A registered lift contractor, Otis Elevator Company (HK) Limited (Otis) and its registered lift engineer were fined $4,000 and $2,000 respectively at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (January 17) for contravening the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance (the Ordinance), a spokesman for Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) said today.
The case involved a lift incident at Heng Shan House, Heng on Estate, Ma On Shan, on January 11, 2009. Investigation by EMSD found that one of the four suspension ropes in lift No. 7 had broken. The failure was due to a lack of effective lubrication for the rope. As a result, the strands inside received excessive damage through rubbing, leading to the breakage of the suspension rope.
Following the incident, EMSD consulted the Department of Justice and initiated prosecution against Otis and its engineer. Otis was found contravening section 11J(1)(d) of the Ordinance for failing to carry out the maintenance and repair of the lift works, while the registered lift engineer was found contravening section 11A(1)(b) of the Ordinance for failing to examine the lift and test the safety equipment provided.
"EMSD attaches great importance to the safety of lifts and will continue stringent law enforcement to ensure that the public can enjoy safe and reliable lift service," a spokesman said.
To further enhance lift safety and reflect the severity of the offences, EMSD is now reviewing the Ordinance and proposes to increase the maximum penalty under the relevant clauses from $5,000 and six months' imprisonment to $200,000 and 12 months' imprisonment. The new bill is being drafted for introduction in the Legislative Council this year.
The investigation report for the Heng On Estate lift incident can be viewed on the EMSD's website: (http://www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/c_download/pps/le/Report_Chi_20090111_Final.pdf).
Ends/Monday, January 17, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:30