Scaffolding study to improve safety
By BONNY TAM
LABOUR officials will study bamboo scaffolding in China to improve local skills in a bid to deal with what was the largest source of fatal industrial accidents over the past three years.
Two senior Labour Department officials will leave on Monday for China on a 10-day fact-finding trip on the widespread use of double-layer scaffolding there, including the one for the construction of the Yangpu Suspension Bridge in Shanghai.
In Hongkong, single-layer scaffoldings claimed 11 lives in industrial accidents in the last three years, said the Chief Factory Inspector Mr Chan Tat-king.
The absence of a working platform on the single-layer structure to support workers and their tools and building materials was the main reason, Mr Chan said.
Negligence by both employers and workers about wearing and improper storage of bamboo sticks, and the abuse of safety nets and belts made things worse, he said.
Mr Chan said an inter-department steering group on the occupational safety of airport-related construction works would incorporate the trip's findings in a safety manual to encourage a gradual phase-in of double-layer scaffolding.
A separate safety manual for other public works would also be published.
Meanwhile, the Labour Department has also proposed to increase sharply fines for employers and workers breaching occupational safety rules.