Month: June 2016

Firm Fined by HSE over Safety Breaches

A Manchester based soft furnishings firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following two incidents in which workers were injured due to inadequately guarded machinery.

Incident 1: January 2015

The first incident took place in January 2015. Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee was clearing a blockage on a Moden Blow Filing machine with his right hand when his hand came into contact with a rotating fan blade. As a result of this contact, two of the worker’s fingers required amputation.

The court heard that the pipework of the machine was removed easily without the use of tools, leading to the dangerous parts of the machine being left easily accessible.

Incident 2: May 2015

In the second incident, an employee was using a Mattress Roll Packing machine when he trapped his left hand between two easily accessible rollers. The employee required surgery after his fingers were crushed as a result of the incident in May 2015.

The court heard that the machine in question had been purchased directly from China and as a result had not been manufactured in keeping with European safety requirements. The machine had not been CE marked and was unsafe.

Lisa Bailey, HSE Inspector, said:

“Had the company carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the machinery and then taken measures to prevent access to dangerous parts, then these two incidents could have been avoided. Mr Boomer should have ensured that the Mattress Roll Packing machine was CE Marked.”

Prosecution & Fines

Paul Boomer, trading as Carousel of Castle Industrial Estate, Beresford Street, Failsworth, Manchester, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and a breach of Section 7 of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. Boomer was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

We are personal injury claims experts – our specialist accident claims solicitors are here to provide you with on-going valuable support.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Company Fined after Workers are Overcome by Toxic Gases

A food waste disposal and recycling firm has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive following an incident in which three were employees were overcome by toxic gases at an animal waste facility in Stoke-on-Trent.

Incident

Stafford Crown Court heard how an employee of John Pointon and Sons Limited entered a section of an animal waste trailer in order to release its contents when he was overcome by the toxic gases. Two other employees who also entered the trailer were also overcome by gases including hydrogen sulphide, and a reduced oxygen atmosphere.

The Health and Safety Executive told the court that the entire incident was preventable. HSE also told the court that the incident could have resulted in fatalities. Furthermore, the company in question had been prosecuted on two previous occasions for two similar incidents involving confined space entry that had proven fatal.

Sentencing

John Pointon and Sons Limited, of Bones Lane, Cheddleton, Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 5(1) of the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997. The company was fined £250,000 with costs of £37,362.

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Self-Employed Worker Fined for Workplace Accident

A self-employed furniture maker has been fined after an incident in which a tree he was cutting down struck a farm worker.

Colin Norgate, from Hampshire, is a sole trader and the designer and creator of high gloss furniture. Colin was cutting down a tree on Manor Farm in Hampshire, where he rented a unit, when the tree fell and struck John Bailey, a labourer at the farm.

John suffered serious injuries to his left leg that resulted in above the knee amputation.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found that Colin had failed to ensure a safe perimeter was in place to prevent other individuals from entering the area around the tree.

After pleading guilty to beaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulation 9(1) of the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Colin Norgate, of Manor Farm, Langrish, Petersfield, Hampshire was fined £830. He was also ordered to pay costs of £2,349.

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Firm Fined after Worker is Crushed by Vehicle

Motor vehicle repair firm, Just Mercedes Limited, has been fined after a young man was crushed to death by a vehicle.

Incident

27 year old Muhammed Zohaib Yasin was gaining work experience at the company’s garage in Manchester when the incident occurred.

Mr Yasin was shadowing a mechanic whilst he (the mechanic) carried out repair work on a Vauxhall Corsa and was tasked with adding some anti-freeze to the engine. As Mr Yasin was stood at the front of the vehicle, the mechanic turned the ignition on through the door on the driver’s side of the Corsa. As the mechanic did so, the car lurched forward and crushed Mr Yasin, who later died from his injuries.

HSE Investigation

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, it was found that there were no defects with the vehicle itself, but it had been left in gear without the handbrake on.

HSE investigators found that employees of the vehicle repair company hadn’t been provided with any detailed instructions regarding the selection of gears and handbrake use when parking vehicles in the garage, on or off ramps.

Furthermore, staff had not been provided with specific instructions on operating the ignition from outside the vehicle and there was no process enforced regarding the storage of keys.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Just Mercedes Ltd, of Shentonfield Road, Sharston Industrial Area, Wythenshawe, Manchester was fined £33,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £12,000.

