Worker sustains horrific injuries following sawmill incident

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Worker sustains horrific injuries following sawmill incidentWorker sustains horrific injuries following sawmill incidentA Dumfries-based sawmill has been fined after a worker suffered severe arm injuries when it became trapped in a poorly guarded machine.Scott Campbell, aged 32 at the time of the incident, was working for Howie Forest Products at its Kenmuir Sawmills site in Dalbeattie when the accident took place on January 12th 2010.Mr Campbell was stacking wood on a machine when he reached over the top of a safety fence to pick up banding strips to tie some planks together. But as he did this, one of the machine’s components pinned his right arm inside of the fence and trapped it.The man’s arm was then hit by the base block of the machine arm, snapping his elbow and leaving a bone protruding from the skin. Upon arriving at hospital the sawmill-worker was put straight into surgery and the fracture did not repair until four months later.Mr Campbell has returned to work but he is not expected to recover the full range of movement he once had in the limb and this will have a significant impact on his quality of life.An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) looked into the causes of the accident and found Howie Forest failed to assess the risks to employees of improper equipment guarding.Inspectors also criticised the placement of banding strips, which forced workers to put their arms in dangerous areas – as was the case with Mr Campbell.For these guideline breaches, Howie Forest Products was fined £20,000 after it pleaded guilty to not following Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.After the prosecution, HSE inspector Russell Berry commented: “This incident was entirely preventable.”If the company had adopted a consistent approach to assessing the risks of all the machines at the site, the higher standard of protection that existed on the newer machines would have prevented this incident from occurring.”Howie Forest Products should have been aware that the safety measures on this stacking unit were inadequate.”By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Pharma company fined after man burned by chemicals

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 9 » Pharma company fined after man burned by chemicalsPharma company fined after man burned by chemicalsA pharmaceutical company based in the north-east of England has been fined for a serious safety breach after a worker was doused in a corrosive chemical.The unnamed employee was conducting his normal duties at the Aesica Pharmaceuticals site at the Windmill Industrial Estate in Northumberland when the accident took place.Although a previous inspection at the facility highlighted a tank containing bromine needed decommissioning as soon as possible, this had not been done by 2012 when the incident took place.Part of the unit was breached and bromine sprayed all over the staff member.He was immediately rushed to hospital, where he nearly died, but after 48 hours in intensive care the man pulled through.For failing to adequately maintain its equipment, Aesica Pharmaceuticals was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was forced to pay fines and costs totalling £107,803.By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Kebab worker injured in horrific accident

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Kebab worker injured in horrific accidentKebab worker injured in horrific accidentAn Essex-based kebab manufacturer has been fined after a worker suffered horrific injuries on February 9th 2012.Ethem Torunoglu, 36, from London, was working for Kismet Kebabs when the incident took place and Chelmsford Crown Court was told the man was cleaning a derinding machine when he noticed a piece of meat caught in a stripper comb.Even though the device was still running, Mr Torunoglu decided to try and dislodge the blockage by using a pressure washer, but when this failed to render the unit usable, he simply reached inside and tried to grab the offending debris.The 36-year-old’s hand was drawn inside and a serrated roller began to grind away at his hand and he could not free his limb.Despite there being an emergency stop button right next to the machine, this was just out of reach and he had to wait until a colleague could arrive and disable the unit.Mr Torunoglu was rushed to hospital and doctors treated him for significant injuries, including the loss of all knuckles on his right hand and tendon, vein and flesh damage.These ailments led to a 19-day stay in a medical facility and the 36-year-old had to have three operations to rebuild his limb, including a large skin graft taken from his left thigh. He has since had to undergo two more operations and is awaiting plastic surgery.According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Mr Torunglu has been unable to return to work.HSE inspectors told Chelmsford Crown Court training for the deriding machine was poor and employees had not been made aware of risks involved in cleaning the device.As a result of this, Kismet Kebabs was fined £17,500 and told to pay £7,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching two regulations.After the successful prosecution, HSE inspector Julie Rayner said: “This incident was wholly avoidable. Ethem Torunoglu was failed by the company’s lack of proper training, inadequate assessment of risks and lack of effective measures to stop access to dangerous parts of equipment.”By Chris StevensonOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Council fined over health and safety failing

