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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As age-friendly technologies emerge, experts recommend policy changes

From smart phones to smart cars, both public and private entities must consider the needs of older adults in order to help them optimize the use of new technologies, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR), titled “Aging and Technology: The Promise and the Paradox.” A total of eight articles all from authors affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab are featured.”Remarkable technological advances are all around us, and leaders in the business and scientific communities are keenly aware of ‘the aging of America’ and the potential for their efforts in this domain to do well while also doing good,” states PP&AR Editor Robert B. Hudson, PhD.Author Joseph Coughlin, PhD, speaks to both the promise and prevailing shortcomings of linking high-tech devices to the needs and interests of older Americans. As his and other articles demonstrate, there are fascinating innovations coming out of labs around the world, but there is still a shortage of consumer-ready solutions. Coughlin calls for the training of a new generation of specialists knowledgeable about both tech and aging.”Business, government, and nonprofits must collaborate to stimulate and speed the development of a next-generation technology-enabled aging services workforce,” Coughlin writes.Chaiwoo Lee, MS, discusses some of the challenges facing both designers of smart technology and older adults as actual or potential users of that technology. She indicates that a mix of technological, individual, and social factors is at work. Thus, potential usefulness of a device is not enough to ensure success — evidenced by the slow adaptation of the personal emergency alarm, despite the presumed assurance it would provide elders and family alike, as well as endless late-night advertising. Lee enumerates a series of factors challenging adoption, such as usability, affordability, accessibility, confidence, independence, compatibility, reliability, and trust.Using technology safely is the focus of the discussion by Bryan Reimer, PhD, which addresses the growing sophistication of driver-assisted technologies moving in the direction of highly automated vehicles. He writes that it is critical to recognize that increased automation in cars requires more, not less driver education.”Although automated vehicle technologies will ultimately save lives, there may be unavoidable issues, and even loss of live, on the way to full automation,” Reimer states. “It is essential to begin framing the issue of automation as a long-term investment in a safer, more convenient future that will revolutionize, in particular, the experience of old age.”This issue of the journal can be accessed at: http://ppar.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/1.tocStory Source:The above story is based on materials provided by The Gerontological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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What’s so bad about feeling happy?

Why is being happy, positive and satisfied with life the ultimate goal of so many people, while others steer clear of such feelings? It is often because of the lingering belief that happiness causes bad things to happen, says Mohsen Joshanloo and Dan Weijers of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Their article, published in Springer’s Journal of Happiness Studies, is the first to review the concept of aversion to happiness, and looks at why various cultures react differently to feelings of well-being and satisfaction.”One of these cultural phenomena is that, for some individuals, happiness is not a supreme value,” explain Joshanloo and Weijers in their review.The researchers believe that being raised in a culture that does not value happiness could encourage a person to back away from it. However, an aversion to happiness exists in both Western and non-Western cultures, although happiness is more valued in the West.In American culture, it is almost taken for granted that happiness is one of the most important values guiding people’s lives. Western cultures are more driven by an urge to maximize happiness and minimize sadness. Failing to appear happy is often a cause for concern. Its value is echoed through Western positive psychology and research on subjective well-being.In non-Western cultures, in contrast, it is a less valued emotion. The ideals of harmony and conformity are often at odds with the pursuit of personal happiness and the endorsement of individualistic values. For instance, studies have shown that East Asians are more inclined than Westerners to think that it is inappropriate to express happiness in many social situations. Similarly, Japanese are less inclined to savor positive emotions than Americans.The review points out that many cultures shy away from happiness. …

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Some characteristics increase the likelihood of getting married and living together

