On November 13 2014 the State Administration of Work Safety issued the Regulations on the Administration of Occupational Hazard Notifications and Warning Signs, which increase employer obligations to notify employees of occupational hazards and set up warning signs in workplaces. In particular, employers must:
- specify in employment contracts any potential occupational hazards and their consequences, as well as the protective measures and treatments (eg, position allowance and work injury insurance) for such hazards. Where dispatched workers face occupational hazards, a written notification regarding such hazards is required;
- set up bulletin boards to make public their hazard prevention and safety policies in the office and production areas respectively;
- set up warning signs at workplaces and employees' workstations, as well as on equipment, on packaging for materials or products and at storage sites. The regulations identify 12 types of work environment where special warning signs are needed; and
- issue notification cards to employees who are in positions where they may face severe occupational hazards. The notification card should indicate the name of the hazardous factors, physical features, harm to health, exposure limit, protective measures, emergency measures and important phone numbers.
The regulations also specify rules for the frequency of bulletin board updates, as well as repair and replacement of warning signs and notification cards.
While the regulations do not themselves contain any penalty provisions for non-compliance, penalty provisions in the Law on the Prevention of Occupational Diseases and other implementing regulations would apply. Therefore, companies with manufacturing facilities or that otherwise have workplaces where employees may be exposed to occupational hazards should strictly comply with the new measures outlined in the regulations.
For further information on this topic please contact Andreas Lauffs or Jonathan Isaacs at Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office by telephone (+852 2846 1888), fax (+852 2845 0476) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Baker & McKenzie website can be accessed at www.bakermckenzie.com.
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