• “Construction Innovation & Technology Fund” supports the industry to adopt “Smart Site Safety System”

    15 March 2023

    (15 March 2022, Hong Kong) The “Construction Industry Innovation and Technology Fund” (CITF) will subsidise the industry to adopt “Smart Safety Construction System (SSSS)” to enhance construction safety. With effect from 1 April, the total funding ceiling for Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Advanced Construction Technologies of each applicant will be raised from the current HK$6 million to HK$7.5 million, of which HK$1.5 million shall be exclusively used for the procurement or rental of SSSS products after the effective date of the new initiative, so as to encourage SSSS adoption by the industry. In other words, each applicant can receive up to HK$7.5 million for adoption of SSSS products to enhance construction safety when the new initiative comes into effect.

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    Ir Ricky LAU, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), said, “The Development Bureau (DEVB) has always attached great importance to construction safety. We have adopted SSSS in public works contracts in phases since 2020, and the first-phase of implementation in construction sites of different works nature has been largely completed. Experience shows that SSSS has made significant improvement in construction safety. On this, DEVB issued a Technical Circular (Works) in February this year, requiring the adoption of SSSS in capital works contracts with contract sum exceeding HK$30 million. As for private works sites, the Government will subsidise contractors to adopt SSSS through the CITF, accelerating the drive of smart safe site and uplifting construction safety through the use of innovative technologies.”

    Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), remarked, “Safety is never a one-man job, but requires the concerted efforts of the whole industry to put it into practice. The use of SSSS has become a trend in the industry as digital technologies can help practitioners identify potential risks and prevent accidents. Construction safety will be significantly enhanced via innovation-and-technology-driven site mangement if there is a territory-wide adoption of SSSS in over 800 construction sites in Hong Kong. So far, the CITF has approved a total of about HK$150 million to support the industry to leverage safety-related technologies. We strive to continuosly support the industry to adopt SSSS with the CITF. The CIC will also step up publicity by providing the relevant information and support so as to drive and assist the industry to achieve the goal of ‘Zero Accident’. For example the ‘Life First – Walk the Talk’ webinar series is held every third Wednesday of each month to discuss safety issues such as the application of SSSS, etc.”

    Sr Eddie LAM, President of the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA), said, “HKCA fully supports construction sites to adopt SSSS, and welcomes the new initiative launched by the CITF to support industry’s adoption. This significantly relieves the financial burden for SSSS adoption by the industry, particularly for the Small-and-Medium Enterprises. HKCA has set up the Construction Safety Fund in recent years to strengthen the drive to construction safety, and also allocated HK$10 million to launch a new Environmental, Social, and Governance Recognition Scheme in the end of last year to subsidise the adoption of innovative technologies to elevate the performance of construction sites.We will join hands with the industry to uplift construction safety through the adoption of various measures and technologies.”

    Mr. WONG Ping, Chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union (HKCIEGU), said, “We welcome the Government to strengthen measures to promote smart construction sites, uplift the safety level of the construction industry, and to provide a safe working environment for construction workers. The CIC will provide relevant information and training to help workers master and use SSSS; HKCIEGU will fully cooperate in facilitating workers’ understanding and use of SSSS to raise safety awareness.”

    The Chief Executive announced in the 2022 Policy Address that the Government would adopt SSSS in capital works contracts with contract sum exceeding HK$30 million from early 2023 onward and subsidise private worksites to adopt SSSS through the CITF starting from the first half of 2023 for uplifting site safety performance.

    The Government set up the HK$1 billion CITF in 2018, and further injected an additional HK$1.2 billion in 2022, to encourage wider adoption of construction innovations and technologies. So far, the CITF has approved around HK$800 million, which subsidised 1,000 enterprises to deploy innovations and technologies to enhance build quality, environmental performance, safety and productivity, and provided innovative technology-related training for 15,000 practitioners. The CIC is responsible for the management of the CITF, including processing applications, monitoring the progress of approved projects, funding disbursement and promotion.

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