HSE warns oil companies on North Sea accidents

Just a few short months ago government appointee Lord Young was proclaiming that much of UK health & safety legislation is ‘just plain silly’.

Today, Steve Walker, head of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) offshore division, has bluntly told companies that their health and safety record covering 27,000 workers is “simply not good enough.”

He said: “The industry has shown it can do better and it must do in future.”

Figures released on Tuesday by the HSE show that while there were no fatalities in the offshore operations it regulates for the third year in a row last year, the number of major injury cases rose from 30 in 2008-09 to 50.

The deaths of 16 in a helicopter crash and a fatality involving a diving support vessel are not covered by the HSE figures but the report says the combined fatal and major injury rate almost doubled to 192 per 100,000 workers compared with 106 in 2008-09.

Mr Walker also expresses concern at the increase from 61 to 85 in the number of incidents involving a major and significant escape of oil and gas that could have led to a major incident.

In the wake of the recent BP Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, it will be interesting to hear Lord Young’s pronouncemnts on UK health & safety legislation when his review is complete. Let’s hope meantime that the oil and gas industry pays attention to the HSE’s concerns for worker safety on the rigs.

Bonnar & Company specialises in industrial accident and injury claims and has a particular expertise in dealing with claims brought by workers in dangerous occupations. If you or a member of your family needs to discuss a potential claim please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation discussion.

Insurance industry victimises personal injury claimants in new report

When will the insurance industry stop blaming personal injury solicitors for rising premiums?

Today’s report by the Association of British Insurers claims that the rise of a litigation or “ambulance-chasing” legal culture in Britain is playing its part in the rise of artificial claims.

The ABI’s own figures show that in 2009 a grand total of 4% of ALL claims were fraudulent and that the most common frauds were bogus or exaggerated claims on claims on household policies.

A key point worth stressing and always overlooked by the industry is that, by definition, fraudulent claims do not succeed. Or perhaps I am missing the point. Is the insurance industry really saying that it is paying out on claims known to be fraudulent?

As all reasonable people will understand, personal injury solicitors actually play an important part in identifying and weeding out bogus claims. As a firm Bonnar & Company actually receives very, very few enquiries relating to what might be called ‘dodgy’ claims. The small number of dubious claims that do come our way are quickly rooted out and the claimants are sent packing, pronto.

The fact remains that a claimant for personal injury compensation has to prove that their accident was the result of someone else’s negligence.  As accident and personal injury compensation claim solicitors, our number one job is to evaluate personal injury cases and gather the evidence necessary to support our client’s claim. It is inconceivable that we would spend a second longer than is necessary on a bogus claim when we are busy working on behalf of genuine accident and injury victims and their families.

If you have ever tried claiming on your own household policy for genuine accidental damage just imagine for a moment how difficult it can be to claim AGAINST the insurer of another member of the public or a company for pain, suffering and loss sustained as a result of an accident or industrial illness.   

So, I ask the question once more…

Where are all the successful bogus personal injury compensation claims and where are the lawyers that are making them?

If you or a member of your family would like to discuss your genuine claim for compensation with a qualified, regulated and experienced personal injury solicitor, then please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for no obligation EXPERT legal advice.