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Council fined over health and safety failingCouncil fined over health and safety failingA council has been hit with a £48,000 fine after it was found to have overseen health and safety failings that resulted in the disfigurement of a school child.Galashiels Academy student Nadine Craig was forced to spend ten days in hospital and six months off school following an incident in her classroom in 2007 in which she was dragged into an unguarded lathe, reports the Southern Reporter.Sheriff Kevin Drummond initially handed the local authority a £72,000 fine at Selkirk Sheriff Court this week, but he later reduced it to £48,000 in recognition of Scottish Borders Council’s early plea.He explained the lathe had regularly been used without a guard, despite the fact one could be purchased for around £260.Mr Drummond said: “The degree of risk was substantial and it was one which was allowed to continue over a significant period of time. The fact that schoolchildren were, in fact, permitted to be involved in the operation of machinery in these circumstances was a serious failure.”He also refused the idea that the teacher had not been given the resources required to carry out a full risk assessment of the machine in order to decide whether it was safe for pupils to use.A spokesman for the council said it had issued a full apology to Miss Craig and accepted it was responsible for the incident.The representative added: “A full safety review of technical classes in all secondary schools was carried out immediately after the accident.”It remains to be seen whether the steps taken by the local authority will prevent similar occurrences in schools in the Scottish Borders in the coming months and years.By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Woman awarded £5,000 for poor dental treatment

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Woman awarded £5,000 for poor dental treatmentWoman awarded £5,000 for poor dental treatmentA woman from Knebworth has been awarded compensation of almost £5,000 after suffering poor dental work.Carole Gavin sued Dr Alykhan Dinani over treatment that was carried out to such a low standard it resulted in her losing a tooth. Ms Gavin had visited the dentist for routine root canal treatment and a crown, but the action taken by the medical expert left one tooth so badly broken and infected that it later had to be removed.The 46-year-old villager told the Hertfordshire Mercury she is not the sort of person who would take legal action on a whim, but she felt the incident was of such severity that she opted to.”I wanted to make people aware of what happened and that there is a recourse. You can’t see inside your own mouth. You don’t know what should be done and you can’t tell if it’s been done correctly,” Ms Gavin said.She had originally visited the practice to see Dr Dinani in May 2008 and described how the crown was fitted poorly. Indeed, she soon found food became lodged under her tooth and this led to an infection and a painful abscess.At this point, she returned to the practice and told how the dentist did not remove the food residue that had gathered beneath the crown. Several weeks later she tried to get another appointment but was soon rushed into A&E.”The left side of my face became extremely swollen and I was in so much pain. I was really concerned so I went straight to my nearest hospital,” she explained.Ms Gavin was informed the tooth could not be repaired because the root canal treatment had been carried out incorrectly. As a result, it was removed.She has now been awarded compensation of £4,875. Dr Dinani and Stevenage Dental Practice chose not to comment.Or call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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High lifetime costs for type 2 diabetes

Aug. 8, 2013 — A person with type 2 diabetes may spend an average of nearly $85,500 to treat the disease and its complications over his or her lifetime, reports a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the greater the lifetime costs, with costs for women slightly higher than for men. Anything that can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes could lead to a sizeable reduction in healthcare costs in the future, say the researchers.The goals of the study were to understand the financial return on preventing or delaying onset of type 2 diabetes and to get a sense of the long-term financial impact of new cases of diabetes and its complications, said Xiaohui Zhuo, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and lead author. “This has become increasingly important given the rapid increase of the number of the incident cases in the U.S. and worldwide,” he said.Researchers at the CDC and Research Triangle International in Research Triangle Park, NC, created a simulation model to examine the costs of treating type 2 diabetes and its complications in newly diagnosed people over a lifetime, instead of merely focusing on the economic burden of treating type 2 diabetes in a given year.The model revealed that a man diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 25 and 44 can be expected to incur related costs of $124,700 over his lifetime. A woman diagnosed at the same age may incur related costs of $130,800 over her lifetime. Lifetime costs go down the later in life the diagnosis is made.Treating complications due to diabetes account for 53 percent of lifetime costs, with 57 percent of that due to complications caused by damage to large blood vessels, which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke.Direct medical costs include both the costs of treating diabetes, such as doctor visits, medication, and testing supplies, and for treating complications such as kidney disease, nerve damage, eye damage, heart disease, amputations, and stroke.”This is a different approach to a calculation of the costs of diabetes,” said Robert E. Ratner, M.D., chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association. “A better way of doing it is to note that in 2012, in the U.S., we actually had $176 billion in direct medical costs treating people with diabetes,” he said. …

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When bar fights get mean, bystanders intervene