Lisa Bailey, HSE inspector, said after the hearing:

“Had the company ensured employees were trained and instructed on moving vehicles around the garage safely then this tragic incident might not have occurred.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Holiday sickness leaves lasting effects on toddler

A toddler, who was making good progress toilet training, was so ill whilst on holiday he will no longer use the potty.

Severe stomach cramps

The two year old, who fell ill at a Spanish holiday resort, went through fifty nappies in just seven days after suffering with severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

His parents, Nicola Beaumont and Craig Mitchell, also fell ill whilst staying at the 3* Sur Menorca Hotel, in the Punta Prima area of Menorca.

Whilst the family from Rotherham have now recovered from their symptoms, which included stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, they claim the holiday has had lasting effects on their son.

Nicola said:

“Our son was doing well with his potty training up until the holiday. However, he was so ill he got through two whole packets of nappies in less than a week. I think this experience has left him slightly traumatised as he won’t go near the potty now.”

To add insult to injury, Thomson – the company through which the holiday was booked, offered the family £80 in vouchers or a £60 cheque after they complained. The family have since sought legal advice and instructed Hampson Hughes Solicitors to seek compensation on their behalf after the holiday they’d saved for and looked forward to, was ruined.

‘The food was the worst part’

According to Nicola, hygiene standards within the hotel restaurant were poor. She told the team at Hampson Hughes Solicitors that the sausages available at breakfast were the hotdogs from the night before, only reheated, and raw chicken was served numerous times.

Photograph of the inside of a raw chicken nugget taken by Nicola at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Photograph of the inside of a raw chicken nugget taken by Nicola at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Mouldy bread

On one occasion, Nicola gave her toddler a hamburger from the snack bar, only to have to snatch it back when she noticed the inside of the bread bun was covered in mould. Nicola commented:

“The food was the worst part. For a 3*+ rated hotel I wasn’t expecting gourmet food every day. What I was expecting – quite wrongly it seemed – was properly cooked food, free from bugs and other items.”

After falling ill, both adults were unable to leave their room for a number of days and their son became very distressed. When they tried to speak to hotel staff about their illness, the couple were offered hand sanitizer and were told a hotel doctor could be called, at a cost of 60 Euros.

Other guest complaints

Nicola told Hampson Hughes Solicitors that other guests eating in the restaurant were experiencing similar issues, with several guests reporting glass inside jelly served to their children.

She also claims that one family was asked to leave the restaurant when they were caught taking photographs of the raw chicken they had been served.

Photograph taken by Nicola of the pool at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Photograph taken by Nicola of the pool at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Return to UK

Since returning from holiday Nicola has noticed complaints were not confined to her and the people she spoke with whilst abroad. A number of guests staying at the hotel at the same time as her and her family have expressed their disappointment via the holiday review site, Trip Advisor.

The reviews include multiple complaints of sickness and diarrhoea, an unclean restaurant and one guest even claimed that there had been faeces in the swimming pool which staff did nothing about.

There are also more reports of raw and substandard food with one guest even including photographs of a caterpillar that he found in his child’s dinner.

‘Overall, very disappointed’

From start to finish the family experienced problems. Upon first arriving at the hotel reception desk they say they were left disappointed when they had to struggle with three suitcases and a pram. They felt even more let down when the cleanliness of their room fell short of acceptable standards. Nicola told Hampson Hughes Solicitors:

“I could tell that the sheets hadn’t been changed once, as my son dropped a piece of chocolate on his bed at the start of the week and it was still there when we left.”

Things got worse when they arrived at the pool, which they said was ‘filthy’, with the water itself looking as though it was not cleaned regularly. Nicola continued:

“The pools weren’t clean; there were scum marks around the sides of the main pool and in the splash park for children. What’s more, leftover food and spilled drinks from the entertainment the night before was also left to rot around the pool area the following day. It was disgusting.”

Speaking about their overall experience at the Hotel Sur Menorca Nicola said:

“Craig and I are both very disappointed that our first holiday with our two year old son was ruined – no one wants to have to run to the loo constantly or be stuck in the rooms for days.

“Never in my life have I been on holiday and wanted to go home after three days. We were especially disappointed as we feel Thomson or the hotel didn’t care at all.”

