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Gear up for cold spell, bosses and workers urged

11 January 2017



Hong Kong will be under a cold spell in the next few days, and employers and employees must take appropriate measures to keep themselves warm, the authorities say.

The Labour Department said employers and employees should pay special attention to work during the cold weather, particularly for those who have to work outdoors or in remote areas, and those suffering from heart, respiratory or chronic ailments.

The department said these people could take the following precautions:

Employers
1) Take heed of the weather report and remind employees to wear appropriately warm clothing. For those wearing uniform, additional warm clothing should be provided when necessary.
2) Reschedule work outdoors or in remote areas to warmer periods in the daytime, such as noon, or warmer days where practicable.
3) Make arrangements for employees to rotate from outdoor to indoor or sheltered work sites within the shift to reduce their exposure to the cold.
4) Remind employees to stay alert to their health condition during outdoor work in cold weather and seek the attention of their supervisors, as appropriate.
5) Provide hot drinking water or other beverages for employees.

Employees
1) Employees should mind their health condition when working in the cold and seek their supervisors’ attention and medical help immediately if feeling unwell, such as having cold limbs, body shivers and goose bumps (chicken skin).
2) Take note of the weather report and wear appropriately warm clothing, particularly when working outdoors or in remote areas.
3) Consume sufficient high-calorie food and drink.
4) Exercise to facilitate circulation and production of heat.

The Labour Department has published a leaflet entitled “Health Guide for Working during the Cold Weather” to provide guidance for employers and employees to minimize the risks of working during the cold weather.

The department said the leaflet can be obtained free of charge from the Occupational Health Service of the Labour Department, or downloaded at www.labour.gov.hk/eng/news/pdf/Cold_Weather.pdf.
For enquiries, call the Labour Department hotline 2717 1771.

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