It is any action that expresses or promotes racial hatred and stereotypes. It can be obvious or subtle. It can include: spoken or written putdowns, gestures, jokes, other unwanted comments or acts. The law prohibits any kind of exploitation or harassment. In India, it is one of the fundamental rights of all Indians. The right against exploitation, given in Articles 23 and 24, provides for two provisions, namely the abolition of trafficking in human beings and Begar (forced labour), and abolition of employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines. Child-labour is considered a gross violation of the spirit and provisions of the constitution. Begar, practiced in the past by landlords, has been declared a crime and is punishable by laws. Trafficking in humans for the purpose of slave trade or prostitution is also prohibited by law. An exception is made in employment without payment for public services for compulsory public purposes. Compulsory military conscription is covered by this provision.
Safety Standards Protecting employee’s health and safety is certainly one of the business’s major ethical responsibilities. Thus, to ensure this some of the issues that need to be taken care are:
- Protect the health and safety of all individuals affected by its activities including the employees and the public at large.
- Provide a safe and healthy working environment
- Review of compliance with local and national requirements with respect to health and safety.
- To ensure that sufficient and clearly marked exits allowing for the orderly evacuation of workers in case of fire or other emergencies are in place and emergency exit routes are posted and clearly marked in all sections of the factory.
- Aisles, exits and stairwells are kept clear at all times, boxes and all other objects that could obstruct the orderly evacuation of workers in case of fire or other emergencies are removed. The company should indicate with a “yellow box” or other markings that the area in front of exits, fire fighting equipments, control panels, and potential fire sources are to be kept clear.
- Doors and other exits are kept accessible and unlocked during all the working hours for orderly evacuation in case of fire or other emergencies. All main exit doors should open to the outside.
- Fire extinguishers should be appropriate, regularly maintained, and charged, and should display the date of their last inspection. It should be mounted on walls and columns throughout the company so that they are visible and accessible to, all employees in all areas
- Fire alarms should be in each floor and emergency light should be placed above exits and on staircases.
- Evacuation drills should be conducted at least annually
- Machinery should be inspected with operational safety devices and should be inspected and serviced on a regular basis.
- The company should have at least one well-stocked first aid kit on every floor and train specific staff in basic first aid, The company should have procedures for dealing with serious injuries that require medical treatment outside the company.
- The company should store hazardous and combustible materials in secure areas and should be disposed in a safe and legal manner.
- The company shall establish systems to detect, avoid, or respond to potential threats to the health and safety of personnel. The company shall maintain written records of all accidents that occur in the workplace and in company-controlled residences and property.
- The company shall provide at its expense appropriate personal protective equipment to personnel. In the event of a work related injury the company shall provide first aid and assist the worker in obtaining follow-up medical treatment.
- The company shall undertake to assess all the risks to new, and expectant mothers arising out of their work activity and to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to remove or reduce any risks to their health and safety.
- The Company shall appoint a senior management representative to be responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace environment for all personnel, and for implementing the Health and Safety standards.
- The company shall provide to personnel on a regular basis effective health and safety instructions, including on-site instruction and where needed job –specific instructions. Such instructions shall be repeated for new and reassigned personnel and in cases where accidents have occurred.