1. Duties on Proprietors
Definition of “proprietors”
Under section 2 of the Ordinance, proprietor in relation to any industrial undertaking or notifiable workplace includes the person for the time being having the management or control of the business carried on in such industrial undertaking or notifiable workplace and includes a body corporate and a firm and also the occupier of any industrial undertaking or notifiable workplace and the agent of such occupier.
Duty and liability of proprietors
All proprietors must take care of the safety and health at work of all persons who are employed by them in an industrial undertaking by:
- providing and maintaining plant and work systems that do not endanger safety or health;
- making arrangements to ensure safety and health in connection with the use, handling, storage or transport of plant or substances;
- providing all necessary information, instruction, training, and supervision for ensuring safety and health;
- providing and maintaining safe access to and egress from the workplace; and
- providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
Further, under section 13 of the Ordinance, the proprietor of every industrial undertaking shall be responsible for offences of the Ordinance which have been committed, and it is no defence for the proprietor to say the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent.
Offences and penalties
A proprietor who is in breach of the above requirements can be fined for HK$10,000,000 and if he does so wilfully and without reasonable excuse, he can be imprisoned for 2 years on top of the fine of HK$10,000,000.