According to a department representative, workers may become less aware of their safety. It is due to the joyous environment and the pressure to finish tasks before the holidays.
“Employers should therefore step up monitoring to ensure workplace safety and eliminate potential hazards through pre-holiday safety inspections. Thereby minimising the chance of grave consequences during and after the Chinese New Year holidays,” a representative said in a statement.
Before the holidays, the representative advised taking safety precautions. Such as switching off gas welding equipment, securing temporary constructions, storing chemicals appropriately, extinguishing fires, stacking goods neatly, and turning off plant and machinery power.
Risk evaluation is recommended.
Additionally, the agency advised managers and staff not to sacrifice worker safety in order to meet deadlines.
“Risk assessment should be conducted by competent persons prior to the commencement of different work processes, with safe work method statements formulated and proper monitoring systems in place, especially for work involving high-risk operation, such as working at height, lifting operation, tunnelling works and electrical work,” a spokesperson stated.
Employers are required under Hong Kong’s Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance to give their workers safe working conditions and procedures. Breach of these regulations may lead to heavy fines of up to $10 million and two years in jail.
According to the latest data available from the Labour Department, during the first three quarters of 2023, there were 6,155 industrial accidents and 22,133 occupational injuries in Hong Kong.
This year’s Chinese New Year, which ushers in the Year of the Wood Dragon, falls on February 10.