THE Society of Registered Safety Officers inferred (South China Morning Post , November 21 ) that the method used to record accident rates at the new airport site at Chek Lap Kok may be unreliable. Both the Government's Labour Department and the construction industry express accident rates in terms of 1,000 workers per year. The Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) is following industry practice, with the aim of making an easy comparison of safety conditions. We also keep figures for the number of accidents per 100,000 man hours worked. On this basis (1.9 reportable accidents per 100,000 man hours), we are within Government targets and industry standards. In the 24 months since major work began on the site in December 1992, there have unfortunately been three industrial deaths at the airport site, which represents a fatality rate of 0.6 per 1,000 workers per year. The fatality rate of the construction industry as a whole in Hong Kong was 1.4 per 1,000 workers in 1993. Our safety policy is reflected in our public commitment, endorsed by our Chief Executive Officer, that we will neither sacrifice nor compromise quality, safety, security, reliability or performance. All our construction contractors are required to submit a safety plan to the PAA for our approval when works begin. The PAA's safety team monitors implementation of these plans closely and we and our contractors will continue to do everything possible to ensure the highest safety standards at Chek Lap Kok. In addition, we welcome regular inspections and visits by Government agencies such as the Labour Department. If Mr Lee has further concerns about safety at Chek Lap Kok, he is very welcome to contact me on 988 5033 and even visit the site as he has in the past.