Inspection norms for industrial units amended

Frequency of inspections changed; to be carried out in some cases only after clearance from higher-ups

The Local Self Government Department has brought about amendments in inspection norms in industrial units by local bodies, in line with the recent changes proposed by the Industries Department to improve ease of doing business.

One of the changes is in the frequency of routine inspections in the factories or establishments in various categories. Checks in low risk category establishments need to be carried out only once in three years, once in two years in medium risk category and annually in high risk category establishments.

In case complaints are received regarding a particular factory or establishment, inspections can be carried out only with the clearance of the Secretary or an official who has been given the said responsibility by the Secretary.

Frequent inspections in the same establishment based on unsubstantiated or anonymous complaints have to be avoided. Successive inspections by the same official in a particular establishment has to be avoided. If there is a need for more than one inspections at a place, another official has to be deputed for the purpose.

The local bodies can inspect only issues related to those coming under its powers, including waste management and sanitation. They need not carry out inquiries into issues coming under the ambit of other departments.

The factory owner has to be informed in advance about the inspection. A copy of the complaint can be provided, on request, if the inspection is based on a complaint. If required, the official can record a video of the entire inspection process. The establishment’s owner can also be allowed to record of a video, if such a request is raised.

The respective local body Secretary has to prepare a list of officials for inspection. The official to be sent on inspection has to be chosen at random from this list. The requirement for a site inspection before issuing the license has been done away with, except in the case of permissions for categories that come under the Section 448 of the Kerala Municipal Act 1994. As per the new norms, the site inspection can be carried out within three months of issuing of the license, to ensure that no rules are being violated.

Industries Minister P.Rajeeve had in July announced the State government’s plan to form a system of unified inspections instead of different departments carrying out checks on industrial units.

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