Qualifications required of a Supervisor in a Chemical Factory carrying out Hazardous Processes

The qualifications of a supervisor in a chemical factory carrying out hazardous processes has been covered under Indian employment law.

Legal provisions :

  • Section 41 C of the Factories Act, 1948 lays down specific responsibility upon the Occupier in relation to hazardous process.
  • Clause (b) of Section 41C makes it mandatory for the Occupier to appoint persons possessing necessary qualifications and experience to supervise handling of hazardous substances in a factory. However, if any question arises as to qualifications and experience of a person so appointed, the decision of the Chief Inspector shall be final.
  • In Tamil Nadu, under Rule 62-S of Tamil Nadu Factories Rules, 1950 clearly lays down necessary qualifications and experience for such personnel. For States where specific rules in this regard are absent it is essential to refer to the Directorate General, Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes (in short “DGFASLI “), an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India, which serves as a technical arm to assist the Ministry in formulating national policies on occupational safety and health in factories and docks. DGFASLI advises factories and also formulates advisory guidelines on various problems concerning safety, health, efficiency and well – being of the persons at work places. It is observed that in the RTI page on the DGFASLI website, certain guidelines have been laid down in respect of qualification and experience for supervisorial personnel engaged in hazardous process. The hyperlink for the said webpage is http://www.dgfasli.nic.in/RTI/supervisors.htm.

As apparent from the said guidelines necessary qualifications and experience for supervisorial personnel are as follows;

(i) A Bachelor’s Degree with Chemistry or Diploma in Chemical Engineering or Technology with not less than five years experience; or

(ii) A Post Graduate Degree in Chemistry or a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering or Technology, with not less than two years experience.

Although the proviso to the said guidelines mentions that the decision of the CIF/DISH concerned will be final in case of any question raised regarding qualifications and /or experience, it is doubted that CIF/DISH will have a differing opinion in the light of such clear guidelines from DGFASLI. Moreover the sources in DISH have also conformed that Supervisorial personnel engaged in hazardous process are required to have the requisite qualification prescribed by DGFASLI.