Special enforcement operation targeting construction sites of new works and work-at-height safety

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30th November 2022 – (Hong Kong)  The Labour Department (LD) concluded a special enforcement operation targeting construction sites of new works and work-at-height safety to curb unsafe work practices on construction sites in November.

  “During the two-week operation in the second half of November, occupational safety officers of the LD inspected 1 624 construction sites across the territory, with 132 improvement notices and four suspension notices issued as well as 77 prosecutions initiated”, a spokesman for the LD said.

Pursuant to the general duty provisions of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, employers shall provide safe working environments, safe plant and systems of work for their employees. Those who contravene the provisions are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for six months.

 The LD reminded contractors and employers to provide plant and devise systems of work that are safe and without risk to health to safeguard the work safety of construction workers. Employees should co-operate with their employers, adopt all safety measures and use the provided personal protective equipment properly to avoid endangering their own work safety and that of other workers.

The spokesman reiterated that the LD attaches great importance to the occupational safety and health of construction workers. During the operation, the Commissioner for Labour, Ms May Chan, and the Deputy Commissioner (Occupational Safety and Health), Mr Vincent Fung, also inspected some of the construction sites. The department will continue to conduct surprise inspections, and will take actions pursuant to the law if there is any violation of the occupational safety and health legislation.

 The Government introduced the Occupational Safety and Occupational Health Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2022 to raise the maximum penalties for occupational safety and health offences to the Legislative Council in May this year. The Government hopes that the Legislative Council will pass the Bill as soon as possible to further strengthen occupational safety and health protection for employees.

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