Crane deaths lead to training

18 March 2008

Tower crane operators in Hong Kong will undergo courses to improve safety at construction sites following an incident in July in Causeway Bay where two workers were killed and five others injured.

According to China business newspaper The Standard, the workers would undergo two-day training sessions introduced by the Construction Industry Training Authority at the end of August.

“We are still unable to determine how the accident [in Causeway Bay] happened. But we cannot afford to sit back and wait for the investigation report before strengthening safety standards,” said Conrad Wong Tin-cheung, president of the Hong Kong Construction Association.

According to Wong, 80 crane drivers are expected to complete the course by the end of September, and a further 200 will do so in the next three months. Over the next six months, several thousand workers involved in crane rigging and hoisting will complete training schemes, The Standard reported.

Operators completing courses will be graded as highly-skilled “silver card” workers. The courses are sponsored by employers and the Hong Kong Construction Association.

Property developers and contractors will be urged to recruit workers who have completed the silver card courses for tower crane works, Wong said.

A more comprehensive practice guide and an overall review of existing tower crane operational procedures will be launched while technological requirements for the industry will be further strengthened, Wong added.

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