Tag: personal injury compensation

How to select a spooky – and safe – costume this Halloween!

Halloween is a magical time for children to enjoy some spirited scares and fiendish fun, but it can turn into a real nightmare if you encounter dangerous costume disasters.

This year Halloween is going to look very different but, however you’re planning to get into the spirit, whether it’s fun at home, a virtual party or a scare trail around the neighbourhood, one thing for sure is that we’ll still be dressing up our little witches, ghosts and ghouls to ensure they have a spooktacular time!

Before you decide on their costumes and cosmetics it’s important to watch out for a few simple safety precautions to prevent burns, falls and laceration injuries, as Halloween fancy dress has been implicated in a number of serious accidents. 

In 2014, TV presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter, Matilda, suffered severe burns when her costume caught fire. This terrible incident brought the issue of children’s fancy dress safety into the spotlight.

Over the last few years, there have been a number of concerning reports about how quickly a child’s Halloween costume can catch fire. In response to this, the British Retail Consortium introduced flammability measures which have been adopted by thousands of retailers. The measures form a voluntary code of practice for retailers to follow to ensure costumes have a maximum burn rate three times slower than the current requirements.

Here are our top tips on what to look for when selecting a Halloween costume:

  • Check for the CE mark on the label to ensure the costume has been tested for flammability.
  • Make sure it says “flame-resistant” and avoid any outfits that say “keep away from fire”.
  • Avoid big, baggy outfits or large capes to help minimise the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources.
  • Brightly coloured or florescent costumes or accessories are a great way to ensure clear visibility to motorists.
  • Get costumes that fit well. Costumes which drag on the floor are more likely to cause slips, trips and falls and could be a fire hazard.
  • Think carefully about masks and ensure they have eye holes large enough to ensure visibility is not impaired.
  • Check the ratings and reviews to see what feedback other customers have provided.
  • Avoid cheap cosmetics or face paints as they can cause serious allergic reactions, and ensure to read the instructions of any cosmetics you do buy carefully. Always perform a patch test and if you notice any adverse symptoms, such as itching or burning, immediately remove it and seek medical advice.
  • Buy from a trusted retailer. The retailer is responsible for the safety of the costumes they sell.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU WATCH OUT FOR IF YOU’RE CREATING A COSTUME AT HOME?

With many of us at home this Halloween, it may be tempting to get artistic and design our own homemade creations for the kids. But, be aware that homemade fancy dress costumes have not been tested to the same flammability standards and may ignite easily and burn quicker than CE approved outfits.

That’s not to say you can’t get crafty this Halloween, but be careful with the materials you choose to ensure safety remains the top priority:

  • Use inherently flame-resistant fabrics, such as polyester and nylon. These materials will resist burning if exposed to an open flame.
  • Avoid using cotton and cotton/polyester blends as these materials can be the most flammable.
  • They can provide the perfect finishing touch to homemade costumes, but avoid accessories such as cotton balls, too much glitter or netted material as these are highly flammable.

Don’t get tricked this Halloween into buying or creating a costume which is unsafe. Be cautious and kit out the kids in some scary, but safe, costumes which will ensure they have a happy and safe Halloween.

 

If you or a loved one has been injured or fallen ill due to a faulty or defective product, contact our expert team of personal injury solicitors for free, no obligation advice: 0800 880 7870 or info@hampsonhughes.co.uk.

August marks Road Victim Awareness Month

The month of August marks National Road Victim Month, a campaign set up by national charity RoadPeace to raise awareness and remember the people who have tragically lost their lives as a result of road traffic incidents.

 

The charity selected August as the month of remembrance to memorialise the lives of Princess Diana, who lost her life in a road traffic collision on 31 August 1997, Bridget Driscoll, the first person to be killed by a motor vehicle in August 1896, and over half a million people who have been killed on Britain’s roads since Bridget’s death.

 

HOW IS ROAD VICTIM AWARENESS MONTH MARKED ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

 

The annual day of remembrance was set to take place on 31 August 2020 at Liverpool Cathedral, but due to COVID-19, the service will instead be available to watch on YouTube from 2pm. A Justice for Crash Victims Webinar, also made by RoadPeace, explores how the justice system affects crash victims, and is available to watch here.

 

HOW MANY PEOPLE SUFFER FROM ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS EACH YEAR?

 

There were 1,748 reported road deaths in the UK 2019, and 153,315 casualties of all severities in reported road traffic incidents, which marks a 5% improvement on the previous year.

