Labour Advisory Board Report 2007-2008 Chapter 8. Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
8.1 Introduction

  The Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) was set up in January 1997 to advise on occupational safety and health legislation and related matters. It was formerly known as the Committee on Industrial Safety and Health which was formed in April 1989.

8.2 Terms of Reference

  The committee is established to:
  • review the standards of occupational safety and health in Hong Kong;
  • advise on legislative proposals on occupational safety and health and review existing legislation; and
  • advise on the measures to be adopted by the Labour Department (LD) with a view to improving the existing system which enforces occupational safety and health legislation.
8.3 Composition

  Members of the COSH are appointed by the Commissioner for Labour. The composition of the committee for the term 2007-2008 is as follows:

Chairman:    Deputy Commissioner for Labour (Occupational Safety and Health)
Members:
  • Three employer representatives from the Labour Advisory Board
  • Three employee representatives from the Labour Advisory Board
  • Three employer representatives from outside the Labour Advisory Board
  • Three employee representatives from outside the Labour Advisory Board
  • A representative nominated by the Occupational Safety and Health Council
  • Three representatives from occupational safety and health organisations
  • Assistant Commissioner for Labour (Occupational Safety)
  • Occupational Health Consultant (1)
  • Chief Occupational Safety Officer (Support Services)
Secretary: A Labour Officer of the Labour Department

The membership list of the COSH for the term 2007-2008 is at Appendix V.

8.4 Activities during the 2007-2008 Term

  During the 2007-2008 term, the COSH advised on the following matters:

Consultancy study on the feasibility of introducing a smart card to replace the various industrial safety training certificates

The COSH noted the report of a consultancy study and agreed with the recommendation of the consultant that it was not feasible to implement a smart card system due to the substantial financial and administrative costs involved. The COSH endorsed the LD's proposal to produce multi-compartment holders for workers to carry safety cards in a more convenient manner.

Guide on Shift Work

The COSH considered and commented on the draft of the proposed "Guide on Shift Work", which aimed at helping employers and employees to have a better understanding of the impact of shift work on health and the related protective measures. The COSH supported the publication of the Guide with suggested amendments.

A study on work-related accidents involving back injuries

The committee discussed the findings of a study on work-related accidents involving back injuries for the period of 1999-2005 and advised on LD's promotional strategy in reducing such accidents.

Study visits

To enable members of the COSH to better understand the clinical and health counselling services provided by the LD, the COSH paid a study visit to the two Occupational Health Clinics of the LD in Kwun Tong and Fanling on 4 July 2008. Members also visited the Fanling Chinese Medicine Training and Research Centre of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions on the same day.

Occupational Health Consultant (middle) briefs members on the services provided by the Kwun Tong Occupational Health Clinic of the LD. Occupational Health Consultant (middle) briefs members on the services provided by the Kwun Tong Occupational Health Clinic of the LD.


Members visit the Fanling Occupational Health Clinic of the LD.

Members visit the Fanling Occupational Health Clinic of the LD.