Date
22 September 2017
Investigators said the man tried to step on a concrete canopy on the outer wall and slipped. They found nothing suspicious. Photo: HKEJ/Screen shot of TVB News video clip
Investigators said the man tried to step on a concrete canopy on the outer wall and slipped. They found nothing suspicious. Photo: HKEJ/Screen shot of TVB News video clip

Man, 67, plunges to death while cleaning windows

A 67-year-old retiree fell to his death while cleaning the windows of his flat in Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom.

A resident of the private housing estate found the man lying unconscious on a flower bed at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday and notified a security guard who then called the police, Apple Daily reports.

Paramedics rushed him to Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Investigations revealed the man lived on the 11th floor of Phase 9 Lily Mansions with his wife and two children.

He was home alone when the accident took place.

Police found the windows of the three-bedroom flat open with some cleaning products near the window of the master room. This led them to believe that he accidentally fell from a window while cleaning it.

Investigators said he tried to step on a concrete canopy on the outer wall and slipped. They found nothing suspicious.  

In May, a Filipino woman fell to her death while cleaning a window in a Mong Kok flat.

Since the beginning of the year, the government has implemented measures to protect domestic helpers from improper requests to clean the exterior of windows in high-rise buildings.

One clause in new the contracts requires that unless windows are on the ground floor, balcony or corridor, only windows with locked grilles can be cleaned by maids. Another clause states that no part of the helper’s body will be outside the window except the arms.

Po Lai-wan, former vice chairman of the Hong Kong Domestic Workers General Union who has nearly 30 years’ experience in home cleaning, said similar accidents result from human negligence most of the time and can be prevented, Apple Daily reported.

Po urged window cleaners to reach out their hands only but not stick their bodies out under any circumstances, nor should they stand on a stool or wear high heels when performing the job.

A window-cleaning robot that mimics human hands performing window cleaning is available in the market for about HK$4,000.

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TL/JC/RA

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