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Dock Workers (Safety, Health & Welfare) Regulations, 1990










G.S.R 80 (E), dated 16th February, 1990.-Whereas the draft of the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations, 1987, was published as required by sub-section (1) of Sec. 22 of the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986 (54 of 1986), in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Sec. 3 (i) dated the 27th November, 1987, under the notification of the Government of India In the Ministry of Labour No. G.S.R. 937 (E), dated the 27th November, 1987, Inviting objections and suggestions from all persons likely to be affected thereby, before the expiry of a period of forty-five days from the date of publication of the said notification in the Official Gazette;

And whereas the said Gazette was made available to the public on the 6th January, 1988;

And whereas the objections and suggestions received from the public on the said draft have been considered by the Central Government;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Sec. 21 of the said Act the Central Government hereby makes the following regulations, namely:



1. Short title, application and commencement.- (1) These regulations may be called the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations, 1990.

(2) They shall apply to all major ports in India as defined in the Major Ports Act, 1963 (38 of 1963).

(3) They shall come into force after the expiry of 30 days of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. Definitions.-In these regulations unless the context otherwise requires.-

a) "Act" means the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986 (54 of 1986);

(b) "access" includes egress;

(c) "authorised person" means a person authorised by the employer, the master of the ship or a responsible person to undertake a specific task or tasks and possessing necessary technical knowledge and experience for undertaking the task or tasks;

(d) "competent person" means.-

(i) a person belonging to a testing establishment in India who is approved by the Chief Inspector for the purpose of testing, examination or annealing and certification of lifting appliances, loose gears or wire ropes;

(ii) any other person who is recognised under the relevant regulations in force in other countries as competent for issuing certificates for any of the purposes mentioned in sub-clause (1) for the implementation of the Protection against Accidents (Dockers) Convention (Revised), 1932 (No. 32) and the Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health in Dock Work (No. 152), 1979, adopted by International Labour Conference;

(e) "container" means an article of transport equipment of a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use and as specified under national or international standards;

(f) "container terminal" means the area where the operations of receiving, storage, dispatch and interchange of containers, between transport made is carried out primarily with the help of lifting appliances and transport equipment, and includes associated road vehicles, waiting places, control inter-change grid, stacking areas and associated road vehicle, departure, but shall not include.-

(i) terminals which handle significant volumes of containerized cargo and break-bulk cargo together using the same operational areas;

(ii) all railway terminals and all in-land depots;

(iii) the stuffing and stripping of the contents of containers; and

(iv) ship-board and ship-side operations LQ/LO and RO/RO vessels;

(g) "conveyer" means a mechanical device used In dock work for the transport of single packages or solid bulk cargo from one point to another point;

(h) "dangerous goods" means any cargo which due to its explosiveness, inflammability, radioactivity, toxic or corrosive properties, or other similar characteristics, may cause injury, adversely affect the human system, loss of life or property while handling, transporting, shipping or storing and which is classified as such by any international or national standards;

(i) "dock" means any dock, wharf, quay or shore and shall include any warehouse or store place belonging to owners, trustees or conservators of, and situated in or in the vicinity of the dock, wharf, quay or shore and any railway line or siding on or used in connection with the dock, wharf quay or shore but not forming part of Indian railways;

(j) "form" means a form appended to these regulations;

(k) "hatch" means on opening in a dock used for purposes of dock work or for trimming or for ventilation or for cleaning;

(l) "hatchway" means the whole space within the square of the hatches from the top dock to the bottom of the bold;

(m) "Inspector" means a person appointed by the Central Government under Sec. 3 of the Act and includes the Chief Inspector;

(n)"lifting appliance" means all stationary or mobile cargo handling appliances including their permanent attachments, such as cranes, derricks shore based power operated ramps used on shore or on board ship for suspending, raising or lowering, cargo or moving them from one position to another while suspended or supported, in connection with the dock work and includes lifting machinery;

(o) "loose gear" means hook, shackle, swivel, chain, sling, lifting beam, container speader, tray and any other such gear, by means of which the load can be attached to a lifting appliance and includes lifting device;

(p) "port" means a port as defined under the Indian Ports Act, 1908 (15 of 1908);

(q) "port authority" means the person having the general management and control of dock:

Provided that if any other person has, by exclusive right to occupation of any part of the dock acquired the general management and control of such part, he shall be deemed to be the "port Authority" in respect of that part;

(r) "premises" means any dock, wharf, quay, warehouse, store place or landing place where the dock work is carried on;

(s) "prescribed" means prescribed by the Central Government;

