The Construction Safety Week, jointly organised by the Development Bureau (DEVB) and the Construction Industry Council, has entered its seventh year with the main theme “Partnering for Safety Enhancement” this year. A wide range of activities have been held over the past week to promote the message of “zero accidents” on construction sites to industry stakeholders and the public and call for the unity of the construction industry to ensure site safety.
For construction workers, ensuring site safety is a crucial issue. Through the Construction Safety Week, we can promote the importance of safeguarding site safety to those within and outside the industry. The Government will continue to work closely with relevant stakeholders to enhance site safety in public works projects. From work processes to systems, we will adopt a multi-pronged strategy to enhance design, construction, supervision and training in terms of safety, so as to improve the performance of occupational safety and health and minimise accidents.
Raising occupational safety standards in a holistic manner
It has been very hot recently. Earlier, the Under Secretary for Development (USDEV), Mr LIU Chun-san, visited a construction site which has been commended for outstanding site safety performance to learn about its site safety and worker-friendly initiatives and cheer up the workers toiling in the heat. The site he visited is the “Tseung Kwan O–Lam Tin Tunnel–Road P2 and Associated Works”, which has received a Gold prize in the Construction Site Safety Award Scheme of the Civil Engineering and Development Department. He told the project team that site safety is the top priority in the delivery of projects, and under no circumstances should safety be compromised to expedite the works. Regarding the feat of achieving its first phase goal of zero accidents after one million working hours next month, he expressed appreciation for all those involved, and encouraged the construction workers and the project team to continue their efforts to further raise the occupational safety standards.
Precautions against heat stroke during very hot weather
Given the very hot weather recently, workers should pay more attention to their health conditions when working outdoor. An LED display board installed on the construction site shows daily weather conditions to remind workers to take appropriate preventive measures against heat stroke, such as drinking water regularly to keep hydrated. The contractor of the construction site also provides each worker with “six widgets against heat stroke”–a sun shade, an anti-heat uniform, a water bottle and bottle cover, electrolyte drink powder and a wet towel. The workers particularly appreciate the air-conditioned rest area installed by the contractor for them to get some relief from the heat.
Contractors can care for the workers by paying attention to detail, including incorporating innovative features in work equipment. For example, an alarm system is installed on the construction site to detect unauthorised opening of the distribution box. Any unauthorised access detected will alert the supervisor to notify the registered electrician to follow up on the matter to prevent accidents. Some machines on the construction site are equipped with a QR code system, through which the certificates of origin, inspection certificates and particulars of operators can be found easily to ensure the safe use of machines.
Reducing impact on the surrounding environment
One of the projects the USDEV, Mr LIU Chun-san, visited on that day involved reclamation. Before carrying out reclamation works, the project team installed a temporary steel cofferdam to enclose the reclamation area and separate it from the surrounding waters to minimise the impact on water quality during dredging and filling works. It can also reduce wave impact on the workers and equipment inside the temporary steel cofferdam to enhance workers’ safety. As far as I know, this is the first time such work processes are adopted in reclamation works in Hong Kong, which will provide a reference for similar projects in future. Safe operation is equally important for construction projects both on land and at sea, and the issue of safety must not be taken lightly.
The Award Presentation Ceremony for the 24th Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme, the finale for this year’s Construction Safety Week, will be held on 29 May (Tuesday). Although the activities are coming to a close, the work on ensuring site safety must continue. The construction industry plays a vital role in the social and economic development of Hong Kong. The DEVB will, therefore, continue to fully co-operate with the industry to create a safer and healthier working environment in order to attract more new blood to the industry and build Hong Kong together.
27 May, 2018Back