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  Implementation of F&IU (Safety Management) Regulations in Properties Management Company
   
  Question
 
  As I understand that "The Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety
Management) Regulations" have been passed in the Legislative Council on 24 Nov 1999 and this regulation has just been enacted on 1 April 2002.

In accordance with the Statutory Requirements, the Proprietors and
Contractors have the duties to develop, implement and maintain a Safety
Management System so as to prepare a written safety policy, and to
Establish a Safety Committee in respect of their industrial undertakings and so on.

Of course, appointment of a Registered Safety Auditor to conduct a Safety Audit and prepare a Safety Audit Report periodically is a need.

In view of our business nature (Properties Management Company), our fellow colleagues opine that we should NOT fall into this regulations. However, I have doubt about the following criteria and would like to seek your advice as follows:

* Our technical colleagues will regularly perform site inspections to
the tenants' fit out renovation site (construction site), is that it has
been fallen into this regulation immediately.

* Our company has employed over 60 operational technical staff and
around 25 technical staff as well as employed several sub-contractors to carry out jobs assigned in one property centre only, (Note: the employees stationed at other property centres have not been counted), I think that we may fall into this regulation immediately. (Note: Schedule 3 of Safety Management Regulations has highlighted the details)

* Can we have a clear definition of "Construction Site" and "Maintenance Work"?

* Can we find any written document(s) stating that our business nature
has definitely fallen this regulation?

In fact, we have consulted The Labour Dept. about our concerns but they
could not give us a comprehensive / united answer.

Your views and reply to my queries will be much appreciated.

   
  Answer
   
 

As you've mentioned there is no official document clearly defined whether the new Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management) Regulations shall apply to Property Management Company. However there are several points in our view which are noteworthy for your consideration to determine whether the regulations applied to you:

1) The term "Property Management Company" or "Property Manager" did not fully reflect the actual work done by the entity. As some Property Management Company/ Property Manager only perform a role of advisory function and plus some services which are not related to construction work. It is therefore important to clarify whether your organization is an "Industrial Undertakings" or not and further to assess yourself whether any "Construction Work" is being carried out either directly by the management company's staff or indirectly done by others through your subcontracting system. In such circumstance, you may be held responsible under several section of legislation such as: Proprietor, Occupier, Employer & Contractor respectively.

2) "Industrial Undertaking" (¤u·~¸gÀç) as defined in Chapter 59, the Factories & Industrial Undertakings Ordinance Section 2 - Interpretation includes:

(a) any factory;
(b) any mine or quarry;
(c) any industry in which articles are manufactured, altered, cleansed, repaired, ornamented, finished, adapted for sale, broken up or demolished, or in which materials are transformed, including shipbuilding;
(d) the generation, transformation, and transmission of electricity or motive power of any kind;
(e) any construction work;
(f) the loading, unloading, or handling of goods or cargo at any dock, quay, wharf, warehouse or airport;
(fa) container handling;
(g) the carriage of coal, building materials, or debris;
(h) the transport of passengers or goods by road, rail, cableway or aerial ropeway;
(ha) the preparation of food for consumption and sale on the premises where it is prepared;
(i) any premises or site in or upon which, and the machinery, plant, tools, gear and materials with which, any of the foregoing industrial undertakings is carried on.

3) "Construction Work («Ø¿v¤uµ{) " as defined in the Chapter 59, Factories & Industrial Undertakings Ordinance Section 2 - interpretation as follows:

(a) the construction, erection, installation, reconstruction, repair, maintenance (including redecoration and external cleaning), renewal, removal, alteration, improvement, dismantling, or demolition of any structure or works specified in the Third Schedule; i.e.

1. Any building, edifice, wall, fence, or chimney, whether constructed wholly or partly above or below ground level.
2. Any road, motorway, railway, tramway, cableway, aerial ropeway or canal.
3. Any harbour works, dock, pier, sea defence work, or lighthouse.
4. Any aqueduct, viaduct, bridge, or tunnel.
5. Any sewer, sewage disposal works, or filter bed.
6. Any airport or works connected with air navigation.
7. Any dam, reservoir, well, pipeline, culvert, shaft, or reclamation.
8. Any drainage, irrigation, or river control work.
9. Any water, electrical, gas, telephonic, telegraphic, radio, or television installation or works, or any other works designed for the manufacturing or transmission of power or the transmission or reception of radio or sound waves.
10. Any structure designed for the support of machinery, plant, or power transmission lines.

(b) any work involved in preparing for any operation referred to in paragraph (a), including the laying of foundations and the excavation of earth and rock prior to the laying of foundations;

(c) the use of machinery, plant, tools, gear, and materials in connection with any operation referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

4) The above 2 definitions set out the criteria whether the new Factories & Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management) Regulations applies to an organization or not. Those potentially related to property management work were underlined for easy reference.

5) From another perspective, please justify yourself whether you need to comply with the F&IU (Confined Spaces) Regulations. If your answer to this question is yes and you have comply with the requirements in the Confined Spaces Regulations then why shouldn't you comply with the F&IU (Safety Management) Regulations and vice versa

In conclusion, according to your description we are in the opinion that your organization is very likely to be an "Industrial Undertakings" which carrying out "Construction Work" and therefore the new F&IU (Safety Management) should apply to you.