Health and Safety Laws Hong Kong

Health and Safety Law Hong Kong

Health and safety prosecutions in Hong Kong are brought by the Labour Department based on inspections or as a result of workplace accidents. 

Defending construction companies, manufacturing and industrial enterprises, joint venture participants and even food & beverage manufacturers and restaurants in the magistracy as a result of summons actions are at the core of my practice.

Almost every single defendant AJ Halkes has ever represented already had in place significant measures and steps that can be advanced in defence of any allegations. Establishing the facts initially, looking at dimensions of impact with regard to insurance claims, personal injury claims, government tendering scores and any reputational damage, let alone business impact; is absolutely essential.

Having assisted defendants facing prosecution in working out the best tactical approach to such prosecutions or allegations for decades, Adrian consistently deploys a pragmatic, commercial and business-like approach to any advice on decision-making, overlaid with his understanding of the legislation, previous precedent cases, and likely outcomes based on his sector relevant experience.

Notable Cases

Reclamation Project

Successfully defended two major contractors that were parties to the three-way joint venture principal contractor of the Central Reclamation Phase 3 site.  The two defendant companies were prosecuted, together with a subcontractor that employed the deceased worker, for failing to take precautions necessary to prevent workmen from being struck by falling material or objects, under regulation 49 of the Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations (Cap 59I).  The worker was killed in an unfortunate accident in which an unsecured piece of wooden plank fell from 10.7 metres above and struck the worker in the head.  The Court found that the subcontractor co-defendant had ‘direct control’ of the “site within the site” to which only workers under its employ had access at the time of the accident and had failed to take necessary precautions.  The two joint venture participants were found not guilty after the Court had concluded that they had discharged their duties.

Worker injury

Successfully defended two contractors that were participants in a joint venture principal contractor in relation to the construction of the North Lantau Hospital in a prosecution brought by the Labour Department under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap. 59).  The case concerned an unfortunate accident in which a worker was found in a false ceiling after extensive searching by site staff in an area of the building, where no work had been assigned on the day.  The worker was found to have cut through a live electrical wire with a pair of pliers in the false ceiling and was electrocuted.  The Court found the defendant companies not guilty as they had discharged their duties and could not have prevented the deceased worker from acting outside of instructions and going to an area of the site where no work had been scheduled and where nobody had anticipated he would go.