Revised Code of Practice for Bamboo Scaffolding Safety gazetted

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19th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s Labour Department (LD) has issued a revised Code of Practice for Bamboo Scaffolding Safety (CoP), which was published in the Gazette on 19th April. This update aims to address critical aspects of bamboo scaffold construction and ensure higher safety measures across construction sites.

The revised guidelines include stricter technical requirements for the construction and maintenance of bamboo scaffolds, specifically focusing on the bracing, putlog, and the means of access and egress. Additionally, the CoP now expressly forbids any unauthorised alterations to these scaffolding structures.

A significant change introduced in this revision is the enforcement of certification for scaffolders. According to a Labour Department spokesperson, “Moving forward, all workers engaged in the erection, significant alteration, or dismantling of truss-out bamboo scaffolds must be certified under the ‘Advanced Level Truss-out Scaffolder Safety Training’ or ‘Intermediate Level Truss-out Scaffolder Safety Training’, provided by the Construction Industry Council.”

To accommodate the industry’s need for preparation and training, the LD has allowed a six-month grace period before the CoP officially comes into effect on October 19. This period is intended to give construction firms sufficient time to ensure their staff are properly trained and certified according to the new standards.

The spokesperson also highlighted the legal implications of the revised CoP, noting its enhanced legal status. “In criminal proceedings, non-compliance with any part of this Code could be considered by the court as a contributing factor in determining whether there has been a breach of relevant safety and health legislation,” they stated.