Effective Date: July 1, 1997 (Issue No. 2)

Last Updated: December, 2014

A. Objectives

HKUST provides a health and safety program designed to encourage and train employees and students to develop an attitude of working safely. This involves:

  • Recognizing the hazards in the work area.
  • Considering the safety requirements of each task.
  • Using correct procedures and skills to perform the task safely.
  • Taking the safest course of action when faced with a new or unexpected hazard.


B. Responsibilities

Management is responsible for providing a physically suitable work environment, developing a departmental safety program which includes safety training requirements, and ensuring that each employee has the knowledge, skill, and attitude required to safely perform the task on hand.

As discussed in Chapter 2, Job Planning and Procedures, supervisors must conduct a risk assessment of their work and identify all relevant safety training requirements.

Supervisors must also arrange for employees and students to attend any required safety courses within 2 months of either the person’s start date of employment or laboratory work at HKUST. In the meantime, he/she must work under the close supervision of someone who has completed the required course(s). Supervisors are also responsible to provide job-specific hands-on safety training before the work is performed.

Employees and students are responsible for conducting their work in accordance with safety directives. They should raise any safety concerns, including adequacy of safety training, to the attention of their supervisors.


C. Training Resources

Most work assignments and activities require some safety training and orientation. Each situation dictates the method and depth of this training, which may vary from an informal safety talk by the supervisor, a standard safety course, or as far as a comprehensive, advanced-level training specifically tailored to an operation or assignment.

Supervisors are encouraged to use the standard health and safety courses offered by HSEO as a part of their training programs whenever possible. These training courses are available in classroom or online (self-learning) training formats. Online training materials are available at HSEO's Website (See Section G below). These courses cover the BASIC SAFETY PRINCIPLES of a particular field. They must be supplemented by job-specific safety training provided by supervisors.

A description of these courses is detailed below. When training requirements cannot be satisfied by an existing standard safety course, specialized training to meet the needs of the assignment must be developed. Consult HSEO for assistance if needed.

HSEO, as well as the HKUST Library, maintains an audio-visual-aids library of training materials to enhance and clarify informal safety talks.


D. Requirements

Some of the courses offered by HSEO are REQUIRED BY GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS before certain tasks or jobs can be performed; while others may be REQUIRED BY UNIVERSITY POLICY or by DEPARTMENTAL SAFETY PROGRAM. In the latter case, each department or unit is required to assess the nature of its operations and to establish a safety training plan appropriate for its employees and students. The training plans and training records for the individuals should be properly documented and filed.

Each of the HSEO courses includes a short test at the end to assess whether participants have acquired the main safety principles presented in the course. For courses required by either government regulations, university or departmental policies, participants must attain a minimum of 65% correct in order to obtain a passing grade.

These training requirements are generally incorporated into the undergraduate laboratory curriculum and procedures. Undergraduate lab instructors must ensure that the students are aware of the potential hazards and that they will follow correct experimental procedures strictly. In addition, HSEO is available, upon request, to provide safety orientation which is appropriate for the level of the lab work involved.


E. Waiver

Employees and students may request a course waiver from their Department Head if they have taken similar courses elsewhere. Copies of waiver approval should be provided to HSEO for documentation. In general, granting of waivers is not encouraged as the HKUST courses cover not only the technical aspect, but also address internal and local policies and procedures which are likely to be different from those of other institutions. Supervisors should ensure that training is adequate in all cases.


F. Course Announcement

E-mail announcements listing safety course schedules are sent out at least twice a year (usually when a new semester starts) to Department Heads and Departmental Safety Officers. Special offering of these courses can be arranged upon request.


G. Description of Safety Courses and Online Training Materials

Safety courses offered by HSEO are listed and described in HSEO's Website. The list will be updated as necessary. Online training materials (including safety orientation, mandatory training courses, and other training materials) are also available at HSEO's Website.