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Contractor and its director heavily fined for carrying out demolition works in dangerous manner

Contractor and its director heavily fined for carrying out demolition works in dangerous manner

A contractor and its sole director, who demolished a New Territories Exempted House (NTEH) in a dangerous manner, were found guilty of an offence under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) (BO) at Fanling Magistrates' Courts last week and fined a total of $80,000.

Acting on a report, Buildings Department (BD) staff conducted a site inspection at Lo Tsz Tin, Tai Po on March 29 last year and found that the contractor, while carrying out demolition works on a three-storey NTEH, had not installed temporary shores to support the cantilevered structures. The partial demolition of the structural elements had been likely to cause a risk of collapse of the NTEH. The BD issued an order on the same day requiring the contractor to immediately cease works, and mobilised the government contractor the next day to provide emergency precautionary measures and demolish the remaining dangerous portion of the house. The cost was subsequently recovered from the owner.

Although demolition of NTEHs is exempted work that does not require prior approval and consent from the BD, adequate precautionary measures shall be provided before the commencement of works, and the demolition works shall be carried out by the contractor in accordance with the relevant code of practice to ensure public safety, a BD spokesman said today (April 24).

The contractor in this case, being directly involved in the demolition works, has contravened section 40(2B)(b) of the BO in carrying out the works in such manner as was likely to cause a risk of injury to persons or damage to property. As the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of its sole director, the director has also breached section 40(6) of the BO. Hence, the BD instigated prosecution action against both the contractor and its director in March 2018. They were convicted on April 17 and fined $50,000 and $30,000 respectively.

Pursuant to section 40(2B)(b) of the BO, any person directly concerned with any prescribed inspection, site formation works, piling works, foundation works or other form of building works, who carries out or has carried out such inspection or works, or authorises/permits or has authorised/permitted such inspection or works to be carried out, in such manner as is likely to cause a risk of injury to any person or damage to any property, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of $1,000,000 and to imprisonment for three years.

Pursuant to section 40(6) of the BO, where an offence under the BO committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect or default on the part of, any director, manager, or other officer concerned in the management of the body corporate, or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, the person concerned, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of the offence.

Ends/Tuesday, April 24, 2018