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Summary of Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code
The Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code 2020 (OSH Code) was one of the three bills passed in the Lok Sabha related to Labour reforms.
It was introduced by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Lok Sabha on September 19, 2020.
The other two bills passed along with the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code 2020 include Industrial Relations Code 2020 and Social Security Code 2020.
The OSH Code has subsumed several key pieces of legislation as follows on the working conditions of labour and consolidated them into one comprehensive act.
- The Factories Act, 1948
- The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
- The Mines Act, 1952
- The Dock Workers (Safety, Health, and Welfare) Act, 1986
- The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
- The Plantations Labour Act, 1951
- The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
- The Working Journalist and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service and Miscellaneous Provision) Act, 1955
- The Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) Act, 1958
- The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act, 1981
- The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
- The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976
- The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020 – Salient Features
- The Code expands the definition of a factory as a premise where at least 20 workers work for a process with power and 40 workers for a process without power
- The Code fixes the daily work hour limit to a maximum of eight hours
- It defines an inter-state migrant worker as someone who has come on his/her own from one state and received employment in another state and earns up to Rs.18000 per month
- It also empowers women to be employed in all kinds of establishments and at night (between 7 PM and 6 AM) subject to their consent and safety
- The OSH Code removes the manpower limit on hazardous working conditions and makes the application of the Code obligatory for contractors recruiting 50 or more workers (earlier it was 20)
- It ensures that no charge is levied on any employee for maintenance of safety and health at the workplace including the conduct of medical examination and investigation for the purpose of detecting occupational diseases
- The OSH Code provides for the constitution of a National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board (National Advisory Board) by the Central Government, which shall be empowered to advise the Central Government
Right of Employees under OSH 2020
Every employee has the following rights under this code:
- It is the right of the employee to ask the employer for information related to the employee’s health and safety and enquire about the provision for the protection of the employee’s safety or health in connection with the work activity in the workplace
- In case of any threat or apprehension of a serious injury or danger to life, the employee may bring it to the notice of the employer and the inspection-cum-facilitator
- In case, as mentioned above, the employer shall immediately raise a complaint against the same, in a manner prescribed by the Government
- If the employer is not satisfied with the existence of any imminent danger as apprehended by his/he employees, he/she can refer the matter to the inspector-cum-facilitator whose decision shall be final
Health, Safety, and Working Conditions of Employees under OSH Code
The Central Government has listed down a few key measures and steps which must be taken into consideration regarding the health and safety of the employee. Discussed below are the same:
- Separate washing facility for male and female employees
- Males, Females, and Transgender must be allocated separate bathing places and locker rooms
- Sitting arrangement for employees working in a standing position
- Proper first-aid facilities
- Cleanliness and hygiene must be maintained at the workplace
- Portable drinking water must be made available
- Adequate lighting
- Adequate measures to avoid overcrowding
The OSH Code is expected to bring a major reform in terms of the health and safety and welfare of workers employed. On the other hand, it is also going to lessen the burden on employers by replacing multiple registrations and licenses with one common license. The OSH Code aims to empower both employees and employers. On one side it allows flexibility in hiring and retrenchment, while on the other side, it will expand the social security net for both formal and informal workers.
Proprietary blog of Karma Global
This blog has been collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection as well as auto-generation from various sources, for its monthly newsletter Issue 14 of August 2023 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – Kush@karmamgmt.com / email@example.com