People-based Service in Partnership with
the Trade
Electrical and Mechanical Services Department - Smart Electrical Safety Regulator

Exemplary Services@Gov
2009

The Smart Electrical Safety Regulator (the team) of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), in adopting its "proactive facilitation approach" which is a step further to the 'regulatory enforcement approach', has achieved great success in raising the electrical safety awareness of the public. Incidents arising from electrical installations and electrical products saw a drop of 6% between 2006 and 2008, with casualty figures in electrical incidents plunged by 33% within the same period.

Proactive Facilitation Approach to Ensure Electrical Safety

Such a breakthrough in adopting the proactive facilitation approach is a result of the exchanges with different stakeholders, including the Trade Liaison Committee and the District Councils. Through these exchanges, the team came to know that the public had little knowledge of Relevant legislation and that they might have technical problems or co-ordination problems for inspections of electrical installations. Mr Vincent YUEN, Acting Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electricity Legislation Division, said, "Our work focuses have moved from inspection and prosecution to overall appraisal of inherent risks. We have emphasised more on strengthening communication with the public and stepping up promotional and education efforts. We have, for example, sent out staff to explain to building owners the statutory requirements in matters related to the electricity legislation. We have also assisted them in co-ordination for electrical inspection arrangements. These efforts have invariably helped improve our relations and co-operation with the public."

With the change in work focuses, electrical regulatory staff have to adjust their work mindset. Besides having to receive such training as "communication skills" and "team building", they would also have exchanges with colleagues in other departments to share experiences in regulatory and enforcement work. Through team building, they have promoted a work attitude that is open to changes, which in turn has helped improve the overall quality of service.

Use of Information Technology and Promotion of Trade Involvement

As the degree of trade involvement will have direct effect on the implementation of new measures, the Electricity Legislation Division collects the views of the trade through various channels like the Electrical Safety Advisory Committee and works in partnership with the industry to enhance the level of electrical safety. The "New Cable Colour Code" initiative is an example. "Instead of hard selling, we have organised for the trade large-scale seminars, provided web-based self-learning programmes and put in place a "train-the-trainers scheme" to help spread the safety message. Such efforts have facilitated the implementation of our new measures and improved the co-operation between the trade and the Government", says Mr LEUNG Yiu-hong, Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electricity Legislation Division. Just within two and a half years, over 70,000 electrical workers in the territory have completed their training, with two-thirds of them through e-learning which has helped achieve the target in resource savings. Mr Eric LEE, Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electricity Legislation Division, added, "We have also set up a data bank for storage and analysis of enforcement-related information and data, which has helped prevent the occurrence of electrical incidents."

Mr Eric LEE, Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electricity Legislation Division, added, "We have also set up a data bank for storage and analysis of enforcement-related information and data, which has helped prevent the occurrence of electrical incidents."

Mr Vincent YUEN, Acting Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electricity Legislation Division of the EMSD (middle), says that the team has been working in partnership with the trade through various channels. On the right is Mr LEUNG Yiu-hong, Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and on the left is Mr Eric LEE, Electrical and Mechanical Engineer.
Outreach talk is one of the examples of EMSD's proactive approach.
The Smart Electrical Safety Regulator is proactive in helping out members of the public, working closely with owners' groups and District Councils.
Registered electrical workers have learnt more about the measures for the New Cable Colour Code through large-scale technical seminars.