Construction Industry Safety Award Scheme promotes occupational safety in construction industry
The Award Presentation Ceremony of the Construction Industry Safety Award Scheme was held on March 18 to offer recognition to contractors, site personnel and workers who have had good occupational safety and health performances. The scheme also aims at strengthening awareness of occupational safety and health in the construction sector and elevating the level of its safety culture.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Commissioner for Labour (Occupational Safety and Health), Mr Jeff Leung, said that the construction industry is still high-risk although its safety performance has continued to improve in the past 10 years. It is worrying to see that 22 cases of fatal industrial accidents occurred in 2017, exceeding the number in 2016 by 12, he said.
Mr Leung said that the Labour Department (LD) would continue to adopt a multi-pronged approach to improve occupational safety and health in the construction industry. A series of targeted measures introduced by the department included:
(1) strengthening of enforcement action and conducting of more in-depth surprise inspections;
(2) stepping up participation in Site Safety Management Committee meetings to obtain a better understanding of the latest work-related risks and provide advice on high-risk processes;
(3) promoting safe practices, including revising the Code of Practice for Bamboo Scaffolding Safety and jointly formulating new Guidance Notes on Safety and Health of Hand-dug Tunnelling Work with the industry;
(4) reviewing penalties of Occupational Safety and Health legislation in order to increase the deterrent effect and therefore further enhancing protection to workers; and
(5) strengthening promotion of existing complaint channels to construction workers to help improve their working environment.
Mr Leung added that the LD's efforts alone will not suffice to improve occupational safety and health. Other stakeholders, including project proponents, contractors, sub-contractors, employers and employees should shoulder their responsibilities. Employers should provide employees with a safe and healthy working environment, while employees should cooperate with employers to observe the measures set out to protect the safety and health of themselves and other workers.
Inaugurated in 1999, the award scheme has its 19th anniversary this year. Participation has been enthusiastic, and the competition has attracted a total of 164 construction sites, 70 sub-contractors and 118 safety teams this year. Apart from the award presentation, a Fun Day was also held today in the same venue of MacPherson Stadium in Mong Kok to promote the message of occupational safety and health to the industry and the general public.
The Construction Industry Safety Award Scheme is co-organised by the LD, the Occupational Safety and Health Council, the Development Bureau, the Hong Kong Housing Authority, the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board, the Construction Industry Council, the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board, the Hong Kong Housing Society, the Hong Kong Construction Association, the Hong Kong General Building Contractors Association, the Hong Kong Construction Sub-Contractors Association, the Hong Kong Federation of Electrical and Mechanical Contractors Limited, the Minor Works Contractor Association, the Hong Kong Association of Property Management Companies, the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union and the Federation of Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Industries Trade Unions.