Month: January 2015

Scouts Association admit 36 child abuse claims since 2012

The Scouts Association has issued an apology for child abuse within its movement after admitting that it has paid out over £500,000 in compensation to abuse victims in the last two years.

A spokesman for the Scouts said:

“We apologise to all those who have been abused during their time in
Scouting. The safety and support of young people in
Scouting is our number one priority.

“Any abuse of young people is abhorrent and we are deeply sorry for
anybody hurt by the actions of abusers. We strive to
ensure these abuses do not take place.”

Increase in historical child abuse claims

The apology has been issued in response to a BBC report claiming that over 50 victims have come forward to issue historical abuse claims against the Scouts following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Though the association has denied this figure, they have admitted that 36 claims have made since October 2012. This compares to the 12 other such claims it has received since its formation in 1907.

The apology also comes after allegations that perpetrators of sexual abuse within the movement were not reported to the police.

During the investigation into Martyn Tucker; a former scoutmaster who admitted 26 sex offences against boys in the 1960s and 1970s and who was jailed for 12 years in May this year, an internal file on the allegations from the Scout Association’s headquarters was uncovered. This included statements from a number of boys made at the time that had not been passed on to the police.

“We deeply regret this failure,” a spokesman said, giving a reassurance that the organisation was confident that mistakes of the past would not be repeated.

Merseyside sex offences

It is understood that, since the apology was issued, dozens more people have come forward to claim they were victims of child abuse. In addition to this, a Merseyside scout leader has since been found guilty of sexually molesting two teenagers.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court took under an an hour to unanimously convict Gavin Owen of two charges of sexual assault, and during his four-day trial the court heard that the 37-year-old had abused both boys after inviting them round to his home on separate occasions.

Advice and support from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you have any information regarding historical child sex abuse within the Scouts Association, and you would like expert guidance and valuable support going forward, please contact Greg Neill on 0151 242 1069 or via email: gregneill@hh-law.co.uk

We will ensure that your case remains confidential, and that all guilty parties are held accountable.

Care home prosecuted after death of vulnerable resident

The owner of a care home in Leicester has been in court after a vulnerable resident died from serious burns.

What happened?

In May 2012 85-year-old Walter Powley had been admitted to Western Park View care home after his occupational therapist had advised his family that his risk of falling was too great for him to be safely left home alone.

The court heard that four days after being admitted, Mr Powley fell in his room and became trapped between a wardrobe and a radiator.

He sustained serious injuries as a result, including burns right through the skin of his right leg from the radiator pipe and valves, along with burns to both legs from hot water leaking from the valve.

He died in hospital from his injuries eight days later.

An investigation into the incident found that he pipes and valves at the care home had not been covered, and were around 73 degrees centigrade to touch.

Additionally the care home was a aware that Mr Powley was at risk of falls, but the company failed to assess his room and take satisfactory action to control and manage any risks.

What was the outcome?

Western Park Leicester Ltd was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay a further £35,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE inspector, Dr Richenda Dixon, said:

“This was a foreseeable and preventable fatal incident. While most
of the residents at Western Park View are physically disabled
with limited mobility, Walter was not. He was more
mobile, and known to be so, hence at greater
danger from any risks in his room.

“The scalding or burning risks from the pipes were longstanding
and could have caused injury to any resident. Western Park
Leicester failed to heed published guidance from HSE
about the need to cover hot pipes and valves.
Had they been covered or boxed-in Walter’s
death could have been prevented.”

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New figures show that accidents in work have increased in the North West

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have shown that accidents in work are on the rise in the North West.

New statistics have revealed that in 2013/2014 15 people lost their lives while at work across the North West, and 9,432 were injured in the workplace. These figures compare to 14 deaths and 9,401 work-related injuries across the region in 2012.

In addition to this, approximately 120,000 have been made ill because of their work in the same period.
Figures across the whole of Great Britain were even more shocking, with 133 deaths at work in 2013/14, over 79,500 injuries and an estimate of 1.1 million people made ill.

The study also revealed that the most dangerous areas of work involved construction, manufacturing and waste management, and local employers have been urged to review whether they can do more to protect their workforce.

Areas of particular concern include falls from working at height; poorly maintained machinery and failing to satisfactorily manage workplace transport.

HSE’s Head of Operations for the North West, Steven Smith, said:

“The families of the workers in the North West who sadly lost
their lives last year have just had to spend the festive
period without their loved ones, while hundreds of
other workers were made ill through their work
or had their lives changed forever
by a major injury.

“The figures offer encouragement that we are continuing to
head in the right direction, but they also show that we
can still go further and challenge the industries
where there is room to do more.

“Workplace conditions have improved dramatically in the past
four decades, but as employers plan and prepare for the
new financial year they need to ensure that health,
safety and welfare is a clear focus.”

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

Manufacturing firm in court after employee suffers serious burns

A Highland manufacturing firm has been prosecuted after one of its employees suffered severe burns when tried to clear a blockage in an unguarded machine.

