Hong Kong: Fatal Steel Collapse Prosecution

Anderson-Accident
Anderson-AccidentImage Source: HKFP

Synopsis:

Following a fatal steel segment collapse at a construction site in December 2022, Hong Kong’s Buildings Department (BD) concluded its investigation, leading to four prosecutions. The collapse occurred during dismantling, causing a worker’s death due to inadequate safety measures. Prosecutions under the Buildings Ordinance, with fines up to $1 million and potential imprisonment, were initiated against involved contractors and individuals. In a regrettable turn of events, the BD completed its investigation into the steel segment collapse that resulted in a worker's tragic death. The investigation revealed lapses in safety measures during the dismantling process, leading to the collapse. The BD has commenced legal action against the responsible entities and individuals, seeking justice under the Buildings Ordinance, aiming to hold them accountable for the incident. The prosecutions carry hefty fines and potential imprisonment under section 40(2B)(a) of the Ordinance.

Article:

In response to the devastating incident at a construction site on Tung Yuen Street in December 2022, the Buildings Department (BD) in Hong Kong concluded its investigation, uncovering critical lapses in safety measures during the dismantling of a steel segment. This unfortunate incident resulted in the tragic loss of a worker's life.

The investigation, conducted by the BD, revealed a failure in providing adequate precautionary measures during the dismantling process of the steel segment. Consequently, the collapse occurred, leading to the fatal incident.

In light of the investigation findings, the BD initiated four prosecutions under the Buildings Ordinance against involved contractors, sub-contractors, and individuals directly associated with the incident. The prosecutions, under section 40(2B)(a) of the Ordinance, carry significant penalties of up to $1 million in fines and potential imprisonment for three years.

The BD’s move for legal action comes after consultation with the Department of Justice, aiming to hold accountable those directly involved in the building works. This action underscores the BD’s commitment to ensuring compliance with safety regulations during construction activities.

The BD emphasized the importance of proper supervision and adherence to safety regulations during construction, urging contractors and individuals involved in building works to follow the Building Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation for ensuring public safety.

Additionally, the BD took stringent measures against the general building contractor, refusing their registration renewal and removing their name from the Register of General Building Contractors. This action prevents the contractor from engaging in any further building works.

The Labour Department, parallelly involved in the investigation, initiated prosecutions against relevant duty holders under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, further stressing the significance of safety compliance in the workplace.

The trial for the related case is scheduled for January 16, 2024, following a series of legal actions initiated by both the Buildings Department and the Labour Department, emphasizing the gravity of the incident and the pursuit of justice.

Conclusion:

The aftermath of the steel segment collapse at a construction site in Hong Kong has led to legal action against involved contractors and individuals. The investigations, initiated by the Buildings Department and Labour Department, highlight the imperative need for strict compliance with safety measures to ensure the well-being of workers and the public in construction environments.

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