 

However, Niamh Wilson Head of Civil Litigation at Hampson Hughes explains that whilst these figures are positive, we shouldn’t become complacent: “Whilst these overall figures show a step in the right direction for road users and pedestrians alike, we are also seeing an increased number of vehicles such as bicycles and electric scooters navigating Britain’s roads, and quite often without proper knowledge of the highway code.

 

“With inexperienced road users, we’re unfortunately likely to see a rise in future road traffic accidents, and over the years we have worked with so many cases that highlight the devastating impact road traffic incidents can have the lives of everyone involved.

 

“The service that RoadPeace offers in supporting affected families is invaluable, and Hampson Hughes is supportive of National Victim Awareness month.”

 

At Hampson Hughes, our personal injury team work tirelessly to successfully claim compensation for victims who have suffered as a result of road traffic accidents. Over the past 10 years, we have settled over 37,000 road traffic accident cases, helping families achieve the financial support they deserve.

 

Recently, we settled a claim for cyclist, Pat, from Bootle. While cycling home from work, he suffered a collision from a car who hit him due to the driver failing to give way to him as he travelled straight across a roundabout. Sadly, he suffered a fractured skull, dislocated right shoulder, broken ribs, fractured collar bone and skin abrasions. Fortunately, he made a fantastic recovery and was fully healed within two years of the accident.

 

Following a court case, we settled his claim for £25,000. This covered his costs for physiotherapy post-accident, as well as for his bike plus further compensation for damages.

 

Another of our clients was awarded £14,891 last year after she was hit from behind at high speed whilst stationary at a pelican crossing, causing her to be shunted into the vehicle in front. As a result of the incident, our client suffered a squashed vertebra, fractured upper lumbar spine, and soft tissue damage to her back, neck and shoulders.

 

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN A ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?

 

If you’ve been injured on the road due to an accident that wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to claim road traffic accident compensation. Whether you’ve suffered a minor injury or something more serious, our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors can help you to claim the compensation that you deserve.

Call 0800 888 6888 or send an email to info@hampsonhughes.com.

Medomsley Detention Centre – Compensation for Abuse Victims

Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham was a correctional facility for young male offenders, operating from 1961 until the late 1980s. It was created to provide an alternative prison for boys and young men aged 17-21, with the aim of deterring inmates from committing more serious crimes later in life.

 

WHAT HAPPENED AT MEDOMSLEY?

 

Reports of physical abuse started to emerge in 1967, when David Watkins MP raised concerns about the treatment of inmates at the facility, after hearing claims from a mother that her teenage son was subjected to repeated beatings. The victim spent five weeks in hospital receiving treatment.

 

Mr Watkins took his complaint to the then Home Secretary but was told the claim was unsubstantiated. The matter was not pursued.

 

However, in 2003, prison officer Neville Husband was convicted of raping inmates throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He was suspected of operating as part of a paedophile ring and further investigations led to the arrest of Leslie Johnson, a storeman at Medomsley.

 

In 2013, Durham Police Force launched ‘Operation Seabrook’ to investigate allegations of sexual and physical abuse, primarily in the 1970s and 1980s. To date, 1,848 men have come forward to police to report allegations of abuse while detained at the centre.

 

Both Husband and Johnson have since died in prison of natural causes, and further cases have been brought against other staff members working at the centre.

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MEDOMSLEY VICTIMS?

 

It is believed that hundreds of boys and young men suffered at the hands of abusive staff at Medomsley, with a ‘short, sharp shock’ policy implemented to steer offenders away from a life of crime. However, the regime was, in fact, described as brutal and violent.

 

For some, the ordeal stretched to sexual abuse, with victims being raped ‘almost on a daily basis’.

 

Victims later told how their experiences there have had a major impact on the rest of their lives, with some reporting they hadn’t slept well for more than 30 years due to the severe anxiety and stress it caused.

 

HOW HAVE VICTIMS BEEN COMPENSATED?

 

It is estimated that In excess of £3 million has been awarded in out-of-court settlements to the victims of physical and sexual abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre.

 

Those who were physically abused can apply for between £1,750 and £5,000 subject to the amount of time served in Medomsley and permanent nature of injuries sustained.

 

Among those who suffered is victim Gary Wallace, who told the BBC that some wardens were “definitely sadistic”. He said: “If they did go a bit over and give you a black eye and you were due a visit they would cancel the visit by saying you weren’t too well, or you didn’t want to see them.”

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE A VICTIM AT MEDOMSLEY?

 

At Hampson Hughes, we have a team of highly experienced legal experts, who have acted for many victims of physical and sexual abuse, including those affected by the traumatic events at Medomsley Detention Centre. We recognise the trauma survivors have to deal with on a daily basis and handle all cases in a sensitive and confidential manner.

