• Innovative Safety Initiative Award

    6 August 2018

    The Development Bureau and the Construction Industry Council jointly hosted the seventh Construction Safety Week in May 2018 to promote health and safety in the construction industry, and inspire practitioners to work together to achieve the goal of “zero accidents” on construction sites. A wide range of activities were held during the week of 21 – 29 May, including a Kick-off Ceremony and Conference, Carnival, Site Visits and a “Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme” Award Presentation Ceremony.

    The Innovative Safety Initiative Award 2018, a prestigious industry event co-organised by the Development Bureau, the Construction Industry Council and Hong Kong Construction Association. Its Award Presentation Ceremony was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 21 May.

    With over 120 innovative ideas under three award categories – Health and Welfare; Safety Management System, Training and Promotion; and Safety Operational Device – several businesses were honoured for their significant contributions to improve workplace safety in the construction industry. This award ceremony brought together over 240 guests to witness the joyful moments.

    Health and Welfare Category Gold Award

    China Overseas Building Construction Limited clinched the Gold Award for its innovative efforts to ensure a safe, healthy and caring worksite for its staff at the Comprehensive Residential Development project at Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan.

    Inspired by the “P” and “N” caring programmes for workers who have newly joined the construction industry or working site, the company arranged for female workers and male construction staff aged over 55 to have a stickers imprinted with the letter “C” on their safety helmets for easy identification. They also now work in pairs on the construction site, making it easier for them to look after each other. To deepen their safety mind-set, workers attended “PAIRS” training, where they were taught to “Pay Attention”(P), be “Active”(A), improve their “Interpersonal Communication”(I), “Relax”(R) and “Smile”(S). The PAIRS training initiative was formulated upon the belief that a positive mind-set is integral to occupational safety among construction professionals. As well as calling for industry-wide adoption of the C sticker idea, the winning team also advocated a penalty system to deter building practices that flout construction safety.

    Safety Management System, Training and Promotion Gold Award

    Gammon Construction Limited won the Gold Award thanks to its in-house invention – GamBot, an AI software robot that automatically generates near-miss reports and safety inspection reports through a simple and instant conversational interface. In just 1.5 minutes, engineers and foremen can report near-misses through a simplified process and this has resulted in a greatly enhanced reporting rate. This invention also produces safety inspection reports automatically, supporting real-time communication with subcontractors through images and text and saving 12 man-hour that were previously needed to prepare each document. GamBot also operates as a fatal zone alarm system, enabling the project team to predetermine the fatal zone area and monitor the workers entry into the zone to prevent accidents. This invention applies VR technology to safety management and training. The resulting visual simulations strengthen hazard identification and elimination of risk at design stage.

    The winning team said that the Gold Award reflects Gammon’s commitment to worksite safety. They also believe that workers’ safety mind-set will continue to improve, as will workplace safety in the industry as a whole.

    Safety Operational Device Gold Award

    The Gold Award was won by the Dragages – Bouygues Joint Venture for the use of robotic arms to change disc cutters installed on tunnel boring machines (TBM), which are subject to constant wear and tear. Replacing disc cutters manually is a hazardous endeavour because the worker had to operate in a hydraulic chamber with limited space. Each cutter weighs 200 to 300 kilograms, so workers were at risk of musculoskeletal injury. Other hazards included ground collapse and eye injuries from handling powerful water jets. By deploying robotic arms for this dangerous task, the company is able to limit human intervention under high-pressure conditions and avert several health and safety risks. Now its workers remotely oversee the replacement of disc cutter at a safe distance inside a control room.

    According to the winning team, the award is industry’s recognition for its creativity in protecting the safety of workers in underground tunnels. The team also advocated utilizing technology more to ensure workplace safety. It also suggested that the Construction Industry Council and the government offer financial subsidies in support of R&D for technological innovations to improve worksite safety.

    Safety Operational Device Gold Award

    Another Gold Award in the Safety Operational Device category was won by China Overseas Building Construction Limited for its “Trenches Monitoring System”, which has equipped workers with motion sensor bracelets at the Phase VII Lohas Park Residential Project site. Covering 65,000 square metres, the area has a total of 21 tunnels and construction workers are most at risk when they enter the tunnels alone. As part of the company’s worksite safety management system, the bracelets record the locations and physical conditions of the workers wearing them, then sends the information to a real-time monitoring interface. In addition, the device tracks the route of workers in real time, bars them from entering areas they are denied authorised access, monitors the wearer’s heart rate and detects falls. Upon receiving an alert, the management team sends an emergency rescue team to reach the affected worker. The wearers can also initiate SOS signals to alert management immediately if they experience discomfort or their safety is threatened.

    The motion sensor bracelet was developed after a brainstorming session with colleagues of the company’s safety department and its technology subsidiary. The winning team called for the industry to catch up with the latest construction innovations to safeguard and enhance workplace safety.    

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