Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
There are at present no regulations to protect the bulk of dock workers engaged in handling cargo against the risk of accidents, nor if there any inspection by an independent authority to ensure that adequate precautions are taken for the safety of dock workers. The bye-laws framed by .the Port Commissioners of some of the ports contain provisions for the safety of the workers, but these apply only to the employees of the Port Trust and not to dock labour employed by private firms. There is no legal obligation to report the majority of accidents in docks, and investigations into accidents have to be conducted either by the Port Trust authorities, who are themselves substantial employers of labour, or by the police. Accurate statistics of accidents are not available and there would appear to be little systematic effort to devise preventive measures. In Bombay and Calcutta arrangements are made for the periodical testing of chains and slings used by contractors' labour, and registers are maintained of all tests carried out by the port authorities. Such arrangements are not to be found in all ports, and we consider it important that a proper system should be introduced of testing all gear and equipment used in the handling of cargo. We understand that the matter has been under the consideration of Government in connection with the Draft Convention adopted by the Twelfth International Labour Conference concerning the protection against accidents of workers employed in loading or unloading ships. We recommend that legislation empowering local Governments to frame safety regulations for docks should be undertaken without delay. The regulations should be prepared in consultation with the Chief Inspectors of Factories, who should also be made responsible for their enforcement. The regulations should further provide for the proper reporting of all serious accidents.