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Speech by PS for S at Seminar on Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention (English only)

     Following is the speech made by the Permanent Secretary for Security, Ms Chang King-yiu, at the Seminar on Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention cum Opening Ceremony of the Kwai Tsing Centre for Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention today (October 14):

Professor Svanstrom, Mr Chow, Dr Chiu, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my pleasure to witness today the outstanding initiatives taken by the Kwai Tsing community to meet the World Health Organisation's standards of a Safe Community.

     First of all, I would like to thank the Occupational Safety and Health Council of Hong Kong for providing this useful platform for community leaders to help build a safer Hong Kong.  The World Health Organisation has long advocated that a Safe Community is a community where people can live, work and play safely and healthily.  The Kwai Tsing Safe Community was one of the first safe communities established by the Council in Hong Kong in Year 2000.  I am delighted to learn that since 2003, six of the 18 administrative districts in Hong Kong have been designated by the World Health Organisation as members of the international safe community network, putting Hong Kong at the forefront of safety promotion internationally.

     There has been clear evidence that the community-based approach, which fosters partnership in promoting safety awareness and accident prevention, is the most effective way to prevent injuries and accidents.  As a world class city of Asia, Hong Kong has taken the lead to demonstrate to neighbouring regions that we can provide a safe, healthy and harmonious environment for our residents and visitors to live, work and relish.

     Injuries bring costs to the individual, the family, the employer and the community.  Yet, they are preventable.  Awareness fosters action, and a strong partnership among key players in the community provides the best assurance of efficacy of initiatives in promoting and sustaining workplace safety, community safety and general safety for the population.

     The Kwai Tsing Centre for Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention is a sterling example of this successful collaboration of different stakeholders.  It embodies the vision of the Hospital Authority, different government departments, the Occupational Safety and Health Council, and the Kwai Tsing community in promoting safety awareness and embedding a safety culture not just in Kwai Tsing, but also for the entire Hong Kong.

     I am pleased to see the Injury Surveillance System developed by the Princess Margaret Hospital together with the Kwai Tsing District Council, Occupational Safety and Health Council and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  This System provides a platform for capturing accurate and timely information to facilitate understanding of why and how injuries and accidents took place, and the development and fine-tuning of our preventive strategies.  It symbolises our commitment to informed and responsible actions.  I am sure that relevant government departments and other organisations are keen to contribute to strengthening and sustaining the system.

     Today, we are here for the opening of the very first Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Centre in Hong Kong.  The Centre serves not only as a model for members of the China Hong Kong Safe and Healthy Community network, it also demonstrates to international network members the commitment of our Safe Communities to sustained actions.  With your continuing endeavour, I am sure that we are on the right track to make Hong Kong a safer and healthier society for our people, and a role model for our counterparts in the world.

     I wish the Kwai Tsing Centre for Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention every success in its endeavours.

     Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Issued at HKT 17:10


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