government of India inserted a new chapter in the Factories Act and made certain provisions for safety against hazardous processes.Hazardous Processes

Definition of Hazardous Process:

Hazardous process means any process or activity in relation to an industry specified in the First Schedule where, unless special care is taken, raw materials used therein or the intermediate or finished products, by-products, wastes or effluents thereof would:

Cause material impairment to the health of the persons engaged in or connected therewith, or Result in the pollution of the general environment.

The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, amend the First Schedule by way of addition, omission or variation of any industry specified in the said Schedule.

Site/appraisal committee for Hazardous Processes:

Appointment and purposes: The State Government may, for purposes of advising it to consider applications for grant of permission for the initial location of a factory involving of hazardous process or for the expansion of any such factory, appoint a Site Appraisal Committee.

Composition: The composition of the Committee shall be of the following persons:

  • The Chief Inspector of the State who shall be its Chairman.
  • A representative of the Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution appointed by the Central Government.
  • Representative of the Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution.
  • A representative of the State Board for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution.
  • Representative of the Department of Environment in the State.
  • A representative of the Meteorological Department of the Government of India.
  • An expert in the field of occupational health.
  • Representative of the Town Planning Department of the State Government.

In addition to these, not more than five other members who may be co-opted by the State Government who shall be:

A scientist having specialized knowledge of the hazardous process which will be involved in the factory,

A representative of the local authority within whose jurisdiction the factory is to be established, and not more than three other persons as deemed fit by the State Government.

Co-opted Member in case of Central Undertaking Where any process elates to a factory owner or controlled by the Central Government or to a corporation or a company owned or controlled by the Central Government, the State Government shall co-opt in the Site Appraisal Committee. a representative nominated by the Central Government as a member of that Committee.

Key Concepts and Terms for Hazardous Processes:

Hazardous process means any process or activity in relation to an industry specified in the first schedule that would cause material impairment to the health of the persons engaged in the industry or result in the pollution of the general environment.

State government is empowered to appoint a Site Appraisal Committee for the purpose advising it to consider the application for grant of permission for the initial location of a factor involving a hazardous process or for expansion of any such factory.

Functions of the Committee: The Site Appraisal Committee shall amine an application for the establishment of a factory involving hazardous process d make its Recommendation to the State Government within a period of ninety days the receipt of such application in the prescribed form.

Powers of the Committee: The Site Appraisal Committee shall have powers to call for any information from the person making an application for the establishment or expansion of a factory involving a hazardous process.

No need for further approvals: Where the State Government has granted approval to an application for the establishment or expansion of a factory involving hazardous process, it shall not be necessary for an applicant to obtain a further approval from the Central Board or the State Board for Prevention and Control for water Pollution and the Air Board for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution. [sec. 41A(5)]Hazardous Processes

Compulsory disclosure of information by the occupier of Hazardous Processes:

The occupier of factory involving hazardous task shall be under the following duties:

Informing about dangers and measures to overcome them: factory involving a hazardous process shall disclose in the manner prescribed all information regarding dangers, including health hazards and the measures to overcome such hazards arising from the exposure to or handling of the materials or substances in the manufacture. transportation, storage and other processes. The information is to be given

  • to the workers,
  • the Chief Inspector, and
  • the local authority within whose jurisdiction the factory is situated and the general public in the vicinity.

Contents of the Information: The information furnished shall include accurate information as to the quantity, specifications and other characteristics of wastes and the manner of their disposal.

Laying-down health and safety policy: The occupier shall, at the time of registering the factory involving a hazardous process, lay down a detailed policy with respect to the health and safety of the workers employed therein. He shall also intimate such policy to

  • the Chief Inspector, and
  • the local authority and, thereafter, at such intervals as may be prescribed, Infer r11 the Chief Inspector and the local authority of any change made in the said policy.

Drawing-up on-site emergency plan and disaster control measures:

Every occupier shall, with the approval of the Chief Inspector, draw up an on-site emergency plan and detailed disaster control measures for his factory make known

  • to the workers, and
  • to the general the occupier of every public living in the vicinity of the factory the safety measures required to be taken in the event of an accident taking place.

Informing before commencement of factory involving hazardous process: Every occupier of a factory involving hazardous process shall within a period of thirty days before the commencement of such process, inform the Chief Inspector of the nature and details of the process in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

Where any occupier of a factory contravenes this provision the license issued to such factory shall be liable for cancellation.

Laying-down measures for handling, transportation etc. of hazardous substances: The occupier of a factory involving a hazardous process shall, with the previous approval of the Chief Inspector, lay down measures for the handling, usage, transportation and storage of hazardous substances inside the factory premises and the disposal of such substances outside the factory premises. He shall also publicize them in the manner prescribed among

  • the workers, and
  • the general public living in the vicinity.

