Diesel exhaust disease liability in Hong Kong: the case for a cross-border legal transplant

Document Type


Publication details

Price, R, Ho, KSJ & Tse, S 2012, 'Diesel exhaust disease liability in Hong Kong: the case for a cross-border legal transplant', Journal of Comparative Law, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 172-195.

Peer Reviewed



Employers in Hong Kong will only take diesel exhaust exposure mitigation seriously and take preventative steps for the safety and health of employees if they are exposed to liability for higher workers’ compensation/social insurance premiums through inclusion of diesel exhaust-related occupational illness on the occupational disease list of the Region. This article develops its argument in favor of diesel exhaust-related occupational disease recognition as follows: the theme of a Hong Kong/China comparison is further elaborated with reference to relevant ILO standards; the chemistry, carcinogenic qualities, and health effects of diesel exhaust are explored; the efforts of the Hong Kong and Mainland governments to regulate emissions are examined; and the potential difficulties for employees suing for compensation for occupational disease as the result of diesel exhaust exposure under the Hong Kong and Mainland laws are considered. Considering that an association can be shown between an environmentally relevant exposure of diesel exhaust and the development of lung cancer in a worker exposed to it, why has compensation for occupational disease caused by the carcinogenic chemical agents in diesel exhaust not been the main mechanism for individual compensatory redress in Hong Kong?

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