Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this document, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) nevertheless would encourage readers to seek appropriate independent advice from their professional advisers where possible and readers should not treat or rely on this document as a substitute for such professional advice for taking any relevant actions. The contents of this publication should not be treated as inclusive of all matters and requirements in relation to the Construction Workers Registration Ordinance (CWRO).
The “designated workers for designated skills” requirement of CWRO will be implemented in April 2017. This requirement will apply to all construction works that fall within the scope of CWRO, including:
(i) construction and reconstruction works of specified structure;
(ii) building operation involving addition, alteration, repair and dismantle works of structure of specified structure;
(iii) building operation involved in preparing for construction, reconstruction, addition, alteration works, etc.;
(iv) building operation or building services work forming an integral part of, or rendering complete, any construction, reconstruction addition, alteration works, etc.;
(v) building services work involving structure of specified structure;
(vi) maintenance work, carried out under a term contract for maintenance, of specified structure owned by a public body or a specified body.
However, the following construction works will be regulated at a later stage (the effective date is to be determined depending on the circumstances):
(i) maintenance work, carried out under a term contract for maintenance, of specified structure owned by a public body or a specified body（Item (vi) in Question 1 above）；
(ii) construction work under a construction contract with a total value of all construction operations not exceeding $10 million; and
(iii) Class I & II minor works under Building (Minor Works) Regulation (Note: Class III minor works are not regulated by CWRO).
Nevertheless, construction works that will be regulated at a later stage by the “designated workers for designated skills” requirement must still comply with the relevant provisions of the CWRO (such as installing electronic card reading device and submitting daily attendance records of workers).
Industry practitioners can evaluate the needs to deploy workers with skills by referencing to the skill description of 139 trade divisions as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the CWRO, the work across skills arrangement and the exempted works as set out in the CWRO.
According to industry practice, the CWRO allows registered skilled workers of certain designated trade divisions to work across similar skills. For example the registered skilled workers of “Plasterer” are allowed to carry out works of “Concrete Repairer (Spalling Concrete)”, “Tiler” and “Bricklayer”, etc. Please refer to CIC "Construction Workers Registration Ordinance" Booklet" for more details.
In addition, upon thorough deliberation within the industry, the Development Bureau is formulating the Exemption Regulation under the CWRO, and planning to implement simultaneously with the “designated workers for designated skills” requirement. One of the proposed provisions is to exempt the small scale construction work that are normally carried out by general workers. Provided that these small scale construction works are under the prescribed threshold should such works be exempted from the “designated workers for designated skills” requirement. The CIC will publish guidelines on exemption arrangement for the industry’s reference.
Tremie concreting work step under the Piling Operative (Bored Pile) (C330a) involves only the operation of tremie pipes to facilitate the relevant work and does not involve the works of Concreter (C309) according to the description of skills. Such work may not be required to be carried out by Concretor (C309) .
Jointing reinforcement cages work step under the Piling Operative (Bored Pile) (C330a) involves mainly the use of clamps and U-bolts and does not involve does not involve the works of Bar Bender and Fixer (C304) according to the description of skills. Such work may not be required to be carried out by Bar Bender and Fixer (C304).
Backfilling the drill-hole upon completion of ground investigation work under the Ground Investigation Operator/Driller/Borer (C320) involves mainly the delivery of material to fill up the drill-hole. Since non-pressure grouting work is not within the skill description of Grouting Worker (C321), in general, such work may not be required to be carried out by Grouting Worker (C321).
There are 139 trade divisions stipulated in Schedule 1 of CWRO for workers to apply for registration as registered skilled/semi-skilled workers. If works to be carried out are out of the scope of the 139 trade divisions, in general, workers carrying out such works are only required to register as registered construction workers (including registered general workers) to satisfy the registration requirement of CWRO.
The principal contractors shall review the whole work process to assess if any skilled work of the designated trade divisions as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the CWRO is involved and as required deploy the related registered skilled/semi-skilled workers to carry out such works or arrange the registered construction workers to work under instruction and supervision.
There was no trade division for erecting and dismantling Tower Crane, installing timber support for excavation in trial pit, installing bearing or movement joint for the construction of bridge in Schedule 1 of CWRO. In general, workers are only required to register as registered construction workers (including registered general workers), to satisfy the registration requirement of CWRO.
Four trade divisions and the relevant master in Schedule 1 of CWRO are related to the piling work, involving percussive pile (C330b, C335b) and bored pile(C330a, C335a). Mini-Piles, Socketed Steel H-Piles and Pipe Piles are not covered. In general, workers operating such piling machines are only required to register as registered construction workers (including registered general workers) to satisfy the registration requirement of CWRO.
The skill description “Rigger/Metal Formwork Erector” in Schedule 1 of CWRO reads “setting up lifting apparatus and equipment for lifting and lowering materials; fixing and dismantling large panel metal formwork”. This trade division is mainly for workers who fix and dismantle large panel metal formworks and carry out the associated lifting work. In general, signalmen for hoisting operations or workers performing rigging work are only required to register as registered construction workers (including registered general workers) to satisfy the registration requirement of CWRO.
The principal contractor/employer of workers shall base on the actual situation of the construction site and the construction works to determine the appropriate number and ratio of Instructors and Workers under Instruction to ensure that the Instructor can effectively instruct and supervise the Worker under Instruction. The Instructor and the Worker under Instruction should be on duty at the same construction site and be able to identify each other (for instance, knowing each other’s nickname and contact method).
The CWRO requires workers to hold valid construction worker registration (CWR) cards. Only workers with registration of the required designated trade divisions shown on/stored on their registration cards are allowed to personally carry out the skill works of the relevant trade divisions on construction sites (unless under the specified circumstances). Otherwise, workers may commit an offence under the CWRO for performing independently the skill works without relevant registration.
The principal contractor/employer of workers should:
- arrange the registered skilled/semi-skilled worker(s) of the related designated trade divisions to provide “instruction and supervision” to the registered general workers to carry out the construction work of the designated trade division.
- implement reasonable measures and notify the workers under “instruction and supervision” of such measures.
Otherwise, the principal contractor and employer of workers may commit an offence under the CWRO. Violation of the requirement is subject to prosecution and liable to a fine upon conviction.
Since the implementation of Designated Workers for Designated Skills requirement on 1 April 2017, the most frequently committed non-compliance with the CWRO requirements was that the principal contractor and the employer of workers have not implemented reasonable measures for the “instruction and supervision” arrangement on construction sites.