July 23, 2013 — People are more likely to try to break up a bar fight when they believe the conflict is too violent, or has the potential to become more violent, according to an international team of researchers.Bystanders break up about a third of the fights that occur in bars and are most likely to intervene in conflicts between males, said Michael Parks, who recently earned his doctorate in sociology at Penn State.These bystanders used nonaggressive interventions to break up about 65 percent of the fights between two aggressive males. Most bystander interventions were classified as nonviolent interventions, which included verbally stopping the fight, or separating the fighters, according to the researchers.Parks said the threat of severe violence between males may be a cue for bystanders to intervene.”Male-to-male aggression between two actors is usually considered by third parties to be the most severe, the type of incident that can lead to severe violence,” said Parks.Fights between males also receive the highest amount of aggressive interventions, when people enter the conflicts themselves as fighters, according to the researchers, who report their findings in the current issue of Aggressive Behavior.The researchers said that incidents that pitted males against females, which was the most common type of aggression in the study, also received the lowest amount of intervention, with only 17 percent of those incidents broken up by third parties.Despite the abhorrence that most people have for violence between men and women, the researchers theorized that bystanders may not intervene because they do not believe the encounter will escalate to severe violence, said Parks, who worked with Wayne Osgood and Richard Felson, both professors of criminology and sociology, Penn State; Samantha Wells, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics,University of Ontario, and Kathryn Graham, associate professor of clinical public health, University of Toronto.”It seems a little upsetting that people didn’t intervene in incidents that involved a man harassing a women, but the results showed that this was indeed the case,” said Parks. “Our data showed that this type of violence had the lowest level of severity, so one explanation for the lack of intervention in these incidents is that third parties perceived that the events won’t escalate into higher levels of violence, something that does not have the potential to be dangerous or an emergency.”Third parties were also more likely to intervene when the fighters appeared to be more intoxicated, said Parks.Social psychologists in the 1960s theorized that bystanders avoidedintervention for a number of reasons, such as a person not acting because he or she believes someone else with intervene, according to Parks. The phenomenon is usually referred to as the bystander effect, he said.”These results support recent research showing that the bystander effect may not be as dramatic or as strong as once thought in emergencies or dangerous situations,” said Parks.The researchers examined data from 860 relevant incidents from the 1,057 incidents of violence recorded in a 2004 survey of bar violence in Toronto. For the survey, 148 trained observers collected data over 1,334 nights at 118 Toronto bars with a capacity of more than 300 people. Each observer was screened for observational skills and had 25 hours of training to classify violence that included practice sessions in bars.The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this work.

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Scientists break record for thinnest light-absorber: May lead to more efficient, cheaper solar cells

July 18, 2013 — Stanford University scientists have created the thinnest, most efficient absorber of visible light on record. The nanosize structure, thousands of times thinner than an ordinary sheet of paper, could lower the cost and improve the efficiency of solar cells, according to the scientists. Their results are published in the current online edition of the journal Nano Letters.”Achieving complete absorption of visible light with a minimal amount of material is highly desirable for many applications, including solar energy conversion to fuel and electricity,” said Stacey Bent, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford and a member of the research team. “Our results show that it is possible for an extremely thin layer of material to absorb almost 100 percent of incident light of a specific wavelength.”Thinner solar cells require less material and therefore cost less. The challenge for researchers is to reduce the thickness of the cell without compromising its ability to absorb and convert sunlight into clean energy.For the study, the Stanford team created thin wafers dotted with trillions of round particles of gold. Each gold nanodot was about 14 nanometers tall and 17 nanometers wide.Visible spectrumAn ideal solar cell would be able to absorb the entire visible light spectrum, from violet light waves 400 nanometers long to red waves 700 nanometers in length, as well as invisible ultraviolet and infrared light. In the experiment, postdoctoral scholar Carl Hagglund and his colleagues were able to tune the gold nanodots to absorb one light from one spot on the spectrum: reddish-orange light waves about 600 nanometers long.”Much like a guitar string, which has a resonance frequency that changes when you tune it, metal particles have a resonance frequency that can be fine-tuned to absorb a particular wavelength of light,” said Hagglund, lead author of the study. “We tuned the optical properties of our system to maximize the light absorption.”The gold nanodot-filled wafers were fabricated at a nearby Hitachi facility using a technique called block-copolymer lithography. Each wafer contained about 520 billion nanodots per square inch. Under the microscope, the hexagonal array of particles was reminiscent of a honeycomb.Hagglund’s team added a thin-film coating on top of the wafers using a process called atomic layer deposition. …

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