What happened?

Miroslaw Grzybowski had been working on a production line to heat-treat carbon fibres where the material is pulled through a series of ovens operating at increasing temperatures.

The 37-year-old noticed that the some of the material coming out of an oven had wrapped around one of the rollers. To fix the issue, he climbed through the barrier and began to move the material that had caught using his left hand.

However unaware that his hand was inside the machine, the deputy team leader instructed another operator to open the nip roller, narrowing the gap between two rollers and trapping Mr Grzybowski’s wrist.

He attempted to pull his left hand free using his right, but burnt that hand too. He was rushed to hospital with severe burns to the both of his wrists – which required skin grafts – and a first degree burn to the inside of his right forearm.

An investigation into the incident found that, although sufficient guarding had been installed on other production lines, the firm had failed to identify the risk on the line that Mr Grzybowski was working on.

Additionally, the firm had failed to put in place measure to ensure that access dangerous moving parts was prevented or controlled, or that the movement of those dangerous parts stopped before workers entered into the danger zone.

What was the outcome?

SGL Carbon Fibers Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £10,000.

HSE inspector, Mac Young, said:

“This incident was entirely foreseeable and therefore entirely preventable.
Where an employee is able to gain access to dangerous moving parts,
there is a risk of coming into contact with them. SGL Carbon
Fibers Ltd should have identified the risk posed to workers
on this particular production line and made sure it was
adequately guarded as they ad done on other lines.

“Suitable guarding coupled with adequate information, instruction and
supervision would have played a large part in avoiding this
incident. The injuries suffered by Mr Grzybowski were
further compounded by the high temperature
of the roller.”

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

Theme park sentenced after four-year-old suffers serious head injuries

Chessington World of Adventures has been prosecuted after a four-year-old girl suffered serious head injuries when she fell from a raised walkway.

What happened?

The child was queuing for a ride in the theme park when she fell nearly four metres through a gap in a wooden fence. She sustained extensive injuries including a fractured skull, bleeding to the brain and broken ribs, and remained in hospital for a month. She still needs extensive rehabilitation treatment and specialist support.

An investigation into the incident found that the fence palings had evidence of white and brown rot, and one of the palings had fallen out on the morning of the incident.

Additionally, despite tens of thousands of people visiting the park each year, an adequate system of checking and inspecting the fencing or a maintenance process to ensure faults were identified and rectified had not been put in place.

What was the outcome?

Chessington World of Adventures Operations Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £21,614>in costs.

Investigating HSE inspector, Karen Morris, said:

“This was a disastrous and horrifying incident for the child and her parents.
They had travelled from their home in Kent for a fun day out together
at this well-known attraction only to find themselves hours
later in an intensive care ward with their daughter.

“Quite simply, Chessington had insufficient measures in place to prevent
or control the risk of falling from the raised walkway in the
first place – and this was not just a couple of feet
from the ground but nearly four metres.

“This incident shows the importance of implementing robust systems
for checking and maintaining all aspects of rides, and this
includes the walkways and fencing associated
with queuing and where people gather.”

If you have suffered an accident at a theme park, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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Building firm fined after employee struck by digger

A building company has been prosecuted after one of its employees broke his back when he was hit by the bucket of a digger.

What happened?

RMC Building and Civil Engineering Ltd had been hired to install fencing around Longleat Estate in Warminster.

One of the three employees carrying out the work, Peter McGrellis, was holding one of the wooden fence posts whist the operator of the digger rested the bucket on top of the post and applied downward pressure to it.

As he was doing so the post split, which caused the bucket to slip and hit the 48-year-old on the shoulder, knocking him to the ground. He sustained serious injuries including a broken back, and was in hospital for over a week.

An investigation into the incident found that the firm had failed to plan, manage and monitor the erection of the fence. The method statement, prepared by the firm for the task, stated that a piece of equipment called a post driver was going to be used to drive the posts into the ground but that the digger may be used to position the posts. However, the post driver didn’t arrive until after the incident happened.

What was the outcome?

RMC Building & Civil Engineering Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,117.

HSE Inspector, Ian Whittles, said:

“The use of excavator vehicles in such a manner is dangerous and is
known to cause injury. The serious failure of RMC Building &
Civil Engineering in not managing this job properly led to
this avoidable incident and unfortunately
Mr McGrellis suffered as a result.

“Workers have a right to expect that the equipment they use is
appropriate for the task – on this occasion the equipment
used was clearly not suitable for the job.

“Anyone in control of construction projects must ensure the work
is properly planned and thoroughly risk-assessed
to avoid such incidents.”

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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Chocolate manufacturer in court after employee loses thumb

A chocolate and fudge manufacturing firm based in Leeds has been fined after one of its employees lost a thumb while cleaning an unguarded machine.

What happened?

