Safety management : a new challenge under the 1997 Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, Chapter 509, Law of Hong Kong

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Safety management : a new challenge under the 1997 Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, Chapter 509, Law of Hong Kong

 

Author: Wu, Wai-hung Raymond
Title: Safety management : a new challenge under the 1997 Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, Chapter 509, Law of Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Industrial safety -- China -- Hong Kong -- Management
Industrial safety -- Law and legislation -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: vi, 133 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1479337
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4090
Abstract: This project is an exploratory, qualitative study examining the issue of "safety management" as a major aspect of human resource management. Data are collected through personal observation and interviews of six safety or related personnel from different sectors. Hong Kong's labour force experiences about 60,000 occupational accidents each year, and the direct and indirect costs associated with these are tremendous. Costs also come from civil liability claims of victims as well as from criminal charges for non-compliance of safety laws. The Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, Chapter 509, was enacted in 1997 which, among others, imposes "general duties" to employers, occupiers of workplaces and employees. Employers are thereby required to provide a safe system of work, which in the Labour Department's mind refers to "self-regulation" through establishment of a "safety management system". Interview findings reveal that industrial undertakings as compared to their non-industrial counterparts, generally have greater achievements in safety management probably because they are more familiar with the safety laws. A safety management system should comprise both "hard" and "soft" ingredients. Hard systems may bear different structures, elements and processes, and there is hardly any universal formula. While there are local legal provisions and international models as references, individual businesses should make their choices according to their own situation. On the other hand, soft systems refer to behavioural safety across all levels within an organization. Top management must show their commitment to safety; managers should lead and care for their teams, whereas employees have to take their initiative to work safely and to participate in safety related functions. Based on the discussions made, a "causal loop of safety management" and a "framework of safety management system" are drawn up. Safety management is proposed to have a negative relationship with accident costs. Managers who have to design and implement a company-wide safety management system are advised to (1) be cautious about costs of accidents, (2) be familiar with the safety laws, (3) plan before act, (4) seek top management's commitment beforehand, (5) communicate, (6) get people involved, and (7) be responsible.

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