Specific responsibilities of the occupier is relation to hazardous processes:

Section 41C lays down specific responsibilities of the occupier in relation to hazardous processes. These are as under:

Maintain health/medical records: Every occupier of a factory involving any hazardous process shall maintain accurate and up-to-date health records or, medical records, of the workers in the factory who are exposed to any chemical, toxic or any other harmful substances which manufactured, stored, handled or transported. Such records shall be accessible to the workers subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

Appointment of qualified and experience persons: Every occupier shall appoint persons who possess qualifications and experience in handling hazardous substances and are competent to supervise such handling within the factory. Moreover, they must be competent to provide at the working place all the necessary facilities for protecting the workers in the manner prescribed.

Where any question arises as to the qualifications and experience of a person so appointed, the decision of the Chief Inspector shall be final. [Proviso to Sec. 41 C(b)]

Provision for medical examination: Every occupier shall provide for medical examination of every worker: Before such worker assigned to a job involving the handling of, or working with, a hazardous substance, and While continuing in such job, and after he has ceased to work in such job, at intervals not exceeding twelve months, in such manner as may prescribed.

Appointment of inquiry committee for Hazardous Processes:

Section 41D contains the following provisions for appointment of an Inquiry Committee:

Appointment in extraordinary situation: The Central Government may, in the event of the occurrence of an extraordinary situation involving a factory engaged in a hazardous process, appoint an Inquiry Committee.

Objectives: An Inquiry Committee shall be appointed for following purposes:

To inquire into the standards of health and safety observed in the factory; with a view to finding out the causes of any failure; or neglect in the adoption of any measures or standards; prescribed for the health and safety of the workers or; the general public affected, or affected, due to such failure or neglect.

To inquire into the measures for the prevention and recurrence of such extraordinary likely situations in future in such factory or elsewhere.

Constitution, functions and tenure of the Committee: The Committee shall consist of a chairman and two other members. The terms of reference of the Committee and the tenure office of its members shall such as may be determined by the Central Government according to the requirements of the situation.

Nature of recommendations: The recommendations of the Committee shall be advisory nature.

Emergency Standards for Hazardous Processes:

Power of the Central Government: Where the Central Government satisfied; that standards of safety have prescribed in respect of a hazardous process; or class o hazardous processes; or where the standards so prescribed inadequate; it may direct the Director-General of Factory Advice Service; and Labour Institutes or any institution specialized in matters relating to standards; of safety in hazardous processes; to lay down emergency standards for enforcement; of suitable standards in respect of such hazardous processes.

Effect of standards: The aforesaid emergency standards laid down shall; until they incorporated in the rules made under this Act; be enforceable and have the same effect as they had incorporated; in the rules made under this Act.

Miscible Limits of Exposure of Chemical and Toxic Substances:

The maximum permissible threshold limits of exposure of chemical and toxic substances in manufacturing processes (whether hazardous or otherwise) in any factory shall be of the value indicated in the Second Schedule.

The Central Government may, at any time, for the purpose of giving effect to any scientific pro obtained from specialized institutions or experts in the field by notification in the Official Gazette make suitable changes in the said Schedule.

Workers’ Participation in Safety Management or Safety Committee:

contains following provisions regarding Safety Committee and participation of workers therein:

Composition of the Committee : The composition of the Safety Committee; the tenure office of its members and their rights; and duties shall be such as may be prescribed.

Setting up a Safety Committee: The occupier shall; in every factory where a hazardous process takes place; or where hazardous substances used or handled; set up a Sale Committee consisting of equal number of representatives of workers; and management to promote Co-operation between the workers.

Exemption: The State Government may; by order in writing and for reasons to recorded exempt the occupier; of any factory or class of factories from setting.

Objective: The objectives of the Committee shall be as under:

  • To promote co-operation between the workers and the management in maintaining proper safety and health at work.
  • To review periodically the measures taken in that behalf.

Right of Workers to Warn about Imminent Danger by Hazardous Processes:

Worker to warn about apprehension of the danger:

Where the workers have reasonable apprehension; that there is a likelihood of imminent danger to their lives or health due to any accident; they may bring the same occupier, agent; manager or any other person who is in charge process concerned. They may simultaneously bring the same to the notice of the Inspector. They may do so directly or through their representatives in the Safety Committee.

Duty of the occupier to take remedial action:

It shall be the duty of the occupier, agent; manager or the person in charge of the factory or process to take immediate remedial action; if he satisfied about the existence of such imminent danger and send a report; forthwith of the action taken to the nearest Inspector,

Duty of the occupier if not-satisfied about the existence of danger:

If the occupier, agent; manager or the person in charge not satisfied about the existence of any imminent danger; as apprehended by the workers. He shall, nevertheless refer the matter forthwith to the nearest Inspector. The decision of the Inspector on the question of the existence of such imminent danger shall be final.

Penalty for Contravention of the Provisions of Sections 418, 41C and 41H:

Whoever fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of Sections 41B; 41C or 41H or the rules made there under; shall, in respect of such failure or contravention; be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years; and with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees. In case the failure or contravention continues; with additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day; during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction; for the first such failure or contravention.

If the failure or contravention continues beyond a period of one year; after the date of conviction. The offender shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term; which may extend to ten years.

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