The safety of our customers, the public, contractors and employees is an absolute prerequisite. The MTR Corporation is committed to consistently meeting statutory requirements, maintaining a safety-first culture and implementing management systems crucial to the achievement of our safety goals.
Guidelines on Heat Stress Issued to Promote Safety and Health
Working outdoors for long hours in very hot weather may cause health hazards. The MTR Corporation continues its quest to improve working conditions and has issued Heat Stress Prevention Guidelines for contractors of our new railway projects to further enhance workers' safety and health.
The Guidelines came into effect on the 16 July 2012 and are aimed at preventing heat stress for outdoor workers. The Guidelines are applicable in the hot months, between 15 June and 15 September, and whenever the Hong Kong Observatory issues the 'Very Hot Weather Warning'.
The Guidelines recommend that all site workers should take a 15-minute rest break after every 90 minutes of continuous work to reduce core body temperature. Contractors are required to conduct Heat Stress Risk Assessments on site conditions and work procedures; and provide rest shelters with drinking water, as well as seats and fans throughout the site. Site nurses will conduct preliminary health screening to all new workers and conduct regular body temperature checks for at-risk workers, especially for those conducting heavy, manual work and for new joiners. Workers are provided with breathable clothing to reduce core temperatures.
The MTR Corporation and the contractors, have put a great deal of effort into enhancing awareness among workers at risk of heat stress by providing training, including site induction courses, tool box talks and briefings. Other than displaying banners and posters, pocket cards on heat stress prevention are also provided.
Contractors of the Corporation have also demonstrated their full support by action. Hsin Chong Construction, the contractor of Contract 802 of the Express Rail Link project, and Chun Wo-Hip Hing Joint Venture, the contractor of Contract 1002 of the Kwun Tong Line Extension project, have been awarded Gold Award and Bronze Award respectively for their outstanding performance in the prevention of heat stress in the Best Occupational Health Program for Prevention of Heat Stroke at Work, organised by the Occupational Safety and Health Council.
"Safety is the utmost concern of the MTR Corporation. By issuing these Heat Stress Prevention Guidelines, we aim to further improve the safety culture of our workers and further improve the working environment. The Corporation and our contractors are committed to finding new and innovative ways to further enhance the safe and healthy practice of the construction industry," said TC Chew, Projects Director of the MTR Corporation.
Regular water spray at work sites (left) and placing ice in tunnels (right) may help reduce the temperature of the working environment.
Measures for prevention of heat stress such as rest stations at outdoor working areas (left) and ventilators at confined working areas (right).
The MTR Corporation is embarking on a campaign to on enhance the culture of safe work sites. Information packages, posters, banners and pocket cards have been prepared to raise workers' personal awareness of the risk of heat stress.