• Lighthouse Club Site Safety Professionals Awards and Contractor’s Charity Dinner

    15 November 2013

    The men and women on the frontlines of worksite safety have enjoyed a richly deserved moment in the spotlight at this year’s Lighthouse Club’s Site Safety Professionals Awards and Contractor’s Charity Dinner. With the support of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Council, the event has become the pinnacle of the calendar for the contractors, safety officers and foremen that have contributed the most to saving lives and preventing injuries across the construction industry.

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 226

    The awards recognise outstanding performance in health and safety, as judged by a panel of 30 construction industry luminaries. The awards go beyond the work that the Lighthouse Club has been doing for more than 50 years in supporting the victims of accidents on construction sites and of ill health. The awards are also central to the construction council’s work to improve safety standards across the industry.

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 186The proof of the awards’ importance is in their growing popularity. There were more than 500 entries this year – the most in the award’s history. About 550 people attended the dinner on September 13, who in turn raised about US$12,830 for safety-linked charities, again, both are new records. The awards’ expansion into a fourth category is more evidence of their popularity. The new category this year was project teams, complementing the traditional awards to recognise foremen, subcontractors and safety professionals.

    While this annual event is organised by the Lighthouse Club, it is supported by the construction council, the Society of Registered Safety Officers, Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Association, and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Hong Kong Branch.

    Winners for a worthwhile cause

    The inaugural winners of the Lighthouse Club-Hilti Safe Project Team Awards were the Mass Transit Railway Corp, Bachy-Soletanche-Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture for their work on contract 811A of the Express Rail Link. One of 11 segments on the 200-kmh rail link to the mainland’s Beijing Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, the joint venture partners are responsible for a 300-metre-long, cut-and-cover tunnel to the immediate north of the railway’s West Kowloon Terminus.

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 84With the underground sections of railway lines to Teun Mun, the airport and Tung Chung adjacent to or cutting through the site, the deep excavation has not been without its challenges.

    Announcing the winners at the contractor’s evening, Mark Divers, chairman of the Lighthouse Club’s Safety Committee, and Andy Lo, vice-president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, said the team award represented the highest standards in safety for an entire project, from client to workers. The joint-venture team working on contract 811A has adopted what it calls a “mission zero” target throughout across the site.

    Illustrating the safety first thinking on the site, the joint-venture partners won the HK$1.04 billion contract in May 2010 and have claimed several MTR Corp safety awards since. The latest award was presented at the rail company’s twice yearly Quality, Safety, Environmental and Stakeholder Engagement Awards at the end of last month. (eds: Sept 26).

    The Safe Subcontractor Awards section of this year’s awards recognise an outstanding level of safety performance for a company involved in some of the construction industry’s most hazardous activities.

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 233The worthy winners were Craft Projects International for their work on roofing Hong Kong’s new sludge treatment plant in Tuen Mun (see report in this edition). At the time of the project’s contracting phase, the pant was the largest of its kind in the world. When it comes online, the plant will have the capacity to process 2,000 tonnes of de-watered, treated sewage every day once it is complete.

    The plant’s gull-wing roof makes use of Craft’s aluminium-clad, unitised roofing technique that truly places safety first. Construction of roofing segments took place at ground level and Craft’s system sees smaller units, or cassettes, prefabricated into larger pieces which are then hoisted into place with a tower or mobile crane. Labourers work on the ground, a far safer environment than working on elevated, angled surfaces above worksites more traditional roofing methods.

    As Craft’s Business Development Director Shane Livermore told Pacific Rim Construction magazine, inclined surfaces are considered potentially dangerous and require additional risk control techniques. Craft’s clever construction techniques remove that risk.

    Other award winners in the Safe Subcontractor Awards section included Koon Fung Engineering, Wah Hing Scaffolding Engineering, Fang Sheung Construction, Chun Wo Foundations and Richwell Engineering.

    Praise for frontline individuals 

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 168The judges of this year’s awards felt it was clear that companies were working harder to improve safety standards and that management had dedicated themselves to mitigating safety risks. The standard of this year’s entries had improved. But while top-down leadership to increase the emphasis on safety is important, as any safety professional will tell you, safety begins at an individual level.

    The highest individual award from the gala dinner went to Gabriel Y.W. So, superintendent, Leighton Contractors (Asia). Mr So was awarded the Chairman’s Award – a rare honour, offered solely at the discretion of Lighthouse Club chairman Hugh Wu, that recognises an individual who had displayed exemplary safety leadership at the frontline. Mr So is part of the team working on MTR Corp’s South Island Line.

    Mr So told Pacific Rim Construction the award was a great honour and due in large part to Leighton’s in-house safety structures. “Our executive general manger and my manager always advise us that safety is the first priority and progress is the second. In my opinion, this is the reason why Leighton does so well in site safety.”

    “ ‘Strive for Life’ is a set of guidelines developed to assist our staff in eliminating Class-1 risks. For example, when we develop a method statement, all of our engineers, supervisors, subcontractors and safety staff discuss how we will proceed.

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 207“The purpose is point out any risks as early as possible and work towards their elimination.”

    The recipient of the LHC Site Safety Professionals Awards was George Au Wai Yan from Hip Hing Construction. Mr Au’s award recognises his hard work as a frontline supervisor who is creating a safe working environment and safe workplace.

    “I believe this is an incredibly meaningful award. It is a milestone for my career in safety and also a milestone for my company,” he said. The company had adopted a complete approach to safety that each individual had bough into, he said. Mr Au, an industry veteran with upwards of 20 years’ experience, has an engineering background and takes a “problem-solving approach” to safety. “When I joined the company about three years ago, the standard of safety was already unbeliably high. We have a very good good safety culture.”

    The support behind a safer construction industry

    The Lighthouse Club’s Site Safety Professionals Awards and Contractor’s Charity Dinner celebrates safety achievements at the industry’s grassroots. It is made possible by the collaboration of some of the most influential bodies in Hong Kong’s construction industry.

    ROF MediaLHC Safety Awards 2013 241The Hong Kong Construction Industry Council represents a broad cross-section of the construction industry and communicates across the entire sector. The council’s main functions are to forge consensus on long-term strategic issues, to convey the industry’s needs and aspirations to the Hong Kong government, and to offer a communication channel for government to solicit advice.

    The council has the power to formulate codes of conduct, administer registration and rating schemes, steer forward research and manpower development, facilitate adoption of construction standards, promote good practices and compile performance indicators.

    The Lighthouse Club, Hong Kong Branch, is an independent charity that aims to promote fellowship throughout the construction industry. Its benevolent funds help support the victims of construction accidents and ill-health. By extension, the club strives to celebrate outstanding health and safety practices in construction. Since 1986, the Lighthouse Club has been a significant force for good in Hong Kong’s construction industry.



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