Dock Workers (Safety Health & Welfare) Act, 1986

This Act (No. 54 of 1986) was enacted on 7-12-1986. it came into force from 15-4-1987. It extends to the whole of India, It has 25 sections. It provides for the Safety, Health and Welfare of dock workers and for matters connected therewith.

Definitions (S.2) 

Appropriate Government means, in relation to any major port, the Central Govt., and, in relation to any other port, the State Govt. Cargo includes anything carried or to be earned in a ship or other vessel.

Dock Work means any work or within the vicinity of any port in connection with loading, unloading, movement or storage of cargoes and includes preparation of ship or other vessel and cleaning, painting, chipping of any hold, tank, structure or lifting machinery or any other storage area in board, ship or dock.

Dock Worker means a person employed or to be employed directly or through any agency, on dock work.

Inspectors and the Chief Inspector of Dock Safety (S. 3 to 8)

The appropriate Govt. can appoint them. They can enter any ship, dock, warehouse to check any dock work, make examination of the ship, dock, lifting machinery, cargo, gear, staging, transport equipment, premises etc., require documents, take evidence, copies, photograph, sketch, sample etc., hold inquiry into any accident, issue show cause notice relating to safety, health and welfare provisions, prosecute or prohibit any dock work in dangerous conditional until measures have been taken to remove that danger. Inspector will not disclose information or complaint received by them. Appeal to the Chief Inspector should be made within 15 days.

Other Provisions: 

The appropriate Govt. may constitute an Advisory Committee for advice regarding administration of this Act and the regulations (S. 9). It can also appoint a competent person to inquire into any accident or occupational disease to dock workers (S. 10). Dock workers will not misuse anything provided to secure health, safety and welfare of dock , workers, will not do anything to endanger self or others and will not neglect to make use  of anything provided as mentioned earlier.

Subjects of Regulations (S. 21)

Other Acts, Rules & Regulations for Dock Workers 

(1).  Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations, 1990:

They came into force from 16-3-1990. They apply to major ports in India as defined in the Major Ports Act, 1963. They have 7 parts, 112 regulations, 14 forms and 4 schedules. Regulation 2 has 27 definitions including container, container terminal, conveyor, dangerous goods, dock, hatch, lifting appliance, loose gear, and pulley block, responsible person, safe working load, transport equipment etc.

Reg. 3 is regarding power of inspectors. Part 3 (Reg. 9-94) is on safety containing subjects of fencing, railings, staging, life saving appliances, illumination, fire protection, excessive noise, means of access, ladders, lifting appliances and gear, test and examinations, winches, ropes, heat treatment of loose gears, marking of SWL, pulley blocks, power trucks, hand trucks, forklifts, dock railways, conveyors, handling of cargo, stacking and unshackling, cargo platforms, winch and crane operations, signaller, handling of dangerous goods, general precautions, explosive and inflammable cargo, broken  leaking containers, toxic solvents, fencing of terminal , stuffing and de-stuffing, fencing of motors, transfer of dock workers by land, and water, reporting of accidents, notification of diseases, safely officers and renewal of licenses.


Part 4 (Reg. 95-99) is on Health containing provisions of cleanliness, drinking water, latrines and urinals, spittoons ‘ and ventilation and temperature. Part 5 (Reg. 100-109) is on Welfare containing provisions of washing facilities, first aid boxes, ambulance rooms, shelters, canteens, medical examinations, notices and welfare officers.

Part 6 (Reg. 110-118) is on Special provisions like statement of accidents; training, emergency action plans safety committees, occupational health services and general safety.

(2). Dock Workers (Safety Health and Welfare) Scheme, 1961

Under section 4 of the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948 this scheme is formed. It came into force on 1-10-1961. It has parts, 60 parts, 4 schedules and  2 forms Part 2 gives 8 definitions including competent persons dock, port authority etc. The scheme contains the provisions if -powers of inspectors, notice of accidents and dangerous occurrences, diseases duties of port authorities, obligations of dock workers

And provisions regarding health and welfare of dock workers Part 4 on Safety (part 22 to 57) contains provisions of fencing of dangerous places, gates, floor loading, stairs, means escape in case of (fire, testing, annealing, special gear, ropes, drivers of clans, cargo platforms, conveyors, power trucks, and hand trucks, locomotives and wagons, stacking and un stacking, precautions against falling material, corrosive and caustic substances, dust fume, etc., oxygen deficiency, fumigated spaces, machinery ladders, fire protection and rescue.


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