SENIOR officials were almost left to brief themselves after just seven district board members turned up to comment on the Government's consultation paper on industrial safety. Six officials - including Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Leo Kwan Wing-wah, and Assistant Commissioner for Labour, Mak Sai-yiu - attended the meeting, the first involving district boards. It was held days after labour groups, including the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, criticised the Government for not doing enough to encourage the health and safety review. Education and Manpower Branch principal assistant secretary, Herman Cho Chun-wah, said the August holiday period was probably to blame for the apparent lack of interest. Twenty-six members had earlier said they would attend. Mr Kwan said officials were prepared to visit each board individually to discuss the document. One member who did attend, Alex Fu Yuen-cheung, said the Government should involve the trade unions more closely in the consultation process. 'The unions could be very helpful by promoting safety awareness and the culture of safety,' he said. Mr Kwan said visits to trade unions and professional associations could also be arranged. The Government was keen to get as many comments as possible from trade unions, employers' groups, professional bodies and associations, he said. Several members wanted the review widened to include office, shop and other non-industrial workers. Others wanted the report to cover the safety of workers at illegal container storage sites in the New Territories where there was a danger containers could topple on the uneven ground. Mr Cho said an ad hoc committee on the Labour Advisory Board had already recommended extending safety and health legislation to include white-collar workers. He said the container sites were covered by existing regulations but the Labour Department would see if there were any problem areas which needed action.