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Staff and Contractor Safety Performance

Fatalities on our Construction Sites

We are committed to full transparency in disclosing the details of serious incidents affecting our staff and contractors. We deeply regret the loss of two lives in 2014 involving contractors on our construction sites:

  • At the Nam Cheong Station property development site, two workers were found unconscious at the bottom of a manhole, with one suffering from serious injuries and the other certified dead on arrival at hospital. A detailed investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of death and identify lessons from this tragic event.
  • At the Shatin to Central Link network expansion project site in Wong Tai Sin, a worker was hit on the chin and neck by the bracing arm of a site investigation rig when it was being dismantled and was certified dead on arrival at hospital after suffering from serious bleeding. An Investigation Panel was convened to identify the causes of the incident and to make recommendations to prevent a recurrence. The recommendations have been fully implemented.
Staff Safety – Fatality
2013: 0
2014: 0
Contractor Safety – Fatality
2013: 4
2014: 2

Lost Time Injuries for Staff

In 2014, there was significant improvement in the lost time injury frequency rate for staff of our Property Division and Operations Division compared with the previous year on account of improved safety awareness. This measure of staff safety also improved for the corporate support functions, but the Projects Division experienced a slight decline in performance during the year.

Staff Safety – Lost Time Injuries
(per 100,000 man-hour)

2013 2014
Corporate Support Functions 0.23 0.17
Operations Division 0.67 0.40
Projects Division 0.08 0.11
Property Division 0.29 0.10
Mainland of China and International Business 0.00 0.00

Reportable Accidents for Contractors

In 2014, the reportable accident frequency rate for contractors working in corporate support functions, the operating railway and network expansion projects improved or remained stable compared with the previous year. There was a decline in performance of this measure of contractor safety performance for property development projects. During the year, nine accidents occurred on our property development sites, of which about one third were attributable to lifting or carrying materials. Consequently, additional training for workers has been arranged to address this issue.

Contractor Safety – Reportable Accidents (per 100,000 man-hour)

2013 2014
Corporate Support Functions 0.17 0.08
Operations Railway 0.24 0.16
Project Construction - Railway Extension Projects 0.56 0.57
Property Development and Investment Projects 0.04 0.06
Investment Property 0.16 0.15
Management Property 0.13 0.13
China and International Business Division(1) 0.00 0.00

Due to the small number of contractors hired, the Mainland of China and International Business Division measures contractor safety using reportable accidents starting from 2013.


Phubbers, beware!

A new word has entered the dictionary — phubbing, the act of snubbing people by looking at your phone. With the rising popularity of smartphones, phubbers among our staff are becoming increasingly at risk of accidents. To remind colleagues not to use mobile phones while walking at work, the Safety & Quality Department designed giant eye-catching 3D posters that were displayed at MTR Headquarters, Fo Tan Railway House, Kam Tin Building and Light Rail Administration Building during 2014 to alert everyone about the safety risks of phubbing.


Contractor Safety in Context

Work on construction sites presents many safety challenges. That is why our management approach places special emphasis on promoting safety for workers on our network expansion, property development and investment projects. As a testament to the efficacy of our various initiatives, the rate of reportable accidents on our network expansion project sites continues to compare favourably with the Hong Kong Construction Industry average.

The rate of reportable accidents refers to work-related injuries of primary contractor staff that result in more than three days of sick leave. This comparison demonstrates the extent to which we believe there are very real opportunities for improving safety practices across the construction industry in Hong Kong.

Contractor Safety Audit

We engage external auditors from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) to evaluate safety standards on the construction sites of our network expansion projects. During 2014, the majority of our contractors achieved an excellent result, level 7, in the DNV Safety Audit Protocol. This result is comparable to the highest international standards and best practices.


Learn more...


Safety data for the Hong Kong Construction Industry is published by the Occupational Safety and Health Branch of the Hong Kong Labour Department.


Contractor Safety Initiatives

During 2014, the construction industry in Hong Kong continued to be affected by a general shortage of experienced workers due to an aging workforce and the large number of construction projects currently underway. In response, we have implemented new initiatives to ensure high levels of safety and welfare for all workers on our project sites. Please refer to collaboration with contractors for more information.

Contractor P-licensing System

As new and inexperienced workers are at most risk of being involved in accidents on construction sites, we launched a new P-licensing system for our contractors in 2014. Under this scheme, newcomers and probationary workers must be identified with an N or P sticker affixed to their helmet or chest badge. We provide additional support to these workers such as ensuring that they fully understand our safety procedures and assigning them with mentors on each shift to provide supervision when they perform high risk tasks. Only workers who successfully complete an assessment process can graduate from the scheme and remove the sticker.

Worker Health and Well-being

We held our second Worker Health and Well-being Month in May 2014 in collaboration with QBE Hong Kong & Shanghai Insurance Limited and the Department of Community Medicine of the University of Hong Kong. Over the course of the month, a mobile clinic visited 37 locations at all major railway project sites to conduct free, voluntary health screenings for workers, including tests for hearing, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure and lung function. In total, 1,903 workers received expert counselling about their state of health.


Did You Know?


The Rolling Stock Maintenance Department at Chai Wan Depot has gone 16 consecutive years without an accident. Staff and contractors have achieved this remarkable track-record despite growing risk factors that could lead to accidents, such as loss of experienced staff due to retirement.