Month: August 2014

Gold Standard for Hampson Hughes Solicitors

Hampson Hughes Solicitors, specialists in no win no fee personal injury compensation, has been awarded the Investors in People Gold standard.

It now joins the top 7% of accredited organisations from across the UK who believe in realising the potential of their people.

The accolade is a huge coup for the Liverpool based law firm, which was set up by childhood friends Paul Hampson and John Hughes in 2009.

Just 28 years old at the time, the two solicitors moved back into family homes in Huyton in order to be able to afford the rent at a small office above a double glazing shop in Woolton Village.

Through hard work and continually reinvesting in its people, Hampson Hughes Solicitors now employs 223 staff at its Edward Pavilion offices based on the Albert Dock.

Commenting on the new kite mark, John Hughes said: “We’re thrilled to receive this award as much of the success of Hampson Hughes Solicitors can be attributed to its people, many of whom have grown with the business and now hold senior positions within the firm.

“Entrepreneurial by nature, we’re deliberately not run like a traditional law firm, which means innovation can come from any part of the business and we activity encourage and reward good ideas that contribute to the continued growth of the company.”

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Hampson Hughes Solicitors on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. Hampson Hughes Solicitors should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Steve Burrows, Managing Director of Investors in People North of England said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Hampson Hughes Solicitors and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that good people make a great business and as a proven organisational development framework, Investors in People is designed to help organisations and their people to realise potential, enhance performance and meet goals. With their Gold accreditation, Hampson Hughes Solicitors is certainly working to realise their people potential.”

For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.co.uk

Roofing company fined for employee warehouse fall

A roofing company based in Bristol has appeared in court after an employee fell through a warehouse roof light.

What happened?

An employee of Mitie Tiley Roofing LTD was carrying out patch repair work on the roof of an empty warehouse located in the west end of Edinburgh. During his shift the employee stepped on an unsafe light fitting situated on the warehouse’s flat roof, and fell through to the floor below sustaining serious injuries.

An investigation into the incident found that satisfactory risk assessment had not been carried out by the Bristol-based firm, and the system of work proved to be unsafe.

The court heard that, had the firm put adequate precautions in place the incident could have easily been prevented.

What was the outcome?

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Working At Height Regulations 2005 at Edinburgh Sheriff court, and was fined £10,000.

Gary Aitken, Head of the COPFS Health & Safety Division, stated:

“This was an accident that resulted in severe injury to an employee
and which could have been avoided if the appropriate
protective measures had been in place at the time.

“Thankfully the employee has since made a full recovery and the
company has introduced new risk assessments and has
put into practice safe systems of work.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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Housing company fined after balcony collapses in Blackpool

A resident of Newby Place flats in Blackpool could have been seriously injured when a second floor walkway collapsed from beneath him.

What happened?

Andrew Bleasedale was entering his front door in May 2012, when he felt the balcony floor below him move. As he jumped into his flat, he looked behind him and saw that the floor had collapsed.

An investigation into the incident found that Blackpool Coastal Housing Ltd had known that the walkways in that building were dangerous for several years, but had not put any measures in place to make them safe for residents.

The court heard that the firm had taken over responsibility for the flats from Blackpool Borough Council five years before. Though many structural problems were identified by a structural engineer organised by the council previously, Blackpool Coastal Housing failed to carry out any repairs.

Another structural engineering consultant was brought in a year later in September 2008 to design a temporary propping solution for the balconies but, once again, the safety recommendations were not implemented.

Work to replace the balconies was finally commissioned in in 2012, but although the site manager had reported concerns that all the balconies of the flats may be unsafe, the firm once again failed to take action.

During the investigation into the incident, documents showing that the company were aware of safety failings were recovered from as far back as February 2006.

What was the outcome?

Blackpool Coastal Housing Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £27,821.25 in prosecution costs after.

Afterwards Mr Bleasedale said:

“I made complaints about the condition of the balcony several
times before the collapse as it was leaning to the
extent that I felt the need to walk near to
he wall because of the slope.

“When the balcony fell away from under my feet, a gas pipe
also ruptured and I could see gas escaping. I waited
in my flat and was later rescued by
the emergency services.

“After the collapse, I was put into a guesthouse for several
months and stayed in a total of five different rooms,
which totally unsettled me. The whole affair
completely ruined my summer and my
daughter’s 21st birthday.

“Newby Place was a good community. People were friendly with
each other and often my neighbours would sit outside
their front doors chatting, so it’s a
miracle no one was hurt.”

If you have been affected by an public negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Firm and its director in court after scaffold collapses in street

A firm based in Cambridgeshire and its director has been in court after a scaffold collapsed into a road.

What happened?

The 11 metres long and 4.5 metres high scaffold fell across the pavement and onto the road in Stretham, just three days after it was erected in front of a house by Crusaders Scaffolding Ltd and its director, Gary Driver.

An investigation into the incident found that the scaffold had not been securely attached to the house in any way, and plastic sheeting had been tied to the outside of the two-storey structure to protect passes by. The plastic, however, acted as a sail and caused the scaffold to blow over in the wind.

What was the outcome?

Crusaders Scaffolding Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 200, and was fined a total of £7,500 and ordered to pay £526 in costs.

The director of the firm, Gary John Driver, was fined £5,000 with £500 costs after also pleading guilty to the same breaches.

HSE inspector, John Berezansky, said:

“It was extremely fortunate that no-one was working on the
scaffold at the time and that no-one or nothing was hit
when it fell. This is a busy High Street used by
children to get to and from the local school.

“Had the scaffold fell during the morning or afternoon
school run it could have been a different story.

“The scaffold fell well below the required standard.
In essence, Crusaders Scaffolding created an
unsecured sail that fell over in the wind.

“Gary Driver was directly involved in the commissioning and
construction of the scaffold. The risks associated with
scaffolding are well known in the industry and to
have not secured the structure was
a basic error.”

If you have been affected by an accident such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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