Lawford Kidd's Blog

Lawford Kidd's injury solicitors' blog designed to cover all areas of the law relating to accident compensation claims, injury claims and no win no fee in Scotland.

HSE Publishes Workplace Fatalities Statistics

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently published provisional annual statistics for work-related fatal accidents in Great Britain’s workplaces.

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947 Hits

Scottish Worker Suffers Severe Scald Injury

Scottish Power has appeared in Dunfermline Sheriff Court on health and safety charges after a worker sustained serious scald injuries at Longannet Power Station near Alloa in October 2013.

The man was working as a plant controller for ScottishPower Regeneration Limited (SPGL). In the course of his work he opened a faulty valve which emitted high pressure, high temperature steam. He sustained serious burns to his chest and legs.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation into the incident and found that SPGL were aware of the defect but did not ensure appropriate steps were taken to either repair or remove the valve from use.

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Construction Industry Leaders to Tackle Workplaces Diseases

Over 150 construction industry executives have pledged to take action to try and significantly reduce the number of industrial illnesses affecting workers in construction in the UK.

According to statistics, respiratory diseases and industrial illnesses kill 100 times more workers than workplace accidents with such conditions being common in later life. Exposure to dangerous substances, working with chemicals and being exposed to old materials such as asbestos when knocking down buildings are all common causes of industrial diseases and respiratory illnesses for construction workers.

While 2014/15 saw many serious injuries in the construction industry and 35 fatalities, it is estimated that in the same period more than 4,000 workers died from cancer and other industrial illnesses due to exposure to dangerous substances and chemicals when previously working in the construction industry. The vast majority of the cases were a result of respiratory illnesses and lung cancer, which was responsible for around 50% of all deaths. It is expected that each year, a further 3,000 construction workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals that can lead to severe health problems in later life.

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Police Scotland Urged to Take Action Over Asbestos

The Health and Safety Executive have urged Police Scotland to take immediate action following the discovery of asbestos in some buildings.

The organisation was served with an improvement notice after traces of asbestos were found in four building used by the force in Glasgow at the start of the year. This was later confirmed by Police Scotland. As reported by the BBC the issue of asbestos was discussed at a Scottish Police Authority and that the organisation was taking the appropriate action to resolve the issue and was working closely with the HSE, staff agencies, and unions.

In a statement regarding tackling asbestos in the some police buildings, a spokeswoman said: "Immediate action has been taken to address any site-specific issues, and the service is also working closely with staff associations and trade unions to take forward the necessary action."

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Decrease in Health and Safety Inspections on Construction Sites

The Health and Safety Executive has drastically reduced on construction sites in Scotland sparking concerns that employees in one of the most dangerous sectors of employment are at risk of obtaining a serious injury.

The HSE reduced unannounced inspections by more than 55% in the last year following drastic cuts to the health and safety budget by the Westminster government, which has control over such affairs. A number of experts have blamed the cuts to budget as the main reason for the decline in the number of random inspections.

According to data collated by UCATT, through use of a Freedom of Information Act, Scotland saw a drop of 55.7% in the number of random construction inspections being made by the HSE. The drop in Scotland was significantly higher than other countries in the UK, with the nation overall seeing a drop of 8.7% regarding the overall number of surprise inspections. The North of England was seriously affected, however, the overall drop in the number of random inspections was just 2%.

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