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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

67 prosecutions stem from fatal crane collapse

67 prosecutions stem from fatal crane collapse

More than 60 prosecutions have been taken against relevant contractors, subcontractors and a number of individuals who were involved in a fatal crane collapse last September, which killed three workers and injured six others.
On September 7, one of three tower cranes tumbled onto several container offices at a construction site on Anderson Road in Sau Mau Ping, resulting in the death of three male workers.

Two of them died at the scene after resuscitation attempts, while another was taken to the hospital in a coma and died later that day. The six injured male workers included the tower crane operator.

The Labor Department said it has completed an investigation into the fatal incident and found that a welded joint had been pulled apart, causing the crane to fall.

The department said after consulting the Department of Justice, it has initiated 67 prosecutions against contractors, subcontractors and a number of individuals, under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance.

In order to further enhance the industry's vigilance on the safe use of tower cranes, a number of special inspections were conducted last year, targeting construction sites with tower cranes.

The department also reminded major contractor associations, trade unions and professionals of the safety-related points of tower crane usage.

Contractors and employers were reminded to provide non-hazardous installations and work systems to protect workers.

Additionally, employees are required to comply with all safety measures and make proper use of the personal protective equipment provided to avoid endangering their own and others' safety.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong Housing Society, which subsidized the fatal construction project, said there was no decision to replace the contractor and the project was expected to be completed in 2025/26.

He said that the three original cranes had ceased operation on the day of the incident. New cranes are expected to be installed in the middle of this month.

A series of measures will be taken to ensure site safety.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Frankie Ngan Man-yu said that the government's inspection of construction sites with tower cranes is an after-the-fact remedy. He suggested the government take the initiative to launch a "territory-wide site safety inspection campaign" to identify sites with potential risks to prevent the recurrence of tragedies.

And the Federation of Trade Unions Occupational Safety and Health Association suggested that authorities conduct a comprehensive review of the existing site safety management.

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