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.

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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Glasgow Firm Fined Following Death of a Worker

A Glasgow-based construction firm has been fined following the death of a worker after he was crushed when a 1.6-tonne frame fell on him.

Daniel Hurley had been working with machinery near an area where the structural steelwork for a stair tower was being erected on the site. The Court heard that not long after the steel frame had been erected it began to tilt and fall towards Mr Hurley. Three of the anchor bolts that were supposed to support the structure came out of the ground, with the fourth being snapped in half.

Mr Hurley attempted to run away from the falling framework but was struck in the neck by the level of the structure. Despite receiving treatment at the scene, Mr Hurley died of his injuries.

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Property Company Fined for Dangerous Procedures At Heights

A property company based in Lancashire has been found guilty of exposing workers to dangerous conditions when working at heights.

Responding to complaints about the working conditions and the safety conditions for workers, the Health and Safety Executive sent officials to investigate the claims. The inspectors found workers stripping slates from a fragile roof without any measures in place to prevent a fall through it. The report from officials stated that the worker was in a life-threatening position and could have easily perished as a result of the lack of health and safety procedures.

As a result of the report and findings of inspectors KML (Properties) Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Work at Height Regulations and was fined £10,400 as well as pleading guilty to other breaches of employment law.

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Scottish Constructions Sites Potentially More Dangerous than those in England

With the number of construction site inspections in Scotland falling by 30 per cent last year, according to the Union for Workers in the Construction Sector (UCATT), the lives of construction workers in Scotland are being put at an increased risk

To explain, despite inspecting 1,248 Scottish constructions sites in 2012/13 and carrying out 1,250 inspections in 2011/12, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) only inspected 881 construction sites across Scotland last year.

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Construction safety still a concern

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has recently turned its spotlight on the construction sector, warning that there is no room for complacency despite a recent fall in the number of accidents within the industry.

The charity is to hold a conference to highlight the need for more to be done to improve health and safety for construction workers. Topics for discussion at the conference will include safety measures, how to prepare in the event of a major accident, and legal implications, including financial and reputational damage as a result of poor health and safety management.

High risk of injury

According to RoSPA, construction workers are nearly four times more likely to be killed at work than the average worker.

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