Non-residents will be allowed to work as construction safety officers (CSO) in Macao, following the approval of a new bill that aims to protect construction workers’ rights.
Discussing the new measure, Wong Chi Hong, director of the Labour Affairs Bureau, said that construction technology is changing rapidly but the corresponding safety personnel may not be available locally, the Macau Post Daily reported.
Legislator Lam U Tou expressed concern about the circumstances under which a non-resident could work as construction safety officers.
Finance secretary Lei Wai Nong replied that the employment of non-residents as CSOs would be “exceptional” and pointed to the rigorous approval process. He added that the government would strike a balance between ensuring employment opportunities for locals and technical safety.
Some lawmakers expressed concern about the professionalism of CSOs.
Wong replied that the construction site accident rate had been reduced and added that the number of cases of non-compliance with the existing construction safety and health regulations decreased from nine in 2021 to just one last year.
The number of fatalities caused by construction accidents decreased from eight in 2021 to four last year, he said, while the number of long-term incapacities caused by construction accidents declined from 42 in 2021 to 16 in 2022.