Labour Advisory Board Report 2015-2016

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.
8.2  Terms of Reference
COSH 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 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 term is at Appendix V.
8.4  Activities during the 2015-2016 Term
During the 2015-2016 term, COSH advised on the following matters:

The construction industry has continued to thrive in recent years, with a significant increase in the size of construction workforce. This poses challenges to the occupational safety performance of the construction industry. COSH recognised LD’s efforts in enhancing the work safety awareness and performance of the industry, and offered valuable advice on how to refine and implement various initiatives.

Strengthen Work-above-ground Safety

Fall from height is the most common cause of industrial fatal accidents. Following the “Mobile Working Platform Sponsorship Scheme for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” introduced in 2013, LD collaborated with OSHC to launch the “Light-Duty Working Platform Sponsorship Scheme for SMEs” in 2015 which encouraged the industry to use safe platforms instead of improper ladders for above-ground works. To further protect workers’ work-above-ground safety and promote a culture of using the straps of safety helmets, LD proposed financing SMEs engaged in repair, maintenance, alteration and addition works to purchase safety helmets with chin straps. COSH supported the proposal and provided valuable advice on its implementation details, the selection of safety helmets and chin straps, etc.

Enhance Safety Training Courses

In order to further strengthen the safety awareness of construction workers, and to refine the safety training for site supervisory staff, LD planned to enhance the Mandatory Basic Safety Training Courses (“Green Card” Courses) and the Safety Supervisors Training Courses. A task group was formed under COSH which provided valuable advice for the revamp of the courses.