When it comes to romantic relationships, attributes such as health, kindness, and social status have been shown to be important qualities in choosing a partner. It may be surprising to learn, however, that certain personal traits predispose a person towards either getting married or forming a cohabitating relationship.According to a study recently published in the journal Social Science Research, scoring high on attractiveness, personality, and grooming is associated with a greater probability of entering into a marital relationship for both men and women, but it does not collectively have a significant influence on entering a romantic cohabitating relationship.The findings suggest that individuals consider multiple personal characteristics when seeking a long-term partner. Under this scenario, what one finds lacking in a specific area could be overcome with strength in another area.”The findings highlight that Aristotle’s famous quote ‘The whole is more than the sum of its parts’ is pertinent when it comes to personal characteristics and marital arrangements,” says Michael T. French, a professor of Health Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami (UM), and corresponding author of this study.The study accounts for cohabitation and marriage as competing events in contrast to being single and living without a romantic partner. The project examines three possible outcomes: marriage with or without prior cohabitation, cohabitation without subsequently getting married, and neither marriage nor cohabitation.The results show that 52 percent of married respondents and 51.7 percent of those in cohabiting relationships ending in marriage were rated as above average in physical attractiveness, whereas 45.9 percent of those in a cohabitating relationship without subsequent marriage and 43.6 percent in neither marriage nor cohabitation scored above average on the attractiveness scale. Similar results were found for personality and grooming.Other interesting findings from the study include the following:Women with above average grooming are less likely to cohabit without subsequent marriage. For men, having an above average personality has the strongest association with the likelihood of getting married. Men with above average physical attractiveness have a greater chance of cohabitation without subsequent marriage. “Thus, we have the somewhat curious finding that men with above average looks tend to be more likely to cohabit, while men with above average personalities tend to be more likely to marry (but less likely to cohabit),” the study explains.The study is titled “Personal traits, cohabitation, and marriage.” Co-authors are Ioana Popovici, assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University; Philip K. Robins, professor, School of Business Administration at UM, and Jenny F. …

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Company Fined Over Crush Injuries

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 2 » Company Fined Over Crush InjuriesCompany Fined Over Crush InjuriesBouygues UK, the principal contractor for an extension project at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).The organisation took Bouygues to court over its role in the death of Guilherme de Oliveira, 44, from Portugal, who suffered fatal crush injuries in an accident.Chelmsford Crown Court was told that the 44-year-old was working through an agency as a banksman and was responsible for fixing beams across supporting towers to form the concrete structure of a new building.Mr de Oliveira and another banksman climbed the towers to unhook some lifting chains, but was three metres off the ground when he did this.A concrete beam was then lifted up to the duo, but increasingly fast winds made the job difficult.Before the Portuguese man was able free the heavy object from its hooks, winds blew above safe limits and as a result the crane carrying the block moved in the wind, sending it towards Mr de Oliveira and crushing him against an adjacent wall.He died soon after the accident.After being informed of the case, the HSE launched an investigation and found sensors used to measure wind speeds were not being monitored at the time of the accident and that deteriorating weather conditions were therefore not factored into operations.For its part in Mr de Oliveria’s death, Bouygues UK was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £80,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 8 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Dominic Elliss said, “Although the judge was not satisfied that the company’s failings were a direct cause for Mr de Oliveira’s death, he said there was a systemic failure where a risk of serious injury was foreseeable.”Lifting operations can be highly hazardous and the appropriate standards are clearly set out in both the regulations and industry guidance.”By Chris StevensonOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Schoolgirl Injured in Lift Shaft Fall

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 2 » Schoolgirl Injured in Lift Shaft FallSchoolgirl Injured in Lift Shaft FallCity of Edinburgh Council has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a school girl fell more than five metres down a lift shaft.Morgan Seaton, who was 15 years old at the time of the accident, sustained three fractured vertebrae, bruising and a sprained wrist after she and three other pupils became stuck in a lift at the Liberton High School.Ms Seaton called the school’s office from her mobile phone and teachers quickly arrived and told the children to remain calm while they awaited rescue.But instead of phoning the emergency services, teachers from the school decided to ask the janitor to fetch a lift key and attempt to free the students themselves.After managing to open the lift’s doors on the first floor, it was found that the bottom third of the cab could be seen through the opening.The doors to the lift were then opened so that teachers could calm the children down, but it was then decided by the teachers that the pupils should be squeezed out of the opening and into the corridor.One boy was helped out of the lift successfully, but when Ms Seaton attempted to follow suit she accidentally fell down the shaft and crashed to the ground five metres below.It was at this point that the emergency services were notified and when firefighters arrived they found the lift had not been isolated and could have resumed moving at any point, with catastrophic consequences.She had to take two weeks off school and spent several months in pain, disrupting her education and social life.For failing to have contingency policies in place and neglecting to train teachers in how to deal with broken lifts, the HSE took the school’s operator City of Edinburgh Council to court.It pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £8,000.After the verdict was handed down, HSE inspector Hazel Dobb said, “A 15-year-old girl was seriously injured in an incident that was wholly preventable. As a result she spent several months in pain.”The teachers were well intentioned in their attempts to help, but had they received suitable information and guidance on how to deal with trapped people in lifts they would have called for help and not put pupils at such risk of injury.”By Chris StevensonOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Get tough! How Outward Bound adventures increase teenage resilience

