Drug Interactions a Serious Health Concern

We live in an age where medical and pharmaceutical research is something we take for granted. The medical procedures and medications we rely on to maintain and improve our health are often seen as safe, reliable and easy to obtain. Yet these advances in medical technology do not come without risks, especially when we take two or more types of drugs. The risk of drugs interacting with one another to cause negative, and potentially deadly, side effects is a very real one, and one that leads to a shockingly high number of deaths and injuries each year.Drug Interactions Deadlier Than Car CrashesAbout 34,000 people die every year as the result of automobile crashes, while more than 2 million people sustain injuries. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration reports that , or ADRs, are responsible for killing nearly three times as many people as those killed in car crashes. The FDA reports that about 100,000 people die from ADRs each year, while another 2 million suffer serious complications.Drugs a Part of Modern LifeThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 82 percent of the population takes at least one type of medication, while nearly 30 percent take five or more types of drugs. These figures include both over-the-counter medications, as well as prescription drugs.The CDC also reports that about 700,000 people visit emergency rooms every year because of ADRs, while another 120,000 people have to be hospitalized. The extra expenses caused by ADRs account for an additional $3.5 billion in health care costs every year.A Growing, and Often Preventable, ProblemDrug companies are constantly developing new medications, while researchers are regularly discovering new uses for already existing drugs. The population is, as a whole, becoming much older, and older Americans are much more likely to regularly use both prescription and over-the-counter medications than younger people. When these factors are combined with the fact that physicians are more often prescribing medications as a preventative measure, and more people have access to prescription drug coverage, the trend lines are clear; adverse drug interactions will increase, and continue to do so, for the foreseeable future.Fortunately, there is at least one positive factor in all of this. …

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£6.7 Million Compensation for NHS Medical Mistakes

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 7 » £6.7 Million Compensation for NHS Medical Mistakes£6.7 Million Compensation for NHS Medical MistakesA 12-year-old boy is to receive medical negligence compensation after errors by hospital staff left him with serious brain injuries.On a morning in September 2006, the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth with stomach pains.Staff at the hospital failed to spot that the child, who was aged four at the time, was displaying signs of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.As a result, he did not get the required treatment on time and he suffered a cardiac arrest, which led to him experiencing significant brain damage and serious disabilities.The boy’s family therefore took legal action against Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the organisation that runs St Mary’s Hospital.A medical negligence compensation settlement in the amount of £6.7 million has now been agreed. This compensation will be used to fund the child’s extensive and long-term care needs, such as round-the-clock assistance and specialist technology to enable him to communicate.The boy will receive £3.2 million compensation in a lump sum up front, while he will be paid £265,000 compensation every year until he is 18. The compensation payments will then rise to £305,000 per annum for the rest of his life.Hospital Trust ApologisesPortsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has issued a formal apology to the boy and his family for the medical mistakes that were made at St Mary’s Hospital eight years ago. A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that since liability was resolved in 2012, each party has been working together to agree a suitable compensation package.This was designed with the intention of both compensating the boy and his parents and providing them with adequate financial security for the future.The spokesperson said, “The Trust can confirm that a medical negligence compensation settlement has been reached in this case and that this has been approved by the Court. The Trust wishes them well.”Doctors ‘Should Have Listened’Speaking after the compensation settlement was agreed, the boy’s parents said that doctors should have listened to the concerns they had raised about the condition of their son.In a statement, they insisted that if this had been done, this “tragic” event “would have been easily avoided”. The parents have therefore urged other mothers and fathers to trust their instincts if their child is not well.”If you believe that something is wrong, then insist that action is taken by the doctors,” they commented. “Nothing will ever make up for the life that has been taken away from him.”The boy’s parents said their son’s life has been “completely ruined”, as his condition means he will miss out on a whole host of experiences. For instance, they stated that he will never be able to play on a beach, kick a football around with his friends, or attend his school prom.The parents went on to note that their son and his “enormous daily battle” have proved to be a source of inspiration to everybody that knows or has met him.”This is an absolute tragedy caused by medical mistakes that should never have happened,” they added.By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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What Does a Judge do in a Personal Injury Case Trial?

