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Wan Chai District Council|The life-threatening groups of the garbage chute point to the change of the narrow notch to treat the symptoms but not the root cause and promote permanent shutdown

2021-04-20T16:07:00.444Z

At the beginning of this year, a garbage chute was killed in Shan Jing Village, Tuen Mun, causing public concern about the safety of garbage chutes in housing estates. Today (20th) Wan Chai Food and Environmental Hygiene Committee discusses the garbage chutes in the district and discusses improvement



District 18 News

Written by: Zeng Fengting

2021-04-20 21:43

Last update date: 2021-04-20 21:43

At the beginning of this year, a garbage chute was killed in Shan Jing Village, Tuen Mun, causing public concern about the safety of garbage chutes in housing estates.

Today (20th) the Wan Chai Food and Environmental Hygiene Committee discussed the garbage chutes in the district and explored improvement options.

Some groups think that the Government’s current practice of making the garbage chutes thinner can address the symptoms but not the root cause. They urge the use of elevators to replace the garbage chutes to ensure the safety of cleaners.

The Labour Department stated that it had written to various property management companies/owners’ corporations in 2018, urging to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance and take adequate safety measures to prevent employees from accidentally falling into the garbage chute.

From time to time, the prescription will also send personnel to conduct surprise inspections at work locations in public markets under the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. If violations are found, a "stop order" will be issued until the slot design is improved.

The FEHD stated that during the period when the garbage chutes in the relevant markets in the district were out of service, cleaners had been arranged to use cargo lifts to transport them to the underground garbage room for temporary storage and to be transported away by garbage collection vehicles.

The Wan Chai District Council today discussed a number of issues related to garbage policy, including the design of garbage stations and garbage chutes in the district.

(Photo by Zeng Fengting)

The Wan Chai District Council today discussed a number of issues related to garbage policy, including the design of garbage stations and garbage chutes in the district.

Since there was an industrial accident that killed the garbage chute in Shanjing Village at the beginning of the year, representatives of the Industrial Injury Rights Association and the Hong Kong Women and Labor Association also attended the meeting. Representatives from the FEHD also attended the meeting. The meeting focused on the way of garbage transportation.

Wan Chai District Councillor Yang Xueying asked the FEHD about the funnel-shaped garbage chutes used in Wong Nai Chung Market and Lockhart Road Market, including the width of the garbage chute, the time required by the cleaners to use it, and how to deal with it when it encounters a plug. .

Community researcher Cheng Chin-wei emphasized at the meeting that the "temporary suspension notice" (stop work order) was not initiated by the Labour Department to deal with it, but was a suggestion made by the public after the fatal accident in Shanjing Village.

He recalled that in 2010, a garbage chute was killed in an accident in Dayuan Village. At that time, the court issued an order that the Housing Department and the Food Sanitation Department should follow up the problem. However, the two departments failed to properly handle the problem. A total of five similar accidents occurred one after another, which claimed three lives, including the life of a 58-year-old cleaning worker surnamed Guan in Shanshan Village at the beginning of the year.

Community researcher Cheng Zhanwei pointed out that he could not understand why the current "Buildings Ordinance" exempted the work environment management of garbage chutes in buildings.

(Photo by Zeng Fengting)

Community researcher pointed out that the modification of the thin notch did not take into account the work needs of cleaners

Cheng Xuan pointed out that he couldn't understand why the existing Buildings Ordinance exempted the work environment management of garbage chutes in buildings. He also said that the places where accidents occurred in the past were related to the listed buildings.

He believes that under the premise of occupational safety and health, there should not be any immunity, and relevant departments should also perform a supervisory role.

In addition, he mentioned that there may be new markets in the area in the future. The department should review whether the garbage chute design is appropriate. If it finds the reason why the garbage chute is currently out of service and the improvement plan, the government should be urged to submit the details and clear time for the plan. Tables, such as when the slot will be reopened, and how the garbage will be transported in the future.

Reducing the size of the garbage chute may increase the workload of cleaners.

Cheng Chin-wei believes that the ArchSD's current plan for narrowing the notch may fail to take into account the needs of frontline workers. He suggested that the department should communicate with the frontline and incorporate the areas of concern of cleaners into the improvement plan.

The Labour Department issued a "stopping order" to Shan Shan Village in Tuen Mun.

(Information Picture/Photo by Deng Yongzhong)

Promote to follow the example of private buildings and use elevators to replace garbage chutes to transport garbage

The representative of the Hong Kong Women’s Labor Association urged the government to completely stop the garbage chute. The representative explained that the chute is a top-down form of garbage transportation. Although the chute is made thinner, it may not completely improve the safety of cleaners.

The representative pointed out that the narrowing of the slot will increase the chance of plugging the slot. Workers need to go through the slot even more dangerously, which makes workers more likely to get injured. It is recommended to follow the practice of private residences and use elevators instead of garbage chutes to transport garbage.