Today’s youth face many debilitating situations in their lives such as depression, suicide, poverty, and physical issues. In this environment how can they develop coping strategies for life and personal resilience? How can we support them to do this?Hayhurst et al define resilience as “the ability to react to adversity and challenge in an adaptive and productive way.” Their article published in Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, centers on a 10 day youth sailing voyage in New Zealand and its effects on personal resilience. The results were fascinating.The study carried out a split test on 2 groups of teenagers. Each group faced the same conditions — tough physical work, domestic duties, tiredness, seasickness, bad weather and cramped conditions. They initially received training but gradually were encouraged to develop independent sailing and self-governance. Both groups were tested for resilience at the beginning and end of their voyages. Group 2 also undertook resilience tests during the trip and 5 months after. Resilience tests were also done on a control group of students undergoing a college psychology course. How much difference was seen in the resilience levels of the voyagers as opposed to the stay at home students? …

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Love at the office? When relationships go from platonic to romantic

There are three key factors that contribute to how coworkers respond to a workplace romance including how they learn about the romance, their personal views of those participating in the romance and the company culture, suggests Sean Horan, assistant professor of relational communication in DePaul University’s College of Communication.Horan is coauthor of a new study, “Love at the Office? Understanding Workplace Romance Disclosures and Reactions from the Coworker Perspective,” which was published online Feb. 5 in the Western Journal of Communication and will be printed in the March issue. The research explores the effect of workplace romances on coworkers and whether responses are primarily influenced by how the relationship is disclosed to them.”I was interested in studying workplace romances because they are incredibly common yet, across social science, there is little research in the area,” said Horan.Horan, along with coauthor Renee Cowan, assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, discovered that if coworkers found out from the couple personally, there tended to be a more positive reaction than if they found out via office gossip or catching them “in the act.””Individuals had much different reactions based on how they learned of the romance,” explained Horan. “Being honest and upfront was better received than, let’s say, walking in on your coworkers kissing in the parking garage or hearing it via office gossip.”How people personally perceived individuals in the relationship also plays a key role in their reaction. The titles of those in the workplace romance also affected their reaction, Horan said.For example, in Horan’s previous research in this area, he found that when a coworker dates a superior, they are likely to be lied to more, trusted less and viewed as less credible. One participant in the current study noted, “I was just taken aback because I knew he was pretty high up with the company and she not so much.”Additionally, the study found that company culture contributes to how coworkers view workplace romances. The authors propose that, often, more relaxed office environments don’t have official policies on interoffice relationships, making them more acceptable, while more formal offices have strict policies in place, which distinguish them as inappropriate and unprofessional.”It (the organization environment) kind of seemed like a college so it didn’t seem too unprofessional,” said another participant.This is the fourth study in an ongoing series by Horan on workplace romance.”I’ve concluded a couple of my studies the same way by saying ‘date at your own risk,'” he said.”Employees need to be aware that their peers will communicate with them differently if they have a workplace romance. Importantly, such differences can influence productivity and performance,” Horan explained.”It’s always awkward seeing your ex. Now imagine having to see them all day, every day at work.”Story Source:The above story is based on materials provided by DePaul University. …

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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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Luton Airport fined over pensioner death

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Luton Airport fined over pensioner deathLuton Airport fined over pensioner deathLuton Airport and a design subcontracting firm have been fined after a pensioner was killed on a badly sited pedestrian crossing.Mary Whiting, 78, from Taverham in Norfolk, was crushed under a 26-tonne lorry as she used a zebra crossing between Luton Airport’s terminal building and a drop-off zone on May 19th 2009.Luton Crown Court heard the returning traveller thought the truck was stationary but in actual fact the vehicle had set off before she started to cross the road and it struck her – dragging Ms Whiting under its wheels.A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the crossing, which had been designed by C-T Aviation Solutions and was on land owned by Luton Airport, did not conform to public road regulations and was badly positioned.Jurors were told the pedestrian safety utility had been opened in March 2009 as part of a wider revamp of roads, parking enforcement and signage.But after Ms Whiting’s death, Luton Airport was served with an Improvement Notice and it subsequently changed the crossing’s position.However, this wasn’t enough for the transport hub to escape prosecution and London Luton Airport Operations was fined £75,000 and told to pay £197,595 in costs after it was found guilty of breaching Sections 3(1) and 21 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.Design subcontractor C-T Aviation Solutions was also brought to court and had to pay £100,000 in fines and costs. The driver of the lorry was acquitted of dangerous driving.After sentencing was completed, HSE inspector Graham Tompkins said: “This tragic incident could easily have been avoided had London Luton Airport Operations taken the proper steps to ensure the safety of vehicles and their passengers at the airport.”Had they provided a crossing that was safe to use, then Mary Whiting would still be with her family today. The C-T Aviation Solutions design simply did not meet the required standards.”By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Pedestrians trip over ‘optical illusion’ pavement