The lawsuit process can be intimidating. When you’re injured and are considering filing a lawsuit, it’s hard to know where to begin. Even after hiring a lawyer and getting started, the process can be hard to figure out. What do you have to do? What does your lawyer do? What happens at trial? What happens between now and then?To help you understand the lawsuit process, let’s look at a one specific piece of the personal injury process: the judge’s role. Specifically, let’s look at what the judge will and won’t do if your case goes to trial.Judges, Cases and the LawIn a personal injury case, the judge serves as a trier of law. The trier of law is responsible for making a ruling over the legal issues brought up during the course of the trial.For example, a woman sues the driver of the car that struck her while she was riding a bike. Because the injured woman filed a lawsuit, it is up to her to prove that the other driver was at fault. …

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Building Company Fined after Work Accident Injury

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 7 » Building Company Fined after Work Accident InjuryBuilding Company Fined after Work Accident InjuryA building company and the director of a roofing firm have been ordered to pay sizeable fines following a workplace accident that led to an employee suffering serious injuries.In 2012, a self-employed roofer had been under the control of John Donald of John Donald Roofing, which had been sub-contracted to carry out work on a building project by Right Angle Ltd.During work on a project in which three residential properties were being refurbished and extended, the unnamed worker was at one point clearing materials from a flat roof.He saw a piece of ply board that he thought was debris so he picked it up. However, the board was actually concealing a roof light void. The man, who was aged 28 at the time of the accident, ended up falling from a height of 5.6 metres.Multiple bones in his back were fractured and broken during the fall, while his thigh, lungs and diaphragm were bruised.The extent of the employee’s injuries meant he could not return to work for more than a year, and he has been left with a persistent back problem that requires treatment in hospital. This means he has had to seek employment elsewhere.HSE Work Accident InvestigationA work accident investigation launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the accident and a number of failings were identified at the building site.The HSE criticised John Donald and Right Angle Ltd for failing to take adequate steps to mark and protect voids in the roof.HSE Inspectors described the measures that had been in place as “totally unacceptable” and warned that many workers on the site could have experienced a similar accident. The HSE also identified a number of other shortcomings on the site, including open staircases without handrails and a lack of edge protection on scaffolding.In addition, excess rubbish and debris on the building site was said to have created numerous slip and trip hazards, while there were various fire risks with insufficient prevention measures in place.The HSE concluded that the defendants had not properly planned, managed or monitored the work, which meant that the accident had been completely avoidable.Right Angle Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was handed a £15,000 fine in a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The company was also ordered to pay £5,375 in costs.In addition, John Donald admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £4,000, plus costs of £3,695.Danielle Coppell, an inspector at the HSE, commented, “There were numerous failings on the part of Right Angle Ltd that exposed multiple operatives to a host of foreseeable risks, including falls, slips and trips.”John Donald has to accept culpability as an experienced roofer who should have known better. He instructed the injured worker to work in an unsafe area where there were wholly insufficient measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall.”Ms Coppell added that the consequence of their shortcomings is that a young man has been left with life-changing spinal injuries, from which he might never completely recover.By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Car Crashes and Your Insurance Company

Drivers involved in car crashes often worry about what will happen to their insurance rates. There are millions of car accidents every year, most of which involve insured drivers, and each case is different. To understand what might happen to your policy if you are involved in the crash, you have to look at several different factors.The ClaimWhenever you are involved in a car accident that results in damage to a vehicle or an injury to a person, insurance companies are usually involved. When you are involved in an accident, one of the first things you typically have to do after making sure everyone is safe and collecting all the relevant information, is to call your insurance company. After calling the company you inform the agent or representative about what happened and that representative will assign your case a claim number. The company will then assign a claims agent or investigator to the case to begin an investigation.After the insurance company investigates the claim, reviews the coverage details, and determines who is at fault, it will then, typically, make a payment on the claim. This money is designed to bring you, or the other driver, back to the condition you were in before the crash. For example, if you are in a crash where the other driver was at fault and caused your car $1,500 in damage, the other driver’s insurance company will pay you $1,500 to repair your vehicle.The AftermathOnce the claim has been settled, drivers will then have to deal with the aftermath. Even though no two accidents are identical, here is what can happen.Your rates go up. You expected this one. …

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Two Companies Fined after Worker Fall

