CONSTRUCTION contractors could be banned from using plastic sheeting to enclose building sites under proposals being considered by the Government. The plans are part of the crackdown on dangerous or flammable materials used in the construction industry. Three government departments - Buildings, Fire Services and Labour - have set up a working party to look at the proposal which already has the strong support of Buildings Department Director, Helen Yu Lai Ching-ping, and the Labour Department's chief factory inspector, Chan Tat-king. The red, white and blue sheeting is attached to scaffolding to stop debris falling into the street. Mr Chan is particularly concerned about the danger posed during typhoons and storms when strong winds can get behind the plastic, pulling it from the scaffolding and causing the whole structure to collapse. 'The working group is concentrating on the fire risk because the plastic can easily ignite, melt and spread fire, but the Labour Department is also drawing attention about the danger of collapse during strong winds,' he said. 'Speaking personally I want it prohibited,' he added, saying the risks far outweigh the benefits. Several people have been killed in the past 10 years from wind-induced scaffolding collapses. The sheeting has already been outlawed in Britain following fatal accidents. Mr Chan said it could be replaced with flame retardant mesh. The group will also discuss tougher regulations to secure scaffolding. The Hong Kong Construction Association secretary-general Patrick Chan Wing-tung said it would not object to the proposals provided there was an alternative. The Labour Department has also asked Britain's Health and Safety Executive for advice on flame retardant materials for construction sites.