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Scaffolding firm in court after worker injured in fall

A scaffolding firm has been fined after a painter and decorator was injured when he fell through an unprotected ladder opening on scaffolding at a block of flats in Hemel Hempstead.

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Consultation launched on NHS compensation claims

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on plans to reform the system of NHS compensation claims by introducing a no-fault compensation scheme in Scotland.The change would mean patients who have suffered loss, injury or damage as a result of healthcare treatment could be compensated without having to resort to court action.The proposed new system would still require proof that harm was caused by treatment but would remove the need to prove negligence.Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said:"We know that the vast majority of the care delivered in our NHS is of the highest quality, but it is important that people who have suffered as a result of clinical mistakes should have some form of redress."It's in no-one's best interests to have that redress delayed because a compensation claim can take years to go through the courts and nor is it in anyone's interests to have precious NHS resources spent on expensive legal fees.“That is why we are considering the introduction of a no-fault compensation system. It is important that we seek wider views in order to help in our understanding of what the practical implications would be and to ensure that those affected receive appropriate redress without the need to go through a lengthy court process.”No-fault systems are already in place in countries such as Sweden, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark and Norway, and parts of the United States.

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Steel beam falls and fatally injures worker

A specialist crane supplier has been fined £180,000 after a worker was killed when a large steel beam fell on him at an incinerator in Slough, Berkshire. Colin Dickson, 38, of Motherwell, died when the temporary suspension points on a suspended beam he was under failed. The 1.4 tonne beam fell five metres onto Mr Dickson causing fatal injuries to his chest, and fractures to his legs and back. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Dickson's employers J H Carruthers Ltd and one of its supervisors after an investigation into how the lifting operation failed. The HSE investigation found that the lifting operation could have been successful if the whole process had been planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner from the outset. HSE's Inspector Karen Morris said: "This tragic incident shows the importance of carrying out a thorough assessment of hazards and properly managing all lifting operations. This was a complex and unusual lift which went drastically wrong due to a lack of competent planning and a failure to supervise and carry out the task safely. The risks involved in such lifting operations should not be underestimated. "Health and safety law places stringent requirements on employers in these circumstances, for very good reason. This incident was entirely preventable and it should act as a reminder to others that standards need to be maintained to ensure the safety of workers at all times." J H Carruthers Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The firm was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £74,000.

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