A GROUP representing industrial accident victims yesterday called for a ban on employing people under 18 on building sites, after the death of a 16-year-old in last week's lift crash tragedy. Chan Kam-hong, chairman of the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accidents Victims', said it was unsafe for teenagers to work on building sites and with machinery. Twenty cases of young people hurt while doing holiday work were reported to the association last year. Two had been scalded by steam, five fell from a height, two suffered from having limbs or fingers trapped, four slipped and seven were involved in collisions. The number compares with 32 reported cases in 1991, but Mr Chan said the falling numbers were no cause for complacency. ''The decrease can be at least partly explained by the moving of factories out of Hongkong to the mainland,'' he said. Teenagers were still taking part-time and holiday jobs in service industries such as retailing, catering and goods transport, he said. These areas of employment presented many potential hazards for children. ''There have been cases of children losing fingers through meat-mincing machines and numerous examples of young people working as goods lifters who sprain muscles,'' he said. The association has launched a ''Holiday Safety Campaign'' to alert parents, teachers, social workers and teenagers of occupational dangers. It has set up a holiday work hotline to deal with inquiries and complaints and sent leaflets to schools and youthcentres across the territory. ''It is crucial to let young people know the dangers of working on building sites, with machines, chemicals and for excessively long hours,'' he said. But it was also important that employers acted responsibly in maintaining safety standards and offering full training and explanation of job requirements. ''Most young people involved in accidents do not fully understand what they are supposed to be doing and how things operate,'' Mr Chan said. Young people were seldom aware of their rights and employers often bullied them into thinking they were not entitled to medical expenses or compensation. ''In many instances, we are notified of incidents by teachers after the school term starts because the children did not know they could complain,'' Mr Chan said. He hoped the publicity generated by the campaign would encourage more young people to come forward and report accidents. ''Let the employer know immediately, then seek medical attention and contact the Labour Department,'' he said. Mr Chan also demanded greater policing to make sure employers met safety requirements, with tougher penalties imposed on those who did not. ''Maximum penalties for violation of safety rules range between $30,000 and $50,000, but in practice employers are fined between $7,000 and $8,000,'' he said. ''This is not enough to act as a deterrent, employers should face imprisonment if necessary.'' Hotline number for Children in Holiday Work is 366-5860. The Hongkong Construction Association has set up a fund for families of workers killed in the lift crash, phone 572-4414.