Ensuring Health and Safety

Manage our operations safely and responsibly and provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and workers

Management Approach

Occupational Safety and Health
Customer Safety
Public Safety

Occupational Safety and Health

We are committed to protecting our staff, contractors, customers and the general public against health and safety risks. This commitment and our approach to safety management are clearly outlined in our Health and Safety Policy.

On top of the commitment to fully comply with all applicable health and safety legal requirements and other requirements, Towngas aims for a record of zero accidents and to improve health and safety performance from the previous year. We also strive for preventing ill health and injuries related to psychosocial risk, and to promote well-being at work. This goal is supported by an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management system, which is established in accordance with international standards such as ISO 45001. The system comprises a comprehensive register of risks and opportunities to identify work-related hazards through risk analysis and risk evaluation, as well as control measures for continual improvement. In the event of an accident, we will conduct an investigation to determine the cause and identify ways to prevent its recurrence under a hierarchy of control framework.

A Corporate Health and Safety Manual is also in place to outline the framework of the OSH management system, with standard operating procedures and detailed guidelines. These documents are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure our practices comply with the latest industrial practices and government regulations.

In the Chinese mainland, we have helped our project companies to establish in-house corporate safety standards and provided guidelines for improving safety management.

Monitoring and Reporting

The health and safety performance of the Company is monitored by the Corporate Safety & Environmental Management Department as well as the Corporate Safety and Quality Management Steering Committee. We have 11 Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Committees to provide opportunities for two-way communication on safety and health issues. Management, supervisory staff, non-managerial staff and contractors are invited to participate in the regular meetings of these committees. For more details on our management structure, please refer to ESG Governance Structure.

Various reporting channels and promotion schemes, such as our HSE Suggestion Scheme, Near-miss Reporting Programme and Instant Messaging HSE Reporting Channel, have been set up so that employees and contractors can report work-related hazards and near-miss cases for rectification and improvement. To encourage reporting, we reward workers who flag cases and provide incentive schemes to contractors who demonstrate responsibility, awareness and a high level of safety performance.

Training and Awareness

A standard training procedure has been established that enables us to determine the needs of our workers and assess their competence, knowledge and ability to understand the hazards, risks and control measures associated with their work.

To help our staff and contractors deepen their understanding of our safety culture, we organise training courses, workshops and activities. A Towngas HSE and Caring Programme is also in place to provide mentorship and HSE training for new joiners. Additionally, we make the Towngas Contractor Safety Handbook available to our contractors and provide free safety briefings to their staff operating in various roles. Examples include safety for work above ground and in confined spaces, as well as excavation work close to our gas pipelines.

In our training programmes and before a new project begins, we inform workers about any associated safety and health concerns there might be and the emergency handling procedures they should take. Health and safety messages are disseminated through communication channels such as Towngas publications, emails and online library.

Customer Safety

To ensure our products and services meet the strictest safety requirements, our staff follow a rigorous set of internal guidelines and comply closely with all laws and regulations pertaining to safety. These guidelines cover the installation, replacement and maintenance of gas appliances and gas meters as well as gas pipes and fittings.

When developing new products for our customers, we follow the latest safety and quality control systems that govern how we source raw materials and produce and deliver end products. Our suppliers are also required to comply with our product safety requirements.

Product Development:

  • Gas appliances are equipped with innovative safety features such as anti-scorch protection, timer controls and flame failure devices. Besides, with the support of Wi-Fi services and mobile apps, remote monitoring and alert of abnormal condition can also be enabled
  • Gas meter emergency shut off in abnormal condition

Quality Assurance:

  • Compliance checks are conducted to ensure consistently high standards across all our product lines
  • All gas appliances are tested according to rigorous quality control systems

Product Labelling:

  • All gas appliances come with operating instructions on their safe and proper use

Customer Service:

  • Regular Safety Inspections are conducted to check all gas installations and external service risers, as well as to test installation pipes
    1. every 18 months in Hong Kong
    2. every 12 to 24 months in mainland China
  • 24-hour Emergency Hotline with a team dedicated to handling all gas emergency incidents and carrying out investigation
  • Manual of Remedial Measures, with established remedial actions to ensure domestic gas appliances are safe for public use

Customer Engagement:

  • Safety exhibitions and talks, customer surveys and focus groups, as well as Customer Focus Team visits to raise safety awareness and understand customer needs
  • Safety messages are also provided through leaflets, videos, posters and the corporate website
  • Bi-monthly customer satisfaction surveys conducted by an independent research company

Public Safety

Towngas adheres to well-established design, engineering and operating principles to maintain the safety of our facilities and equipment. By combining these principles with a rigorous maintenance regime, we are able to ensure our processes and assets are safe, reliable and in good working order.

