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Dock Safety

Dock Workers Safety Division

The office of the Chief Adviser of Factories, presently known as DGFASLI drafted the Indian Dock Labourers Regulations,1948 under the Indian Labourers Act, 1934. The Chief Adviser of Factories started administering the Regulations from 1948 in the five major ports of Mumbai, Kolkata , Chennai, Cochin and Visakhapatnam through the three inspectorates of Dock Safety set up in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

Besides these Regulations, the Dock Workers (Safety,Health &Welfare) Scheme,1961 framed under the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948 was also enforced by the Inspectorate of Dock Safety in the major ports. Subsequently, six more ports namely, Paradip, Turicorin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Kandla and Nhava-Sheva, renamed as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, were declared as major ports.

Consequent to the recommendation of the First National Commission on Labour (Gajendranagar Commission) a common comprehensive law on safety and health of dock workers titled the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act,1986 was framed and made applicable from 15th April 1987. Under this Act a set of comprehensive regulations called the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1990 was framed and brought into force with effect from 18th March 1990 and thereby repealing the earlier Regulations and Scheme. The new Act and Regulations are in line with the ILO Convention 152 concerning safety and health in dock work.

The Dock Safety Division is also entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 framed under the Environment(Protection) Act, 1986, in the port sector.

The main focus of the Dock Safety division is on:

  • Administering the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act,1986 and the Dock Workers(Safety, Health and Welfare)Regulations, 1990 framed there under involving administrative approval of decisions arising out of enforcement of the Statutes by the Chief Inspector of Dock Safety and fixing inspection priorities, etc. in all the eleven major ports.

  • Proposing amendments to the existing Dock Safety Legislation.

  • Enforcing the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 framed thereunder and the Marking of Heavy Packages Act, 1951 and the Rules made there under.

  • Planning & Policy making.

  • Advisory services to the Port Authorities, Dock Labour Boards, Stevedores and other employers of dock workers.

  • Organising international training programmes for port officials from developing countries.

  • Publishing Annual Reports on the administration of the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986 and the Regulations framed there under.

The enforcement function is carried out through the Eleven Inspectorates located at the major ports with their regional inspectorates in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. These Inspectorates of Dock Safety are responsible for carrying out the following major activities.


  • Inspection of ships, docks, loose gear, lifting appliances, transport equipment etc.

  • Investigation of accidents.

  • Launching of prosecutions.


  • Carrying out safety studies and surveys through a multi-disciplinary approach.

  • Organising and conducting training courses on occupational safety and health.

Advisory Services

Rendering Technical Advice to:

  • The port authorities.

  • Other employers of dock workers.

  • Port Users.

Safety Promotional activities

  • Organising/participating in safety promotional activities such as celebration of Dock Safety Weeks.

  • Functioning as representatives of the Chief Inspector of Dock Safety on the Dock Safety Committees at ports.