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.

Calls for Return of Road Casualty Reduction Targets

Road safety charity Brake has urged the UK Government to reintroduce casualty reduction targets.

The call follows the publication by the Department for Transport of its Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014, which shows that 1,775 people died on the roads (a 4% increase on the year before). A further 22,807 were seriously injured (a 5% annual increase).

Casualties of all severities rose to 194,477 in Great Britain in 2014, an increase of 6% from 2013, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since 1997.

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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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Major overhaul of Coroner Services in England and Wales

The needs of bereaved families will be put at the heart of a reformed coroner system by a new national code, according to Justice Minister Helen Grant.

The new legal framework will ensure all 96 coroners in England and Wales will work to the same standards, ending the past inconsistencies which led to criticisms of a postcode lottery – with bereaved people in some areas facing long waits for inquests.

Coroner services will now be overseen by the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales, His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC, and will be locally delivered within national standards designed to lead to a more efficient system of investigations and inquests.

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Rise in Scottish workplace fatalities

There was a slight increase in the number of workers killed in Scotland last year, despite an overall fall across Great Britain, according to new provisional statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Great Britain as a whole saw 148 workers fatally injured between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with 172 in the previous year, says the HSE. This means that the overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.

In Scotland, however, 22 fatal injuries were recorded – a rate of 0.9 deaths per 100,000 workers – and while this matches the average of 22 deaths in the past five years it is an increase from the 19 deaths recorded in 2011/12.

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New regulations on preventing sharps injuries

New regulations to control the risks posed by needles and other 'sharps' in healthcare came into effect this month.

The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations came into force on 11th May 2013. Northern Ireland introduced equivalent regulations on the same date.

The Health and Safety Executive introduced the new regulations to implement a European Directive. They supplement the existing health and safety legislation that already requires employers across all sectors to take effective action to control the risk from sharps injuries.

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