Food and hygiene officers top the list of 1,376 compensation cases recorded in the previous fiscal year The number of civil servants injured while on duty has increased by an average of 110 cases annually during the past three years, prompting calls for the government to improve occupational safety measures for its employees. There were 1,376 compensation cases for civil servants injured or killed at work in the last fiscal year, with food and hygiene officers topping the list, followed by police officers and postmen. The government has earmarked $57.3 million this fiscal year in compensation for civil servants who are injured, incapacitated or killed while on duty. The figure represents an 8.7 per cent increase over the sum in the previous financial year. According to a document given to legislator Bernard Charnwut Chan by the Director of Accounting Services, Shum Man-to, the $57.3 million figure for this fiscal year was based on the assumption of four fatal cases and 1,500 injury cases. The document said 1,500 injury cases were expected as the figure had been rising by about 110 annually during the past three years. The compensation for the four fatal cases will amount to about $4 million, while the 1,500 injury cases are expected to cost the government $53.3 million. There were five fatal cases among the 1,376 compensation cases in the previous fiscal year. Two agricultural officers, an auxiliary medical service officer, an environmental protection official and a police officer were killed. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department accounted for 326, or nearly a quarter, of the 1,376 compensation cases, while police accounted for 309 and the Post Office 151. Insurance sector legislator Mr Chan said while the rising number of compensation cases suggested civil servants were becoming more aware of their rights, the government must improve its occupational safety measures. 'The government should do more to reduce accidents, especially when it is under such financial pressure,' Mr Chan said. A spokeswoman for the Civil Service Bureau said the government was already promoting safety in the workplace and had created a working group on Occupational Safety and Health in the Civil Service in 1996. She said some departments had more injuries than others because they were larger, and their employees had to perform manual work such as moving heavy objects. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department also said several injury cases involved assaults on hawker control officers. The vice-president of the Chinese Civil Servants Association, Peter Wong Hyo, said he would raise concerns about the increase in injury cases with the bureau's working group. Mr Wong said the government should turn the working group into a standing committee and appoint an officer to specialise in occupational safety matters. 'There should be more detailed analysis of the injury figures and the reasons behind the causes of injuries and health problems of the staff should also be listed,' Mr Wong said.