A review of the code of practice on lift safety - in the wake of a series of lift failures - would be completed in two months, the director of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) said yesterday. Ho Kwong-wai told a meeting of the Legislative Council panel on development and housing that the department was discussing the review with lift contractors and workers' representatives, through a working group. The announcement came after a series of lift failures, reported in recent months, that have aroused public concern about the safety and regulation of lifts in Hong Kong. The review would address issues such as the frequency and duration of maintenance tasks, Mr Ho said. 'The code also includes other matters, such as how many workers are needed for what kind of work procedure,' he said. 'The code will state two or more workers are required when doing rescue operations, for example; or that changing a lift's light bulbs requires one worker - with lift doors open when doing the work.' 'We expect the review will be completed in two months,' he added. The working group first met on November 24 and discussed issues such as whether and how to tell the public about contractors' performance records, arranging surprise inspections and testing lift components, Mr Ho said. Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who was also at the meeting, conceded that the current system for accrediting lift workers was not ideal. There are various ways for workers to become a 'competent lift worker' under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance. One is by holding a certificate or completing a course on lifts at an accredited technical institute and working in the field for no less than four years. They also qualify by working for a registered lift contractor for no less than four years, and gaining the contractor's confidence that they have sufficient experience and training in lift works. 'A training programme will be offered to workers without a certificate so that they can obtain the certificate and become a qualified lift worker by attending the training course,' Mrs Lam said. 'Their qualification will not be affected by changing employers.' In a paper submitted to Legco by the Transport and Housing Bureau, the EMSD announced the beginning of a programme of refresher training courses for lift workers. It will allow workers who have enough skills and work experience - but lack formal training - to qualify as competent lift workers. The first of the three-month courses began in September, it said.