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 4 » Two Companies Fined after Worker FallTwo Companies Fined after Worker FallTwo Scottish companies have been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a 37-year-old worker was injured in a fall from height.Refurbishment projectScott Massie, aged 37 at the time of the accident, was employed by Riverside Construction Aberdeen, which had been subcontracted by Aberdeen Fabrication (A-FAB) to work on a major refurbishment project on a property in the Market Street area of the city.Peterhead Sheriff Court heard that Mr Massie was replacing a floorboard over a hole in the first floor. The gap was used to hoist important materials from the ground floor to higher storeys, but had outlived its usefulness and was set to be filled so construction could continue.But as the Scot manoeuvred the board into position, it fell through the hole and set Mr Massie off balance, sending him falling to the floor below. Mr Massie landed on his back nearly four metres below, fracturing his spine in several places.At first, the construction worker started to call out for help, but no one heard him and he had to crawl back up to the first floor before colleagues found him and called for an ambulance.HospitalUpon arriving at hospital, Mr Massie was diagnosed with eight fractures to his vertebrae and two broken ribs.The man had to stay in hospital for almost two months and had to go through painful physiotherapy to learn how to walk again. He has also since been told he has permanent damage to his lower back.Upon being informed of the accident, the HSE launched an investigation to establish the facts of the case.It was discovered that just a few weeks before Mr Massie fell, the agency had served an Improvement Notice on principal contractor A-FAB after concerns over a lack of safeguarding to protect against falls from height.After an investigation, the HSE established that A-FAB had failed to sufficiently address safety issues that would prevent people from falling through holes in the floors and it was taken to Court alongside Riverside Construction Aberdeen.Court actionFor its part in Mr Massie’s injuries, A-FAB was fined £45,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.Riverside Construction was hit with a smaller, but still substantial, fine of £30,000 after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.Speaking after the trial ended, HSE’s principal inspector Isabelle Martin said, “It was clear there was a risk of a fall through the holes in the floor at this site and had Aberdeen Fabrications and Riverside Construction (Aberdeen) taken the action required by HSE inspectors this incident could have been avoided.”But as a result of the failings of his employer Riverside Construction and the principal contractor Aberdeen Fabrications, Mr Massie has suffered severe injuries from which he is unlikely to ever fully recover.”Falls from height are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and there is no excuse for employers failing to protect workers.”By Chris StevensonOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Asbestos Blunder Results in Demolition Firm Fine

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Asbestos Blunder Results in Demolition Firm FineAsbestos Blunder Results in Demolition Firm FineA Portsmouth company has faced criminal charges today after it stripped more than 50 metres of asbestos board without the correct licences.James Site Services, of Cosham, was taken to Court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after inspectors carried out a routine inspection at one of its small development sites in Fareham, Hampshire and uncovered serious failings.Asbestos InsulationPortsmouth Magistrates’ Court was told that James Site Services, which specialises mainly in site preparation for demolition projects, had been hired to strip out asbestos from a bungalow that was due to be refurbished.During an inspection, the HSE discovered the company had illegally removed 54 metres of cancer-causing insulation boards, even though it did not have the correct licence.Only registered tradesmen are allowed to handle asbestos removal work because of the dangers it poses, with Mesothelioma cancer, which is caused by fibres from the material coating the inside of a worker’s lungs, resulting in hundreds of deaths a year in the UK.Asbestos Survey IgnoredAlthough James Site Services had correctly commissioned a survey to identify the presence of asbestos, the HSE said the company chose to ignore its findings and carried out the asbestos removal work itself, exposing workers to serious dangers.For its part in this decision, James Site Services was fined a total of £500 and told to pay £1,000 in costs after it pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.In cases where executives ignore the concerns of third parties in relation to asbestos, penalties are normally larger, but because James Site Services is only a very small company, the sanctions were made less severe.”Serious Failing”Speaking after his organisation’s successful prosecution, HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said, “This was a serious failing on the part of the company. Having received the survey they asked for, it looks as though no one at James Site Services bothered to read it. Or, if they did, they disregarded its contents and failed to act to protect workers from possible exposure to one of the deadly killers in industry.”HSE operates a highly-regulated licence regime in order to ensure work with asbestos is carried out safely by a skilled, competent workforce. By taking the work on, James Site Services not only put their workers at risk but also gained an unfair financial advantage.”Mr Goacher added that it is very important companies not only get an asbestos survey done, but that they also follow its guidance and ensure that staff members are properly protected.One of the most dangerous factors in dealing with asbestos is that it is almost invisible and is very hard to identify at first glance.Asbestos Hidden Killer CampaignIn an attempt to highlight the dangers of exposure to asbestos materials, the HSE recently launched its Hidden Killer campaign to educate small business owners on the seriousness of asbestos inhalation.Not only can improper asbestos extraction lead to litigation, it can cause those affected to suffer from a slow, painful death, as the inner-lining of the lungs is heavily damaged by the material.By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Cyclist Wins Pothole Injury Compensation