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Pedestrians trip over ‘optical illusion’ pavementPedestrians trip over ‘optical illusion’ pavementAs many as 20 pedestrians have sought medical treatment in Pontypridd, south Wales, after a re-tiled high street tricked walkers’ eyesight.While at certain angles it is obvious there is a kerb in the road, some people in the town have complained the drop from pavement to road is essentially invisible from some perspectives.This has caused a number of falls and Morfydd Jenkins, a local resident, aged 75, was among victims of the poorly planned regeneration project and has suffered extensive facial injuries resulting from her town centre tumble.A spokesperson for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, which maintains the street and manages construction in the town, told Metro newspaper: “Throughout the town, improvements have been made removing clutter from the street, introducing more accessible floor surfaces and introducing flat surfaces where possible which greatly assists those with mobility issues.”It is unclear if the tiling, which is part of a £10.5 million improvement project, will be removed or reworked.By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Life insurance how do I find the best price.

It’s going to come down to how much work you want to put into finding the lowest price. There is not a source or company that is always going to provide the lowest price for everyone. For example, some companies have more favorable rates for people who smoke and some may place more emphasis on a prior medical condition you had and charge higher rates. When you are comparing rate quotes you need to make sure you talk to a qualified agent. Many quote services will quote you the super preferred class of rates, but in the end you may only qualify for the standard class based on your personal or health history, a good agent will make you aware what you can expect through the underwriting …

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Firm fined over Hippodrome fall

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Firm fined over Hippodrome fallFirm fined over Hippodrome fallThe main contractor involved in renovations at the famous Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square has been fined after it mismanaged work at heights risks.An unnamed 35-year-old sub-contractor broke his left leg and foot after an incident in 2012.The builder dropped into a room and then through a riser duct after trying to move around a roof area, but the structure’s fragility caused him to fall more than 14 metres.After hearing of the incident, the Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation and found Beck Interiors didn’t properly manage the sub-contractor’s work at height.Faced with overwhelming evidence against it, the firm pleaded guilty to a guideline breach and was forced to pay £33,365 in costs and fines.Commenting after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court trial, HSE inspector Stephron Baker-Holmes said: “This case highlights the need for principal contractors to proactively manage work at height risks and to take appropriate action to prevent or mitigate falls.By Francesca WitneyOr 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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Former merchant seaman wins asbestos compensation

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Former merchant seaman wins asbestos compensationFormer merchant seaman wins asbestos compensationA former merchant seaman has been awarded a £38,000 compensation package after developing an asbestos-related health condition.Michael Hopekirk, 70, of St Leonards, retired in 2006 but was previously a skipper and engineer on merchant navy ships, according to the Hastings Observer.The pensioner claims when ships went out to sea in bad weather, he frequently breathed in asbestos and despite these risks, none of the people on board the boats were given masks or protective clothing.Two years after his retirement, Mr Hopekirk started to have breathing difficulties and was told he had developed diffuse pleural thickening in his lungs. This condition is common among people who were regularly exposed to asbestos in their working life.But now, just days before a court was due to hand down its verdict on whether his disease was the fault of his various employers, three firms he sued have agreed a joint settlement.Clipper Wondild Tankers UK (previously known as Crescent Shipping), Tower Shipping and Mardorf Peach came together to award Mr Hopekirk £38,000 in redress from extensive pain and suffering caused by their respective inaction on asbestos exposure.Mr Hopekirk’s lawyer and spokesperson said: “This was a difficult case because Mr Hopekirk worked with so many different companies and most of them were no longer in existence. It took considerable research to find the insurance details for the different companies.”If he had to do any repair work he had to chisel off the asbestos from the pipes in the boiler room which again caused asbestos to rise in the air.”A number of firms are being forced to provide compensation for former workers exposed to carcinogenic asbestos dust during their time in employment, but it is often very difficult to get money out of the responsible parties because many will have gone bankrupt or have gone through complex take-over processes.However, if a firm acquires a company found to have been liable of poor working practices, it legally assumes blame and must pay adequate compensation.By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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People with depression tend to pursue generalized goals

