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.

Health and Safety Professionals Oppose Government Plans

One of the UK’s main health and safety bodies has reiterated its opposition to Government plans to deregulate areas of health and safety.

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is opposed to a clause in the Government’s Deregulation Bill that exempts certain self-employed workers from health and safety law.

The clause suggests that workers will be exempt from health and safety law if they are self-employed, do not employ anyone else, that their activities pose no potential risk of harm to others, and that they do not work in a high hazard or high risk sector (to be designated ‘prescribed’) such as agriculture, construction or gas fitting and installation.

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The consequences of cutting corners

To mark this year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work the Irish Injuries Board recently published an interesting analysis of the workplace accident claims it received in 2012, and warned businesses of the consequences of cutting corners when it comes to the health and safety of their employees.

Safety failings can be costly

The Irish Injuries Board is an independent Irish Government body that makes statutory personal injury awards in respect of motor, employer and public liability accidents.

Its most recent analysis reveals that the highest award for a work related accident during 2012 amounted to €332,143. In total, the Injuries Board settled 807 work related injury claims during the year, and awarded compensation amounting to €22 million. This was a slight decrease over the previous year, when there were 830 awards made, totalling €22.5 million in compensation.

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Changes to workplace accident reporting

Changes to the mandatory reporting system for work related injuries came into force on 1st October. The changes had been the subject of a consultation exercise that ran from August to October last year.

RIDDOR

The rules on injury reporting are contained within the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995, which place a legal requirement on employers to report and keep records of certain incidents at work, including fatal accidents or accidents that result in serious injury. Employers are also required to report diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases, and let the authorities know if certain ‘dangerous occurrences’ or near-miss incidents take place.

By reporting these incidents, employers provide enforcing authorities such as the Health and Safety Executive with enough information to identify the risks involved and to decide whether they need to be investigated further.

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Farm safety still the biggest challenge

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has published its latest Annual Report, in which it claims that farm safety continues to be its biggest challenge as it strives to improve health and safety standards in workplaces across Northern Ireland.

There were 19 work-related fatalities in 2012/13 and once again the farming sector dominated the fatal accident statistics, with 11 out of the 19 deaths being attributable to farm accidents. In the previous year, 2011/12, there were 18 work-related fatalities with nine of these being attributable to farm accidents.

The report also points to a continuing downward trend of all reportable work-related injuries, with provisional figures for 2012/13 showing a fall of 13% on last year and down 20% since 2008/09. This year also witnessed a sharp fall in major injuries, with reports down 17% on last year and down almost 30% since 2008/09.

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Motor Accident Solicitors Society Association of Personal Injury Lawyers