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

Read more

We work harder when we are happy, new study shows

Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick. Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive.Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr Eugenio Proto and Dr Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick led the research.This is the first causal evidence using randomized trials and piece-rate working. The study, to be published in the Journal of Labor Economics, included four different experiments with more than 700 participants.During the experiments a number of the participants were either shown a comedy movie clip or treated to free chocolate, drinks and fruit. Others were questioned about recent family tragedies, such as bereavements, to assess whether lower levels of happiness were later associated with lower levels of productivity.Professor Oswald said: “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%, they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”Dr Sgroi added: “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”Dr Proto said the research had implications for employers and promotion policies.He said: “We have shown that happier subjects are more productive, the same pattern appears in four different experiments. This research will provide some guidance for management in all kinds of organizations, they should strive to make their workplaces emotionally healthy for their workforce.”The report can be found online at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/proto/workingpapers/happinessproductivity.pdfStory Source:The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Read more

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous material which has been in use for a long time mainly for its fire resistant qualities. Asbestos is a preferred building material due to its fire resistant and heat resistant capability coupled with the fact that it is not expensive.Asbestos was very popular amongst California business owners in the early and mid 20’s and they used it in nearly every way they could. They tried to use asbestos to create safer, and cheaper buildings, but time has proven that these building are not any safer, nor are they more cheaper,as the high cost of treating the mesothelioma disease that they caused, they also lead to loss of lives.Asbestos was once used in everything from automotive parts, clothing, and blankets. It …

Read more

Smoking cessation experts weigh in on e-cigarettes

Aug. 15, 2013 — With the third and largest of the U.S. tobacco companies planning an e-cigarette product launch this fall, this next frontier for “Big Tobacco” provides renewed presence in a declining marketplace. It’s also a potential gateway to new smokers, particularly among teens and in emerging/foreign markets, according to behavioral scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide inhaled doses of nicotine vapors and flavorings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 6 percent of adults have tried e-cigarettes, a number that has nearly doubled since 2010. Absent of tobacco, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a possible aid in getting people to stop smoking and thereby reducing their lung cancer risk.However, MD Anderson cancer prevention experts Paul Cinciripini, Ph.D., director of the Tobacco Treatment Program, and Alexander Prokhorov, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Tobacco Outreach Education Program, caution that more research is needed to understand the potential role of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation.”Independent studies must rigorously investigate e-cigarettes, as there’s considerable potential benefit in these products if they’re regulated and their safety is ensured,” says Cinciripini. “But promoting the e-cigarettes already on the shelves as ‘safe’ is misleading and, if looked at as a harmless alternative to cigarettes, could potentially lead to a new generation of smokers more likely to become tobacco dependent.”With the impending introduction of another e-cigarette, Prokhorov and Cinciripini urge consumers to know the following information.• E-cigarettes are unregulated and there’s little research on their safety or efficacy as smoking cessation tools. “These products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and this is concerning because it’s impossible to know what you’re really getting or if it’s safe. In one analysis nicotine levels have been shown to vary widely among e-cigarette products,” says Prokhorov. For now, he recommends that those looking to quit stick with approved devices, such as nicotine inhalers.• Switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes could help smokers avoid approximately 6,000 chemicals, some of which are human carcinogens. …

Read more

Scientists create tiny bendy power supply for even smaller portable electronics

Aug. 7, 2013 — Scientists have created a powerful micro-supercapacitor, just nanometres thick, that could help electronics companies develop mobile phones and cameras that are smaller, lighter and thinner than ever before. The tiny power supply measures less than half a centimetre across and is made from a flexible material, opening up the possibility for wearable electronics.The research is published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Energy & Environmental Science.A bottleneck in making portable electronic devices like mobile phones even smaller is reducing the size and increasing the flexibility of the power supplies in electronic circuits. Supercapacitors are attractive power supplies because they can store almost as much energy as a battery, with the advantage of high-speed energy discharge. Supercapacitor electrodes are normally made from carbon or conducting polymers, but these can be relatively costly.A team led by Professor Oliver G Schmidt at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden (IFW-Dresden) examined the use of manganese dioxide as an alternative electrode material, which is more environmentally friendly and less expensive than the standard materials. Manganese dioxide is not a natural choice for an electrode material because it isn’t very electrically conductive, nor is it naturally flexible or strong. However, the scientists overcame this by vaporising the manganese dioxide using an electron beam and then allowing the gaseous atoms to precipitate into thin, bendy films. They incorporated very thin layers of gold into the films to improve the electrical conductivity of the material.Tests on the new micro-supercapacitor showed that the tiny, bendy power supply can store more energy and provide more power per unit volume than state-of-the-art supercapacitors.Dr Chenglin Yan, leader of the research group at IFW-Dresden, said: “Supercapacitors, as a new class of energy device, can store high energy and provide high power, bridging the gap between rechargeable batteries and conventional capacitors. So we thought a micro-supercapacitor would be an important development in the rapid advance of portable consumer electronics, which need small lightweight, flexible micro-scale power sources.”The device could be applied to many miniaturised technologies, including implantable medical devices and active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for self-powered miniaturised devices.”The next step in the team’s research is finding a cheaper alternative to gold to improve the conductivity of the micro-supercapacitor.Dr Yan said: “The major challenge we had to overcome in developing this technology was to obtain really high energy density on the micro-scale, at a low cost. The inclusion of gold in our micro-supercapacitor makes it more expensive, so we are now looking at replacing gold with cheaper metals, such as manganese, to make the device more practical for the market.”

