Construction site worker killed in vehicle accident

A tragic incident yesterday reinforced the dangers inherent in construction site operations in Scotland.

A workman, understood to have been a subcontractor, was killed in a horrific accident when a dumper truck overturned at the site of a new £86 million bottling plant.

A police officer attempted to revive the workman after the accident at drink giant Diageo’s plant in Leven, Fife, but he was declared dead at the scene at 12:50pm yesterday

The Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed that an ambulance crew attended the scene following an emergency call at 12:50pm, but had been unable to do anything to help save the worker. The Health & Safety Executive is investigatng the incident.

Bonnar & Company specialises in construction industry accident and illness claims on behalf of direct and subcontract workers and the self-employed. If you or a member of your family needs to discuss a potential claim please call FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation case review and independent legal advice.

Insurer resists the urge to blame personal injury claims for rising premiums

Admiral Insurance said today that it had not seen “any unusual trends in bodily injury or damage claims” and reported a 21% rise in pre-tax profit to £126.9m for the first six months of 2010.

Admiral’s chief operating officer David Stevens blamed an “annus horribilis” in the car industry business for a 14% rise in premiums in just six months. He said that costs will continue to go up as the firm responds to changing market pricing, commenting that:

“For the first time in a number of years in 2009, the number of claims actually went up slightly. That was partly due to the bad weather in the winter of last year.”

Firms such as RBS Insurance have recently reported motor insurance losses at the end of 2009 and typically blamed a strong rise in the number and severity of personal injury claims. So let’s not hold our breath in the expectation that more insurers will avoid stigmatising genuine road traffic accident claimants and blaming innocent car injury victims for rising motor insurance premiums. 

Of course, what the insurance companies fail to mention is that bogus injury claims are weeded out early on and never get settled. Unless insurers are  actually paying out on fraudulent claims and therefore sustaining AVOIDABLE LOSSES, there should not be any problem in dealing with those few individuals who are determined to fabricate an accident or an injury.

At Bonnar & Company we receive very few enquiries from people seeking to defraud the system but we take immediate and robust action to immediately kick these claims out. A personal injury solicitor has to build a case for compensation based on the evidence. If the evidence falls short, the claim falls flat on its face – end of story. 

You should also be aware of one of the insurance industry’s favourite ploys, which is to group the dubious claims with genuine accident victims in order to perpetuate the myth of a compensation culture when their real motive is to boost profits by discouraging claimants and making the process as difficult and as stressful as possible.

If you or a member of your family need to discuss a road traffic injury claim with a personal injury expert, please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation case review and independent legal advice.

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.

Near miss as double-decker bus slams into low bridge in Glasgow

The need for careful route planning by bus operating companies and constant driver vigilence on the road was highlighted yesterday after the roof of a double-decker was ripped off as it tried to pass under a Glasgow rail bridge.

The First bus crashed into the Cook Street bridge on the city’s southside causing the area to be cordoned off by police. Fortunately there were no passengers on board at the time and the driver wasn’t injured.

In March 2005 an empty First bus crashed into the same low bridge and in September 1994, a bus carrying a party of Girl Guides hit a low bridge in nearby West Street, killing three girls and two Guide leaders.

If you or a member of your family has been hurt or injured in an accident on public transport you can call Bonnar & Company Solicitors FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation case review and expert independent legal advice. 

Scottish police warn plan to cut speed cameras will risk lives

Scotland’s top police officers have said they would be concerned if funding for speed cameras became a victim of government budget cuts.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) spoke out toady after its sister organisation claimed lives would be put at risk as a result of UK Government spending cuts to the network south of the border.

Mick Giannasi, who leads on road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which represents officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said he was trying to persuade Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers to protect the cameras “for the future of our road safety”.

Last month it emerged that Oxfordshire County Council was switching off all 72 of its fixed speed cameras as part of moves to save money, with other local authorities south of the border are also considering similar action. The UK Government cut £38million from this year’s road safety budget and ended central funding for speed cameras.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road-safety charity Brake echoed the calls. She said: “We agree with Mick Giannasi that if we do see speed cameras removed on a large scale, which seems likely to happen, it’s going to be a devastating blow to road safety. We know that cameras are very effective in cutting speeding which is vital for protecting all road users.”

Having seen the devasting results of reckless driving, Bonnar & Company echoes the views of road safety expertsspeed kills.

If you or a member of your family have been involved in a road traffic accident caused by a speeding driver please contact our personal injury specialists for FREE expert legal advice and practical assistance. For a no obligation review of your claim please call freephone 0800 163 978.