Law and Enforcement

DRIVER FINED HK$8,000 FOR SILENCE OVER DEADLY POWER CABLE SMASH

A 37-year-old streetlight cleaner was killed as the driver of this truck drove between jobs with the platform raised

A truck driver involved in a deadly accident in February 2019 in which a streetlight maintenance worker was crushed against power cables has been fined HK$8,000 for refusing to provide information relating to the accident.

Sha Tin Magistrates Court fined Yeung Chung-lim for refusing to comply with requests made by Occupational Safety Officers (OSO) of the Labour Department, which was trying to determine the cause of the accident.

37-year-old Mr Chan left behind a wife and son

On 10 February 2019, near Tai Po, Mr Chan, 37, was working on a raised mobile platform cleaning streetlights for a CLP contractor.

According to CCTV footage of the scene, Yeung, the driver of the mobile platform, had driven from one worksite towards the next job with the platform still raisedΒ  – this would prove deadly, as the vehicle blundered into power cables.

Chan, on top of the platform, was electrocuted and fell to his death, being found at the scene with a fractured skull and his platform crushed by the impact of the power cables.

Yeung, then 35, was arrested at the scene for dangerous driving causing death but not charged. It is not known whether he will face further action relating to the accident – on Friday (18 December) he also faced another labour charge, “Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly failing to take care for the safety and health of person at workplace”, but his only punishment that day was the HK$8,000 fine for refusing to give information.

“We will not tolerate any offence of failing to comply with a requirement made by an OSO, and will spare no efforts in prosecuting persons who defy the law,” says a government spokesman.

Accidents involving raised platforms occur every few weeks: 14 other people were seriously injured on special-purpose vehicles such as roadworks vehicles and cleaning platforms in 2019.

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