Protecting Workers Health

Health and Safety Provisions as per Factories Act
Occupational Health and Safety in India: Health and Safety provisions under Indian Factories Act 1948. The Act has been promulgated primarily to provide safety measures and to promote the health and welfare of the workers employed in factories.

The Factories Act, 1948, has been promulgated primarily to provide safety measures and to promote the health and welfare of the workers employed in factories. The object thuss brings this Act, within the competence of the Central Legislature to enact. State Governments/Union Territory Administrations have been empowered under certain provisions of this Act, to make rules, to give effect to the objects and the scheme of the Act.

Occupational Health and Safety (OH & S) Previous Page
Health and safety of the employees is an important aspect of a company's smooth and successful functioning. It is a decisive factor in organizational effectiveness. It ensures an accident-free industrial environment. Companies must attach the same importance towards achieving high OH&S performance as they do to the other key objectives of their business activities. This is because, proper attention to the safety and welfare of the employees can yield valuable returns to a company by improving employee morale, reducing absenteeism and enhancing productivity, minimizing potential of work-related injuries and illnesses and increasing the quality of manufactured products and/ or rendered services.

The Constitution of India has also specified provisions for ensuring occupational health and safety for workers in the form of three Articles i.e. 24, 39(e and f) and 42. The regulation of labour and safety in mines and oil fields is under the Union list. While the welfare of labour including conditions of work, provident funds, employers' invalidity and old age pension and maternity benefit are in the Concurrent list.

The Ministry of Labour , Government of India and Labour Departments of the States and Union Territories are responsible for safety and health of workers. Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) and Directorate General Factory Advice Services & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) assist the Ministry in technical aspects of occupational safety and health in mines and factories & ports sectors, respectively.

Protecting workers’ health

Key facts

  • In many countries more than half of workers are employed in the informal sector with no social protection for seeking health care and lack of regulatory enforcement of occupational health and safety standards.
  • Occupational health services to advise employers on improving working conditions and monitoring the health of workers cover mostly big companies in the formal sector and more than 85% of workers in small enterprises, informal sector, agriculture and migrants worldwide do not have any occupational health coverage
  • Certain occupational risks, such as injuries, noise, carcinogenic agents, airborne particles and ergonomic risks account for a substantial part of the burden of chronic diseases: 37% of all cases of back pain, 16% of hearing loss, 13% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 11% of asthma, 8% of injuries, 9% of lung cancer, 2% of leukaemia and 8% of depression.
  • Annually 12.2 million people, mostly in developing countries, die from noncommunicable diseases while still of active working age.
  • Work-related health problems result in an economic loss of 4–6% of GDP for most countries. The basic health services to prevent occupational and work-related diseases cost on average between US$ 18 and US$ 60 (purchasing power parity) per worker.
  • About 70% of workers do not have any insurance to compensate them in case of occupational diseases and injuries.
    Research has demonstrated that workplace health initiatives can help reduce sick leave absenteeism by 27% and health-care costs for companies by 26%.

Primary care centres could provide some essential interventions for protecting workers’ health, such as advice for improving working conditions, detection of occupational diseases and health surveillance of workers, though in most countries the focus is still on medical treatment rather than prevention.

We plan to do einterviews with MBBS doctors to understand 4 things
1) Tests or questions you ask in first few meetings
2) What it means in medical terms
3) What it means in non medical terms
4) What should the patient or care takers do

We might interview Aurvedic doctors, homeopathic doctors, Yoga teachers on this health issue

Video links
Protecting Workers with Occupational Health

Protecting Workers with Occupational Health: Hearing Protection

Protecting Workers with Occupational Health: Flu Shots
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