46-year-old, Maria Pirie, had been cleaning one of the machines by herself for the first time, when she moved the ‘stirrer’ using the control buttons. As the stirrer moved, it sliced her thumb off and trapped it between the side of the vessel and the mechanism.

Though her thumb was surgically re-attached, it will never have the same functionality leaving her struggling with everyday tasks and having to learn to write with her opposite hand.

An investigation into the incident found that the firm had failed to properly guard the machine’s dangerous moving parts, and an accident could have been prevented by a simple interlocked guard – which the company later fitted.

In the food and drink industries, machinery and plant cause more than 30% of fatal injuries and more than 10% of major injuries each year.

What was the outcome?

Pecan Candy Deluxe (Europe) Ltd admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £627 in costs.

HSE inspector, Rachel Brittain, said:

“This incident need not, and should not, have happened. The company
could easily have prevented access to the dangerous parts of the
chocolate hopper by making sure it was effectively guarded.
It did not and Ms Pirie has suffered a painful
and lasting injury as a result.

“Preventing workers from getting too close to moving parts of machinery
is vital. Pecan Deluxe Candy had subject to an enforcement notice
on guarding before this incident but obviously didn’t
sustain the improvements required.

“Too many are injured, limbs are lost and even fatalities can and
do happen because employers fail to guard machinery adequately.
Employees must also be well trained and supervised.”

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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Packaging firm fined after employee hit by forklift

A packaging company based in Ebbw Vale has been in court after one of its delivery drivers was hit by a forklift truck at its premises.

What happened?

61-year-old Graham Williams had been collecting palleted products from Platt Packaging Ltd when the incident happened. He had taken a telephone call from his employer as he waited for his lorry to be loaded, when suddenly he was struck by a reversing forklift truck and knocked to the ground.

He sustained injuries to his leg, including a double fracture to his left ankle, and spent over a month in hospital. He is still unable to return to work.

An investigation into the incident found that the firm hadn’t implemented a satisfactory safe system of work for delivery operations at the site, and delivery drivers were not provided with instructions about safe places to be when forklifts were being used.

What was the outcome?

Platt Packaging Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,663 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Lee Schilling, said:

“The dangers associated with workplace transport are well-documented
in the industry. Incidents involving moving vehicles and
pedestrians on the same site have resulted in major
injuries, and even fatalities in the workplace.

“Platt Packaging should have provided a clearly marked, designated
safe zone for delivery drivers and implemented a safe system
of work that incorporated the need for communication
between the delivery driver and the
forklift operator.

“Had these basic safety requirements been fulfilled, the incident
would not have happened and Mr Williams
would not have been injured.”

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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Land Rover in court after worker’s life-threatening injuries

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd has been prosecuted after one of its employees suffered horrific crush injuries when he was dragged into unguarded machinery.

What happened?

After a series of frequent production line stoppages, the 57-year-old maintenance electrician had approached a gap in the perimeter guarding that surrounded the vehicle body lifting equipment, in order to investigate the issue.

As he did so, an empty vehicle body carrier on a circulatory chain conveyor that was travelling through the gap hit him and knocked him to the ground. He was then forcibly dragged through the gap into a restricted processing area where he was severely crushed.

He sustained life-threatening injuries, including punctures to both of his lungs, ten broken ribs and a broken breastbone.

Additionally he had blood clots on his heart and kidneys and was placed in an induced coma in intensive care for 12 days. He stayed in hospital for a further seven days but was back at work within 17 weeks.

What was the outcome?

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, and was fined £40,000 with £13,474 costs.

Judge Carr, who passed the sentence, said Jaguar Land Rover “fell far short of a safe and reasonable standard”, adding:

“This was an entirely reasonable, foreseeable situation. The breach
was an ongoing failure and an accident waiting to happen.”

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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Firm in court after employee left with broken ribs

A metal recycling company based in Lincolnshire has been fined after one of its employees fell from a conveyor belt and was left with broken ribs.

What happened?

The 49-year-old worker had been leaning on the top end of the conveyor belt in order to carry out important maintenance – as he was doing so the main power was switched on and the whole line, including the belt, was reactivated.

He fell from the belt and landed first onto a heap of scrap metal below, then onto the concrete floor, breaking ribs on both sides of his body in the process.

An investigation into the incident later found that the conveyor belt had not been isolated, and previous action against the firm had already been taken after it was found that there were no formal procedures for isolating the conveyors during maintenance.

What was the outcome?

BW Riddle was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £70,000 and ordered to pay £18,000 in costs.

HSE inspector, Neil Ward, said:

“The incident could easily have resulted in a death and
only luck saved this worker from more serious injury.

“Had the company put in place the correct, formal procedures
for locking off and isolating the conveyor belts, this
incident could have been prevented entirely.

“However, it is clear that while BW Riddle had complied with
previous enforcement action, the firm neglected safety
again and again, and disregarded lessons that
should have been learned from previous
HSE interventions.”

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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