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General Workplace Safety

hse_topics_icon_hse_topics_icon_11The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its staff, students and visitors. Besides, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Ordinance, Cap. 509, the employer must, as far as reasonably practicable, ensure the safety and health of all its employees when they are at work.

As such, the University has established various health and safety management programs. Some examples are given below.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation, Cap. 509B, Display Screen Equipment (DSE) refers to any display screen which shows letters, numbers, characters or graphics, regardless of the display process involved. In PolyU setting, a DSE usually associates with a workstation, which refers to an assembly comprising a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, desk or other peripheral items.

Under this regulation, an employee is identified as a “DSE user” if he/she, by the nature of his/her work, is required to use display screen equipment for a prolonged period of time almost every day. The Code of Practice for Working with Display Screen Equipment issued by the Labour Department gives the following interpretation for “a prolonged period of time almost every day”.

  • continuously for at least 4 hours during a day, or
  • cumulatively for a least 6 hours during a day.

It is the responsibility of individual departments to

  • identify DSE users within their departments
  • appoint DSE assessor for departments
  • conduct required DSE assessment for each DSE user
  • take steps to reduce the risk identified in the DSE assessment report
  • keep the DSE reports for a period of at least 2 years
  • provide a copy of DSE report to HSO for record.

Electrical equipment is potentially hazardous and may cause electric shock if they are not properly used or maintained.
Below are some tips for preventing electrical shocks in a workplace.

  • Do not connect power extension unit in series
  • Do not overload power outlets
  • Inspect cords and equipment regularly, and report any defects immediately
  • Use only equipment that is properly grounded or double-insulated
  • Do not use any substandard electrical equipment or wiring.
  • Minimize the use of extension units or adaptors.
  • Use safe and approved types (BS1363 13A Type) of plugs, extension units or adapter, etc.
  • Do not use electrical equipment or appliances near water or wet surfaces
  • Never use electrical equipment when your hands or the equipment is wet

Click here for more safety tips from EMSD for electrical appliances.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Ordinance, Cap. 509, an employer must:

  • assess the respective capabilities of the employees when allocating tasks involving hazardous manual handling operations; and
  • provide adequate training to employees.

In practice, the employer must:

  • make a preliminary assessment of the risks of manual handling operations
    • if that particular operation is first undertaken at a workplace after the commencement of the law, the person responsible for the workplace must ensure that a preliminary risk assessment is made; or
    • if that particular operation was being undertaken at a workplace immediately before the commencement of the law and that operation is also undertaken on or after that commencement, the person responsible for the workplace must, within 14 days after that commencement, ensure that a preliminary risk assessment is made.
  • avoid the need for employees to undertake hazardous manual handling operations as far as reasonably practicable;
  • make a further assessment of the manual handling risks if the hazardous operations cannot be avoided;
  • reduce the risks as far as reasonably practicable, and arrange for preventive and protective measures;
  • review and modify the preliminary or the further assessment if the circumstances have significantly changed or those assessments have become invalid;
  • provide relevant information to employees on the risks as well as preventive and protective measures involved in those hazardous manual handling operations;
  • provide effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of those preventive and protective measures; and
  • if 10 or more employees are normally employed at a workplace at any one time to undertake manual handling operations, he/she must:
    • keep a record of the assessment for a period of not less than 3 years, and;
    • appoint sufficient competent persons to assist in carrying out the preventive and protective measures.


Senior Health and Safety Manager
Mr CHEUNG Chi-yeung Alex


Senior Health and Safety Manager
Mr YAN Ka-fai Alfred


Senior Health and Safety Manager
Ir KWOK Fung-wai Raiko

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