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Cyclist Wins Pothole Injury CompensationCyclist Wins Pothole Injury CompensationA cyclist from Hertfordshire has won his case against the County Council after he lost his job due to the injuries he suffered in a road accident when he came off his bicycle.Alan Curtis, who lives in Bushey, was earning £96,000 a year in a charity fundraising directorship when he came off his bike after it hit a pothole in October 2009.The accident in Rickmansworth led to him suffering a fractured skull, leaving him with hearing problems and short-term memory loss; the Evening Standard reports.Mr Curtis, who also broke his arm in the accident, was eventually able to return to work, but had to take a less demanding post with a salary of only £30,000. He decided to sue the County Council due to its failure to maintain the road surface and ensure the safety of riders.The bicycle accident claim was successful as Judge Pittaway QC awarded Mr Curtis £69,425, which includes £20,000 to cover any potential unemployment he may suffer should he be required to change jobs again. In making his adjudication, he said the accident will either have occurred because of Mr Curtis being thrown off his bike by hitting the pothole, or losing balance as he tried to swerve to avoid it.Commenting after the award, the 56-year old told the Evening Standard, “I’m quite pleased. I have always said I never came into this for the money and I didn’t expect to win a life-changing amount.”But the more I thought about it and the more I realised I have got permanent injuries that I will have for the rest of my life, I just felt that someone ought to be held to account. In that sense, justice has been done.”The verdict was welcomed by Mr Curtis’s solicitor Kevin O’Sullivan, who said the judgement may open the “floodgates” and lead to a series of further pothole injury compensation claims against Councils that fail to maintain the roads. Describing the outcome as “great news for cyclists”, he criticised Hertfordshire County Council for not deciding to settle out of Court. However, the local authority was unhappy with the verdict. Its spokesman said, “Mr Curtis’s pothole accident is regrettable. However, Hertfordshire County Council is disappointed with the outcome of the judgement.”The possibility of a large number of claims arising against Councils for pothole related accidents may be increased by the high number of such problems occurring on roads across the country, following the severe weather endured in the winter.However, in his budget speech last week, chancellor George Osborne acknowledged that “our roads have taken a battering” and revealed that a £200 million cash pot will be made available for Councils to apply to access in order to fund road repairs.This may lead to fewer problems in some local authorities, but where pothole accidents do occur, it may be that Councils unsuccessfully applying for funds attempt to use a lack of financial support as a defence. Conversely, those that do receive funds but fail to repair potholes may find any cases that arise harder to defend.By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Learn More about Wrongful Death

A death caused by the negligent or unjust actions of another individual is referred to as a wrongful death. While all deaths are devastating to the family and friends of the deceased, wrongful deaths can be exceptionally traumatic due to the fact that they could have been prevented. A variety of accidents and intentional harms can lead to the wrongful death of others, including car accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace negligence, and even acts of violence or murder. When the numbers are added up, it is clear to see how unfortunately common wrongful deaths can be.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 37,000 prescription drug-related fatalities occurred in 2009. The Department of Transportation reports that for the same year, 33,883 traffic accident fatalities occurred. Workplace accidents also contribute significantly, with over 4,500 accident-related fatalities reported in 2010 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that approximately 225,000 individuals die each year as a result of medical malpractice.When an individual suffers a wrongful death, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate is allowed under law to bring forth a civil case against the individual (or individuals) who were either partially or fully responsible for the death. In order to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was either negligent, acted with intent to cause harm, or was strictly to blame regardless of any fault attached to their actions (or failure to take action).Each state has its own wrongful death statutes that define time limits within which a wrongful death suit can be filed, and which often place specific regulations on the damages that can be pursued for individual types of accidents. In the aftermath of an unexpected and tragic death, bereaved family and friends are distraught, angry, and often in shock at what has transpired to their loved one. The complexity and individualistic nature of wrongful death laws and lawsuits underscore the importance just how important it is for grieving families to secure the help of a qualified attorney. …

