Health and Safety

Employer Cares

In accordance with the Factories Ordinance, it is obligatory for the employer to ensure health, safety and welfare of persons at workplace.

The establishment should be monitored to check the quality of the premises; cleanliness; overcrowding; maintain reasonable temperature; ventilation; lighting; drainage of floors and sanitary convenience.

Safety of the worker must be ensured by installing and maintaining the machinery, mechanisms, transmission apparatus, tools, equipment and machines in best possible safety conditions. Tools, equipment, machines, or products used must be organized properly guaranteeing the safety of workers.

Safety conditions of an establishment should also be monitored regarding risks of falling; moving heavy objects; protection from dangerous machines and apparatus; preventive measures to be taken for work in confined areas or for work done in an isolated environment; risks of liquids spilling and fire prevention.

Factories Ordinance further contain provisions which specifically call for the employers to put in place all practicable measures to protect the persons employed against inhalation of the dust, fume or other impurity. Moreover, specific conditions for the usage of internal combustions engines are dictated such as the need to conduct the exhaust of gases from the engine into the open air; and to partition the rooms so that any injurious fumes from are not shifted to other persons other than those attending to the engine.

Source: §6-60 of the Factories Ordinance, 1942

Free Protection

Different provisions under the Factories Ordinance, 1942 require the employer to provide free protective equipment (breathing apparatus, eye protection glasses, exhaust appliances) to the worker whose work involves exposure to wet or injurious substances.

Source: §32, 51, 53 & 58 of the Factories Ordinance, 1942


The Factories Ordinance requires that no young worker (under the age of 18 years) is allowed to work on a machine unless he has been fully instructed about the dangers involved in operating the machine, has received sufficient training in that regard and is working under supervision of an experienced and knowledgeable worker.

Source: §26 of the Factories Ordinance, 1942

Labour Inspection System

Labour Inspection system seems quite in line with the provisions of C081 as Sri Lanka became the first South Asian country to launch the Labour Inspection System Application. The system allows the Labour Ministry to better coordinate its labour administration institutions in country's 56 labour department offices. The Industrial Safety Division works under the Department of Labour to ensure safety, health and welfare of workers at the workplace by registering factories and conducting routine inspections. Labour Inspection system is provided under various sections of Factories Ordinance.

The inspector has the power to enter the work premises; take samples for investigation; carry out investigations on accidents or dangerous occurrences; and issue improvement or prohibition notices until elimination of risk or its reduction to a suitable level.

Regulations on Health and Safety

  • 1942 කර්මාන්තශාලා ආඥාපනත / 1942 ஆம் ஆண்டு தொழிற்சாலை கட்டளைச்சட்டம் / Factories Ordinance, 1942