Representatives of the Industrial Casualty Rights Association believe that the current authorities lack comprehensive research and review on the design of garbage chutes. They also pointed out that there are so many private buildings in the district that it is very difficult to communicate related issues with the registered corporation. I hope that the district council can help to get in touch with the law. The regiment can take into account the safety of workers and consider whether it is necessary to use the garbage chute.

The representative said that the authorities need more research to understand the problem; as for making the notch thinner, the representative pointed out that the practice is "treating the symptoms but not the root cause", and understands that changing to lift transportation will cause odors and occupy the entire lift, which will affect the residents. , Hoping to balance worker safety and household opinions.

In the past five years, there have been two fatal work accidents in which cleaners fell into garbage chutes in buildings.

In a written reply, the Labour Department pointed out that there had been two fatal work accidents in which cleaners fell into the garbage chutes of buildings in the past five years.

After investigation, it was found that the main reason was that the garbage chute was too large, which made it easy for workers to fall into the garbage chute. Therefore, in 2018, I wrote to various property management companies/owners’ corporations urging to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance. (That is, employers and premises occupiers are required to ensure the work safety of employees within a reasonable and practicable range, including the provision and maintenance of safe operating devices such as garbage chutes and work systems), and take adequate safety measures to prevent employees from accidentally falling into the garbage groove.

From the perspective of occupational safety, the opening to the garbage chute should not be too large to prevent workers from accidentally falling into the garbage chute.

The design of the garbage chute refers to the relevant requirements of the Building (Refuse and Material Recovery Chambers and Refuse Chutes) Regulations (Chapter 123H) that the Housing Department is responsible for enforcing. The actual size of the garbage chute must not be larger than 350 x 250 mm. .

The prescription also stated that after issuing the letter, it has inspected relevant housing estates in Hong Kong many times to follow up on the safety of using garbage chutes, and urged them to make improvements as soon as possible to comply with relevant legal requirements.

At present, the prescription has been completed to inspect the use of garbage chutes in relevant housing estates in Wan Chai, pointing out that they have met the requirements of the above-mentioned laws, including narrowing the garbage chutes to comply with relevant occupational safety requirements, or using other treatment methods to transport garbage, such as using elevators Transfer the garbage collected on each floor to the ground instead of using garbage chutes.

Prescription officers will also be sent to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's public market workplaces to conduct surprise inspections from time to time.

During the inspection period, if there is a work site that uses garbage chutes that do not meet the standard, the Labour Department will issue a "temporary suspension notice" to relevant stakeholders and stop them from using the garbage chutes to transport garbage until the prescription confirms that measures have been taken to eliminate the relevant The garbage chute can only be used if it is harmed.

According to the FEHD, the garbage chutes in the Causeway Bay market are not equipped with funnels, which is potentially dangerous, so they continue to stop using them.

(Online picture)

Waste chutes in Gooseneck Market and Causeway Bay Market are potentially dangerous and need to be shut down

According to the FEHD, it manages 6 public markets in Wan Chai District, 4 of which are equipped with garbage chutes. The garbage chutes in Gooseneck Market and Causeway Bay Market do not have hoppers, while Lockhart Road Market and Wong Nai Chung Market have notches. funnel.

After inspection and risk assessment, the Department believes that the garbage chutes with funnels in Wong Nai Chung Market and Lockhart Road Market can continue to be used, so they have been restored to transport garbage. The garbage chutes in Gooseneck Market and Causeway Bay Market have potential It is dangerous, so continue to stop using it.

The FEHD has commissioned the Architectural Services Department to study improvement measures to protect the safety of workers.

The department also pointed out that during the period when the garbage chutes in the relevant markets were out of service, the contractor had arranged for cleaners to put the garbage into covered and reeled garbage bins, and then used the cargo lift to transport them to the underground garbage room for temporary storage, and to transport them by garbage collection trucks. go.

The two out-of-service garbage chutes may choose to reduce the size of the notches and optimize them based on the actual situation on the spot, such as lights, stagnant water, and notices.

Regarding the group’s concern about the plugging situation, the department responded that there are instructions to the cleaning workers, and the long sticks and long iron sticks are only to help push the garbage down the slot, not for workers to pass through the slot.

When encountering a plug, the worker should find a supervisor to find a professional to deal with it.

As for the recycling situation, six markets have a total of 650 kilograms of food waste every day, and each market can collect 150 kilograms to 100 kilograms.

The Department believes that it is feasible to incorporate recycling methods into other community markets, but the Department only plays a compatible role and needs help from local environmentalists.

Who is responsible for overseeing the homicide of the garbage chute in Shanjing Village?

Death accident in Shanjing Village│The death of the cleaner reflects the loopholes in the Housing Department's project. 7 housing estates were issued with a suspension order

Death accident in Mountain View Village│01 Inspection 5 Falling trough scene revealed the sale of the estate without changing the narrow notch suspected violation

01Community

Wan Chai Community Cleaner FEHD Industrial Accident

Source: hk1

All news articles on 2021-04-20

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