Hong Kong launches labelling scheme to recognise construction sites using smart safety system

These sites would have their names added to a publicly available online list and be given a plaque to be displayed on the actual site.

“Without the label, relevant government departments will naturally pay more attention during routine inspection. The construction industry will also be aware of the companies and sites that have yet to use the system. I believe this will put some pressure on the sector [to use the technology],” Linn said.

She added that sites with labels would still be subject to regular inspection and face losing recognition if any lapses in using the smart system were detected.

Bernadette Linn Hon-ho, Secretary for Development, says the new scheme is meant to ‘put some pressure’ on Hong Kong’s construction sector to improve safety standards. Photo: Edmond So

The Smart Site Safety System refers to a technology for monitoring high-risk construction works and identifying safety hazards by analysing data and generating alerts on a centralised management platform.

Linn said the government aimed to grant the first batch of labels to 100 sites in July, adding that she expected about 500 sites, or 60 per cent of existing sites, to participate in the scheme by year’s end.

The labelling scheme was also devised to encourage private construction sites to utilise the technology to ensure site safety, as their usage rate was “relatively low”.

The government earlier required all public works contracts with a value exceeding HK$30 million to adopt the Smart Site Safety System, while it also subsidised private projects to adopt the technology through the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund.

Linn said that the government would expand the scope of the subsidy from purchasing the system to also providing IT and sourcing support, while the council would also provide a price list on the products and offer training.

Starting in July, the Buildings Department will require contractors to adopt safety systems in works using mobile plants and tower cranes costing over HK$30 million before approving first-time superstructure plans, or plans with major revision.

Hong Kong’s construction industry has been plagued by rising accidents in recent years. The city recorded 3,097 industrial accidents last year, a 1.7 per cent increase from the figure for the same period in 2022. A total of 20 workers died in the accidents.

The latest accident took place on May 8, when a worker died after being crushed between an elevated work platform and a metal structure.

Two fatalities and three injuries also resulted after a scaffolding collapsed in February.


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