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Cable Strike Leads to Fines

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Cable Strike Leads to FinesCable Strike Leads to FinesTwo firms based in the North East of England have been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after workers were put at risk of electrocution.Chester-le-Street company Northern Construction Solutions and its Hexham-based counterpart Egger UK were taken to Court by the authority after failings were found in the management of groundworks by inspectors.Cable strikeNewcastle Magistrates’ Court was told that the cable strike took place as work was being undertaken at Egger’s site by Northern Construction Solutions.Staff members were asked to excavate an area in front of a newly built electrical substation in order to install a drainage system that would prevent power outages in the future if there was heavy rain or flooding from nearby rivers.To complete this task they used a digger, but as the bucket of the vehicle came into contact with the ground after a brief period of excavation, it touched onto a 20 kV underground electrical cable, something with enough power to easily kill any human in close proximity.Injury avoidedLuckily, workers were not electrocuted, despite the metal digger touching the live cable.The accident was recorded and passed on to the HSE, which sought to discover why staff members of Northern Construction Solutions were allowed to be in such close proximity to dangerous cables.It was concluded that it was Egger’s duty to provide Northern Construction Solutions with information regarding the location of electric cables.But while Egger gave the contractor an out-of-date diagram without the live wires in place, something that goes against health and safety law, Northern Construction Solutions knew this was the case and did not inform workers.FinesFor its part in the avoidable accident, which the HSE said could have led to multiple deaths, Egger was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £578.90 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.Northern Construction Solutions was also sanctioned and told to pay a combined £4,761.60 in costs and fines after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.”Fatal consequences”Even though nobody was injured in this case, the HSE has been quick to condemn both companies involved for putting their workers at risk of harm through a lack of record-keeping and poor communication.HSE Inspector Andrea Robbins said, “Fortunately nobody was hurt in this incident. However, the potential for serious, even fatal, injuries was foreseeable.”Had both Egger and Northern Construction Solutions adequately planned and managed the risks arising from contact with live underground cables before the excavation work started, e.g. isolation of the services, provision of up-to-date and accurate information on the location of the underground services, then this incident would have most probably been avoided.”The construction industry needs to be more aware of the dangers of working in the vicinity of live underground services. Appropriate planning and control measures should always be in place.”By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Employee Injured by Reversing Vehicle

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Employee Injured by Reversing VehicleEmployee Injured by Reversing VehicleA Hampshire waste company has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker was injured by a reversing digger in Eastleigh.Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London has heard that Martin Jewell, 49, from Gosport, suffered life-changing injuries in the accident from which it is unlikely he will ever recover.The accidentMr Jewell, a skip driver, had just completed a job when the accident took place and was returning to the Solent Waste Services site to see if any more work was required.The logistician made his way to a storage unit and asked the digger driver inside to pull out a skip and fill it up, before he turned away and started to walked towards a nearby office.However, as he did this the digger reversed into him, knocking him over and crushing his legs.HospitalAfter being rushed to hospital, Mr Jewell was diagnosed with life-changing injuries that included a double fracture to his right shin bone, as well as broken bones in both of his feet.While broken bones can often be quickly healed, the extent of the compression caused by the weight of the equipment on Mr Jewell’s legs caused him more serious damage than would normally be expected.The skip driver also had to go through a number of painful operations and required extensive physiotherapy to regain movement in his legs, although he has not yet made a full recovery.Vehicle segregationAfter being informed of the accident, the HSE launched an investigation in an attempt to ascertain if anyone was to blame in the case, or if it was Mr Jewell’s fault. An extensive analysis of the Solent Waste Services site found that traffic was not properly segregated, meaning that pedestrians were in close contact with vehicles.This was, according to inspectors, a clear violation of pre-existing guidelines as any industrial site with large vehicles, including diggers, in operation should have a safe work plan in place to stop these kinds of accidents from happening.For its part in Mr Jewell’s accident, Solent Waste Services Limited, of Withy Meadows, Dutton Lane, Eastleigh, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £19,752 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Sec 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.”All too often”After the hearing was finished, HSE inspector Zahir Agha criticised Solent Waste Services for its poor practice, directly blaming it for Mr Jewell’s injuries.”Incidents of this kind, where vehicles strike workers because movements are not properly controlled, occur all too often in the waste sector and result in a number of deaths and serious injuries every year,” the inspector explained.”Work around moving vehicles has to be properly planned, in line with guidance that is readily available through HSE and others. Solent Waste Services could and should have done more, and as a result Mr Jewell has been left with debilitating injuries from which he may never fully recover.”By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Contractor Fined after Worker Crushed by Steelwork

