Worker dies after crane drops load

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2007, 12:00am

A worker died after being hit by metal frames dropped by a crane in the second fatal accident in a week involving a construction crane. The accident happened at a Kwun Tong building site when the frames, part of a bundle being lifted by the crane, broke free.

The death follows last Tuesday's collapse of a tower crane at the site of the former Mitsukoshi store in Causeway Bay, which killed two workers and injured five.

The Labour Department began a citywide inspection of all crane sites the day after the Mitsukoshi accident and has already inspected about 70 per cent of sites. No defects have been found.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the crane involved in yesterday's accident was found to be in good condition, indicating human error or operational mistakes might have been the cause.

It was the third accident in the past two months at the site, which is managed by Paul Y. Construction.

Hong Kong Construction Industry Employers General Union chairman Choi Chun-wa said there had also been a crane-related incident there last year.

Work on the How Ming Street site has been suspended.

The accident happened at about 2.50pm. A police spokeswoman said the man was knocked unconscious by the frames and was later declared dead by paramedics at the scene.

Police said they had found nothing suspicious and the Labour Department was following up the case.

The accident sparked renewed calls from the construction industry for better monitoring of high-risk work and tougher penalties on employers who breached the law.

Mr Cheung said contractors with a bad track record would be forbidden from bidding for public works contracts for a time.