Industrial accidents in HK – 500 people killed since 1999

“Only one person has ever been given a jail sentence – and that was suspended – since incarceration was included in the industrial safety law in 1989, even though hundreds of workers have been killed while transforming Hong Kong into a modern city.

The confirmation by the Labour Department prompted calls from labour activists for Hong Kong to learn from Britain and make the HK$500,000 maximum fine in the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance unlimited…

…Official figures examined by the Post showed that about 500 people have been killed in industrial accidents since 1999, according to the latest data available.

Taking one example, 10 workers have lost their lives and 600 others have been injured since work started on the bridge linking Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau in 2010.

Prison provisions were added to the ordinance in 1989 to strengthen deterrence. The maximum term is 12 months. The law was first enacted in 1955.

The department confirmed that it was only in May this year that an individual was given a prison sentence…(1)

Industrial Accident On Barge Victoria Harbour SCMP 4th May 2016

One worker died and another was injured in an explosion on a barge in Victoria Harbour on 4th May 2016 Courtesy: SCMP

This article was first posted on 5th July 2017.


  1. More than 500 workers have died building modern Hong Kong, but no one goes to jail SCMP 5th June 2017


  1. Workers’ safety being ‘disregarded’ on Hong Kong-Macau bridge sites, watchdog says SCMP 31st March 2017
  2. How Hong Kong employers cut corners on safety and and hide workplace injuries SCMP 29th April 2016
  3. Three firms fined HK$89,000 over death of worker on Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge SCMP 29th January 2016

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Child Labour in Hong Kong – 1920s
  2. 1921 Explosion at Kowloon firecracker factory kills and injures fifty 
  3. The Hongkong and China Gas Company Ltd – explosion 14th May 1934, 42 killed
  4. 1939 Report on Labour and Labour Conditions in Hong Kong
  5. HR Butters – first Labour Officer and author of the 1939 Report on Labour and Labour Conditions in Hong Kong
  6. The Kowloon Canton Railway (British Section) 1910-1940 – major accidents/incidents
  7. The Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims
  8. Industrial Accidents in Hong Kong, Labour Dept bulletin, June 2013


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