OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
ORDINANCE, CHAPTER 509
The Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance provides for the safety
and health protection to employees in workplaces, both industrial and
non-industrial. It is basically an enabling ordinance setting out requirements
in general terms.
This ordinance covers almost all workplaces - places where employees
work. In addition to factories, construction sites and catering establishments,
other places, such as offices, laboratories, shopping arcades, educational
institutions also come under the ambit of the law. However, there are
a few exception, namely
The Roles of the Dutyholders
- an aircraft or vessel in a public place;
- the place occupied by the driver of a land transport vehicle when
it is in a public place (but other employees working in the vehicle
- domestic premises at which only domestic servants are employed; and
- places where only self-employed persons work.
Under this ordinance, everyone has a role to play in creating a safe
and healthy workplace.
- Employers should contribute to safety and health in their
- providing and maintaining plant and work systems that do not endanger
safety or health;
- making arrangement for ensuring safety and health in connection
with the use, handling, storage or transport of plant or substances;
- providing all necessary information, instruction, training, and
supervision for ensuring safety and health;
- providing and maintaining safe access to and egress from the workplaces;
- providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment
Occupiers of premises should take responsibility for ensuring
are safe and without risks to health to any person working on the premises,
even if they do not directly employ that person on the premises.
- the premises;
- the means of access to and egress from the premises; and
- any plant or substance kept at the premises
Employees should also contribute to safety and health in the
workplaces by :
Enforcement of the Ordinance
- taking care for the safety and health of persons at the workplace;
- using any equipment or following any system or work practices provided
by their employers.
The Commissioner for Labour is empowered to issue improvement notices
and suspension notices against activity of workplace which may create
an imminent hazard to the employees. Failure to comply with the notices
constitutes an offence punishable by a fine of HK$200,000 and HK$500,000
respectively and imprisonment of up to 12 months.
Occupational Safety and Health Regulation
The Occupational Safety and Health Regulation, made under the above ordinance,
sets down some basic requirements for accident prevention, fire precaution,
workplace environment control, hygiene at workplaces, first aid, as well
as what employers and employees are expected to do in manual handling
operations. The main provisions of the Regulation are:
To prevent accidents by:
To prevent fire by:
- ensuring that the plant is properly designed, constructed and maintained
and that all dangerous parts are effectively guarded;
- ensuring that all dangerous areas are securely fenced.
To provide a safe and healthy work environment by:
- providing illuminated 'EXIT' signs over all exits and clear directions
- keeping all means of escape in a safe condition and free from obstruction;
- making sure that all exit doors can easily be opened from inside
the workplace or are unlocked;
- providing suitable and adequate fire safety measures.
To ensure hygiene by:
- keeping the workplace clean and ensuring that it is adequately lit
- providing adequate drainage.
To provide first aid by:
- providing adequate lavatory and washing facilities, as well as adequate
supply of drinking water.
To ensure safe manual handling operations by:
- keeping adequate first aid facilities on the premises and appointing
designated employees to look after them.
- assessing and reviewing risks to the safety and health of employees
who undertake manual handling operations;
- providing proper training and other necessary protective measures
for employees who undertake manual handling operations.
here for the full list of the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance
and its subsidiary Regulations