The 2nd Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Conference was held in Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) on 26 October 2011. The conference details were summarized as follows.
Mr. Ben LUI (Vice President, Projects & Facilities (P&F), HKSTPC) gave an welcoming speech. He introduced that HKSTPC had obtained OHSAS 18001 certification since 2009.
The first speaker was Mr. Kam LIU (Project Manager, Laboratory Service & Control of P&F, HKSTPC) and his topic entitled “Guidelines for a Safe Laboratory Design”.
In the beginning, Mr. LIU introduced two types of laboratories that were Dry Lab and Wet Lab.
For Dry Lab, it involved work with computers, electronics and large instruments mainly; and it required accurate temperature and humidity control, stable vibration control and shield space. It did not require extensive piped services. Floor loading and ceiling heights were equipment driver. The photo showed the SEM, chamber and mechanical equipment in Dry Lab.
For Web Lab, it used of chemicals, drugs or other material or biological matter. It needed to utilize bench, sink, fume cupboard, biological safety cabinets. It was fitted with full range of piped services (i.e. Purified water, de-ionized water, compressed air, vacuum, carbon dioxide, nitrogen gas, hot and cold water, gas etc.).
Mr. LIU briefed the following major contribution to the hazardous conditions in laboratories:
- Ineffective exhaust ventilation & workplace practice
- Use of inefficient containment equipment
- Inexperience of designers
- Copied from previous project
- Owner keeping cost below budget
Then Hazard Tree was introduced as example to identify the release of contaminated air outside the laboratory.
Mr. LIU introduced the Laboratory Design which considered the following items:
- Building provision (e.g. Supporting facilities)
- Layout arrangement (e.g. Enough space for working)
- Barriers and containment design (Primary containment and Secondary containment)
The following diagram was barrier facility to provide positive air differential pressure to the laboratory (e.g. Specific-pathogen-free animals lab, cleanrooms for pharmaceutical, medical device, etc.)
The diagram below was show the containment facility which provided negative pressurization of the laboratory to protect the operators and general public.
There were two strategies for containment facilities included primary and secondary. Primary containment provided physical containment at the source (e.g. Safety cabinet, fume cupboard, air-supplied positive pressure personnel suit). Secondary containment was the room within which the primary barrier locates; dedicated supply and exhaust; filtration and decontamination systems.
Bad examples which affected the exhaust air performance.
Mr. LIU introduced the NIT testing about 2 hoods with different locations. It was found that hoods on same wall were worst affected; so it should separate hoods on the same walls by at least 4 feet. Hoods on opposite walls were found to be better than hoods on the same wall.
Mr. LIU concluded two basic points which should be remembered:
I) Preventive maintenance - MUST be provided
II) Performance testing - MUST be provided
At the end, he mentioned other safety facilities which were commonly in the laboratory.
The second speaker was Mr. LAM Shi-kai (Director, University Safety and Environmental Office, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and his topic named “A Chemical Hygiene Programme for Laboratories”.
Mr. LAM firstly introduced the recommendations by Labour Department such as Safety Management System with 14 elements based on BS 8800.
He said the Code of Practice (15 items) was no item related to laboratory.
But the guidance notes (28 items) had one item which stated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use and handling of chemicals was related to laboratory.
Labour Department's ordinance and guidance were missing laboratory items such as Laser, Isotopes, Pathogens, Laboratory equipment, Hazardous properties of chemical, etc. Moreover, Mr. LAM identified 5 types of hazards in laboratories below:
- Physical; Chemical; Pathogenic; Ergonomic and Stress.
Then Mr. LAM introduced the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) for laboratories which included 9 items.
- Safety Organization
- Certification & Maintenance of Equipment
- Authorized operators
- Training & Supervision
- Database & Information
- Inspection & Review
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Emergency Equipment
- Special Operations
Safety Organization should have Authority, Power and Resource (including manpower)
Many items of CHP were governed by Chapter 509 and showed as follows.
Finally, Mr. LAM suggested to use similar laboratory accreditation practices (Vertical and Horizontal Audit) to inspect laboratory safety.
He defined Vertical Inspection was to select an operation and observe its conduction from the beginning to the end. It needed to look at the safety performance at each critical step.
Horizontal Inspection was defined to select a work section, e.g. An area, a work bench or a small laboratory to inspect the workplace, equipment and environment for safety.
Lastly, Mr. LAM emphasized the important of staff's safety awareness. He said "Adoption of Model CHP without adjustment has low acceptability among staff.
