The demand for skilled professionals in the construction industry has been increasing rapidly in recent years, due to the growing number of construction projects in Hong Kong. However, the supply of skilled professionals has not kept up with this demand, leading to a shortage of workers with the necessary skills and experience. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) predicts that the industry will face a 10,000-person shortfall in 2023, and the number is expected to increase to 40,000 by 2027.
A Spokesperson for the CIC said, “The CIC has submitted the manpower forecast results to the Government for consideration. The Hong Kong construction industry has been facing the challenges of an aging workforce and increasing demand for construction manpower in recent years, and the CIC has been working with the Government under a multi-pronged approach to address the manpower mismatch, including enhancing training and recruitment as well as driving the adoption of advanced construction techniques and new technologies to develop local manpower and uplift industry productivity.”
In a report written by Pinsent Masons, the labor shortage issue extends to qualified professionals, such as site safety personnel, which poses a great threat to the safety of workers and the public. Even now, the unfortunate reality is that there are not enough safety officers to maintain supervision of construction sites. This is evident with numerous reports of large sites employing only one safety personnel and cases of one safety officer handling multiple construction sites, creating an unrealistic environment for effective safety monitoring that leads to poor supervision of the workers, resulting in more on-site accidents.
We could already see the implications of safety manpower mismatch that is evident by the recent rise of on-site accidents. For example, there were 6 fatalities in the Q4 of 2022, and 3 fatalities reported from the construction industry in Hong Kong since the beginning of 2023.
Therefore, to address this issue, the industry and government must work together by taking proactive steps, including employing crucial technology. One of them is the “Smart Site Safety System” actively promoted by the Development Bureau (DEVB).
Smart Site Safety System with AutoSafe
The SSSS is an integrated digital system that employs Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide real-time monitoring and analysis of construction site activities.
AI CCTV & IoT Sensors – The system 24/7 automatically detects potential safety hazards, such as workers entering restricted areas or unsafe working practices and conditions and alerts site managers so that corrective action can be taken quickly, reducing the need for manual supervision.
Centralized Management Platform (CMP) – integrates our AI Cameras and IoT Sensors for site personnel to respond, manage and record signals/alerts received from all SSSS components implemented in the site.
Therefore, we believe that our AutoSafe SSSS can assist construction sites with their duty of maintaining safety on-site, by automating safety supervision, so that the personnel can focus on more crucial tasks, especially with the pertaining problem of the shortage of safety professionals in the industry.