Monthly Archives: April 2013

April 25, 2013 In Uncategorised No Comments

Government pushes through changes to strict liability on second attempt

Strict liability, sometimes called absolute liability, is the legal responsibility for damages, or injury, even if the person or company found strictly liable was not at fault or negligent.  It has been an integral part of health and safety legislation but something which the governments red tape review has hoped to change.

Employers complain that they are liable beyond the measure of common sense, even if they have acted reasonably they are still at fault. Insurers also dislike the current situation as it increases the likelihood of a payout on the policy even when a good client takes all reasonable measures to control their risk.

The Government appears to have won the battle to overhaul the law that makes employers liable to pay compensation to injured employees if they have breached statutory health and safety duties.

This amendment to the wide-ranging Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is just one of a number of Government reforms aimed at addressing the perception of a compensation culture and to reduce employers’ fear of being sued.

Viscount Younger of Leckie commented

“it is not reasonable or fair that employers should be held liable to pay compensation when they have done nothing wrong and taken all reasonable steps to protect their employees”, and stressed that the reform “does not undermine core health and safety standards”.

Whilst we have sympathy with employers we must always ensure that injured persons have the right to adequate compensation when an accidents occurs, but there is a balance to be found.  We feel that the review of current legislation is likely to replace many current instances of strict liability with the “reasonably practicable” wording as an alternative.  This simple change will have much the same effect but avoid the hammer blow of complete removal.

If you have questions on this subject and how it may affect your business please contact us using the links above, we’re here to help and talk is not just cheap its free on 01453 800100.

Wind turbine blown down in strong winds in Devon

A wind turbine in north Devon collapsed in January causing some concern for the renewables industry. It is understood to be the first such reported incident in the UK although blades have fallen from turbines in a small number of cases.

A spokeswoman for Dulas the energy company responsible for the erection of the wind turbine said:

“We can reassure the local community that due to the isolated location of the turbine, no one was put at risk and we are currently working hard to establish the precise cause of the incident. Our technical team is one of the most experienced in the UK. They are working alongside the turbine manufacturer to conduct a full root-cause analysis investigation. Our initial assessment suggests the turbine did not catch fire, as has been reported.”
The turbine was relatively small, with a hub height of 24 metres and with a generating capacity of 0.05MW. Paul Thompson, head of policy at the Renewable Energy Association, said:
“It is important not to over-react to this incident, given that there are over 3,500 turbines in the UK with a total capacity of over 5,500MW. One benefit of having that capacity distributed across several thousand small generators is that when one goes offline, it doesn’t have a major impact on the grid. However, that is not to take away from the safety concerns this incident raises, which industry will be looking at very carefully.”

If you have questions on the safety of renewables please contact our renewables team on 01453 800100

If you’ve got questions or need support on safety in the industrial, contracting or construction sectors please contact us for sensible and proportionate advice on 01453 800100

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Posted by Roger Hart
April 9, 2013 In Uncategorised No Comments

VOSA prosecution leads to two Directors of a transport & logistics business being fined nearly £2 million

Two former directors of a transport company have been order to pay £1,835,793.00 by HH Judge Hughes following a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at Carlisle Crown Court.

On 25 March 2013, 67 year old Patrick James Boyle and 38 year old Mark Anthony Boyle, who are both from Newry, Northern Ireland and former Directors of Boyle Transport Limited, were found to have benefited from their criminality to the sum of £10,016,810.

On 2 May 2012 Patrick Boyle and Mark Boyle were handed two year and 18 month sentences respectively at Carlisle Crown Court, after they pleaded guilty to conspiring with drivers to make the false tachograph records on 18 February 2011.

After a year long investigation, It was revealed that each digital tachograph owned by the company had been interfered with and the drivers had, in fact, been driving up to 22 hours per day (the law states the maximum should be 10 per day) and failing to take their lawful breaks.

Heather Cruickshank, VOSA’s Operations Director added:

“Operators and drivers should be in no doubt that if they choose to work outside the law there will be serious financial consequences as this case highlights. VOSA’s number one priority is road safety and our investigators will always seek to take robust action against those who risk the lives of other road users through arrogance or just blatantly ignoring the rules.”

If you would like to speak to our transort specialist please contact John Sennett on 01453 800105 or use this link;

If you need help or advice on health and safety please use the links below to contact us or request a call back – or call and speak to a friendly expert on 01453 800100


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