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Contractor Fined after Worker Crushed by SteelworkContractor Fined after Worker Crushed by SteelworkHCL Equipment Contracts has been fined in Court after serious safety failings were found to have contributed to an industrial accident.Serious injuriesThe case involved an unnamed 39-year-old man from Barnsley who was crushed under the weight of a collapsed steel framework.Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that the employee, who was working with a colleague to cut steelwork into pieces, before dropping them into a frame, suffered “serious crush injuries” because of his employer’s neglect.Both of the men who worked on the cutting project wore harnesses and lanyards that were not suitable for the job they were doing, something that put them at risk of harm. After cleaning various parts of the structure they were dismantling, the men began to work on a standing conveyor.The duo aimed to weaken the component so that it would fall onto the platform they were standing on to make their job easier, but as the 39-year-old was finishing a cut the conveyor dropped to the floor earlier than had been expected.CrushedThe 380 kg object struck the man directly and fractured his sternum, broke two vertebrae, fractured eight ribs, broke a number of teeth and caused deep cuts in his skull that needed 58 stitches.Health and Safety Executive (HSE) bosses immediately sent inspectors to HCL Equipment Contracts after hearing about the accident in order to ascertain the facts of the case.Investigations at the site revealed widespread poor practice, including a lack of proper escape routes, as well as serious failings in the processes involved in scrapping large metal frameworks.For its part in the unnamed worker’s accident, HCL Equipment Contracts was given a large fine totalling £10,000 and told to pay £491 in costs after executives pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.”It could have been avoided”After the hearing at Leicester Magistrates’ Court finished, HSE inspector Tony Mitchell said, “HCL Equipment Contracts Limited was responsible for the welfare of its workers and for ensuring the dismantling work was carried out in a safe manner.”Our investigation found that if this work had been properly planned and risk assessed, and sufficient training given, it could have been avoided.”Tata SteelHCL Equipment Contracts is not the only steelworks company to have been fined by the HSE in recent months.In January, Tata Steel, an Indian manufacturing giant with a plant in south Wales, was fined £25,000 and told to pay £8,320 in costs after it pleaded guilty to three separate breaches of health and safety legislation.The case involved an employee, who had worked at the plant for 34 years, whose hand became trapped in a pair of steel pinch rolls, leading to serious crush injuries and the amputation of half of his index finger and part of his middle finger.HSE inspector Steve Lewis said, “This was a completely needless and entirely preventable incident that left an employee with a permanent impairment.”By Chris StevensonOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Guns Loom Large in Childhood Death Statistics

You can’t go more than a couple of months without seeing another news headline about a school shooting, or a shooting incident involving a child. While these stories are shocking, school shootings account for only a small number of the gun-related injuries and fatalities that children suffer every year as a result of gunshots. In fact, most gun injuries happen in the home and at the hands of other children who had no intention of hurting anybody.Children and Gun DeathsAccording to a recent study presented to a conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 500 children die every year from gunshot wounds. That number represents a 60 percent increase in a single decade. Handguns, by far, account for the most injuries and deaths. Over 80 percent of all children who are injured by firearms suffer injuries inflicted by handguns.The study looked at data compiled between 1997 and 2009. In 1997, 4,270 children under the age of 20 suffered a gunshot injury. By 2009, that number increase to 7,730, a jump of about 55 percent. Further, 317 children died of gunshot injuries in 1997, while 503 died of such injuries in 2009.Disproportionate DangerOther studies have shown that gunshots pose a disproportionately high fatality risk to children. Even though gunshot wounds account for only 1% of the total number of injuries children suffer each year, they account for 21% of deaths that result from childhood injury.When a child is shot, that child has a 32% chance of requiring major surgery. …

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Caravan Firm in Court After Worker Fall

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Caravan Firm in Court After Worker FallCaravan Firm in Court After Worker FallA caravan manufacturer has been fined after a worker was seriously injured in a fall from height.An unnamed 30-year-old from Chingford in Essex, who wishes to remain anonymous, fell from a makeshift platform while he was attaching metalwork cladding to the side of a caravan at the Roma Caravans site in Silsoe, Bedfordshire.ProsecutionThe accident led to the firm’s prosecution, after Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors concluded that Roma Caravans did not have a safe system of work and left its staff members at serious risk of harm when they carried out day-to-day jobs.Although a number of safeguard failings were identified by the HSE investigation, the crux of its case against Roma Caravans was the 30-year-old man’s accident, which indicated a lack of oversight when it came to staff safety.Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court heard that the platform the man stood on comprised a wooden plank placed across a metal frame, something that falls well short of expected standards in the manufacturing sector.FallAs the worker attempted to step off the platform to retrieve his tools, the far end of the plank he was stood on swung up and struck him in the groin.This sent him crashing towards the floor, with the makeshift scaffold collapsing around him.After initial observations it was concluded the man had escaped unscathed and suffered only minor bruising, but two days later he collapsed and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.This condition is a set of symptoms stemming from brain damage incurred during a head injury and can appear days, or even months, after the original accident took place.HeadachesThe anonymous worker has, since his original injury, suffered from regular, severe headaches and pains to his hip.For its failure to protect its personnel from harm, Roma Caravans, of Amenbury Lane, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,527 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.Speaking after the prosecution, HSE inspector Andrew McGill said, “This incident was entirely avoidable and illustrates the need for duty holders to ensure work of this nature is carefully planned and managed at all times.”By not providing suitable equipment, Roma Caravans put the safety of a worker at risk. Appropriate and stable work platforms should always be used for any work undertaken at height.”Falls from heightFalls from height remain common in the private sector and the HSE has outlined that it wishes to see an improvement in the coming months, otherwise further crackdowns could be ordered against businesses that put their workers at risk.Earlier this month it was revealed that a London-based scaffolding company was fined by the authority after a self-employed decorator suffered a fractured arm and dislocated shoulder by falling off a temporary structure.Beacon Scaffolding, of Gloucester Avenue, was fined £5,000 and told to pay £1,737 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.By Chris StevensonOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Arm Injury Accident at Work Leads to Fine

