Safety Training

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Safety Auditors Training Scheme (SATS)

Alexander CS CHAN

MSc(Eng), DipOccHyg, MIPlantE, MIOSH, FHKISA, RSO

Industrial Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR.

Albert W.K. KWOK

MSc(Civ), CEng, MICE, MIStructE, MHKIE, MIOSH, POSHA.

Industrial Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR.

Abstract

Safety audit is not new in Hong Kong. It starts in multi-national oil and local power supply companies. Starting from 1996, safety audit has been employed in some selected Government construction projects; independent safety auditors are employed in the auditing exercises. The current number of qualified safety auditors in Hong Kong is very limited and they are mainly undertaking safety audits for construction contractors.

The proposed Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management) Regulations will likely be passed in the Legislative Council in late 1999 or early 2000, and safety audit will be enforced in the industries with high accident rates. It is not difficult to foresee that it needs a multiple number of competent safety auditors to serve the industry with effectiveness of the new legislation. Education is vital in reinforcing the proposed legislation. In this respect, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) gives proactive training supports.

Safety Auditors Training Scheme (SATS) is a training programme organised by the PolyU to train suitable candidates to become qualified safety auditors for meeting the imminent demand of the industry. The development and the syllabus of the programme will be discussed in this paper. Besides, a simple analysis on the perspectives of the participants in the Scheme is included for a general understanding of their backgrounds as well as a general view on the present situation of their companies in preparation to face the new legislation.

Keywords

Legislation, safety audit, training

Introduction

Provision of safety training to employees is one of the key elements in safety management system. In fact it is a legal requirement as stipulated in Section 6A 'General duties of a proprietor' under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (F&IU) Ordinance, and Section 6 'Employers to ensure safety and health of employees' under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Ordinance. Also, the Education and Manpower Branch (Hong Kong Government, 1995) has spelled out the importance of safety training through the Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong. The Consultation Paper which represents the Government’s view proposes Hong Kong to move forward to a self-regulatory safety management approach from the current enforcement approach for the purpose of effective prevention of accidents.

As a result of the Consultation Paper, the Labour Department in early 1996 proposed an amendment to the F&IU Ordinance by adding the F&IU (Safety Management) Regulations as the starting point for the self-regulatory safety management system in Hong Kong (HKOSHA, 1996). Within the context of the proposed legislation, there embraced fourteen key process elements laying down the major milestones for the successful construction of a safety management system. These elements are:

1.Safety policy.
2.Safety organisation.
3.Safety training.
4.In-house safety rules and regulations.
5.Safety committee.
6.Programme for inspection of hazardous conditions.
7.Job hazard analysis.
8.Accident/incident investigation.
9.Safety promotion.
10.Process control programme.
11.Personal protection programme.
12.Health assurance programme.
13.Evaluation, selection and control of sub-contractor.
14. Emergency preparedness.

The proposed safety management legislation requests safety audit covering the above management elements to be enforced in the industries with high accident rates such as construction industry. Competent auditor is vital in any kind of auditing exercises, therefore it...
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