(t) "pulley block" means pulley block, gin and similar gear, other than a crane block specially constructed for use with a crane to which it is permanently attached;

(u) "responsible person" means a person appointed by the employer, the master of the ship, the owner of the gear or port authorities, as the case may be, to be responsible for the performance of a specific duty or duties and who has sufficient knowledge and experience and the requisite authority for the proper performance of the duty or duties;

(v) "safe working load" in relation to an article of loose gear or lifting appliance means the load which is the maximum load that may be imposed with safety in the normal working conditions and as assessed and certified by the competent person;

(w) "schedule" means a schedule appended to these regulations;

(x) "ship" means any kind of ship, vessel barge, lighter or hover-craft excluding ships of war and country craft;

(y) "testing establishment" means an establishment with testing and examination facilities, as approved by the Chief Inspector for carrying out testing, examination, annealing or certification, etc. of lifting appliance or loose gear or wire rope as required under the regulations;

(z) "transport equipment" means all powered and hand truck, for lift truck, tractor, trailer, locomotive, prime mover and any other such equipment used in dock work;

(zz) words and expressions not defined in these regulations but defined or used in the Act shall have the same meaning as assigned to them in the Act

3. Powers of Inspectors.-(a) An Inspector may at any port for which he is appointed.-

(i) enter, with such assistance, (if any), as he thinks fit, any ship, dock, warehouse or other premises, where any dock work, is being carried on, or where he has reason to believe that any dock work is being carried on;

(ii) make examination of the ship, dock, lifting appliance, loose gear, lifting device, staging, transport equipment, warehouse or other premises, used or to be used, for any dock work;

(iii) require the production of any testing muster roll or other document relating to the employment of dock workers and examine such document;

(iv) take on the spot or otherwise such evidence of any person which he may deem necessary:

Provided that no person shall be compelled under sub-regulation 3 (a) (iv) to answer any question or, give any evidence tending to incriminate himself;

(v) take copies of registers, records or other documents or portions thereof as he may consider relevant in respect of any offence which he has reason to believe has been committed or for the purpose of any inquiry;

(vi) take photograph, sketch, sample, weight measure or record as he may consider necessary for the purpose of any examination or inquiry;

(vii) hold an inquiry into the cause of any accident or dangerous occurrence which he has reason to believe was the result of the collapse or failure of any lifting appliance loose gear, transport equipment, staging non-compliance with any of the provisions of the Act or the regulations;

(viii) issue show-cause notice relating to the safety, health and welfare provisions arising under the Act or the regulations;

(ix) prosecute, conduct or defend before any court any complaint or other proceedings, arising under the Act or the regulations;

(x) direct the port authority, dock labour board and other employers of dock workers for getting the dock workers medically examined if considered necessary.

(b) A person having general management and control of the premises or the owner, master, officer-in-charge or agents of the ship, as the case may be, shall provide such means as may be required by the Inspector for entry, inspection, examination, inquiry, otherwise for the exercise of his powers under Act and the regulations in relation to that ship or premises which shall also include the provision of launch or other means of transport.

4. Notice of Inspection.-(1) An inspector may notify any defects or deficiencies which may come to his notice during his inspection and examination which he wishes to point out together with any orders passed by him under the Act or the regulations in Form IX to-

(i) the owner, master, officer in charge or agents of the ship; or

(ii) the port authority; or

(iii) the owner of lifting appliances, loose gears, lifting devices and transport equipment; or

(iv) the employer of dock workers.

(2) When an Inspector serves notice, under sub-regulation (1) above, in relation to any dock, lifting appliance, loose gear, lifting device, transport equipment, ladder or staging, he may, in the notice prohibit the dock work where conditions are dangerous to life, safety or health of dock workers and the use of the same in connection with the dock work and such dock, lifting appliances, loose gears, lifting devices transport equipment, ladders or stagings shall not be used until the defect or defects specified in the notice have been remedied and the Inspector has withdrawn the prohibitory order.

5. Appeal.-Any person aggrieved by an order of the Chief Inspector passed under Sec. 5 of the Act may, within 15 days from the date on which the order is communicated to him prefer an appeal to the Secretary in Government of India, Ministry of Labour, New Delhi and the provisions of Sec. 8 of the Act shall apply accordingly.

6. Penalties.-Only save as is otherwise expressly provided in these regulations, whoever being a person responsible to comply with any of the regulations commits a breach of such regulations shall be guilty of an offence and punishable with imprisonment; for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both, and, if the breach is continued after conviction, with a further fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for each day on which the breach is so continued.


1.  Publish in Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Pt. II, Sec. 3 (i), No. 61, dated 16th February, 1990