Year
Month
Type
2019-01-22
Fell from height & strucked by object
Hotel cleaner arrested after pedestrian killed by falling window on busy Hong Kong street

A Hong Kong cleaner was arrested on Monday after a 24-year-old mainland Chinese woman was killed by a falling window from a 16th floor hotel room in the city’s busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui. 

 

Source: SCMP dated 21 Jan 2019 

2019-01-21
Press Release from The Labour Department
Employers and workers of construction industry urged to observe work-at-height safety

The Labour Department (LD) is highly concerned about the recent spate of serious accidents related to work-at-height in the construction industry and reminds those working at height to pay special attention to work safety.

A spokesman for the LD said today (January 21), "Four workers fell and unfortunately died while working at height in the past few weeks. The LD is highly concerned about the situation. Apart from issuing Work Safety Alerts and Suspension Notices to stop the related work processes, the LD has launched a special enforcement operation focusing particularly on high-risk operations such as scaffolding work."

 "The LD, jointly with the Occupational Safety and Health Council and other stakeholders of the industry, is actively organising a seminar on work-at-height safety. We will invite various stakeholder groups from the construction industry to take part in order to alert them to the potential risks involved in work-at-height and remind them of the necessary safety measures. Furthermore, the Department will continue to promote work-at-height safety messages through various media channels and platforms," the spokesman added.

To prevent workers from falling from height while working, employers shall appoint a competent person to conduct task-specific risk assessments to identify all potential hazards associated with the work, taking into account the nature of work and the work environment and, according to the results of the risk assessments, formulate safe systems of work which comply with the relevant safety legislation. Main considerations include:
          

  • Ladders should generally be used for ascending and descending only. Using them for other work is unsafe and should be avoided;
     
  • Provide workers with suitable working platforms and ensure their proper use by workers. Use of boatswain's chairs is strictly prohibited;
     
  • Workers should put on suitable safety harnesses, which shall be attached continuously to a suitable and secure anchor point, an independent lifeline or a fall-arresting system, when erecting, dismantling and using a truss-out bamboo scaffold; and
     
  • Safeguard all unprotected floor openings or other void spaces at construction sites by erecting suitable guard-rails or placing coverings to prevent workers from falling through them inadvertently.


Both employers and employees are responsible for ensuring work safety to prevent accidents from happening. Employers are required to comply with the relevant safety regulations and implement safety systems of work, including providing workers with sufficient safety equipment and ensuring its proper use by workers. At the same time, workers are also required to follow the safety work procedures as stipulated by employers, including proper use of safety equipment. Workers should report any unsafe working condition to the LD (telephone number: 2542 2172) as soon as possible.  The LD will take follow-up action as soon as possible to ensure workers' safety. 

 

Source: Press Release of The Labour Department - 21 Jan 2019

 
2019-01-13
Fell from height & strucked by object
Construction worker dies after falling from height in PLA’s Stonecutters Island barracks in Hong Kong

A construction worker fell to his death while working in the Stonecutters Island military barracks on Saturday, police said. Police received a report at 5.38pm that a man, surnamed Lau, 43, had fallen from height at a construction site inside the People’s Liberation Army barracks.

 

“The man was found unconscious and certified dead after he was sent to Princess Margaret Hospital,” a police spokeswoman said.  Police have classified the case as an industrial accident. The Labour Department, which sent staff to the scene, said it was looking into the cause of the accident.

 

Source: SCMP dated 12 Jan 2019

2019-01-09
Fell from height & strucked by object
A male worker fell from a bamboo truss-out scaffold on the external wall of a residential building

The Labour Department (LD) is highly concerned about a fatal work accident that happened in Diamond Hill this morning (January 9), in which a male worker fell from a bamboo truss-out scaffold on the external wall of a residential building and sustained fatal injuries. The LD is saddened by the death of the worker and has expressed its deepest sympathy to the victim's family.
 
The LD's spokesman said, "We commenced immediate on-site investigation as soon as we were notified of the accident and issued suspension notices to the contractors and employer involved to suspend the use, erection, alteration and dismantling of the truss-out scaffolds concerned. The contractors and employer cannot resume the work process until the LD is satisfied that measures to abate the relevant risk have been taken.
 
"We will complete investigation as soon as possible to identify the cause of the accident, ascertain the liability of the duty holders and recommend improvement measures. We will take actions pursuant to the law if there is any violation of the work safety legislation."
 
The general duty provisions of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance require employers to provide safe working environments, safe plant and safe systems of work for their employees. Those who contravene the above provisions are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for six months.
 
In regard to today's accident, the LD will issue a Work Safety Alert through its website and email, giving a brief account of the accident concerned to duty holders, workers' unions, professional bodies of safety practitioners and others, and reminding the industry of the importance of following safety precautionary measures to prevent recurrence of similar accidents.
 
The LD will also remind the employer concerned of the liability for employees' compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, assist family members of the deceased to claim employees' compensation and closely follow up on the case. For those with financial difficulties, the LD will assist them to apply for appropriate emergency funds. Subject to the needs and wishes of family members of the deceased, the LD will also liaise with the Social Welfare Department for financial or other assistance.
 
For the sake of securing the safety and health of employees at work, the LD appeals to employers to provide plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health. Employees should co-operate with their employers, adopt all safety measures and use personal protective equipment provided properly to avoid endangering their own work safety and that of other workers. 

 

Source: SCMP dated 9 Jan 2019

 
2019-01-01
Occupational Safety and Health Legislation
Labour Legislation - The Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, Chapter 59

The Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance provides for the safety and health protection to workers in the industrial sector. 

 

The Coverage

This ordinance applies to industrial undertakings, i.e. factories, construction sites, catering establishments, cargo and container handling undertakings, repair workshops and other industrial workplaces. 

 

General Duties

This ordinance imposes general duties on proprietors and persons employed at industrial undertakings to ensure safety and health at work. 

 

  1. Every proprietor should take care of the safety and health at work of all persons employed by him at an industrial undertaking by: 
    • providing and maintaining plant and work systems that do not endanger safety or health; 
    • making arrangement for ensuring safety and health in connection with the use, handling, storage or transport of plant or substances; 
    • providing all necessary information, instruction, training, and supervision for ensuring safety and health; 
    • providing and maintaining safe access to and egress from the workplaces; and 
    • providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. 
  2. Every person employed at an industrial undertaking should also contribute to safety and health at work by: 
    • taking care for the safety and health of himself and other persons at the workplace; and 
    • using any equipment or following any system or work practices provided by the proprietor.

 

Notification of Workplaces

  • A person having the management and control of a factory or other industrial establishment (but excluding a construction site) should notify the Commissioner for Labour in a prescribed form (obtainable from various district offices of the Occupational Safety Operations Division) before commencement of operation.
     
  • Any subsequent changes in the particulars of the workplace, e.g. its name, location or the industrial processes, should also be notified to the Commissioner for Labour in a prescribed form (obtainable from various district offices of the Occupational Safety Operations Division).
     
  • A contractor should notify the Commissioner in writing within 7 days after commencement of any construction work under the Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations. 
     

Subsidiary Legislation

Under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, there are 30 sets of subsidiary regulations covering various aspects of hazardous work activities in factories, building and engineering construction sites, catering establishments, cargo and container handling undertakings and other industrial workplaces. The subsidiary regulations prescribe detailed safety and health standards on work situations, plant and machinery, processes and substances. 

 

Click here for the full list of the 30 sets of regulations