Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The main contractor and sub-contractors of the construction works at Queen Elizabeth Hospital caused noise nuisance by conducting works during holidays. They were convicted and fined a total of $60,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts today (October 26) for contravening the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO).
A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that the department received a public complaint this April against construction works being carried out during holidays at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Yau Ma Tei. EPD staff hence conducted a surprise check at a construction site in the hospital on a Sunday, and found a worker carrying out construction works using an electric grinder.
The emitted noise affected hospital users as the construction site was only 20 metres away from Block D of the hospital. In addition, the contractor and its sub-contractors did not possess a valid Construction Noise Permit (CNP). The EPD subsequently initiated prosecutions against the main contractor and its sub-contractors of the construction works under the NCO upon completion of evidence collection.
According to the NCO, anyone who uses powered mechanical equipment for construction works or carries out prescribed construction works (such as handling debris or hammering) in a designated area during restricted hours (between 7pm and 7am the next day on weekdays or any time on a public holiday) shall apply for a CNP.
The construction works shall commence only when the CNP has been granted upon completion of assessment to support that its noise level would comply with regulatory requirements. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000. A maximum fine of $200,000 may be imposed on second or subsequent convictions.
The spokesman reminded members of the construction sector that they should manage and arrange their works properly.
They should neither use powered mechanical equipment nor carry out prescribed construction works in a designated area during restricted hours. Even with a valid CNP, they should carry out works in strict accordance with the permit, and should also adopt practicable noise mitigation measures, including the erection of fences and noise barriers at the sites, to reduce the impact of noise on the public nearby as far as practicable.