FAQ

  1. What has the University done to protect my health and safety as an employee (or as a student) of the University?
  2. I feel that the chemical agents I use in my job are damaging my health. How can I find out more about these agents? Can I make a complaint to the University?
  3. The machinery I use everyday does not appear to be very safe. It has no guarding. What can I do?
  4. What should I do if I spot something in the campus which I believe is dangerous?
  5. I am not sure about what I should do in case of fire. Where can I find out more about this?
  6. Part of my job is to help the students in their practical classes. I however feel that the students seldom follow the safety requirements. Am I responsible for accidents that may happen in the practical classes?
  7. I work in a laboratory/workshop. Where can I get personal protective equipment such as gloves and safety glasses that I need for my work?
  8. I manage a group of staff who may work in many different areas. I surely can't be everywhere. How can I be expected to ensure the safety of my staff as required by the safety legislation?
  9. What can I do if my supervisor asks me to do something which I think is not safe?
  10. I have read the University's Health and Safety Guide. Some of the guidelines are just not practical to our situation. How can I follow those guidelines?
  11. My research is so new that it will not be covered by any safety legislation. How can I set safety standards for my research students?
  12. The air-conditioning system always gives us problems. We have reported the problems many times and it is still not improving. What can we do?
  13. I would like to send my staff to attend some safety training for the jobs they do. Where can they go?
  14. I am in charge of a workshop. Will I be liable personally if an accident happens in my workshop?
  15. What should I do in case of emergency such as fires or serious accidents?
 
What has the University done to protect my health and safety as an employee (or as a student) of the University?
  • The University has developed a Health and Safety Policy which laid down a management system to ensure the health and safety of both staff and students of the University. Specific safety requirements for various operations are laid down in a University document called the Health and Safety Guide. You can have access to the entire contents of the Guide through this web page. To ensure the effective implementation of the Policy and the Guide, the Health, Safety & Environment Office was established to monitor the process and to advise on all health and safety matters.
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I feel that the chemical agents I use in my job are damaging my health. How can I find out more about these agents? Can I make a complaint to the University?
  • It is a policy of the University that staff and students must know the potential hazards of chemical agents before they start using them. You can either get the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the chemicals from the electronic databases in the library, or ask the suppliers for the relevant information. If you do not have direct access to the suppliers, ask your supervisor who has the duty to obtain the information for you. If you are not getting anywhere with these suggestions, you can complain to your Departmental Health and Safety Officer, and eventually the Health, Safety & Environment Office.
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The machinery I use everyday does not appear to be very safe. It has no guarding. What can I do?
  • If you feel it is dangerous to use the machinery, don’t use it. Report it to your supervisor who has the responsibility of making an assessment on the risk. Your supervisor should refer to both legislation and established standards in making the assessment. Control measures should be put in place if the assessment shows that the risk is high or moderate. The Health, Safety & Environment Office can be approached for assistance in assessing the situation.
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What should I do if I spot something in the campus which I believe is dangerous?
  • If the dangerous occurrence is within your own department, report immediately to your Departmental Health and Safety Officer or your supervisor. If it is outside your departmental areas, report it to the Security Control Centre by dialing extension 7666 or 7999. The Security Control Centre will call for other help if necessary.
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I am not sure about what I should do in case of fire. Where can I find out more about this?
  • You should know from the first day of your employment what you should do in case of fire at your work area. Your department should brief you on this when you report duty. The Safety Handbook given to you by your department also give you the general guidelines on this area.
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Part of my job is to help the students in their practical classes. I however feel that the students seldom follow the safety requirements. Am I responsible for accidents that may happen in the practical classes?
  • The person ultimately responsible for student safety in practical classes is the course lecturer who develops the practical class. In case you see students not following safety requirements, you should immediately advise them to stop the dangerous act. If unsuccessful, report it immediately to the course lecturer. The best approach is for the course lecturer to set up in the first place a good supervising system for the practical classes taking this type of situations into account. Your responsibilities should be clearly discussed between the course lecturer and yourself so that you know exactly what you are responsible for.
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I work in a laboratory/workshop. Where can I get personal protective equipment such as gloves and safety glasses that I need for my work?
  • You can get all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) through your supervisor free of charge. The need for PPE items should be based on a risk assessment on the task involved.
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I manage a group of staff who may work in many different areas. I surely can't be everywhere. How can I be expected to ensure the safety of my staff as required by the safety legislation?
  • As a supervisor, your duties have been laid down in the Health and Safety Policy of the University. You don’t have to be there physically to ensure safety, a good safety system will do the job for you. In very simple terms, you have to set up a safety system for all the work under you and clearly delegate the safety responsibilities to individual subordinates. In the safety system, you should have the responsibilities to assess the risks of their work, lay down safety procedures, communicate the safety requirements to the subordinates, and develop mechanism to monitor the implementation.
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What can I do if my supervisor asks me to do something which I think is not safe?
  • Tell your supervisor about what you think. Go through a risk assessment process with your supervisor. If necessary, involve the Departmental Health and Safety Officer or the Health, Safety & Environment Office for assistance. Any decision has to be based on scientific objective assessment, but not subjective feelings.
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I have read the University’s Health and Safety Guide. Some of the guidelines are just not practical to our situation. How can I follow those guidelines?
  • The Health and Safety Guide is not meant to be a procedure manual, it provides generic guidelines for departments so that they can develop their specific procedures to suit their needs . So if the Guide is not fully applicable to your situation, you should develop your own procedure for your task basing on the principles laid down in the Guide. The Health, Safety & Environment Office could be approached for assistance in developing your departmental procedures.
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My research is so new that it will not be covered by any safety legislation. How can I set safety standards for my research students?
  • The policy of the University is to do better than just complying with legislation. So what you need to do is to make a risk assessment on all the potential hazards in your research and put in measures to control the risks that you think are high or moderate. Of course, there would be some international safety standards that would apply to the hazards in your research area. You may have access to those standards in the library or HSEO.
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The air-conditioning system always gives us problems. We have reported the problems many times and it is still not improving. What can we do?
  • First, you have to make sure that you do contact the right people for your problem. For air-conditioning problems, the Facilities Management Office should be contacted or use the hot-line 7777. If the situation still does not improve after the repair or maintenance work, the Health, Safety & Environment Office may be approached so that we can look at the problem from a safety perspective.
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I would like to send my staff to attend some safety training for the jobs they do. Where can they go?
  • You should first analyse the training needs of your staff. With the needs in mind you can access the homepages of a number of health and safety authorities such as the Labour Department of Hong Kong and the Occupational Safety and Health Council where you will find details of their offered training courses. The bulletin board of our office also provide some information of training courses that we think would be useful to our staff. Our in-house training programmes now cover some high-risk areas such as laboratories and workshops.
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I am in charge of a workshop. Will I be liable personally if an accident happens in my workshop?
  • As a responsible person for a workshop, your safety duties have been laid down in the Health and Safety Policy. If you have discharged those duties diligently, you would not be held personally liable for the accident under the recently enacted Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance.
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What should I do in case of emergency such as fires or serious accidents?
  • Your should immediately report it to the Security Control Centre by dialing the emergency extension 7999 or use one of the emergency telephones on campus. If somebody is injured, you may apply first-aid to that person if you wish. There should be a first-aid box either in or near your work area.
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