The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said today (May 20) that the volume of construction work has stayed at a high level amid the Government's efforts to expedite the implementation of the 10 major infrastructure projects over the years. Reducing the number of site accidents is a challenge, she added, and is a responsibility of both the Government and the construction industry.
Mrs Lam officiated at the launch ceremony for Construction Safety Week today. She said that the Government has been rolling out a series of enhanced measures to improve site safety, which include a refined merit and demerit system for the safety performance of contractors, strengthening care for construction personnel, and expanding training and promotional initiatives.
She noted that the downward trend of site accident rates in the past decade is the result of the joint efforts by the Government and the industry. The number of site accidents in 2011 saw a substantial decrease of 57 per cent compared with 2001. This notwithstanding, last year recorded 14 more fatal site accidents than 2010.
"We should reconsider how to further improve overall site safety and cultivate a sense of responsibility for construction safety at all levels of the sector. A safe working environment will also help attract new blood and hence foster the growth of the industry," Mrs Lam said.
Also officiating at the ceremony was the Chairman of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), Mr Lee Shing-see. Mr Lee said that the CIC has been working closely with the construction sector. The Committee on Construction Site Safety of the CIC has formulated safety guidelines and alerts for the industry¡¦s reference to advance the site safety level.
"The CIC encourages stakeholders and corporate management of the industry to spare no effort to promote site safety and implement the related measures. They should also provide adequate safety training and remind workers of their responsibilities to strictly adhere to the safety guidelines for working at sites. Co-workers should care for and remind one another about work safety. They should actively take part in occupational safety and health activities and enhance their safety awareness," Mr Lee said.
Jointly organised by the Development Bureau, the CIC and the Hong Kong Construction Association, Construction Safety Week aims to encourage industry stakeholders to work together to realise the goal of a zero-accident site environment. More than 20 organisations from the industry including employers, professional institutions, trade associations and labour unions have vowed to support this campaign.
A job fair was held following the ceremony at the apm shopping mall in Kwun Tong. A five-day roving exhibition was also launched at the venue today to introduce the construction sector and promote safety culture.
A Construction Safety Week Summit will be held tomorrow for delegates from the industry to discuss and exchange views on how to achieve the goal of zero accidents at construction sites. The delegates will pledge to upgrade construction safety performance by signing a Joint Declaration. Members of the public can witness the summit and signing ceremony via live webcast. Construction industry personnel and organisations are also welcome to sign the Joint Declaration online at www.safetyweek.hk.
The Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme 2011 Award Presentation Ceremony will be held on May 24 to commend good industry practices as well as contractors and construction industry personnel with outstanding performance in promoting work safety. A number of new awards are being introduced this year. These include the Model Sub-contractor Award, the Best Model Worker Award and the Best Model Frontline Supervisor Award.
Other activities in Construction Safety Week include a conference and site visits. Details are available in the Annex and at the website www.safetyweek.hk.
Ends/Sunday, May 20, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:29