Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Works) Regulation (Cap 548 Sub Leg I)
1. The Shipping and Port Control (Cargo Handling) Regulations (Cap 313B) was enacted in 1978 for the purpose of implementing the "Protection against Accidents (Dockers) Convention (Revised), 1932" adopted by the International Labour Organization. However, the accident statistics in the past years has revealed that the occupational safety protection to workers engaged in marine industrial activities is inadequate.
2. To improve the safety of workers, the Shipping and Port Control (Works) Regulation (Cap 313 X) and Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Works) Regulation (Cap 548 I) and relevant amendments of the Ordinances were drafted after consultation and published in the Gazette in October 2006. The (Works) Regulation under Cap 548 is mainly for the purpose of regulating and controlling the local vessels (also the river trade vessels from Mainland and Macao) including safety issues in the waters of Hong Kong. The previous Shipping and Port Control (Cargo Handling) Regulations (Cap 313B) were repealed when the new (Works) Regulations has come in to operation on 2 January 2007.
3. The afore-mentioned new Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, (Cap 548) and one of its subsidiary legislation, i.e. the (Works) Regulation (Cap 548 I)are in force, the major changes or improvements of which are set out below
a) The repairing and breaking of vessels and marine construction in which vessels are used have also been brought under the ambit of the Regulation; (Please refer to all sections except Part 5 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I)
b) The requirements for safe means of access to and from and on board a vessel have been enhanced ; (Please refer to s 4 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I)
c) Lifting appliances are subject to the requirement for annual thorough examination and periodical test and examination, at least, once in every 4 years for local vessels and, requirement for issue of appropriate certificates in specified forms by the competent examiners; (Please refer to s. 30,31 and 39 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I)
d) The qualifications of a competent examiner for lifting appliance have been clearly specified to include registered professional engineers and classification societies (Please refer to s.2 of (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I). The list has published in the Marine Department Notice or in this web-page;
e) The mandatory safety training courses (including the Shipboard Cargo Handling Basic Safety Training Course, Shipboard Crane Operator Safety Training Course and Works Supervisor Safety Training) for workers engaged in marine industrial activities on vessels have been specified. Director of Marine has been empowered to approve the training and certificate-issuing authorities, and recognized other safety related training certificates; (Please refer to s46,51,54,70 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I)
f) The occupational safety requirements (e.g. appointment of works supervisors, provision and use of protective clothing and equipment, maintenance of first aid equipment, etc.) have been prescribed; (Please refer to s18, 21, 22 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap548 I)
g) Measures shall, in so far as reasonably practicable, be taken to ensure the safety of a person employed at work and there shall be provided such information, instruction, training or supervision as may be necessary to ensure, in so far as reasonably practicable, the safety of a person employed at work; (Please refer to s23 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I)
h) If a person employed has to carry out cargo handling on the top of a stack of containers on a vessel, there shall be provided safe means of access to and from the top of the stack for use by that person, and reasonable measures shall be taken to ensure that a person employed does not work on the top of a container unless adequate precautions have been taken to prevent such a person from falling from the container. (Please refer to s60 of Cap 313 and s61 of the (Works) Regulation, Cap 548 I)
i) For the purpose of providing practical guidance in respect of some of the provisions of the Regulation, the Director of Marine has issued relevant codes of practice.
4. For enquiries, please contact the Marine Industrial Safety Section or at telephone number 2852 4477. Relevant information or details concerning the Regulation or Ordinance can also be found on or downloaded from Marine Department, Marine Industrial Safety website.