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5 September 2016
 September 5, 2016
Prison

Health and Safety Failings Can Lead to Imprisonment

According to UK laws, severe failings of health and safety within organisations aren’t only punishable by fines as highlighted this week after a company director was jailed for 12 months following the death of an employee.

Company director Kenneth Thelwall, from Enfield, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment following the death of one of his employees resulting from the overturn of a spider lift during loading. This fatality follows the guilty plea from Mr Thelwall over a separate incident in 2010 when employee Bernard Rowson was crushed to death in a metal gate.

His firm, Thorn Warehousing Ltd was charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act and subsequently fined £166,000 plus court costs. Unsurprisingly, the company is currently in administration.

However, those in charge of the welfare of employee safety, including the safeguarding of lone workers regardless if they’re ‘on site’ are liable to face custodial sentences – consequently having severe, life changing impact on

26 August 2016
 August 26, 2016
ambu

A 46% Rise in Attacks on Paramedics

The emergency services – designed to be there for us in our hour of need, all too often fall victim to abuse and attacks from the people they are trying to help. The culprits, in most cases, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to data from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB), there were 98 reported attacks on paramedics in 2011-12. Just 3 years on, this figure jumped to 126 reported attacks for 2014-15, and rose again last year to a staggering 184.

Although these figures are alarming, it is likely they take in to account only a proportion of the incidents that take place. Paramedics feel dissuaded to report attacks as any pending investigations take them away from performing their duties.

SECAMB Security Manager, Adam Graham said current safety measures included; CCTV, risk assessments and conflict resolution training, but has called for a government-led task force to tackle the problem more thoroughly.

In an example of the violence faced by our ambulance service, paramedic Gemma Fitzgerald suffered a broken jaw whilst trying to help

28 July 2016
 July 28, 2016
Suzy lamplugh

Suzy Lamplugh –  A 30 Year Legacy

It is now over 30 years since the tragic disappearance of Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh, who has remained missing ever since.

Suzy, just 25 years old, disappeared on 28th July 1986 whilst out meeting a prospective client in Fulham, South West London. Despite years of leads and investigations, Miss Lamplugh’s body was never found and in 1994, she was officially declared dead, presumably murdered.

It was lunchtime when Suzy left her office to meet ‘Mr Kipper’ who was interested in a property – 37 Shorrolds Road, Fulham – as listed on her employer’s books. But by the end of the working day, when Suzy hadn’t returned, worried colleagues called home to find out her whereabouts. Later that evening, her car was found abandoned, unlocked but no trace of Suzy herself.

It was a crime that shocked the nation. How could a young, professional woman just disappear in a vibrant and busy London suburb in broad daylight? It put into question the safety of those working alone, and not just at night or in secluded or troublesome locations.

Suzy’s

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

13 July 2016
 July 13, 2016
Lakehouse logo square

Lakehouse Adopts Skyguard’s Personal Alarms to Safeguard Lone Workers

Asset and energy support services group, Lakehouse has implemented Skyguard’s MySOS devices to protect 85 employees working alone within the community.

Lakehouse is a provider of construction, improvement and maintenance services for homes, schools, public and commercial buildings. Contact with the public is central to these operations with employees often working alone. Lakehouse staff, including Resident Liaison Officers and Site Managers enter homes and building sites often by themselves, making them susceptible to assault, attack or injury.

As with every organisation across the UK, Lakehouse is required to meet a legal Duty of Care to their employees to protect them from unnecessary risk. If employees do suffer harm at work, there could be disastrous consequences for the employer. The Sentencing Council guidelines state that a Corporate Manslaughter fine can be up to £20 million. As a reputable employer, Lakehouse chose to implement a reliable and trusted Lone Worker protection system, turning to Skyguard.

Having trialled several lone worker safety service providers, Lakehouse determined that Skyguard’s MySOS

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