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Labour Department partners with catering industry to enhance work safety
     The Commissioner for Labour, Mr Carlson Chan, today (November 27) called on stakeholders in the food and beverage services industry 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 (2016/2017) award presentation ceremony today, Mr Chan said the food and beverage services industry provides more than 240 000 jobs in Hong Kong. To attract more new blood and maintain the sustainable development of the sector, which is labour-intensive, one of the ways is to promote the image of the food and beverage services industry, such as by implementing good OSH management and providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees.

     He said that the Government attaches great importance to the OSH of the food and beverage services industry. With concerted efforts from stakeholders of the industry, the Government and the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC), there has been continuous improvement in the OSH of the industry in recent years. Over the last decade, the accident toll in the industry decreased by 42 per cent from over 9 000 in 2006 to some 5 000 last year, and the accident rate per 1 000 workers also dropped by 53 per cent, from 47.2 to 22.1. Though there has been a substantial improvement, the industry has still recorded the highest number of work accidents among all trades, accounting for nearly half of total industrial accidents last year. He appealed for the continuous concerted efforts of stakeholders to ensure the safety and health of employees.

     "Work accidents can damage the health of employees, bring emotional suffering to them and create pressure for their families. Inevitably, catering establishments will need to handle problems that may arise, such as a shortfall of manpower due to injured employees' absence, additional costs for taking out labour insurance policies and litigations, and tarnishing of reputation. Therefore, all stakeholders in the sector, including employers, management and employees, should stay vigilant and prevent work accidents by enhancing the OSH standards of the industry," said Mr Chan.

     In addition, to provide safety training, improve workplace safety and enhance tidiness and cleanliness, Mr Chan called on the industry to participate in the OSH Star Enterprise Catering OSH Enhancement Pilot Scheme launched by the 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, and cut-resistant and heat-resistant gloves.

     Also officiating at the award presentation ceremony today were Legislative Council member Mr Tommy Cheung; the Chairman of the OSHC, Mr Conrad Wong; member of the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board, Mr Ng San-wa, and representatives of the co-organisers.

     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 18th year, the award scheme this year has drawn participation from a total of 317 catering establishments and 291 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 recognise catering establishments, supervisors and workers with good performance in OSH.
Ends/Sunday, November 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:52
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