Construction industry to further enhance safety and image (with photos)

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said today (May 9) that with more and more infrastructure projects coming on stream, the Government is taking every step to ensure safety at construction sites and attract new entrants by enhancing the construction industry's image.

Mrs Lam attended the Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme (CCSAS) 2010 today to commend contractors, site supervisors and workers who were awarded for their outstanding safety, health and environmental practices as well as their proactive attitude towards ensuring a high level of safety and environmental performance on their construction sites.

She said that with the concerted efforts of the Government and the industry in the implementation of safety management systems over the past years, there had been a marked decrease in accident rates for works contracts. From 2000 to 2010, industry-wide accident rates decreased from 149.9 to 52.1 per 1,000 workers per year and in public works contracts from 46.4 to 9.8. These improvements are very encouraging.

Over the years, new elements have been introduced into the scheme to keep up with the development of the construction industry and to enhance the working environment.  It started with safety-related awards and evolved over the years with the introduction of new elements concerning environmental management, site cleanliness and tidiness, as well as welfare facilities for site workers.

Starting from 2010, we have introduced the Model Workers Award to recognise the outstanding performance of individual construction workers who have demonstrated good safety knowledge, outstanding safety performance and helped promote safety behaviour in his/her workplace.

Mrs Lam said the Administration is actively considering measures to ensure the safety and effective management of construction sites under public works contracts. Related measures include the wider application of site safety procedures and work-safe behaviour programmes, improvements in site environment and the provision of more welfare facilities at works sites and uniforms for site personnel.

"Effective nurturing of the workforce is imperative to the long-term and healthy development of the construction industry.  The Government has taken positive steps to address the ageing and skills mismatch problem among construction workers. A one-off funding of $100 million was secured from the Legislative Council with not less than $80 million for enhancing manpower training and trade testing, including funding to support the Construction Industry Council (CIC) in launching the Enhanced Construction Manpower Training Scheme. The scheme, which will provide a monthly subsidy of $5,000 for trainees, is actively supported by employers, including the Hong Kong Construction Association," Mrs Lam said.  

"Among the $100 million funding, not more than $20 million will be used for enhancing promotion and publicity activities to attract more new entrants, including $6 million seed money for the CIC to set up a resource centre. Expected to be commissioned at the end of this year, the resource centre will serve as a one-stop platform to provide potential new entrants with information about the various trades of the industry, training opportunities and career development.

"The Works Branch of the Development Bureau, together with the CIC, will launch from next week a series of 'Build Up' publicity plans including 'Announcement of Public Interest' broadcasts on TV, newspaper and bus advertising, a dedicated web site and large-scale outdoor advertising. We are going to produce a TV documentary series with Radio Television Hong Kong on construction manpower to be rolled out early next year. We trust that these measures will lift the image of construction industry, attract new entrants and enable us to cope with manpower needs for works projects in future," she said.

The CCSAS 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 works and non-public works sites.

The scheme has been well received by the industry and a record 220 entries have been received under the CCSAS 2010, including 120 from public works sites and 100 from non-public works sites. Altogether 45 sites have received Considerate Contractors Site Awards and 21 sites have received Outstanding Environmental Management Performance Awards.  

Other officiating guests included Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Wai Chi-sing; Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Paul Tang; Deputy Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Benny Wong; Chairman of Construction Industry Council, Mr Lee Shing-See; President of Hong Kong Construction Association, Mr Thomas Ho; Vice President of Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, Mr Choy Kin-kuen; Chairman of Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union, Mr Chow Luen-kiu;  President of Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Mr Dominic Lam; President of Hong Kong General Building Contractors Association, Mr Ho Wai-wah; and President of Hong Kong Federation of Electrical and Mechanical Contractors, Mr Otto Poon.

The list of winning sites under the CCSAS 2010 can be found in the attachment.

Ends/Monday, May 9, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:58



List of winning sites under CCSAS 2010

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam (centre), today (May 9) poses a photo with the actors and actress of TV "Announcement of Public Interest" of "Build Up" publicity plans, who are trainees and instructor of Construction Industry Council. Mrs Lam presents the Gold Award of Considerate Contractors Site Award for Public Works Sites-New Works. A preliminary design of uniforms for site personnel for building up a tidy and professional image for the construction industry.