Month: April 2015

Council fined after employee is thrown from a tractor

Bristol City Council has landed in court for safety failings after a park keeper sustained serious injuries when she was thrown from a tractor.

What happened?

The 51-year-old worker had been driving the tractor with a trailer attached in order to carry out maintenance work. As the tractor descended a slope she braked, but the vehicle skidded and overturned, throwing her from the seat.

She broke her pelvis and suffered injuries to an Achilles tendon. She remained off work for a year but has since returned to an office-based role.

An investigation into the incident found that the tractor had not been fitted with a seat belt or any other form of restraint. Additionally, no training had been provided by the council of how to properly use the tractor.

What was the outcome?

Bristol City Council admitting two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,700 in costs.

HSE inspector Kate Leftly, said:

“This incident was entirely preventable and has caused the worker
considerable suffering and distress. She had trained three
years for her park keeper role but is now office-bound
and will need further surgery on the tendon
requiring a 12-18 month recovery.

“Every year, there are accidents involving transport in the workplace, some
of which result in people being injured or even killed. People fall
from vehicles, are knocked down, run over, or crushed against
fixed parts, plant and trailers.

“Bristol City Council had inadequate systems in place to ensure operators
were suitably trained in the use of this equipment and failed
to identify the need for a suitable seat restraint.”

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

Source: View article

£13m compensation awarded to mum of two after NHS blunders left her children severely disabled

A mum of two children who were left with lifelong disabilities due to medical errors at birth, has finally won £13million compensation.

What happened?

Paula McKay is a full-time carer for her daughter Natasha, 24, and son Patrick, 23 – both of whom have cerebral palsy after being starved of oxygen as they were delivered by the same obstetrician a year apart.

Though the now-defunct NHS trust admitted liability for Patrick’s condition; awarding him £6m, Mrs McKay had a difficult battle when it came to Natasha.

The complex medical errors that left her brain damaged did not emerge until some years later, but after two decades of campaigning she has finally won £7million.

Paula said:

“I’m relieved I no longer have to worry about what will happen
when I’m not here anymore and both will have access
to the specialist care they need and deserve.

“Also it will ensure Natasha receives excellent ongoing care that
won’t ever be affected by budget cuts. Natasha and Patrick
have been through so much in their lives and it’s been
heartbreaking to see them suffer at times due
to the injuries they were left with.”

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email medicalnegligence@hampsonhughes.com

Worker’s severed hands lands firm in court

A recycling company based in Southampton has been in court after serious safety breaches led to one of its workers losing both hands while cutting metal strips on an industrial baler.

What happened?

Ivan Menendez, who was working as an operative for Metal Processing Ltd, caught his hands in the shear point as a hydraulic-powered baler lid lowered and met the corner of the baler. The lid had a maximum sheer force of 76 tonnes, and severed his hands at the wrists.

He was rushed to hospital where doctors successfully reattached his hands, but he will require further treatment and will never regain full use of his hands again.

An investigation into the incident found that the system used to cut the strips of metal using the sheer point of the baler was fundamentally flawed – despite it being regularly used. There had been no direct line of sight between the operator who closed the baler lid and the hands of the worker loading the metal strips.

In addition to this, the 38-year-old had been shown what to do by practical demonstration and supervision, however he had not seen or read the operating manual which says that baling machines should only be operated by one employee.

HSE served an immediate enforcement notice on the company after the incident stopping any more hand-feeding of the metal for shearing on the baler by the workforce.

What was the outcome?

Metal Processing Ltd admitting breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, in connection with Mr Menendez’ incident, along with a further two breaches in connection with a separate lead poisoning incident.

It was fined a total of £35,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.

HSE inspector, Michael Baxter, said:

“This was a horrific incident which has resulted in lifelong debilitating
injuries for Mr Menendez. It has been understandably
devastating for him and his family.

“The immediate cause was an inherently unsafe system of work, which
was contrary to the manufacturer’s operating instructions and
the safety instructions on the machine.

“In addition there was also an issue with guidance provided by the
British Metal Recycling Association and I am glad to say they
are revising this to bring it into line with ours.

“When working with lead employers must ensure that they and their
employees have fully understood the requirements of the
Control of Lead at Work Regulations and the control
measures necessary to avoid contamination.”

