The Labour Department (LD) and representatives of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) visited a public works site in Tseung Kwan O today (June 9) to distribute cooling products to workers and promote the Guidance Notes on Prevention of Heat Stroke at Work (GN) introduced on May 15, so as to enhance their awareness on prevention of heat stroke.
Accompanied by the Chairman of the CIC, Mr Thomas Ho, and representatives of the construction industry, the Acting Commissioner for Labour, Mr Vincent Fung, presented the workers with the cooling products. They also took the opportunity to remind the workers to take appropriate precautions to prevent heat stroke when working in the heat of summer.
"The LD and the construction industry share the same goal of preventing employees from getting heat stroke at work. We will strive to assist the industry in adopting the recommendations in the GN and developing appropriate measures to reduce the risk of heat stroke for employees," Mr Fung said.
Mr Ho said, "Heat stroke prevention is an important aspect of construction safety and all construction practitioners should get the precautionary work done with concerted minds and efforts. Site management should provide a clear categorisation of work tasks and guidelines on rest arrangements to protect the well-being of their workers, while workers should also work within their abilities and stay safe."
Mr Fung added that the LD strengthens its inspection of workplaces with higher risks of heat stroke, including construction sites, worksites of outdoor cleaning workers, gardening workers and security guards every summer. From May 15 to 31, the LD conducted around 2 500 inspections and issued around 150 warnings to relevant responsible duty holders, urging them, with reference to the GN, to assess the risk of heat stress on their employees during work and take corresponding preventive measures to protect their employees from heat stroke at work.
To enhance employers' and employees' awareness of heat stroke and GN as well as to encourage their adoption of related preventive measures, the LD, the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC) and the CIC have carried out a series of promotional activities, including a seminar and exhibition on heat stroke prevention, cross-platform promotions and visits to high-risk workplaces. The OSHC also launched a dedicated webpage (www.noheatstress.hk) to help employers and employees to grasp the content of the GN. For details, please visit the OSHC's website at www.oshc.org.hk/eng/main/hot/Heat.
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