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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

The construction industry receives tremendous support in adopting innovative construction technologies to achieve the goal of "Zero Accident”

In view of the recent spate of incidents in the construction industry, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) organised two events in March - the CEO Safety Forum 2023 and the “Life First – Walk the Talk Webinar”, in which leaders shared their valuable experience in enhancing construction safety with the goal of achieving the vision of “Zero Accident” with the industry.
The “Life First – Walk the Talk Webinar” was held in CIC-Zero Carbon Park in Kowloon Bay. More than 2,500 online participants from the industry joined to understand the implementation of the “Smart Site Safety System” (SSSS) subsidised by the Construction Industry Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF).

SSSS aims to enhance construction safety via innovation-and-technology-driven site management, including panoramic collision prevention and surveillance system, smart device monitoring of high-risk work and virtual reality safety training. The CIC is responsible for the management of the CITF, including processing applications, monitoring the progress of approved projects, funding disbursement and promotion. SSSS has been adopted in individual public works contracts in phases since 2020, and the first-phase of implementation in construction sites of different works nature has almost been completed.

The industry stakeholders showed their support in adopting SSSS at construction sites and welcomed the new initiative launched by the CITF which significantly relieves the financial burden for SSSS adoption by the industry, particularly for small-and-medium enterprises. Chairman appealed to every member in the industry to join hands to lift construction safety through the adoption of various measures and technologies.

To further gather views from industry leaders and experts on revamping site safety culture, review and provide suggestions on the follow-up actions of Construction Safety Summit 2022, the CIC has followed up on the webinar with a CEO Safety Forum 2023 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, gathering key leaders in the industry with around 3,400 participants joining online and physically.

Speakers included Ir Thomas Ho, Chairman of the CIC; Ir Dr. Derrick Pang, Chairperson of Committee on Construction Safety of the CIC; Ir Roger Wong, Deputy Secretary for Development (Works) of Development Bureau; Ar. Donald Choi, Executive Director and CEO of Chinachem Group; Sr Eddie Lam, President of Hong Kong Construction Association; Ir Rocky Poon, President of the Hong Kong Federation of Electrical and Mechanical Contractors and Ir Chris Cheng, Chairman of Temporary Works Forum.

The speakers took turns to share their expertise, observations and experience in the enhancement of construction safety. Topics discussed include the revamping of the culture of site safety, understanding the safety roles and responsibilities of industry stakeholders, reinforcing management in temporary works control, promoting the implementation of design for safety and furthering the adoption of innovative technologies to improve site safety. After each speaker finished their presentation, thoughtful and insightful responses were drawn from the attendees consisting of key leaders in the industry.

“Complacency is the biggest enemy of safety. Safety is never a one-man job, but requires the concerted efforts of the whole industry to put it into practice,” Ir Thomas Ho remarked. “The use of SSSS has become a trend in the industry as digital technologies can help practitioners identify potential risks and prevent accidents. We strive to continuously support the industry to adopt SSSS with the CITF.”

Ar. Donald Choi, took Brunelleschi’s Florence Cathedral Dome as an example to illustrate how the concern of safety should start from the beginning stage when designing an architecture. “Design is more than aesthetic. Designers and architects should design buildings with the users’ wellbeing and safety at heart. Ensuring safety and maintaining a healthy environment at every construction site should be every party’s priority,” he noted.

During his closing remarks, Ir Roger Wong reminded the audiences that the Government would adopt SSSS in capital works contracts with contract sums exceeding HK$30 million from early 2023 onward, and subsidise private worksites to adopt SSSS through the CITF starting from the first half of 2023 to enhance site safety performance. With CITF’s subsidy to the industry to adopt SSSS, each applicant can receive up to HK$7.5 million for adoption of SSSS products to enhance construction safety with effect from 1 April 2023.

To date, the CITF has approved about HK$800 million, which subsidised 1,000 enterprises to deploy innovations and technologies to enhance build quality, environmental performance, safety and productivity, and provided innovative technology related training for 15,000 practitioners.
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