Following is a question by the Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (April 13):
It has been reported that earlier on, a large-size glass door of a department store suddenly came off, crushing and injuring a passer-by. That accident has aroused public concern about monitoring of the safety of glass doors. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the casualty figures for accidents involving glass doors each year since 2011 and, in respect of such figures, the respective numbers of persons injured as a result of crushing by falling glass doors and pinching by electrically operated sliding glass doors;
(2) as the Code of Practice for Installation of Electrically Operated Sliding Gates, Sliding Glass Doors and Rolling Shutters (the Code) issued by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) was last revised in September 2003, and the EMSD has no statutory power to monitor the safety of electrically operated sliding glass doors, whether the authorities will review the relevant legislation and the Code, with a view to stepping up the monitoring of the safety of electrically operated sliding glass doors; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) whether the authorities will enact legislation to regulate, in a unified manner, the installation, maintenance and repair as well as safety concerning various types of manually and electrically operated glass doors, so as to enhance the protection of public safety; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
In general, the erection of a glass door at a fence wall or at an entrance of a building is considered as “building works” under the Buildings Ordinance (Chapter 123) and its subsidiary legislation. Regardless of whether the works concerned are ones that require the Building Authority's prior approval of plans and consent for commencement, minor works under the Minor Works Control System or exempted works, they are subject to regulation under the aforementioned legislation and the practice notes and codes issued by the Building Authority. In particular, the Building Authority has issued a practice note to provide guidelines for compliance by the building industry on the design, installation, maintenance and repair of metal gates at fence walls or entrances of buildings, which also apply to glass doors. The said practice note states that reference should be made to the Code of Practice for Installation of Electrically Operated Sliding Gates, Sliding Glass Doors and Rolling Shutters published by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (the EMSD Code) for electrically operated gates.
The reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:
(1) From 2011 to 2015, the numbers of casualties involved in accidents related to glass doors for which the Fire Services Department received calls requesting for its rescue assistance at the scene each year are as follows:
Year No. of No. of
persons injured persons killed
---- -------------- --------------
2011 2 0
2012 7 0
2013 11 0
2014 5 0
2015 3 0
Total 28 0
During the same period, the number of persons involved in reports received by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) alleging injuries caused by electrically operated glass doors are as follows:
Year No. of persons alleging injuries
caused by electrically operated glass doors
We do not have information on whether the two sets of figures above cover the same cases.
(2) and (3) As mentioned above, carrying out works related to glass doors are subject to the regulation of the Buildings Ordinance, as well as the practice notes and codes issued by the Building Authority. Where the Building Authority finds any works are in contravention of any applicable regulation, or the works have been rendered dangerous or are liable to become dangerous, he may, by order, require the owner of the building or premises to carry out rectification or remedial works. Therefore, we consider that there is no need to introduce new legislation to regulate works related to glass doors.
As far as the EMSD Code is concerned, the fact that only five reports of accidents due to electrically operated glass doors were received by the EMSD in the past five years, and that all such reports involved minimal injuries, shows that the risk of relevant accidents is very low. The electrically operated glass doors involved in the five accidents mentioned above were in compliance with the EMSD Code. The EMSD considers that the EMSD Code has provided sufficient guidelines for reference by the industry and members of the public.
Ends/Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:36