Package holiday claims – specialist advice

Shiamli Mehta-Cronie, who heads up the Travel Law department at Hampson Hughes Solicitors said:

“This case of holiday sickness was clearly very distressing for the family but sadly not uncommon. I am acting for hundreds of holidaymakers who have also experienced illness abroad.

“In the majority of cases the problem is down to substandard food hygiene at hotels, an issue which can leave British tourists wishing they hadn’t bothered travelling at all.

“However, you can take legal action if you feel more could have been done to prevent your becoming ill. The Package Travel Regulations protect holidaymakers who book package holidays through reputable tour operators such as Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook.

“If this applies to you then we’d encourage you to get in touch. Being confined to your room with diarrhoea and vomiting as a result of poor hygiene is unacceptable and action can be taken.”

Start your holiday illness claim today

If you believe that your tour operator could have done more to prevent your symptoms of illness or injury, contact us today. Whether you have experienced illness or injury during your flight, whilst staying in your package deal hotel, or during an excursion arranged by a company working in conjunction with your tour operator, we can help. For further information, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com

Firm Fined after Worker is Injured in Fall from Height

A Lancashire based company, responsible for the manufacture of coated metals, has been fined following an incident in which a worker fell three meters from a ladder, sustaining multiple fractures.

Incident

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that an employee of Manchester Galvanizing Ltd was carrying out work when a metal post came loose from the jig of an overhead crane and fell into a drying pit.

In an attempt to retrieve the metal post, the employee used a wooden ladder. However, the ladder broke and the worker fell three meters to the bottom of the drying pit. He suffered a fractured foot and shoulder.

HSE Investigation & Fines

During an investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive, it was found that the firm had ‘failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner’.

After pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Manchester Galvanizing Ltd, of Green Lane, Heywood, Lancashire, was fined a total of £6,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £1,248.

HSE Inspector Emily Osborne said after the hearing:

“The employee in this case was lucky that he wasn’t more seriously hurt. It is essential that companies ensure work at height is properly planned, organised and supervised in order to avoid this type of incident.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

BT Fined £500,000 after Worker Breaks Back

British Telecom plc (BT) has been fined £500,000 following an incident in which an engineer sustained serious injuries, including a broken back.

Incident

BT engineer, David Spurgeon, fell through the ceiling of a residential block of flats in Tower Hamlet, East London, while he was fixing a telephone fault.

The Old Bailey heard how Mr Spurgeon lost his balance and fell seven meters through the ceiling, landing on the concrete staircase below. The engineer broke his back and both of his ankles.

HSE Investigation & Fines

During an investigation into the incident, inspectors for the Health and Safety Executive discovered that there had been numerous failings in management on BT’s part. Such failings included poor planning of work to be carried out near fragile surfaces and also a failure to ensure that the work was carried out in a safe manner.

After being found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Safety and Health at Work etc Act 1974, British Telecom plc, of Newgate Street, London, was fined £500,000. BT was also ordered to pay costs totalling £98, 913.51.

Whilst sentencing the company, the judge made reference to the fact that BT had attempted to pin the blame on their engineers, describing their approach as ‘not necessary, misplaced, and unfortunate’.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Smith said:

“David Spurgeon is lucky to be alive.

“There were a number of failures of health and safety management by BT which related to planning the work, supervision, and checking it was being carried out safely. Work at height needs to be properly planned, and this incident could have been prevented.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Holidaymaker Contracts Infective Gastroenteritis at Egypt’s Grand Hotel

Our travel law team were recently instructed by a client, who contracted infective gastroenteritis whilst on holiday in Egypt.

Our client made an online booking with Red Sea Holidays for a seven night stay at The Grand Hotel in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

Not long after arriving at the hotel, our client noticed evidence of poor hygiene. They advised that there was a particular problem with the buffet food served at the hotel.

According to the claimant, food was left uncovered for long periods of time and therefor exposed to insects and birds that frequented the eating areas. Our client also claims that food appeared to be reheated, although as it was often covered in sauce it was difficult to know if the meat served had been cooked properly.

Just two days into their holiday, the claimant started to experience stomach cramps. Over the next couple of days, their symptoms worsened – they suffered severe diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, a high temperature and fatigue.

According to our client, the symptoms they experienced were so severe that they spent a large proportion of the holiday confined to their room.

Our expert Travel Law team secured this client a total of £2,100 in compensation.

