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.

Worrying ‘new principles on consultation’ from Government

The UK Government is not giving people enough time to comment on plans to cut health and safety regulations, a professional body has said.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is concerned that new government guidance for its departments and other public bodies recommends as little as two weeks consultation on changes to policy or legislation, or sometimes no final consultation at all.

Currently, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gives people at least three months to have their say – a policy IOSH supports. Severely cutting back that timescale would be foolhardy when lives are at stake, said the Institution.

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Better information for citizens about major accident risks

New European rules are now in force that will ensure EU citizens are better informed about major threats posed by industrial plants in their immediate vicinity.

The rules are part of an otherwise technical update of the Seveso Directive, a key instrument in industrial risk management, which is being adapted to reflect recent changes in the international and European classification of chemicals. The Directive obliges Member States to draw up emergency plans for areas surrounding industrial installations where very large quantities of dangerous substances are to be found.

From now on, public information about risks must be made available electronically. All establishments covered by the legislation will need to provide information about how alerts will be sounded, and about how citizens should act in the event of a major accident. When an accident happens, the relevant authorities will need to inform anyone likely to be affected by it and the main measures taken to address it.

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Annual offshore injury figures continue to improve

The number of offshore oil and gas leaks that could potentially lead to a major incident continues to fall, new safety statistics have revealed.

But Steve Walker, the head of offshore safety at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has warned industry not to be complacent following the encouraging figures. He said:

"While we welcome the continued downward trend, the industry will need continued focus to achieve its target of halving the number of hydrocarbon releases by April 2013. The major gas release from the Elgin platform at the end of March was a salutary reminder of the potential consequences that such releases can present.

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Workers forced to pay for own safety equipment

A TUC survey has revealed that despite laws which say employers must give their staff personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge, more than one in five workers are being forced to pay for it out of their own pocket.

PPE includes protective clothing, helmets and goggles designed to protect workers from injury, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, and infection. More than one in 10 (11.6%) of those who responded to the TUC questionnaire said that although their work required them to wear safety equipment of some kind, their employer failed to provide or pay for this. A further 8.9% cent were made to pay for any replacement equipment if their original PPE was damaged.

Women workers were even less likely than men to have their safety equipment provided, with more than 15% having to provide all or some of their own attire - usually foot protection or overalls - compared to 10.5% of men.

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1749 Hits

Report into young driver safety

A recent report by the AA Charitable Trust and Make Roads Safe campaign has found that nearly 40% of drivers had crashed by the time they turned 23-years-old. Around a quarter of those polled had crashed within two years of getting their driving licence.

The report calls for greater education and driving opportunities for young drivers. Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “It’s no secret that new and young drivers are disproportionately represented in road crashes and we need to work together to stem this tide of carnage.

“Road safety education must be a life skill that starts at the age of three but is continually refreshed throughout life. It needs to begin many years before someone is old enough to apply for their provisional licence.

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