Survey finds they are unaware of the occupational health and safety measure designed to prevent work-related strain An alarming number of district and legislative council staff are clueless about a labour safety law which came into effect yesterday, a workers' group said. A survey of council staff found 40 per cent of the 160 people interviewed were unaware of the Occupational Safety and Health (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation. '[Working for] lawmakers themselves, they have the responsibility to know about the law,' said Wong Yin-yee, chairwoman of the Councilors' Workers Association, which conducted the survey. 'District councils should be more aware of their employees' benefits than your every day employer because they have the big responsibility of working for the people of Hong Kong,' she added. Passed in April last year, the new legislation, which came into effect yesterday, requires employers to check that staff who work with computers most of the day know how to use them safely. The legislation requires employers to perform risk assessments and offer the necessary training to promote work safety for those who use computers for long hours on a daily basis. 'People simply don't know - there's been nothing on TV or the radio to promote the law,' Ms Wong said. 'The government has done little to tell the public about the new law ... they should have started sooner.' She said the only reason she knew about the law herself was through her work as a legislative councillor's assistant. Hong Kong-based physiotherapist Nelson Ng, who has also worked in Australia and Britain said: 'Hongkongers work particularly long hours and are prone to pains and strains related to bad posture at work. The pains of most of my patients ... are because of their work and these could be very, very serious.' A Hong Kong Workers' Health Centre spokesman said that people in Hong Kong were just starting to understand that their pains might be related to their posture in front of the computer. The new labour requirement covers hundreds of thousands of workers who regularly use computers for six hours a day or for four hours continuously each day. Companies or people failing to comply could be fined up to $50,000. To ensure compliance, the Labour department will conduct random checks on companies. It will also investigate employers whose workers complain about work practices or equipment. The regulation has been criticised by pro-business groups. Last year, Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun said it would be very hard to implement and would create problems for small and medium-sized businesses. The Councilors' Workers Association works on behalf of district and legislative council workers.