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

Source: View article

Farming company fined after woman’s life-changing head injuries

A farming firm has landed in court after the fiancée of one of the company directors suffered serious head injuries after she lost control of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) while not wearing a helmet.

What happened?

The woman, who doesn’t wish to be named, remained in hospital for ten days and was unable to return to work for seven months after the ATV that she was driving crashed and rolled, throwing her onto the road.

Devon farms failed to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive, which only became aware of what happened after Devon and Cornwall Police made contact with them.

After an investigation, it became clear that the ATV was poorly maintained, with longstanding defects to the brakes and steering. It was described by a police vehicle examiner as being in ‘a dangerous and un-roadworthy condition’.

Additionally, the director’s fiancée had received no formal training in the use of an ATV and had no helmet was made available for her to wear.

What was the outcome?

The firm was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £483 after pleading guilty to breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.

The prosecuting HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, said:

“This was an entirely preventable injury and it is by
fortune that it was not a fatality.

“ATV’s are incredibly useful to the farming industry but it is essential
that they are properly maintained with regular
checks to ensure they are safe.

“Farmers should not wait for something to go wrong before maintaining
an ATV. Anyone who uses an ATV should be properly trained and
always wear a helmet. If you have an accident on an ATV
wearing a helmet could save your life or
prevent a serious head injury.”

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

Source: View article

Worcestershire historical abuse allegations: St Gilbert’s school under investigation

About St Gilbert’s – St Gilbert’s, Worcestershire, was a Roman Catholic educational and correctional facility in operation between the mid-1940s and 1975. The institute housed “delinquent” children aged 11-15 years, who were typically sentenced to serve up to 3 years for petty crimes.

St Gilbert’s child abuse allegations – former youth offenders who were sent to St Gilbert’s have alleged abuse at the hands of the De La Salle order of Christian Brothers, which ran the school. Superintendent Steve Eccleston, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People, commented:

“West Mercia Police launched an investigation into abuse at St Gilbert’s
School after receiving information from the BBC and also
directly from victims of abuse at the school.“A number of people have come forward to report abuse and an
investigation is ongoing into the full circumstances
and nature of that abuse.”

What is De La Salle?

De La Salle is a Roman Catholic organisation dedicated to providing educational services to children.The De La Salle website states that over 5,000 De La Salle Brothers currently work with more than 900,000 students worldwide. Following the allegations, De La Salle released a statement:

“The order reaffirms its unreserved condemnation of abusive behaviour
and its unreserved apology to victims and their families,
along with its commitment to support them.”

History of St Gilbert’s

1945: the Home Office designates St Gilbert’s as an ‘approved’ school for Roman Catholic “delinquent” boys. The institute had been owned and run by De La Salle since 1944.

1969: ‘approved school system’ abolished. Responsibility for ST Gilbert’s transfers from the Home Office to Hereford and Worcester County Council. De La Salle continues to operate.

1975: De La Salle ceases operations at St Gilbert’s. The estate is sold to Worcestershire County Council (the school was later closed in 1986, and now serves as residential premises).

St Gilbert’s child abuse – the allegations

Joe Riley, 68, was the first to speak out about abuse at St Gilbert’s. Having been found guilty of housebreaking and vandalism, Mr Riley was sent to St Gilbert’s in 1959 at the age of 12. Whilst in the care of De La Salle, Mr Riley alleges sexual abuse at the hands of the headmaster, another Brother, and a visiting priest. Many more allegations have since been made by men who attended St Gilbert’s as children, although much of the information about these claims has not been released.

The Home Office has stated:

“If anyone has been a victim of abuse, or knows of any abuse that has taken
place at St Gilbert’s approved school, they should report it to
the police so it can be properly investigated.”

Expert legal advice from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you attended St Gilbert’s, and if you experienced any physical abuse or psychological trauma, Hampson Hughes Solicitors can help. We provide dedicated legal services in cases of abuse. Remember, your identity is protected under UK law, and we guarantee complete confidentiality.

Contact us today for a free and informal conversation about your potential claim.