 

We are here to listen, advise and support you every step of the way. We provide access to the support services you need and ensure you achieve the compensation you deserve, so you can start to seek a sense of justice and closure.

 

For further information and free, no-obligation advice, contact our team on 0800 888 6888 or find about more about our work supporting victims of criminal injury and sexual abuse.

Waste recycling company fined after worker suffers burns

A waste recycling company has been fined after one of its employees sustained severe burns to his face and upper body whilst attempting to dislodge a blockage in an energy-from-waste furnace at the recycling plant.

Accident at Work

On the 17th of October 2014, Teesside Crown Court heard how the worker was seriously scalded by hot ash and water at the Stockton-on-Tees site of SUEZ. After a blockage on one of its lines, the worker opened a hatch on a chute, which gets rid of the burnt waste. He used a metal pole to extricate the blockage and in doing so was exposed to a plume of hot ash and steam which exploded from the hatch causing severe burns to his upper body and face as he tried to escape.

Health and Safety Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found that the company failed to adequately take into account the risk that the workers were being exposed to during this task. Therefore, the system of work they arranged was not sufficient to stop this incident from occurring. The company was also found guilty of not implementing the appropriate systems to manage and supervise the activity of this workplace. This meant the limited measures they had put in place, were not being followed.

Sentencing and fines

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Tees Valley Ltd of SUEZ House Maidenhead Berkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE inspector Victoria Wise said following the hearing:

“Problems often occur in production and it is essential that companies recognise and understand them to prevent them happening or introduce engineering controls and systems of work that prevent people being injured.”

The company has today been fined £220,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,695.65.

Accident at work compensation – Expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Engineering firm fined after worker suffers Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

An engineering firm has been fined for failing to control the risk of vibration exposure to employees using hand-guided power tools.

Accident at Work

Manchester and Salford Magistrates heard how Newfield Fabrications Co Ltd (NFCL) failed to adequately control the risk of vibration exposure to their employees. The firm neglected to ensure that its employees were given the essential information and training on the effects of working with vibrating hand tools.

Health and Safety Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation where they established that, at the end of 2015, a welder who worked for the company for a number of years had been given a task that incorporated a considerable amount of grinding and polishing.

The worker began to experience numbness and tingling after doing this task for a number of hours. He asked to swap with another worker but was told to carry on. Although his symptoms continued to progress, his supervisor instructed him to carry on using the vibrating tool.

After a number of weeks, a 20 year old apprentice welder also began to experience and display vibration-related symptoms from using similar tools.

Sentencing and fines

Newfield Fabrications Co Ltd, of Sandbach, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(1) and 8(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Helen Jones said:

“This is a case of the company failing to protect workers using vibrating tools. Exposure to hand arm vibration is a well-known risk, which the company failed to adequately control.
The company also failed to ensure workers were looked after when symptoms did arise leading to further exposure. This was wholly inadequate, and led to two employees suffering significant health effects”.

The company has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,241 costs.

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Company fined after worker gets crushed by machinery

Image of a red mobile elevated platform relating to an accident at work incident

Spectral Colours Limited (SCL) based in Lancashire have been fined after a worker was crushed by a machine.

Accident at Work

On the 30th April of 2014, Manchester Crown Court heard the case of a 57-year old worker who was employed by Spectral Colours Limited (SCL). The worker was cleaning the dispersion mixing machine when he sat on one of the clamping arms. This subsequently collapsed and pinned the worker’s leg underneath the machine. As a result he suffered a fractured ankle and severe crush injuries to his foot.

Health and Safety Investigation

An investigation into the incident was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The investigation concluded that the company failed to secure the machine correctly on site to the ground thus increasing the risk of the machinery toppling and injuring employees.

Sentencing and fines

Spectral Colours Limited of Crawford Street, Rochdale, Lancashire has today pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 20 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The corporation has been fined £3000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,444.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Tim Beaumont said:

“This case highlights the need for all duty holders to ensure all machinery in their workplaces are properly fixed and maintained to the required safety standard.

“If Spectral Colours had been more thorough in ensuring that the installation of the machinery was completed properly then this accident wouldn’t have happened.”

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

North West firm fined as man falls through roof

Image of multiple hard hats in pigeon holes

A welding and metal fabrication company based in the North West has been fined after an employee suffered life changing injuries after falling through a fragile roof.

Workplace Accident

Whilst attempting to carry out minor roof repairs in Salford on 23 February 2016, the employee of John Fowler & Son (Blacksmiths & Welders) Ltd fell eight metres through the roof of a timber storage shed.

