Paper No. CB(2)1716/98-99(01)
Views of the
Construction Industry Training Authority
on the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Bill 1999
The Construction Industry Training Authority supports the Government in introducing legislation to provide for mandatory safety training for persons employed in the construction and container handling industries. The Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA) firmly believes that provision of such training to construction personnel will serve to enhance their safety knowledge and awareness, which in turn will prevent site accidents.
2. Collaboration from the CITA and the granting of grace period
The CITA considers that it is appropriate for the requirement on mandatory safety training to become effective 14 months after the Bill is approved by the Legislative Council, so as to allow time for all construction personnel to receive such training. The CITA will, during the 14-month grace period, endeavour to provide the required safety training course to all construction personnel. According to the estimate of the Labour Department, there are currently about 80,000 persons employed in the construction industry. Over 68,000 of them already participated in the basic safety training course offered by the CITA and were issued certificates (the Green Card). The CITA, therefore, is fully confident that it can provide basic safety training to all construction personnel who have not yet received, but intend to receive such training during the grace period (the CITA is now capable to offer such training to a maximum of 50,000 construction personnel each year).
3. Provision of multi-media self-learning package to professionals
As the proposed requirement on mandatory safety training is also applicable to about 20,000 professional and technical personnel who have to work regularly on construction sites, the CITA has prepared a "Multi-media Self-learning Package" to enable these personnel to obtain the certificate through self study. The Package, with its rich content and an assessment test attached at the end, will be able to not only fulfill the requirement on safety training, but will also serve as excellent reference for these professionals. It is believed that it will benefit those engaged in management of site safety.
4. Efforts made by the Construction Industry Training Authority
In anticipation of the introduction of a legislation requiring all construction personnel to undertake safety training, this Authority designed and then finalized the curriculum of the required training courses early in the year 1996. Having obtained approval from the Labour Department, this Authority introduced the one-day Green Card Course on the 5th June 1996. Over the past three years, this Authority has attempted various publicity means like placing advertisements with the mass media and deploying a recruitment team to sites to encourage construction personnel to enroll in this basic safety training course. In addition, the green card course was added to the curriculum of the Authority's training courses catered for the training of new blood. Every trainee has to take this compulsory module and pass the related examination before their graduation.
Course applicants who are in-service construction personnel can take the green card course at any Authority's centres at will. Or they can take the said course at their workplace as this Authority has deployed three specially designed vans to construction sites with suitable facilities to offer safety card mobile lecturing service. All trainees who have successfully completed the green card courses will each receive an easy-to-carry certificate in the form of a small plastic card on the same day of taking the course. Up to the end of March 1999, a total of 68,366 construction personnel have successfully completed the green card courses and been awarded the safety cards. The passing rate is 98%.
5. Support to the introduction of a safety management system and grace period
This Authority fully supports the Government to make regulations requiring contractors or proprietors of construction sites, dockyards, factories and other designated industrial undertakings which employ 100 or above workers, and contractors and proprietors who carry out construction works value of which amounts to HK$ 100 million or above to implement ten out of the 14 components of the Safety Management System and conduct safety audits. This Authority also supports the provision of a grace period of 12 months after the regulations were approved by the Legislative Council so as to allow the government more time to carry out education and publicity activities to promote the safety management system. This Authority will spare no efforts in providing the required training to complement the implementation of the safety management system once the government has finalized the guidelines on how to comply with the regulations.
Paper No. CB(2)1716/98-99(01)
(Translation prepared by the Legislative Council Secretariat for Members' reference only)
Submission dated 9 April 1999 from
1. Our position
the Construction Industry Training Authority
on the Factories and Industrial
Undertakings (Amendment) Bill 1999
The Construction Industry Training Authority supports the Government to introduce legislation, making it a mandatory requirement that all persons employed in the construction and container handling industries should undergo basic safety training. The Construction Industry Training Authority ("CITA") strongly believes that the provision of safety training to construction workers will help to enhance their safety knowledge and awareness and consequently the prevention of accidents in the workplace.
2. CITA's co-ordination efforts and the provision of a grace period
To allow all construction workers to undertake safety training, the CITA considers it appropriate to provide, upon enactment of the Bill, a grace period of 14 months before the mandatory safety training requirement comes into effect. The CITA will exert every effort to provide construction workers with the safety training courses as stipulated in the legislation within the 14-month grace period. According to the Labour Department ("LD"), of the estimated 80,000 workers employed in the construction industry in Hong Kong, over 68,000 have already received basic safety training by the CITA and have been issued with a certificate (popularly known as the "green card"). The CITA is thus extremely confident that it is capable of providing basic safety training for those workers who are interested in but have yet to undergo such training (the CITA has the capacity to provide such training for a maximum of 50,000 construction workers each year).
3. To introduce to professionals the Multi-media Self-learning Kit
As the proposed mandatory safety training requirement will also apply to professional engineers and technical staff frequently working on construction sites, the CITA has prepared and introduced to these people, about 20,000 in all, the "Multi-media Self-learning Kit", enabling them to obtain the relevant certificate by studying on their own. This multi-media learning kit is rich in contents, with an examination included in the final part. Apart from meeting the requirement in safety training, the kit also serves as a database on safety which is accessible to relevant professionals. It is believed that it will help in managing site safety.
4. The efforts made by the CITA
In anticipating that the Government would introduce legislation to compulsorily require construction workers to undergo safety training, the CITA has in, as early as 1996, designed relevant training courses and organized a One-day Green Card Course on 5 June 1996 with the approval of the LD. In the past three years or so, the CITA has been making efforts to publicize by means of radio, TV advertisement and site promotion teams, its basic safety training courses to construction workers, appealing them to enroll in these courses as soon as possible. Besides, the CITA will include the Green Card Course in all the "Training Courses for New Blood in the Construction Industry" offered and make it a regular curriculum which every trainee must pass the examination for graduation.
Apart from taking the Green Card Course of the CITA in any of its training centres, construction workers may attend the course, as in the form of catering services, provided by the three mobile teaching vans of the CITA at construction sites with the suitable equipment. All trainees of Green card course will be issued "portable" certificates immediately upon passing the examination held on the same day of the course. As at the end of March this year, a total of 68,366 persons in the industry have been successfully issued the Green cards through courses conducted by the CITA, representing a passing rate of 98%.
5. CITA supports the implementation of safety management systems and agrees to the provision of a grace period
CITA supports the Government to introduce regulation, requiring contractors or proprietors in relation to construction sites, shipyards, factories and other designated industrial undertakings with 100 or more workers, as well as construction projects with contract value of $100 million or more, to adopt 10 of the 14 process elements of the safety management systems, and to carry out safety audits of their safety management system. We also supports that, upon enactment of the regulation, the safety management system should come into effect after a grace period of 12 months, so as to allow time for the Government to launch education and promotion campaigns on the safety management system. After the Government have provided the CITA with the necessary guidance and advice on compliance with the new requirements, we will spare no effort to provide the necessary training, so as to facilitate the implementation of safety management systems.