Safety inspectors will be increased

THE number of safety inspectors on construction sites for the new airport will increase from eight to 12 in the next two months.

Funds would be sought from the Legislative Council's Finance Committee for 10 more inspectors on top of that, chief factory inspector Chan Tak-king said yesterday.

At least five would specialise in the airport project's construction sites.

There were 98 accidents per 1,000 workers on the airport construction sites last year.

Although the target was 68 accidents per 1,000 workers, Mr Chan said 98 was acceptable because it was far below the figure on other sites, which had reached 304 in 1992.

''The target was set stricter deliberately,'' he said.

But United Democrat Albert Chan Wai-yip questioned whether the number of inspectors, even increased by 10, would be enough to check safety on the vast areas of the airport sites.

Assistant Commissioner for Labour Mak Sai-yiu said the safety requirements in the contracts demanded the contractors provide a certain number of professional safety officers on each site.

Landing sites for helicopters had been allowed on the sites to ensure the seriously injured could be sent to hospital immediately.

A registered nurse was also required on all the sites of major projects.