More glass falls from luxury high-rises

Scaffolding surrounds the Soho38 window. Photo: Nora Tam

Panes of glass from two more luxury high-rise blocks have fallen off, with one crashing down onto the alfresco dining area of a SoHo restaurant, injuring one of its staff.

Sunday, 9 June, 2013, 6:27am

Chinese taking a dimmer view of City of Lights

Chinese taking a dimmer view of City of Lights

Paris is most often the first stop for China's nouveaux riches as many embark on their overseas trip of a lifetime. The city encapsulates all that Europe promises: history, culture, romance and luxury. But each step from the hotel to the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre to the Louis Vuitton store is increasingly fraught, thanks to greater attention from thieves and pickpockets. It is a matter French authorities have to deal with urgently if they want their country to remain an important destination for Chinese tourists.

2 Jun 2013 - 3:59am 1 comment

Complexities of small-house issue are no excuse for government to back off

More than 100 angry New Territories indigenous residents of the New Territories hold their umbrellas under the rain and protest outside Legco Building about the small-house policy, Central. Photo: Martin Chan

What does the word "temporary" mean to you? In the case of the small-house policy, it means 40 years and more. It was first introduced in Hong Kong as a temporary measure to address housing needs of indigenous villagers in the New Territories. Today, it has been criticised as unsustainable and outdated.

7 May 2013 - 2:23am

Dhaka, UN and clothing plant owners to enact labour safety plan

Members of the Bangladeshi Army and fire fighters carry the body of a garment worker as heavy equipment is brought in to remove debris following an eight-storey building collapse in Dhaka. Photo: AFP

The Bangladeshi government, clothing factory owners and the United Nations labour agency agreed to enact a plan to ensure labour safety as the death toll from the previous week's building collapse near Dhaka climbed to 610.

6 May 2013 - 4:06am

The shame of Sichuan's tofu schools

Tang Yulan, 40, weeps amid the ruins of Beichuan Middle School, a month after losing her only daughter in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. About 4,700 schoolchildren died when more than 7,000 schools collapsed. Photo: Ricky Chung

Five years after the deadly earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan, dozens of parents are still seeking justice for children who died when their shoddily built schools collapsed. Other families, however, have abandoned their struggle over the years, under immense pressure from the government.

6 May 2013 - 12:07pm 3 comments

Contractors 'avoiding responsibility' over deaths of construction workers

Chan Kam-hong, Chief Executive of Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims

It's time Hong Kong placed criminal liability for work-site deaths squarely on the shoulders of individuals, justice officials say.

28 Apr 2013 - 5:50am 5 comments

Hazards in the home

Baby CPR classes at Annerley, taught by Joyce Moir (below, right).Photo: Jonathan Wong

Accidents happen every day, and children, being naturally curious and often oblivious to danger, are especially vulnerable. Yet few parents in Hong Kong have an understanding of basic emergency first aid. "Most people think [mistakenly] nothing life-threatening will happen to their children."

9 Apr 2013 - 9:31am 1 comment

Time to take a long, hard look at your bank's track record

Time to take a long, hard look at your bank's track record

Recent events in Cyprus remind all of us that you cannot always count on the cash in the bank. It is vulnerable to bank runs, financial crises, institutional failures and government edicts - of which recent Asian history provides many, many examples.

8 Apr 2013 - 3:09am

Jobs that can ruin your health

Jobs that can ruin your health

Work is not something we associate with ill health. Physical and mechanical hazards aside, we would not immediately link our working environment with problems like diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

2 Apr 2013 - 10:37am

New corporate boxes spark fears of crush at Hong Kong Stadium

The new boxes at Hong Kong Stadium's North Stand. Photo: Nora Tam

The sprawling block of corporate suites was erected this year above the North Stand, which has only three narrow ground-floor entrances. The extension encroaches into the public thoroughfare just a few metres from the stadium's main entrance.

24 Mar 2013 - 6:41am

Speed increase on Harbin to Dalian rail line delayed

Winter weather is being blamed for the speed delay. Photo: Xinhua

The 50 per cent speed increase on the high-speed rail from Harbin to Dalian, originally scheduled for April 1, is likely be postponed for operational and safety reasons.

24 Mar 2013 - 6:56am

Shenzhen construction on hold after alert over cheap sand in concrete

An artist's impression of the Pingan Financial Centre.

More projects are likely to be affected as the Shenzhen government ordered a citywide inspection into the practice, which they said was common throughout the Pearl River Delta. Untreated sea sand contains high levels of salt and chloride that could corrode steel reinforcements, causing buildings to collapse.

16 Mar 2013 - 4:57am 1 comment

Lessons in safety need to be learned again

Blocks on Ma Tau Wai Road are being demolished following the fatal collapse. Photo: David Wong

Whenever a terrible disaster occurs, whether it is a fatal blaze or ferry collision, the questions asked are the same. How did it happen? Is anyone responsible? And above all, how can it be avoided? It is as much about doing justice to those who suffer as learning our lesson. It is imperative that no questions are left unanswered.

11 Mar 2013 - 3:16am

Taken for granted, lift safety needs attention

Worker blocked a lift after lift accident at Choi Hook Royal Banquet in North Point. Photo: Nora Tam

Lifts are indispensable to a city such as ours, crowded with high-rise buildings. When we step into a lift - whether in an office tower, a residential block, or shopping mall - we move up and down within seconds, usually without any safety problems. The accident in which a lift carrying seven people plunged down an old building in North Point on Saturday reminds us that we should not take this convenience for granted. An 82-year-old man is still in a critical condition.

6 Mar 2013 - 2:51am

Luxor tragedy puts safety of hot-air balloons in doubt

Luxor tragedy puts safety of hot-air balloons in doubt. Photo: AFP

Although a journey by balloon has become one of the images most strongly associated with the film, this iconic symbol was never deployed in the book by Verne himself - the idea is briefly raised but dismissed, as it "would have been highly risky and, in any case, impossible".

3 Mar 2013 - 5:14am