Hong Kong has a long-established reputation as one of the safest cities in the world when it comes to crime. While you might be robbed online – romance and phishing scams are on the rise – the risk of becoming the victim of an actual robbery or violent crime is low. In 2021, there were 23 homicides in Hong Kong which has a population of 7.4 million. In London, which has a population of 8.9 million, 124 homicides were recorded between April 2021 and March 2022. According to a 2021 Safe Cities Index produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Copenhagen ranked first, Toronto was second and Singapore came third. Hong Kong came a creditable eighth. However, when it comes to workplace safety and freak accidents, it is a different story. Hong Kong’s safety statistics in this regard are grim, especially in the construction industry. Last year, there were 3,109 industrial accidents in which a total of 23 people were killed. In September, following an accident which killed three workers, the city’s Ombudsman, Winnie Chiu Wai-yin ordered a wide-ranging investigation into construction site safety. “The situation is worrying. Life is priceless, and there is no doubt that one fatal industrial accident is too many,” Chiu said. A review of the city’s occupational safety laws is underway which could see stiffer penalties imposed on employers for safety lapses that result in injury or death. The cosmetics industry has also faced backlash over unregulated beauty clinics in the wake of deaths related to medical beauty procedures. The worst blunder happened in 2012, when a 46-year-old woman died following a treatment that involved a blood transfusion. Known as CIK therapy, the procedure involves extracting and treating blood before re-injecting it. The woman paid about HK$50,000 (US$6,400) for the treatment, which clinics claim - without scientific evidence - can make you look younger while boosting the immune system. She was diagnosed with septic shock, and died of multiple organ failure. In 2020, the doctor who carried out the procedure was jailed for three and a half years. Also, last year a Hong Kong doctor was jailed for six years after a liposuction procedure - cosmetic surgery to remove body fat - killed a 32-year-old dance instructor. In a city of towering structures – Hong Kong has more than 9,000 high-rise buildings – window cleaning can be a dangerous, even fatal chore. Many domestic helpers - Hong Kong has 340,000 of them, mostly from Indonesia and the Philippines - have paid the ultimate price. In 2016, new laws were introduced banning domestic workers from cleaning the exterior of windows on high-rise flats above the ground floor following several deaths that year. But the problem persists. Last year, a domestic worker fell to her death from the sixth floor of her employer’s flat while cleaning balcony windows. Freak accidents have also befallen the city. In 2019, a young woman was killed when a window fell from a 16th-floor hotel room of The Mira Hong Kong in the bustling shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui. That incident caused a public outcry when it was revealed by the then secretary for development Michael Wong Wai-lun that about 59,000 notices ordering building owners to inspect their windows had been ignored. Another was in 2010 when a British schoolgirl was strangled to death when the scarf she was wearing got entangled in her speeding go-kart.