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Arm Injury Accident at Work Leads to FineArm Injury Accident at Work Leads to FineCEP Ceilings has been hit with a hefty fine following an accident in which an employee’s arm was injured after getting caught in a machine.The worker was operating a amchine at its premises in Stafford last year when his forearm got trapped in its intermeshing metal gears. He subsequently had to undergo skin grafts in order for the wounds to heal.Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the accident came about partly because CEP Ceilings failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment on the site.The HSE also discovered that the company had not implemented a safe system of work, while employees were not monitored sufficiently when they were using machinery.£24,000 FineCEP Ceilings later pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 at Stafford Magistrates’ Court. The company was ordered to pay a £24,000 fine plus £1,194 in costs.Unsafe Methods ‘Existed for Many Years’After the sentence was issued in court, the HSE criticised CEP Ceilings for having adopted an unsafe way of working for a long time.Wayne Owen, an inspector at the watchdog, said procedures that had not been fit for purpose had “existed for many years” and this led to the employee suffering a “painful injury”.”CEP Ceilings [failed] to effectively assess the risk to employees from using and clearing the machine and then prescribe a system of work which kept employees safe,” he commented.”Workers were left to determine their own methods of cleaning machinery.”Mr Owen insisted that employers must implement safe working procedures and ensure members of staff are properly instructed and trained on how to comply with these rules in full.This, he said, can help to manage risks during both production and maintenance activities at premises where industrial machinery is in use.”A robust system to monitor employees also needs to be in place to detect any poor practices,” Mr Owen commented.Related Work Accident in StaffordshireThe case follows another work accident in which Andrew Thomas, an employee at Marling Leek in Staffordshire, also suffered an arm injury after it got caught in an unguarded machine.Mr Thomas subsequently had to undergo five operations, but was left with permanent scars, while the strength and feeling in his arm has been reduced as a result of nerve damage and muscle loss.The HSE was particularly critical of Marling Leek as it had been prosecuted over a previous accident in the past, but had failed to address the problems and carry out an adequate risk assessment throughout the business.Lyn Spooner, an inspector at the HSE, insisted that carrying out a risk assessment is a “vital process to allow a company to identify significant risk and ensure it is complying with relevant statutory provisions”.She added that there is extensive guidance on preventing access to dangerous machine parts in the workplace to enable employers to comply with the law.By Chris StevensonOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Seven-Year Compensation Battle for Man Injured by Bus

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Seven-Year Compensation Battle for Man Injured by BusSeven-Year Compensation Battle for Man Injured by BusCorey Wilson, a 21-year-old from the Croydon area, was seriously injured during a bus accident almost seven years ago and he and his family have since been fighting for appropriate compensation for the effects the event has had on his life.Bus AccidentMr Wilson was boarding a double-decker Arriva bus in May 2007 when it pulled away from the stop, resulting in his sleeve getting caught in the door and him being dragged underneath it, the Croydon Guardian reports.Passengers on the bus had to help lift the vehicle up to free Mr Wilson, who was immediately rushed to hospital, where he was required to spend two months, missing vital schooling.For the past seven years, Mr Wilson has suffered extensively, both physically and mentally.InjuriesWith regard to physical injuries, Mr Wilson broke his leg, fractured his ankle and suffered from a life-threatening brain trauma, which has resulted in him experiencing bouts of amnesia, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.During the ambulance journey to hospital following the accident, Mr Wilson’s heart stopped and he had to be resuscitated by paramedics. He still has problems sleeping and requires constant care. Barbara Malcolm, Mr Wilson’s mother, told the Croydon Guardian, “Before the accident he had ADHD, but nothing else. Now he has all these problems. It has been seven years and still we have nothing. I am here for Corey 24/7 because he is in so much pain and on so much medication.”The AftermathMr Wilson is now required to take seven different types of medication each day and his mother has had to leave her job organising after-school activities to look after him full-time.He is now unable to take part in sports, which he loved to do prior to the accident, and has found his wellbeing severely affected.Mr Wilson said, “I can’t stand up for long because I get light-headed. I used to do boxing, tennis and football but now I find it hard to run. I’m anti-social now. I don’t go out much anymore.”He added he has suffered from feelings of depression due to being practically house-bound and has been unable to follow his childhood ambition of becoming either an electrician or a construction worker.’Unreasonable’ Compensation OfferAfter fighting for suitable compensation over a six-year period, Arriva finally offered Mrs Malcolm and her son a settlement of £10,000.However, she says this is nowhere near enough for the damage inflicted on her son’s life, despite the family facing a constant daily struggle.She said, “Sometimes I feel like giving up.”Despite this, Mrs Malcolm is continuing to negotiate with Arriva over the injuries sustained by her son as she believes a lack of concentration by the driver of the bus caused Mr Wilson to almost die.Compensation Battle ContinuesSpeaking to the Croydon Guardian, a spokesman for Arriva said, “Communication between Corey Wilson’s lawyer and our representatives is ongoing and with the matter being a legal case we cannot comment any further.”Or Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Coating Firm Fined After Worker Seriously Damages Hand

