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Technical seminar on coordinating site safety supervision plan system and safety management system - part II
By Ir LAM Chi Sing

In the second session held on 25 November 2006, the speaker, Ir Philip Kwok, introduced the site safety supervision plan (SSSP) which is a statutory requirement under the Buildings Ordinance. Four statutory agents, namely the Authorised Person (AP), Registered Structural Engineer (RSE), Registered Geotechnical Engineer (RGE) and Registered Contractor (RC), are involved in monitoring the quality and safety in construction projects. The AP/RSE/RGE are required to carry out periodic supervision while the RGBC/RSC are required to carry out continuous supervision. The objectives of the inspections are to ensure the compliance with the Buildings Ordinance, the approved and supervision plans, orders made, and conditions of approval and consent. Each stream would appoint technically competent persons (TCP) to carry out the inspections.

The technical memorandum (TM) sets out the principles, requirements and operation of the supervision plan. The Code of Practice for Site Supervision (CoP) provides guidance on application of the TM in preparation of supervision plans and in adoption of good practices for site supervision. The site safety supervision plan sets out the safety management of works, addresses quality supervision, and characterises particular site safety related features and hazards.

TCP are classified into five grades. TCP T4 and T5 carry out engineering safety supervision to ensure the compliance with design assumption and requirements. TCP T1 to T3 carry out routine safety supervision to ascertain compliance with approved, accepted or submitted method statements, and precautionary and protective measures. The minimum requirements on the grades of TCP, qualification and inspection frequency for various types of building works are set out in the TM.

The supervision plan should be submitted for most types of building works. It should be lodged with the building authority prior or upon application for consent. All TCP should keep a record of their inspection on site for inspection by the government departments. Moreover, a report should be made to the building authority in case of major non-conformity or when a contractor consistently failed to rectify non-conformities.

Finally, on behalf of the organising committee and participants, a vote of thanks was given to the speakers, Mr K L Pang and Ir Philip Kwok.

Group photo of the co-organising committee with the speakers, Mr K L Pang (front row left 3rd) and Ir Philip Kwok (front row left 4th)

Souvenir presentation: Ir Willis Yu, the BD Division (L), Ir Philip Kwok, speaker (middle) and Mr C S Chan, IOSH (R)

Technical seminar on building - practical methods for inspection of external wall delamination
By Mr King CHU and Ir Dr Peter KWAN

Building management and maintenance is a hot topic of public concern. Building neglect causes nuisance to the occupants, expensive and unexpected maintenance costs and potential threat to the public safety. The government is also planning to launch the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS). On 25 January 2007, Mr King Chu was invited by the BD Division to present a talk to introduce the practical methods for inspection of external wall delamination. There were over 60 members attending the seminar.

Mr Chu is the technical consultant of Build and Test Instrument (China) Ltd. During the seminar, he introduced and shared the basic concepts of different methods for inspection of external wall delamination, including visual inspection, hammer tapping, opening-up, acoustic energy, pull-out, slab impulse response, infrared thermography, impact echo CTG and impact echo scanning.

Mr Chu explained in details about the background and current market status of inspection of wall delamination and also presented many case studies in relation to the application of various methods on site. At the end of his presentation, many questions were brought along during the question-and-answer session. This well indicated that the talk was very interesting and aroused much concern and attention from the audience.

Ir Dr Peter Kwan (L) presenting souvenir to Mr King Chu

Mr King Chu presenting his vivid powerpoint at the seminar

Effective public speaking and communication skills series: topic 2 - media talking inside out
By Ir Danny HO and Ir Willis YU

The BD Division and HKIE Toastmasters Club jointly organised a series of four workshops on public speaking and communication. The second workshop was held on 24 January 2007 with Ms Rachel Miu, head of corporate communications, the Link Management Limited, as the speaker. Ms Miu presented the communication topic from the perspective of the media, an angle that was seldom taken note of by practising engineers, hence the title of the presentation - media talking inside out.

The workshop was attended by approximately 80 members who almost filled up the seminar room. Deriving from her hands-on experience as the news anchor for ATV, Ms Miu started with an introduction of how the media would treat breaking news. The facts were meant to be important, however, equally if not more important, was for the media to attract the general public's attention and to retain audience. A careful balance was necessary and therefore, to weigh between the presentation of information and the packaging of the news, such that the truth and a wide circulation could both be accomplished. It was a pity that in many occasions, public organisations eg government departments, various quasi-government authorities and large private corporations were often being accused of and forced to be defensive whenever controversial issues affecting the public were involved.

Ms Miu demonstrated her points with vivid case examples she extracted from TV news reports and newspapers and went on to discuss various cautions that should be taken during media interviews. It was important to avoid or minimise the chance of mis-quoting by media and therefore we must insist on full briefing of the background of the topic and be well prepared for such interviews whenever possible. When we were asked to comment on particular topics, we would need to sometimes qualify that the comments were only applicable to particular circumstances only. A further point made by Ms Miu was that the media, despite sometimes reporting more than what we wanted to, could also be treated as partners, if long term relationship could be established with them through mutual respects.

Ir Thomas O S Ho, Past Chairman of the BD Division, introducing Ms Rachel Miu, the speaker

Ms Rachel Miu presenting her vivid powerpoint at the seminar

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