July 8, 2013 — Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that people with depression have more generalised personal goals than non-depressed people.A study conducted by Dr Joanne Dickson, in the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, analysed the lists of personal goals made by people who suffered with depression and those who didn’t.List personal goalsThe participants were asked to list goals they would like to achieve at any time in the short, medium or long-term. The goals were categorised for their specificity — for example a global or abstract goal such as, ‘to be happy’ would represent a general goal, whereas, a goal such as ‘improve my 5-mile marathon time this summer’ would represent a more specific goal.Researchers found that whilst both groups generated the same number of goals, people with depression listed goals which were more general and more abstract. The study also found that depressed people were far more likely to give non-specific reasons for achieving and not achieving their goals.Having very broad and abstract goals may maintain and exacerbate depression. Goals that are not specific are more ambiguous and, therefore, harder to visualise. If goals are hard to visualise it may result in reduced expectation of realising them which in turn results in lower motivation to try and achieve them.Dr Joanne Dickson said: “We know that depression is associated with negative thoughts and a tendency to overgeneralise, particularly in reference to how people think about themselves and their past memories.””This study, for the first time, examined whether this trait also encompasses personal goals. We found that the goals that people with clinical depression listed lacked a specific focus, making it more difficult to achieve them and therefore creating a downward cycle of negative thoughts.Help to set specific goals”These findings could inform the development of effective new ways of treating clinical depression.”Helping depressed people set specific goals and generate specific reasons for goal achievement may increase their chances of realising them which could break the cycle of negativity which is coupled with depression.”

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Women reject sexually promiscuous peers when making female friends

June 3, 2013 — College-aged women judge promiscuous female peers — defined by bedding 20 sexual partners by their early 20s — more negatively than more chaste women and view them as unsuitable for friendship, finds a study by Cornell University developmental psychologists.Notably, participants’ preference for less sexually active women as friends remained even when they personally reported liberal attitudes about casual sex or a high number of lifetime lovers.Men’s views, on the other hand, were less uniform — favoring the sexually permissive potential friend, the non-permissive one or showing no preference for either when asked to rate them on 10 different friendship attributes. Men’s perceptions were also more dependent on their own promiscuity: Promiscuous men favored less sexually experienced men in just one measure — when they viewed other promiscuous men as a potential threat to steal their own girlfriend.The findings suggest that though cultural and societal attitudes about casual sex have loosened in recent decades, women still face a double standard that shames “slutty” women and celebrates “studly” men, said lead author Zhana Vrangalova, a Cornell graduate student in the field of human development. The study, titled “Birds of a Feather? Not When it Comes to Sexual Permissiveness” and published in the early online edition of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, reports that such social isolation may place promiscuous women at greater risk for poor psychological and physical health outcomes.”For sexually permissive women, they are ostracized for being ‘easy,’ whereas men with a high number of sexual partners are viewed with a sense of accomplishment,” Vrangalova said. “What surprised us in this study is how unaccepting promiscuous women were of other promiscuous women when it came to friendships — these are the very people one would think they could turn to for support.”She added that prior research shows that men often view promiscuous women as unsuitable for long-term romantic relationships, leaving these women outside of many social circles.”The effect is that these women are really isolated,” Vrangalova said. She suggested future research to determine whom they could befriend — perhaps straight or gay men who would be accepting of their behaviors.For the study, 751 college students provided information about their past sexual experience and their views on casual sex. They read a near-identical vignette about a male or female peer, with the only difference being the character’s number of lifetime sexual partners (two or 20). Researchers asked them to rate the person on a range of friendship factors, including warmth, competence, morality, emotional stability and overall likability.Across all female participants, women — regardless of their own promiscuity — viewed sexually permissive women more negatively on nine of ten friendship attributes, judging them more favorably only on their outgoingness. Permissive men only identified two measures, mate guarding and dislike of sexuality, where they favored less sexually active men as friends, showing no preference or favoring the more promiscuous men on the eight other variables; even more sexually modest men preferred the non-permissive potential friend in only half of all variables.The authors posit that evolutionary concerns may be leading men and women to disapprove of their bed-hopping peers as friends. They may actually be seeking to guard their mates from a threat to their relationship, Vrangalova said.In the case of promiscuous women rejecting other women with a high number of sexual partners, Vrangalova suggested that they may be seeking to distance themselves from any stigma that is attached to being friends with such women.The authors report that the findings could aid parents, teachers, counselors, doctors and others who work with young people who may face social isolation due to their sexual activity.The study is co-authored by Cornell grad student Rachel E. …

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