The third speaker was Ms. Sandy TANG (Assistant Environmental Protection Officer, Environment Protection Department) and her presentation was “Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) General Regulation”.
Ms. TANG's presentation included Legislative Control, chemical waste producer, collection and disposal, and trip ticket system. For Legislative Control, Waste Disposal Ordinance (Cap. 354) and CWR regulation were employed.
Under the ordinance, the chemical waste was classified in schedule 1 as Part A and Part B. Part A chemical waste were very toxic / environmentally persistent, which required special disposal arrangement.
Part B chemical waste covered the majority of chemical waste and no prior notification required. The following diagram showed some common Part B chemical waste.
EPD used the principle of "Cradle to Grave" to control on Chemical Waste.
Then Ms. TANG briefed the proper packaging requirement which based on "Code of Practice on the Packaging, Labelling and Storage of Chemical Wastes". The following table showed the recommended containers for different chemical waste.
Ms. TANG also stated the requirement of Proper Label.
Good example for the proper packed and labelled chemical waste
Good example for the proper storage
Two waste disposal sites were introduced. (Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) and Landfill)
Finally, the trip ticket system was mentioned from collection, transportation to disposal.
Ms. Miranda Kwan (Deputy Director, Systems & Services Certification at SGS Hong Kong Ltd.) was invited to present the first ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification to HKSTPC in Hong Kong. It was a milestone of HKSTPC to enhance our energy utilization.
After received the ISO 50001 certification, all team members took a group photo to memory this achievement.
After tea break, the first speaker of second part of conference was Ms. Joanne YUNG (Environmental Protection Officer, Environment Protection Department) and her topic was “Clinical Waste Control Scheme in Hong Kong”.
Ms. YUNG introduced the clinical waste control scheme in which legislative procedure was completed on 1 Aug 2011.
There were 5 key elements in the scheme.
1. Statutory licensing framework for waste collectors and disposal facility operators
2. Waste producers to consign clinical waste to licensed collectors or a licensed disposal facility (HCP means Healthcare Professionals such as registered medical pracitioners, dentists, veterinary surgeons, etc.)
3. Promulgate Code of Practices (CoPs) to provide guidance for clinical waste producers and waste collectors (It separated into Major and Small Clinical Waste Producers)
4. Rip Ticket system to track waste movement
5. Designate the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) to treat clinical waste and charge for use of the facility
The definition of clinical waste was shown as following diagram.
There were some common sources of clinical waste classified as six groups below.
Group 1- Used or contaminated sharps
Group 2 - Laboratory waste
Group 3 - Human and animal tissues
Group 4 - Infectious materials
Group 5 - Dressings
Group 6 - Other wastes
The example table for clinical waste was shown.
The clinical waste had packaging requirement in different group.
Group 1 example
Other groups example
The warning sign for storage area was shown as follows.
Lastly, she introduced the trip ticket system which was found one more form than chemical waste because of the additional "Collection Point".
The second speaker of second part was Mr. Derek Armstrong CHAN (Assistant Divisional Officer, Fire Services Department) and his title named “Dangerous Goods Ordinance and Its Latest Development”.
He introduced the existing control of dangerous good (DG) under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance (Cap 295) which was enacted in 1956 and amended in 2002.
The existing classification of DG were mentioned.
Mr. CHAN introduced the scope of the DG (Amendment) Ordinance to us.
New classification and label would be proposed for legislative procedure. The following photos showed the proposed classification, DG list, warning packing and labelling which would match UN standard.
Finally, Mr. CHAN added it would have 24 months grace period once the new amended ordinance effective.
The last speaker was Mr. LI Kwok-ching (Occupational Safety Officer I, Labour Department) and his presentation entitled “Major Safety Regulations related to Chemical Safety in Workplace”.
Mr. LI mainly described the FIU (DG) Regulation in Cap 59 A&B.
He reviewed the annually industrial accident rate from 2000 to 2009. The trend was decreasing.
However, the mortality rate of accident was found to be steady from 2000 to 2009.
After that Mr. LI stated the responsibility of employer and employee.
At the end, Q&A session was held for exchanging safety ideas with participants.
After the conference, we led participants to visit our laboratories.
HKSTP Laboratories - www.lab.hkstp.org
Occupational Safety and Health Training Centre - http://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/osh/content5.htm
EPD Clinical Waste Management - http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/clinicalwaste
Labour Department - http://www.labour.gov.hk/tc/osh/content5.htm