Employers, contractors and employees should be aware of electrical safety at work during rainstorm

     As the rainstorm warning has been issued by the Hong Kong Observatory, the Labour Department (LD) reminds employers and contractors that they should adopt necessary work arrangements and take suitable safety measures to protect the safety of their employees when they are carrying out electrical work or handling electrical plant.

     A spokesman for the LD said today (May 20) that employers and contractors should avoid assigning employees to carry out electrical work (like electric arc welding work) or handle electrical plant at places affected by rainstorms, and should refer to the "Code of Practice in times of Typhoons and Rainstorms" and the "Guide on Safety at Work in times of Inclement Weather" issued by the LD.

     Even if electrical work is carried out or electrical plant is handled at places not affected by the rainstorm, suitable safety measures must still be adopted to prevent electric shock as the air would be more humid. Such measures include:

(i) Ensure that all live parts of an electrical installation are isolated from the power supply source and rendered dead, and the isolation from the power supply source must be maintained as long as electrical work is being carried out;

(ii) Before carrying out any electrical work or handling any electrical plant, cut off and lock out the power supply source, then test the circuit concerned to confirm it is dead and display suitable warning notices, and issue a work permit thereafter;

(iii) Ensure that protective devices (such as suitable and adequate fuses and circuit breakers) for the electrical installations or electrical plant have been installed and maintained in good working order, and portable electric tools must be double-insulated or properly earthed;

(iv) Provide suitable personal protective equipment such as insulating gloves and insulating mats for employees; and

(v) If live electrical work is unavoidable, a comprehensive risk assessment should be conducted by a competent person and the appropriate safety precautions should be taken to remove or properly control the electrical hazards involved before such work can proceed.

     In addition, employees should co-operate with the employer or contractor to follow the safety instructions and use the safety equipment provided.

     The LD has published guidebooks and leaflets on electrical work safety. These safety publications are available free from divisional offices of the department or can be downloaded from its website (www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/content2_8.htm).

     Should there be any questions about occupational safety and health matters, please contact the Occupational Safety Officer of the LD at 2559 2297.

Public urged to report flooding

Attention duty announcers, radio and TV stations:

Please broadcast the following as soon as possible and repeat it at suitable intervals:

     Members of the public are advised to report any street flooding that comes to their notice to the Drainage Services Department by calling the 24-hour drainage hotline on 2300 1110.

SFH attends 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva (with photos)

     â€‹The Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, today (May 20, Geneva time) attended the 72nd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
     Professor Chan attended the 72nd WHA as a member of the People's Republic of China delegation. The agenda of this year's assembly will cover a wide range of issues with public health importance requiring global attention and concerted efforts from all member states, including health and environment and climate change, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, ending tuberculosis and global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines.
     In addition to the plenary session, Professor Chan also attended a side event with the theme "Primary Health Care towards Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal" to listen to a presentation by the Minister of the National Health Commission, Mr Ma Xiaowei, about the on-going development of primary healthcare services in the Mainland.
     She also took the opportunity to learn about the experience of other countries in developing primary healthcare services.
     "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to enhancing district-based primary healthcare services in Hong Kong with an emphasis on medical-social collaboration and public-private partnership," Professor Chan said.
     "The Government will set up a District Health Centre (DHC) in all districts in the next few years. The services offered in the DHCs will focus on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, including health promotion, health assessment, chronic disease management and community rehabilitation.
     "This new service model of DHCs will echo the principle of universal health coverage. We will share with the WHO our insight and experience gained from this new service model and our upcoming blueprint for primary healthcare development of Hong Kong."
     Professor Chan also exchanged views on healthcare-related issues with senior officials of other member states and WHO at the WHA.
     Professor Chan will continue to attend the WHA tomorrow (May 21, Geneva time). She will depart Geneva in the morning on May 22 and arrive in Hong Kong on May 23.

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