Read more

Why are consumers less likely to buy a product when it’s the only option?

July 26, 2013 — Consumers are more likely to search for alternatives when they are given only one option, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.”There has been a lot of recent attention devoted to the pitfalls of presenting consumers with too many options. However, consumers may also react negatively when choices are too restrictive. Isolating an option, even temporarily, may increase how much consumers search and potentially the likelihood that they make no purchase,” writes author Daniel Mochon (Tulane University).Suppose a consumer really wants to buy a camera. Narrowing the selection should make it easier to choose from one of the available options. Reducing the selection to just a single camera should make it even easier, but it doesn’t. In fact, consumers may be less likely to choose a specific camera when it’s the only option.In one study, consumers were asked to purchase a DVD player. One group was presented with a Sony DVD player, a second group was presented with a Philips DVD player, and a third group was presented with both options. Consumers were more likely to make a selection when they were presented together than when each was presented alone.Giving consumers only one option increases their desire to search for more options. As a result, they might reject a product they would otherwise purchase. For example, a consumer shopping for a DVD player may be willing to purchase a Sony model when another option is also available, but unwilling to purchase the same Sony when it’s the only option.”Companies should consider how options are presented to consumers. …

Read more

Empowering your customers? Think twice about social media campaigns

July 26, 2013 — Companies that empower consumers by involving them in important processes such as product development shouldn’t also try to influence them through social media, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.”Peer-to-peer marketing and consumer empowerment may not be compatible. Empowered consumers resist social influence by either discounting the opinions of others or deliberately expressing opinions that diverge from those of other consumers,” write authors Mehdi Mourali (University of Calgary) and Zhiyong Yang (University of Texas, Arlington).Empowering the consumer has become a popular business practice. For example, M&M’s, Mountain Dew, and other brands seek to empower consumers by giving them some control over product development (customers are allowed to vote on new colors, flavors, or products). At the same time, companies are increasing their attempts to influence consumers through social media.Previous research has assumed that empowered consumers either pay no attention to the opinions of other consumers or dismiss them entirely when judging a product. However, the authors found that consumers who were made to feel empowered didn’t always just ignore the opinions of others. In fact, some empowered consumers deliberately expressed opposing views and rebelled against attempts to influence them.Companies that succeed in empowering their customers may find it difficult to implement a successful social media campaign. Empowered consumers will either ignore or rebel against any perceived attempt to influence them.”Many companies have embraced the concept of consumer empowerment. However, they should consider whether attempts to integrate social influence (word-of-mouth marketing, social network marketing, buzz marketing) might backfire with empowered consumers,” the authors conclude.

Read more

Smile’s better to boost small businesses, says new research

June 14, 2013 — A simple smile and a friendly greeting can make customers feel much more loyal towards small independent companies, according to new Kingston University research.The study, which examined the retail behaviour of 2,006 consumers and the business practices of 1,216 decision makers in small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), reveals that a smile and a friendly hello is the most common reason (59 per cent) why consumers feel loyal towards independent retailers. However, only just over half (54 per cent) of respondents stated their small business employed this practice.Three in five consumers are also willing to pay more for a product from a small independent shop rather than deal with a large corporate retailer, the study funded by Barclays Business Banking and carried out by Kingston Business School’s Small Business Research Centre suggested.”SMEs are in a unique position to embrace these traditional values of personal customer contact and loyalty and should build on their natural competitive advantages to make a real difference to survival and growth,” Professor Robert Blackburn of Kingston Business School said.More than a third of loyal consumers said they kept coming back because of excellent customer service and one in five said they valued businesses remembering their usual order — but only around half of businesses involved in the study kept a record of customers’ previous orders.The research also discovered that less than a third of SME respondents consider retaining or growing their current customer base to be their main business priority to achieve growth over the next 12 months. Only 50 per cent would encourage word of mouth recommendations by regular customers in order to grow or survive.”While the majority of decision makers do recognise the importance of personal relationships with customers, they are failing to develop their own customer loyalty strategies,” Professor Blackburn explained. “This shows a worrying ‘loyalty gap’ among British SMEs, where they could be failing to capitalise on their capability to provide customers with a highly personalised service.”The study was one of a series of research projects carried out by Kingston Business School for Barclays.

Read more

Utilizzando il sito, accetti l'utilizzo dei cookie da parte nostra. maggiori informazioni

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close