Law and Enforcement


The gate which crushed a 43-year-old security guard to death when it fell, unsupported, from its rails

Labour Department (LD) has initiated five prosecutions against the “occupiers and employers” of a maternal health clinic car park where a woman was crushed to death under a sliding gate last August.

The 43-year-old victim was killed at the Yau Ma Tei Maternal Health Clinic on 15 August when the gate moved past its support brackets, causing the heavy metal structure to fall on top of her.

Simple safety stoppers, which could have prevented the gate hooks sliding beyond the rail end, were not fitted, against government safety advice. In fact, following a similar fatal incident at The Boxes mall in 2019, LD recommended all such sliding gates to have not one but two safety stoppers.

LD would not reveal which departments or employers were being prosecuted. But at the time of the tragedy, the government said the facility was run by Highways Department and that Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) was responsible for the gate maintenance. The clinic is run by the Department of Health.

A LD spokesman said the department “will not tolerate illegal acts, and will strictly enforce the law and do its utmost to protect the occupational safety and health of employees.”

Similar language was used about the successful prosecution of The Boxes incident, which saw the two management companies involved fined a total of $110,000 (US$14,000).

Following the woman’s death, EMSD ordered every such gate in Hong Kong to be inspected and safety stoppers fitted. At the time, EMSD could not say how many gates were affected.

Leave a Reply