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1. What does it mean to have taken all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of my employees?

Employers are expected to have regard to all the circumstances including the unique characteristics of the employee concerned, such as the level of skill. The standard of care expected of the employer will vary with the circumstances of the case, for example, the employee’s age.


The Occupational Safety and Health Regulation (Cap. 509A) has set out the general requirements that employers are expected to meet with so as to carry out their duties under this head:


a) Accident prevention

  • To ensure that plants are designed, constructed and operated maintained properly
  • To ensure all dangerous plants and/or areas are guarded or fenced


b) Fire prevention

  • To keep all means of egress and escape free of obstruction


c) Provision of a safe and healthy work environment

  • To keep the workplace clean, adequately lit and ventilated


d) Provision of first aid

  • To keep adequate first aid facilities which will be readily available when required


e) Guarantee of hygiene at the workplace

  • To provide clean washing and toilet facilities and drinking water


f) Guarantee of safe manual handling operations

  • To provide training and guidance so as to minimize risks to the safety and health of employees


If the case concerns work of a specialized industry, although not conclusive, the court may also consider the common practice in the industry and/or any statutory guidelines or requirements in determining whether the employer has taken all reasonably practicable measures.