Under Labour laws in India, the Factories Act 1948 lays down statutory provisions for the functioning of factories and provides safety measures and promote the health and welfare of workers.
Respective State Governments have been empowered under certain provisions of the Act to make relevant Rules to give effect to the objects and the scheme of the Act. Such Factories Rules provide for the appointment of qualified supervisors for the purpose of supervising equipment and machine operators in establishments concerned with highly hazardous chemical processes. For Example; Rule 73 H of the Maharashtra Factories Rules that provides for special safety precautions for certain highly hazardous chemical processes, inter alia provides that the work of the operators, operating machinery or equipment, shall be supervised on an overall basis by at least one competent person, who shall at least be a graduate in Chemical Engineering or Chemical Technology with specialized knowledge in respect of the processes.
Now, although the rules provide for the qualifications of a shift supervisor, they do not stipulate that there has to be a separate supervisor for every shift. Yet, it is advised that competent supervisors are duly appointed for separate shifts as Factory Inspectors may insist upon it.