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Personal Safety Blog

21 July 2016
 July 21, 2016
law

North London Construction firm fined £550,000 under Corporate Manslaughter Sentencing

The Corporate Manslaughter Act clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies including large organisations where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality. Under new sentencing guidelines, major companies convicted of Corporate Manslaughter can face fines of up to £20M. Judges will impose fines in relation to the size of the convicted organisation.

In the case of Monavon Construction, a fine of £550,000 was imposed for two counts of Corporate Manslaughter and a breach of their duty to non-employees – the first sentencing since the new guidelines were introduced in February 2016. The organisation pleaded guilty after two men fell to their deaths into a 3.7 metre light well, having only perimeter edge protection, as opposed to fixed metal railings.

Sean Elson of Pinsent Masons law firm explained, “For a much larger company with a turnover exceeding £50M, the guidelines would likely have resulted in multi-million pound fines – possibly 10 times higher than the fine imposed in this case.”

The new guidelines were designed to ensure convicted companies were sentenced in accordance to

12 July 2016
 July 12, 2016
bag2

Skyguard’s Travel Safe Checklist

If you’ve planned a trip abroad, it’s important that you are aware of how to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Although for the most part foreign travel is perfectly safe, taking precaution when in unfamiliar territory is wise.

Below is Skyguard’s checklist to help you plan for a safe trip abroad.

Preparation is key – Research your destination before you travel, including the Foreign Office’s travel advice website. Take note of local customs and dress and ensure you follow the rules – there may be serious penalties for breaking the law.

Vaccinations – Numerous worldwide destinations require you to be vaccinated so make sure you are adequately immunised before setting off. It’s also vital to insure both yourself and your possessions prior to your trip, carrying with you any supporting documentation.

Do you need a visa? – Some countries also require you to obtain a visa before you enter. Ensure you apply for these well in advance of your planned departure. They can often take several weeks to arrive and you’re likely to be refused entry without

29 June 2016
 June 29, 2016
housing

Housing staff feel ‘less safe’ at work compared to last year

According to research undertaken by Inside Housing magazine in June 2016, one in four social housing workers feel less safe doing their job this year, compared to last year. Focusing on 41 housing associations and 198 Councils across the UK, the survey revealed that 20% of respondents do not believe that their employer does enough to protect them.

Frontline housing workers expressed their concern at the idea of landlords making savings by cutting staff numbers. 35% of respondents said that reducing staff numbers made it increasingly likely that they would work alone.

As outlined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), housing staff often face difficult or hostile situations, including having to deliver bad news to tenants such as evictions, working late at night, and exposure to potentially violent or aggressive members of the public, such as drug users. Working alone increases the vulnerability of employees performing these tasks.

Alarmingly, the Inside Housing results also revealed that as many as 10 Councils simply do not report or record assaults against housing staff, claiming there is often

25 May 2016
 May 25, 2016
Gavel

Ashleigh Ewing Ten Years On: Has Lone Working Changed?

Ten years ago, mental health worker Ashleigh Ewing was brutally killed whilst out working alone on behalf of her employer, Mental Health Matters (MHM). Ashleigh was stabbed 39 times by Ronald Dixon when she made a routine visit to his home in Heaton, Newcastle. Dixon, who had a long history of disturbing mental health problems, was locked-up in a secure hospital after admitting manslaughter.

In May 2013, a report by an independent panel concluded that a “more robust approach” to Dixon’s care, particularly from April 11, 2006, to the days leading up to Ashleigh’s death, would have resulted in a review as to how appropriate lone visits to Dixon’s home were.

22 year old graduate Ashleigh lost her life after being sent alone to Dixon’s home with a debtor’s letter ordering him to pay for a phone which he had smashed inside the property days earlier, to take the coins from inside.

Was it appropriate to send a young

16 May 2016
 May 16, 2016
summer

Coping in Extreme Heat

With a shortage of hot, sunny days in the UK, it is no wonder that their arrival is welcomed with open arms. Whilst basking in the sunshine is ideal for some, it is very important to recognise when enough heat is enough. High temperatures, especially for long periods of time carry serious health warnings.

Why is extreme heat a problem?

Very hot weather poses risks to anyone, including dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. It can also make heart and breathing problems worse, especially for the very young and the elderly. If you are taking certain medications such as those that control body temperate or sweating, you may wish to take extra precaution when temperatures are high.

8 Tips for keeping cool

The following tips are designed to prevent heat-related illness and help you keep cool and comfortable during hot summers days.

Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are going to be, avoiding high sugar content drinks – these can cause your body to lose more fluid.
Stay indoors if possible, especially during

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