Workers’ Compensation for Non-fatal Accidents on Non-fatal Accidents: Review of Hong Kong Court Cases

Rita Yi Man Li


Hong Kong is notorious for her high construction accidents rates. Although the accidents rate has dropped from 350 per 1000 workers in mid 1980 to 60 per 1000 workers in 2007, it still accounted for nearly one-fifth of all the industrial accidents in Hong Kong. Contractors were economically pressed and battered by exorbitant compensation over the years. This paper presents a comprehensive study of non-fatal accidents compensation court cases from 2004 to 2008. Although approximately one-third of the cases with injured persons aged between 47 and 56, the percentage of court cases over construction employees by age group was highest in age group 17-26. In terms of trade of workers, General laborers/causal workers stood the highest, then came electrical technicians and painters/decorators/plasterers. The highest rates of injury were falling from height and hitting by falling objects. Increasing from HK$10,997,637 in 2004, the total compensation reached the peak of HK$39,643,353 in 2006. The heaviest compensation was HK$13,800,000 among 101 cases. Most of the victims were compensated under loss of earnings and Pain Suffering and Loss of Amenities. While general labourers marked the highest number of cases, less than one-fourth of them were awarded compensation which exceeded HK$1,500,000. Four out of seven steel benders who filed court cases, however, received compensation greater than HK$1.5 million for each case. Those who were struck by objects had relatively the highest chance to be compensated with a huge sum of money.

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