As a result of the accident at work, the 39-year old man broke his leg, elbow and ribs. He also punctured his lungs and as a result of the incident had to have his spleen removed.

Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found there had been no safety measures taken to prevent workers from falling through or off the roof.

Furthermore, the firm failed to plan the work suitably, and failed to implement a safe system of work to ensure the employees were able to safely carry out their duties.

Sentencing and fines

At Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court, John Fowler & Son (Blacksmiths & Welders) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Jackie Worrall, HSE Inspector, said:

 

“The injured employee in this case was very fortunate not to lose his life following this fall. Falls from height can be prevented by careful planning, using trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment and employing a high level of supervision.

Deaths caused by falls through fragile surfaces occur mainly to those working in the building maintenance sector when carrying out small, short-term maintenance and cleaning jobs.

“On average seven people are killed each year after falling through a fragile roof or fragile roof light. Many others suffer permanent disabling injury.”

 

The firm was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £5,368.23 in costs.

Accident at work compensation – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your injury at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source:Health and Safety Executive

Two Dead and One Seriously Injured in Crane Collapse

Police have confirmed that two men have died and another is seriously injured after a crane collapsed in Crewe on Wednesday afternoon.

Incident

Emergency services were called to Pheonix Leisure Park on Dunwoody Way at around 4.30pm yesterday. Cheshire fire and rescue service were able to free one man, believed to be the crane driver. He was taken to Royal Stoke hospital by air ambulance and his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Chief Supt Matt Welsted said that the bodies of the two men who died would be recovered from the scene shortly. He described the incident as ‘truly tragic’.

He also asked anyone with video of the scene to “respect the families of those involved”. He went on to say:

“Our deepest condolences go out to the families affected at this extremely difficult time.”

The occupants of a nearby house have also been relocated, after the falling crane damaged the property.

Workplace accidents – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your injury at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Guardian

Worker Suffers Serious Burns in Workplace Accident

Two firms have been fined after a man suffered serious electrical burns to his face, arms and hands in a workplace accident.

Accident at work

The 28 year old man, employed by Park, Gate and company Ltd (PGC), was carrying out electrical work for Armstrong World Industries Limited (AWI) at a site in Gateshead on 21 December 2014 when the incident occurred.

During the work, the employee cut a live cable, causing serious burns to his face, arms and hands.

Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident and found that neither firm had adequately identified if the cables were live or dead before starting the work.

Furthermore, Park Gate failed to provide workers with a safe system of work.

Sentencing and fines

Park, Gate and Company Ltd of Kingstown Broadway, Kingstown Industrial Estate, Carlisle pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. the company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,012.52.

Armstrong World Industries Limited, of Armstrong House, Market Square, Uxbridge pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,082.92.

HSE inspector Victoria Crofton said following the hearing:

“There were serious failures on the part of both companies in this case. Electricity supplies should be made dead and proved to be dead before work starts.”

Accident at work compensation – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your injury at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Paedophile Jailed for 18 Years for Sexual Abuse

A man has been jailed for eighteen years after he pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of two young girls over a five year period.

Sexual abuse – guilty plea

Dean Manning, of Congleton in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to 20 charges relating to sexual exploitation and ill-treatment at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday.

The 49 year old pleaded guilty to 12 counts relating to the rape, attempted rape and other sexual abuse of the two children. He also admitted six counts of inciting children to engage in sexual activity, and a further two counts of causing unnecessary suffering through ill-treatment.

Sentencing

Manning was handed 20 concurrent jail terms of at least four years each of his crimes. He was given a 26 year sentence, with an additional eight years on license as well as the eighteen year jail term. The paedophile will have to serve at least twelve years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Judge David Farrell QC, also ordered Manning to sign the sex offenders register for life, and he was made subject to a life-long sexual harm prevention order restricting his internet usage. Furthermore, Manning had to pay a victim surcharge.

Praising the victims’ bravery in coming forward, DI Lynda Coates, from the joint child protection investigation team, said:

“This sentence reflects the seriousness of Manning’s crimes and the devastating impact his actions have had on his victims.

“His abuse of young girls spanned over a number of years, and his victims have been incredibly brave in coming forward and speaking to police.

“I believe Manning still represents a significant risk to girls so I welcome the lengthy sentence that he has been given, which will protect the public from further harm.

“If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, we have dedicated specialist officers who can support you and I would urge you to make contact with police.”

Sexual assault & abuse compensation claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual assault or abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times. For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: The Comet