5. Duties to comply with improvement notices and suspension notices
1. Improvement notices
Under section 9 of the Ordinance, the Commissioner for Labour may serve an improvement notice on an employer or an occupier of the premises where the Commissioner is of the opinion that the employer or occupier of the workplace is in breach of the Ordinance.
The notice must be in writing stating that the Commissioner is of the opinion that the employer/occupier is in breach of the relevant laws and specify a time frame in which the breach is to be remedied or to be discontinued.
Failure to comply with an improvement notice without reasonable excuse can result in a fine of $400,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.
2. Suspension notices
Under section 10 of the Ordinance, the Commissioner for Labour may serve a suspension notice on an employer or an occupier of the premises where a workplace is located, if the Commissioner is of the view that there is imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury because of an activity undertaken on the premises or the condition or use of the premises or of any plant or substance located on the premises.
The notice must be in writing specifying the matters which the Commissioner thinks are creating a risk of death or serious bodily injury, and direct that the activity not to be carried out while the notice is in force. The notice will remain in force until it is revoked.
The employer/occupier can apply for a review of the suspension notice within 28 days after it has been served by writing to the Commissioner, and can appeal against the decision of the Commissioner.
Failure to comply with a suspension notice without reasonable excuse can result in a fine of $1,000,000 and imprisonment for 12 months. There is a further fine of $100,000 for each day or part of a day during which the offender knowingly and intentionally continues the contravention.