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Labour Department partners with catering industry to enhance work safety

     The Commissioner for Labour, Mr Donald Tong, today (November 29) called on stakeholders in the catering sector to stay vigilant and prevent work accidents by enhancing the occupational safety and health (OSH) standards of the industry.

     Speaking at the Catering Industry Safety Award Scheme (2015/2016) award presentation ceremony and fun day today, Mr Tong said while the catering industry offers lots of job opportunities, it has recorded the highest number of work accidents among all trades.

     Last year, the Labour Department processed over 6,000 employees' compensation cases in the catering industry. There was a loss of more than 230,000 working days, with a loss of about 36 working days for each injured employee in the catering industry.

     Mr Tong remarked that the Government attaches great importance to the OSH of the catering industry. With the concerted efforts from the Government, employers, employees and related organisations of the trade, there has been substantive improvement in the OSH of the industry in recent years. The number of industrial accidents in the catering industry saw a notable drop of about 55 per cent from over 12,000 in 1999 to some 5,500 last year.

     "The OSH performance of the catering industry has seen improvement and the injury cases of the industry are usually relatively minor. But work injuries from any accident can in fact damage the health of employees, create pressure on their families, bring emotional suffering to employees and lower the quality of service. Catering establishments will also need to handle problems that may arise, such as shortfall of manpower, increments to the costs for taking out labour insurance policies and tarnishing of reputation. Therefore, we should not take the issue lightly," Mr Tong said.

     In addition, to improve workplace safety and enhance tidiness and cleanliness, Mr Tong called on the industry to participate in the Outstanding OSH Restaurant - Pilot Scheme on Catering Safety Accreditation and the Catering 5S Good Housekeeping Plan launched by the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC). Enterprises with the related training completed and audit requirements met will receive sponsorship for procurement of employees' safety equipment that is in compliance with safety standards, such as slip-resistant shoes, cut-resistant gloves and heat-resistant gloves.

     Also attending the award presentation ceremony and fun day today were Legislative Councillor Mr Tommy Cheung; the Vice-chairman of the OSHC, Dr Alan Chan; and the Executive Director of the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board, Ms Erica Ng.

     Launched in 1999, the Catering Industry Safety Award Scheme is jointly organised by the Labour Department and the OSHC, with the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board and related organisations in the trade as co-organising bodies. Entering its 17th year, the award scheme this year has drawn participation from a total of 329 catering establishments and 296 supervisory staff.

     The scheme aims to reinforce awareness of OSH among employers, employees and stakeholders in the industry as well as the public. It also aims to inculcate a good OSH culture in the catering industry, and to award catering establishments, supervisors and workers with good performance in OSH.

Ends/Sunday, November 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:16


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