Contractors were commended at a ceremony today (May 10) for their outstanding safety, health and environmental practices as well as proactive attitude towards ensuring a high level of safety and environmental performance on their construction sites.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony of the Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme (CCSAS) 2009, the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said she was pleased to see that these measures, which included enhancement of welfare facilities for workers and improvement of the outlook, cleanliness and tidiness of work sites, are in line with the Government's new initiatives to introduce best practices in public works projects.
The Financial Secretary announced in his 2010-11 Budget Speech that the Administration would, together with the industry, take the lead to introduce best practices in public works projects to further improve safety, working environment and conditions in construction sites. A total of $100 million was earmarked to support the Construction Industry Council to strengthen training and trade testing in the construction industry.
New initiatives being considered include promotion of good site management and safety in public works sites, building up a tidy, systematic and professional image for construction workers and a clean, tidy and pleasant outlook for construction sites.
"We believe that the promotion of these best practices will further enhance work sites' safety and improve the overall image of the construction industry, so as to attract more fresh blood to join the industry," Mrs Lam said.
She said that the Government had invested heavily in infrastructure to promote economic development and create employment opportunities. The progress of capital works projects in 2009-10, including the 10 major infrastructure projects and other major and minor works, had been very satisfactory. Capital works expenditure would increase from the revised estimates of $45.1 billion in 2009-10 to $49.6 billion in 2010-11.
With the concerted efforts of the Government as well as the industry in the implementation of a safety management system in recent decades, there has been a sharp decrease in accident rates for public and private work contracts.
From 1999 to 2009, industry-wide accident rates have decreased from 198.4 to 54.6 per 1,000 workers per year and in public works contracts from 55.7 to 11.4.
The Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme was launched by the Government in 1995 with the aim of promoting a considerate attitude and good site safety, health and environmental practices for both public and non-public works sites.
The scheme has been well received by the industry and a record 180 entries were received under the CCSAS 2009, about 100 from public works sites and about 80 from non-public works sites. Altogether 42 sites received Considerate Contractors Site Awards and 19 sites received Outstanding Environmental Management Performance Awards.
Other officiating guests included the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Mak Chai-kwong, Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Paul Tang, Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Ms Anissa Wong, Deputy Director of Housing (Development and Construction), Ms Ada Fung, Chairman of the Construction Industry Council, Mr Lee Shing See, President of the Hong Kong Construction Association, Mr Conard Wong, President of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, Dr Andrew Chan, President of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Ms Anna Kwong, and President of the Hong Kong General Building Contractors Association, Mr Ho Wai-wah.
Ends/Monday, May 10, 2010
Issued at HKT 19:06