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 3 » Coating Firm Fined After Worker Seriously Damages HandCoating Firm Fined After Worker Seriously Damages HandDT Powder Coating, a Bedfordshire-based business, has been handed a large fine following an episode that saw an unnamed employee suffer serious injuries to his right hand.What happened?In September 2012, at the company’s Leighton Buzzard site, the worker was struck by a metal basket and cradle which fell on him after an eyebolt attached to a crane failed, leading the objects to be launched into a degreasing tank.Injuries sustainedThe heavy metal cradle struck the employee’s right hand, leading to serious lacerations, several bones being broken and damage to his nerves and tendons.Since sustaining his injuries, the employee found himself unable to work for over a year.HSE investigationThe first failing by DT Powder Coating was that it did not report the accident within the required 15-day period.However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was eventually called in to investigate the event and identified a number of areas in which the company had failed to prevent such accidents from taking place.The HSE investigation into the case revealed employees had been concerned about the health and safety practices carried out by DT Powder Coating for some time.Speaking after the Court case, HSE inspector Emma Rowlands said, “We received several complaints from current and previous employees regarding this company.”These three employee concerns led to four improvement notices being served to DT Powder Coating by the HSE.During the inquiry, it was found that employees had not been properly trained on how to lift equipment safely and there was no system in place to ensure such tasks were carried out in the correct manner.The HSE noted the faulty eyebolt needed to have been screwed into the basket’s framework much more securely, as its looseness appeared to be the primary cause of the accident.Ms Rowlands said, “Our investigation revealed a lack of basic employee training and that lifting operations were carried out in a way that exposed employees to risk of injury. In this case, an employee suffered a needless injury, which has prevented him from working for over a year.”OutcomeEarlier this week, Luton Magistrates’ Court ruled that DT Powder Coating was guilty of breaching Regulation 2 of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 3 of the 1995 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, as well as Regulation 5 of the 1998 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.The first of these breaches relates to the company failing to ensure the welfare of its workers, while the second is because the firm did not report the accident within the correct period of time. The third and final breach relates to the business’ failure to maintain its machinery properly and keep records of any repairs needed or how long it has been since they were last carried out.For these safety failings, the firm was ordered by the Court to pay a fine of £36,000 plus an additional £10,509 in legal costs.By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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8 Practical Steps You Can Take if You’re Ever in a Car Crash

Almost all drivers will experience a fender bender, object collision, or a more significant car crash at some time in their lives. While car accidents can be very scary and stressful, you need to be prepared to take specific steps if you are ever involved in a crash. Here’s what you need to do:Step 1. Get help.If you or anyone else has been injured, you need to get help as soon as possible. If you have a cell phone you should call 911 and ask the operator to send an ambulance. If you don’t have a cell phone or are unable to move, ask the first person on the scene to call for help. If there is a crowd of people, single out one person and specifically ask him or her to call.Step 2. Make the area safe, if possible.In non-injury accidents that don’t result in significant damage to your vehicle, it’s best to move your car, truck, or motorcycle to a safe place. As long as the vehicle is operable, you should try to move it to the side of the road or somewhere else where it won’t be an obstruction to other motorists.Step 3. Exchange driver details.Once you are sure that everyone involved is fine and the area is safe, you should then talk to the other driver to obtain his or her insurance information. …

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