Parliamentary standing committee invites suggestions on ‘The Occupational safety, health and working conditions code, 2019

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News: The Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019, has been referred by the Speaker to the Standing Committee on Labour headed by Bhartruhari Mahtab, for examination and report.

Facts:

About Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019

  • The code was introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2019
  • The Code repeals and replaces 13 labour laws relating to safety, health and working conditions.

Key Features:

  • Applicability: It applies to establishments employing at least 10 workers, and to all mines and docks.  It does not apply to apprentices.
  • Registration: The code states that all establishments covered by the Code must be registered with registering officers.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Boards: The code states that the central and state governments should set up Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Boards at the national and state levels, respectively. These Boards will advise the central and state governments on the standards, rules, and regulations to be framed under the Code. 
  • Duties of Employers: The Code entails duties for employers which include a) providing a workplace that is free from hazards that may cause injury or diseases, and b) providing free annual health examinations to employees, as prescribed.
  • Rights and duties of employees:
    • Every employee will have the right to obtain from the employer information related to safety and health standards.   
    • Duties of employees under the Code include: a) taking care of their own health and safety, b) complying with the specified safety and health standards, c) reporting unsafe situations to the inspector.
  • Working Hours: Work hours for different classes of establishment and employees will be provided as per the rules prescribed by the central or state government. For overtime work, the worker must be paid twice the rate of daily wages.
  • Leave: No employee may work for more than six days a week. However, exceptions may be provided for motor transport workers.
  • Working conditions: The employer is required to provide a hygienic work environment with ventilation, comfortable temperature and humidity, sufficient space, clean drinking water, and proper sanitation facilities.