Tel: 0800 888 6 888
Email: info@hh-law.co.uk
Linked article: Operation Xeres – Staff From Ten Nottinghamshire Care Homes Face Allegations Of Historic Abuse

Sources:

BBC news

Worcester news

delasallebrothers.com

Hertfordshire firm fined after worker’s arm dragged into machine

A packaging firm in Hertfordshire has been in court after one of its employees broke his arm in a poorly guarded mailing machine at a factory in Melbourn.

What happened?

Harry Bracewell had been operating a mailing machine that processes rolls of plastic film into sealable plastic bags by cutting the film to size and applying glue on one edge.

As he attempted to hand-clean a moving belt on the machine, his hand and arm was pulled between a roller and the belt. He suffered serious crush injuries and sustained a compound fracture to his right arm.

The 20-year-old underwent surgery to have metal plates inserted into his arm as a result of the incident, and now struggles with lifting and cannot sleep without medication.

An investigation into the incident found that it could have easily been avoided with better guarding of the machine.

The court heard that, while Ampac had identified the risk of entanglement from the moving belts to the underside of the machine, the area where his arm was caught had not been guarded to prevent access.

What was the outcome?

Ampac Security Products Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, 1998, and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £2328 in costs.

Health and Safety Inspector, Sandra Dias, said:

“No matter what industry you work in, machinery should
always be adequately guarded to prevent injury.

“It is also important that adequate training is provided to employees
– especially when they are operating machinery that differs
from what they may have used before.”

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

Source: View article

Operation Xeres – staff from ten Nottinghamshire care homes face allegations of historic abuse

Operation Xeres – Nottinghamshire Police is investigating claims of historic child abuse alleged to have taken place across ten Nottinghamshire care homes between 1940 and the 1990s.

Care homes under investigation:

  • Skegby Hall
  • Laybrook in Mansfield
  • Amberdale in Stapleford
  • Ashley House in Worksop
  • Cauldwell House in Southwell
  • South Collingham Hall
  • The Ridge in Mansfield
  • Repton Lodge in Worksop
  • Berry Hill Open Air School in Mansfield
  • Former Whatton Young Offenders Institution

Operation Xeres will run alongside an existing investigation named Operation Daybreak, which was launched in 2010. Whereas Operation Daybreak is focussed on isolated claims of historic child abuse in Nottinghamshire care homes, Operation Xeres aims to cast a much wider net.

Operation Xeres – police urge public to come forward

DCI Mike Luke is leading the dedicated team of 20 officers that has been assembled to carry out Operation Xeres. DCI Luke has urged anyone that has been affected by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in relation to the investigation to come forward.

He said:

“It’s important for us to engage with the victims and manage
their expectations. Some will want convictions, some
might just want to be listened to. We will just
see where the investigation takes us.

“We just need five minutes, give us time to listen and
we will convince them they are doing the right
thing. Without them we can’t do anything.”

Abuse claims – expert support and guidance

If you have been affected by physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse, you may wish to know the answers to several important questions before making a decision on whether to pursue a claim.

Question

“Will I remain anonymous?”

Answer

Yes – your identity is protected under UK law.
We guarantee confidentiality at all times.

Question

“What if I didn’t fight back or report
the abuse at the time?”

Answer

A submissive response can reduce the risk of further physical violence – this will not go against you.

Question

“What if don’t remember because I was supplied with drugs or alcohol?”

Answer

We can help even in cases of memory loss – either due to the effects of intoxicants or due to traumatic amnesia

Our specialist team of solicitors can help you to understand all of your options in full. We offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – contact us today to discover the ways in which we could help you.

Tel: 0800 888 6888
Email: info@hh-law.co.uk
Linked article:Worcestershire historical abuse allegations: St Gilbert’s school under investigation

Sources:

BBC News
Chad News
Nottinghamshire Police

Paul Completes the Half Marathon

Paul Hampson has completed the Liverpool Half Marathon in aid of the Hampson Hughes Charitable Foundation. If you can spare a few coins for a great cause you can sponsor him here

The Hampson Hughes Charitable Foundation supports charities that assist those in need as a result of youth, age, ill health, disability or financial hardship.

Money will be raised by the firm’s work force through a series of fundraising activities which include payroll giving; charity challenges and fundraising drives such as dress down days and charity events.

In 2015 the proceeds will go to two nominated charities, which are the Whitechapel Centre and Amputees and Carers Support in Liverpool.