Safety Breaches Lead to Fatal Industrial Accident, Contractor Suspended
Suspension Announced Following Fatal Accident
In a tragic industrial accident that recently took place in West Kowloon, two male workers in their sixties lost their lives. The workers, who were employed by Shuaijian Electrical Engineering Co., Ltd., are suspected to have inhaled high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, resulting in their fatalities. This unfortunate occurrence led to the Development Bureau suspending the contractor’s qualifications for tendering engineering works.
The Unfortunate Sequence of Events
The fatal accident occurred on a Sunday at the underground pipeline at 1 Hoi Shing Road West, West Kowloon. The workers, identified as Liu Haoxiang, 63, and Guo Huaji, 61, were tasked with replacing seawater cooling pipes in the air-conditioning system of a facility known as “Element”. The workers embarked on their maintenance operation at 10 am on a Saturday, but due to suspected incomplete safety procedures, they were not found until the following afternoon. It was only when another worker attempted to locate them that they were discovered unconscious in the pipeline. The family of the victims, realizing they had not returned home for the night, contacted the company for information. The tragedy was revealed the next day when other workers found the two men unconscious in the pipeline.
Development Bureau Takes Action
A spokesperson from the Development Bureau announced the suspension of the contractor’s bidding qualification in response to this fatal industrial accident. The contractor is now required to conduct an independent safety audit to review its safety management system and submit an improvement plan based on the audit results. The bureau will consider reinstating its bidding qualification once it is satisfied that an effective safety management system is in place.
The Development Bureau further elaborated that the regulatory action of suspending bidding qualifications applies not only to future tenders but also to engineering contracts that the contractor has already bid for but have not yet been approved. The government emphasized that it will continue to follow up seriously on the incident and will take further regulatory action against the contractor involved depending on the investigation results of this fatal industrial accident. Such actions could include extending the suspension of bidding qualifications or even removal from the “approved list”.
Implications and Future Actions
The fatal accident and the consequent regulatory actions underline the importance of adhering to safety procedures in industrial operations. The suspension of the contractor’s bidding qualifications is a significant measure that underscores the government’s commitment to the safety of workers. It sends a strong message to all contractors about the serious consequences of safety breaches. With the ongoing investigation, further measures may be implemented based on the findings, aiming to prevent similar accidents in the future and ensuring the safety of workers.
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