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Occupational Safety and Health Branch
Labour Department

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Systemic Safety Alert

             While contractors/employers are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of their workers/ employees at work, you, as a Registered Safety Officer (RSO) and/or a Registered Safety Auditor (RSA), have the statutory duties under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Officers and Safety Supervisors) Regulations, and/or the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management) Regulation to advise your employers/clients to fulfill their safety responsibilities and render the necessary assistance. In particular, in exercising your statutory functions, you are reminded to take into full account the following six fundamental safety management principles :

  1. Risk assessments, method statements, systems of work and the associated hazard control measures should be task-specific, having due regard to the specific nature, location, job methods and plant/equipment to be used in carrying out the task in question;
  2. The hierarchy of hazard control should be observed : priority should be accorded to avoid exposing workers to potential hazard through removal of its source (e.g. a ban on the use of hazardous substances) or engineering measures (e.g. adopting a safer work/production process), deployment of hazard mitigation measures, with the use of personal protective equipment being the last resort;
  3. A robust checking system should be developed and implemented to ensure that “competent persons” and other personnel designated by the employer are genuinely performing their functions of ensuring safety of high-risk plant and work processes;
  4. An effective inspection system should be developed and implemented to proactively detect violations of safety requirements, to timely report irregularities to the employer, and to promptly rectify irregularities;
  5. An effective coordination/ communication system among the principal contractor, sub-contractors, different levels of site management/ supervision personnel and workers should be established and maintained to ensure clear understanding of potential work hazards, in-house safety rules, hazard control programmes and delineation of safety responsibilities; and
  6. Safety training and information provided to workers and supervisory personnel should be tailor-made, having due regard to the specific nature, location, job methods and plant/equipment to be used in carrying out the task in question, as well as the languages of the workers concerned (e.g. ethnic minorities).
Serial No.

Systemic Safety Alert




Electrical Works


Tunnelling Works (replaced by SSA-01/2016)


Use of Mobile Cranes


Falsework Safety


Prevention of Heat Stroke at Work


Tunnelling Works


Risk Control of Workplace Vehicles and Mobile Plant


Good Housekeeping on Site – Protection of Workers against Protruding Rebars


Lift Works


Road/Roadside Work Safety


Preventing trapping hazard for work underneath the raised dump body of truck


Fall from Height through Floor Openings


Truss-out Bamboo Scaffold Safety


Inflation of Tyres of Heavy Mechanical Vehicles


Excavation in the Vicinity of Underground Electricity Cables


Handling of Heavy Objects in Workplaces