Labour Department highly concerned about fatal work accident that happened today

     The Labour Department (LD) is highly concerned about the work accident that happened on a construction site in Gillies Avenue South, Hung Hom this afternoon (July 10), in which three male workers were killed while carrying out underground power cabling work. The LD is saddened by the death of the three workers in the accident and expresses its deepest sympathy to the victims’ families.

     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 involved to suspend the laying of underground power cable related works. The contractors 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. We will also step up inspections to similar sites; and will shortly arrange meetings with contractors engaged in such works, project proponents concerned and stakeholders of the industry to remind them to take appropriate safety measures to prevent the recurrence of similar accidents."

     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 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 has contacted the employer/contractors concerned and reminded them of the liability for employees' compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, and will 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.

Ends/Monday, July 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 21:55