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Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Play it smart, play it safe

Play it smart, play it safe

A smart system to ensure safety at construction sites will be used in public projects totaling HK$30 million, Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn Hon-ho says.
In her recent blog, Linn wrote that the trial of the "safe and smart construction site system," which was introduced by the Development Bureau in 2020 in eight different engineering contracts to promote workers' safety, is almost complete and they are ready to move to the second phase.

Linn said the system is "effective in improving safety at construction sites," as she cited an example of the system being adopted in Tseung Kwan O's Desalination Plant Building in the trial phase.

The system monitors workers' data and sends immediate warning to the workers' smart helmet or watch in case of danger.

Alarms will set off if a worker stays too long in a confined area. A worker can also request for help through his smart watch.

The system can analyze the site's data and provide insights for adjustments.

Linn said virtual-reality safety training by simulating accidents has increased the awareness of workers while smart devices were installed to monitor high-risk works.

She said the trial has played an obvious role in improving safety. "The bureau will opt for the second phase and hope to fully adopt the system in early next year's engineering projects totaling HK $30 million," she said.

As for private construction sites, the bureau has cooperated with the Construction Industry Council and established the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund in 2018 to subsidize companies in adopting smart technologies.

Since this year, the council has increased the cap of funding per project from HK$800,000 to HK$2 million, with the limit for each company raised to HK$6 million.

Samples of safety devices will be provided to companies and facilitate the purchase and adoption of smart technologies using the fund by June next year.

The bureau hopes to achieve "zero accidents on site" by the use of innovative technology, Linn said.

In the same blog, Water Supplies Department's chief engineer Lin Tang-Tai said the high mobility of construction workers, continuous change of working environment and the different works carried out by different contractors are factors leading to safety risks on site.

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