Our client has expressed their gratitude at how well our travel law team dealt with the claim:

“Amazed at how quick the process was. I’m so happy with the outcome, thanks for all of your time and help!”

Holiday sickness claims – expert advice

Shiamli Mehta-Cronie, Head of Travel Law here at Hampson Hughes said:

“These cases signify another triumph in the battle against the cost cutting exercises of tour operators. It is simply not acceptable to allow them to continue to take money from hard working holiday makers and provide them with sub-standard hygiene practices in return. If you have been struck down by illness while on a package holiday, call us today for your free no obligation consultation.”

If you believe that your holiday illness symptoms are linked to poor hygiene standards within your package deal hotel, you may be entitled to holiday illness compensation. There are certain steps that you could take in support of your claim:

•Note all important dates
•Report any hygiene issues to your holiday rep
•Document any suspected poor hygiene (e.g. photo, video)

For further information on holiday sickness compensation, and to discover how much compensation you could be entitled to, call our expert team of travel law solicitors today for instant answers. Whatever your experience with holiday sickness, we may be able to help. We offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com

Upper Tribunal’s Landmark Ruling

In a landmark ruling, a 28 year old man born with severe learning difficulties after his mother was raped by her own father, has won the right to claim compensation.

The mother of the man, who for legal reasons is identified as Y, was abused by her father from the age of 11. Y was born after his mother had been raped by her biological father. As a result, Y suffers from a number of debilitating conditions. His conditions include issues with his hearing and sight, epilepsy and severe learning difficulties.

Judge Levenson

This decision by the Upper Tribunal comes 5 years after an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was rejected. This application argued that a crime of violence had directly contributed towards the personal injury sustained by Y. A further appeal to the First Tier Tribunal was also rejected.

However, Judge Levenson of the Upper Tribunal quashed the original decision, referring the case back to CICA for further analysis.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

The CICAs argument is based on the use of the phrase ‘personal injury’, whereby given its true meaning is the injury of a person. It claims that as the applicant was not a legal ‘person’ at the time the crime was committed against his mother, it is impossible to identify an injury.

The CICA also claims that that if the crime had not been committed, Y would not have existed in the first place. Its case was put forward by Ben Collins QC, who stated that ‘harm caused before birth which has consequences after birth cannot be treated as an injury to a living person’. This is mirrored in the ruling made by the Court of Appeal concerning children born with foetal alcohol syndrome.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

However, Judge Levenson argued that Y is eligible for a pay out under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS), as the scheme provided for compensation to be payable to “an applicant”.

He went on to say:

“Clearly, at the time of the claim the applicant is a person,

“There is no provision in the scheme that the applicant must have been ‘a person’ at the time that the crime of violence was committed.

“In everyday terms and in common parlance, it seems to me that he has suffered injuries.

“Those injuries have been sustained in, and are directly attributable to, a crime of violence.”

‘Landmark ruling’

Greg Neill, head of Abuse & Criminal Injuries here at Hampson Hughes Solicitors and member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), said:

“This is a landmark ruling for individuals such as Y, those suffering from a genetic disorder as a result of a criminal act, who despite their often severe disabilities would otherwise be offered no hope of receiving compensation for their condition.

“I am hopeful that the ruling will encourage more testing of other CICA grey areas, which could potentially open more doors for claimants in the future.”

Criminal Injury – Expert Advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

However, we are here to offer you professional & friendly advice if and when you need it. We will provide you with the expert legal representation you deserve.

If you or someone you know would like expert advice on the type of case outlined above, please contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Source: BBC News

Tyre Firm Fined £1 Million after Death of Worker

A tyre firm based in Kent has been fined £1 million after a 21 year old worker was killed when a tyre exploded.

Incident

Matthew Hoare, an employee of Watling Tyre Service Limited, was making repairs to the punctured tyre of a ‘dressing loader shovel’ when the tyre exploded.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that Matthew was working with ‘inadequate’ equipment that had not been properly maintained. Furthermore it was found that Matthew was working alone, without having undertaken any training for the work he had been instructed to complete.

HSE Principle Inspector, Mike Walters, said:

“Employees need to be provided with properly maintained equipment and the correct equipment to undertake tasks whilst out on site. Employees also need to be trained and competent in the tasks they were asked to undertake.”

After pleading guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Watling Tyre Service Limited of Kent was fined a total of £1 million. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £99,485.

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive