Labour Advisory Board Report-Image
Labour Advisory Board
Activities in the 2013-2014 Term
Committee on Employees' Compensation
Committee on Employment Services
Committee on the Implementation of International Labour Standards
Committee on Labour Relations
Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
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.

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 COSH are appointed by the Commissioner for Labour. The composition of the committee for the 2013-2014 term is as follows:

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

The membership list of COSH for the 2013-2014 term is at Appendix V.

8.4 Activities during the 2013-2014 Term

During the 2013-2014 term, COSH advised on the following matters:

Owing to the commencement of mega infrastructure projects and substantial number of maintenance works projects for old buildings, the number of workers entering the construction sector continued to grow, posing challenges to construction safety. COSH supported LD’s efforts to enhance work safety in the construction industry and provided valuable advice on how to refine and implement the measures.

Mobile Working Platform for Work Safety Just Above Ground

As fall-from-height was the most common cause of fatal accidents, LD collaborated with OSHC to organise a Work-at-Height Safety Forum in April 2013 to gauge views on how to prevent similar accidents and to launch the Mobile Working Platform Sponsorship Scheme for small-and-medium-sized enterprises to encourage the industry to use safe equipment to replace improper ladders when working at height. COSH supported the measures and gave views on the promotional strategy on work-at-height safety, including how to encourage employers and workers to make use of mobile working platforms conforming to safety standards.

Formulation of the Competent Persons Scheme

In response to the difficulties of the industry to meet the requirement of checking and testing the anchor device for safety harness, LD initiated a scheme in early 2014 to provide an alternative for the industry to employ Competent Persons to conduct the checking and testing of such device under the same safety standard. In the course of formulation of the scheme, COSH provided concrete suggestions on the implementation arrangements and details, including the safety training and the monitoring mechanism of the Competent Persons concerned.

Work Safety on Bamboo Scaffolding and Delineation of Responsibilities

COSH was concerned about the risk of fall from height during the bamboo scaffolding works and the unclear division of responsibilities between principal contractors and sub-contractors on the planking arrangements of working platforms on scaffolds. To enhance the safety of employees working on bamboo scaffolds, LD updated its Code of Practice for Bamboo Scaffolding Safety in June 2014 with a view to setting out the relevant safety requirements and urging the industry to comply with the Guidelines on Planking Arrangement for Providing Working Platforms on Bamboo Scaffolds issued by the Construction Industry Council in May 2014.