Housing Authority contractors must seek to minimise site accidents (with photos)

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     Attaching great importance to work site safety, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) has proactively required its contractors and service providers to endeavour to minimise workplace accidents and incidents by continuously improving general site safety and properly addressing high risk activities.

     "In order to enhance site safety, commitment is required for every player in the construction works and maintenance works sector as well as a robust management for both contractors and service providers. The award of the HA's new contracts will take into account contractors' previous records of serious or fatal accidents. Site safety performance data from contractors will also be collected for continuous assessments," a spokesman for the HA said today (September 24).

     Currently, the wide application of mechanisation and prefabricated building elements in construction projects of the HA already helps reduce significantly the risks to workers working at heights. The adoption of hard paving also improves accessibility, minimises ground damage, reduces contamination and provides a safer haul road for vehicular traffic and better segregation of pedestrians and vehicles.

     "We mandate contractors to use temporary full-height steel gates in all lift shaft openings in new works contracts to help prevent persons and objects falling into the lift shaft. To reinforce safe lifting operations, we specify the use of video surveillance and audio alarm systems in lifting zones, the use of logbooks, and adoption of computerised systems for round-the-clock surveillance," the spokesman added.

     Both the new works contracts and the maintenance contracts in the HA's existing estates are safety-oriented. Surprise safety inspections of foundation works, building works, building maintenance and improvement works, lift maintenance and lift modernisation works are conducted with the aim of enhancing site safety.

     The HA also mandates the requirement of a non-smoking policy in the safety plans of all its contractors by including rules prohibiting smoking on site. For sites without full prohibition of smoking, designated smoking areas - with associated provision of fire fighting appliances and cleaning services - need to be clearly stated in the policy.

     In addition, the HA has considered the safety of frontline workers in future maintenance and property management at the design stage. The HA has requested contractors to provide slanting staircases as well as working platforms for safe access to main and upper roof levels for the operation and maintenance of services. This avoids high catladders and enhances safety for the frontline workers.

Ends/Sunday, September 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 10:00