Maintenance performance rating of registered lift contractors releasedThe Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) today (September 1) announced the first quarterly results of a new Maintenance Performance Rating Scheme (MPR) to provide a useful reference for lift owners or their building management agents to select suitable lift maintenance contractors.
The MPR is among a series of new regulatory measures implemented by EMSD to enhance lift safety in Hong Kong.
"In consultation with the trade, the MPR was implemented in June and the first quarterly results (from June to August) are publicised on the EMSD website (www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pps/le_pub.shtml). The performance ratings are updated quarterly and performance monitoring (PM) points deducted are valid for 12 months," a spokesman for EMSD said.
Under the scheme, the MPR points are calculated by the following formula: full mark of 10 minus cumulative PM points divided by the number of inspections in the period. PM points are calculated according to identified non-compliant items during EMSD's lift inspections.
During the period from June to August this year, among the 36 contractors listed in the quarterly results, 19 scored the full mark of 10 while 16 others scored between 8 and 9.99. The lowest MPR score was 5.2.
"The MPR is not a provision of the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance, Chapter 327. It is one of the administrative means employed by EMSD to supplement the legislative requirements of the ordinance. This performance rating will also provide data for the insurance industry for reference," the spokesman said.
Apart from the MPR results, EMSD has also posted on its website the lift incident summary record for the period from January to August and the summary of warning letters issued to the registered lift contractors for public reference.
The spokesman said that since November 2008, the department had deployed eight additional staff to step up audit inspections from a sampling rate of one out of 10 to one out of seven, including surprise inspections with the aid of a web-based data system. Through the use of the data system and with the collaboration of the trade, lift examinations can now be traced more effectively and overdue submissions of lift certificates have been greatly reduced – to 363 as at August 31, 2009, compared to 18,660 last year. Of these late submissions, EMSD has issued 329 Form 9 to urge owners to carry out lift examinations and submit lift certificates as soon as possible.
To assist owners to procure lift maintenance services and monitor contractors’ performance, EMSD also updated the "Lift Owners' Guidebook" for distribution in April and provided sample tender specifications for owners' reference.
Furthermore, since June 1, EMSD has required the industry to adopt a set of new practices to assure the quality of maintenance. These include requiring registered lift contractors to let lift owners or their building management agents know the number of hours which they plan to spend on routine maintenance per month. The number of prescribed maintenance activities requiring at least two workers has also been increased from two to 10.
"Legco members will be briefed, after the summer recess, on progress, particularly on proposals to amend the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance to strengthen the statutory framework," the spokesman said.
These legislative proposals were the outcome of deliberations of two EMSD-led task forces comprising representatives from the Hong Kong General Union of Lift and Escalator Employees, the two local lift and escalator contractors associations, the Construction Workers Registration Authority, the Vocational Training Council, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the International Association of Elevator Engineers (HK-China Branch).
The main legislative proposals are –
1. To introduce a registration system for lift and escalator workers which will recognise the individual qualification and competency of workers. This will replace existing arrangements whereby 75% of about 5,000 serving competent workers under the law obtained their status through designation by registered lift and escalator contractors.
2. To upgrade the qualification requirement for registration as lift and escalator engineers by adopting the qualification of registered professional engineer (RPE) of suitable disciplines with at least two years’ relevant working experience as the prerequisite requirement for registration as lift and escalator engineers.
3. To raise the maximum fine for offences under the ordinance from $5,000 to $200,000 to increase their deterrent effect.
4. To streamline the disciplinary process by empowering the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services to take disciplinary action for relatively minor offences. The Director can also reprimand the persons/parties committing such offences.
5. To grant statutory powers to the Director to impose sanctions for failure of a lift or escalator owner to comply with improvements specified in notices to rectify minor defects within the prescribed period. Currently, these improvement notices are advisory in nature.
6. To require the display in the lifts of a more prominent and user-friendly safety label in prescribed format duly signed by the registered engineer upon completion of the periodic examination and testing, confirming the installation is in safe working order, to raise public awareness.
"We believe the strengthened statutory regulation system will help enhance lift safety in Hong Kong and promote the principle of 'shared responsibility'", the spokesman said.
Ends/Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:12