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Labour Department highly concerned about the fatal work accident that happened today
     The Labour Department (LD) is highly concerned about the work accident that happened at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge site this afternoon (March 29), in which a working platform installed at the bottom of the bridge deck under construction suddenly collapsed.  As a result, three workers fell with the working platform into the sea resulting in one fatality, one injury and one missing.  Another two workers working on the bridge deck also sustained injuries.
     The LD's spokesman said, "We commenced immediate on-site investigation as soon as we were notified of the accident and will issue suspension notices to the contractors/employers involved to suspend the associated work process.  The contractors/employers cannot resume the work process until the LD is satisfied that measures to abate the relevant risks have been taken."
     The spokesman added, "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 contractors and employers to provide safe working environments, safe plant and safe systems of work for their employees. Contravention of the above provisions is liable to a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for six months."
     The LD will step up inspections to construction sites involving works over or near water, and urge the contractors/employers concerned to take all necessary safety measures.  For today's accident, the LD will issue Work Safety Alert through its website and emails, giving brief account of the accident concerned to contractors, 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 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.
     The LD appeals that, for the sake of securing the safety and health of employees when they are at work, contractors and employers should 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.
Ends/Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Issued at HKT 21:43
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