Our gas production plants and transmission and distribution network have all been certified to the ISO 55001 Asset Management standard. A Process Safety Management (PSM) system is also in place for our chemical plants in Hong Kong and mainland China, which allows us to identify and record critical hazards and develop measures to control and mitigate risks.

Emergency and Crisis Management

Towngas has a robust Corporate Crisis Management Plan in place, with a three-tiered approach for recovering from an emergency situation in a timely and effective manner, while ensuring disruptions to the public are kept to a minimum.

Regular training exercises and drills on crisis management are conducted for staff for better emergency preparedness. We also conduct regular table-top exercises to further enhance our management team’s ability to handle emergency situations.

Tier 1 - Corporate Crisis Plan

Senior management deploys company resources, liaises with government authorities and handles the media

Tier 2 - Departmental Emergency/Crisis Plan

Managers and key emergency personnel outline general actions to take during emergency situations

Tier 3 - Specific Emergency Procedures

Frontline staff take appropriate action to tackle specific incident

Comprehensive Monitoring

We continuously monitor our facilities in order to identify potential hazards and mitigate risks while looking for ways to make improvements.

From our 24-hour Grid Control Centre at our North Point Headquarters in Hong Kong, we are able to monitor our network in real time. We also conduct a gas pipe leakage survey at least once a year and carry out regular trench inspections of our gas pipes and other facilities.

In the Chinese mainland, the general managers of mainland utility business project companies conduct a safety inspection every month to identify and address any issues that may arise. Safety and risk management audits of our utility project companies are conducted once every two years, while PSM audits for our chemical plants in full operation are conducted annually.

In addition, regular safety and risk management training workshops are organised in a hybrid mode to improve safety management practices and safety awareness.

Community and Industrial Relations

We connect with stakeholders to enhance their safety awareness and build trust. We also work closely with the government authorities to formulate strategic plans, such as a facilities utilisation framework and preventive maintenance index, to ensure optimal safety.

In order to maintain a high standard of safety not just within Towngas but across the industry, we share our safety experience and standards with corporations, contractors and professional organisations.

In the Chinese mainland, we have taken part in the compilation and revision of relevant standards and specifications on both the national and industry levels. We have also shared our experience to promote the development of the gas industry in the Chinese mainland.

Key Performance Figures

Occupational Safety and Health

Group Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate:

Employees: 0.36

Contractors: 0.20

accidents per 1,000,000 man-hours

Safety training hours

10,104 hours (Hong Kong)

1,230,136 hours (Chinese mainland)

CUSTOMER AND PUBLIC SAFETY

Customer-related emergency reports (Hong Kong):18 % in last five years

Record low number of gas incidents achieved in 2021

10 % in last five years (Hong Kong)

No major incidents and chemical leakages at our chemical plants (Chinese mainland)

Future Actions and Targets

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

  • Keep

    zero accidents

    as our target for health and safety

  • Continue to

    monitor the COVID-19 situation proactively

    and respond in a quick and accurate manner

  • Launch

    “OSH Ambassador Programme”

    to train our engineers and frontline supervisors, and organise tailor-made training to eliminate human error through the extensive use of “pointing and calling”

  • Instill a

    safety culture

    among our Chinese mainland employees

CUSTOMER SAFETY

  • Continue to provide

    Regular Safety Inspections

    and

    community safety talks

  • Develop

    smart sensors

    and

    remote control systems

    for cooking appliances

  • Develop

    Smart Gas Meter

    for gas safety

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Further develop, collect and evaluate leading and lagging process safety metrics at our chemical facilities