Covid-19. Way forward

Covid-19: The way forward…

Covid-19 has caused many things a deluge of concerns, rules, guidance, information, action plans. All this has raised some recurring questions: What are our health and safety criminal law obligations in dealing with the coronavirus? What do we have to do? How can we protect ourselves from blame if we get it wrong? As...

Corona: An enjoyable beer or new legislation…

Coronavirus came upon the world as an unknown and everyone is now trying to ‘fight’ their way through what is COVID-19 and a severe pandemic.  Unlike Corona beer which is rather enjoyable especially on a warm sunny day, the coronavirus is anything but a chilled afternoon sitting in the sun supping on your favourite beverage. It...

Tragic and wholly avoidable – worker crushed on site

This tragic story really horrified us – our hearts immediately went out to the man’s family. Our second reaction was frustration. This should never have happened. Not only was it entirely avoidable  – clearly a proper risk assessment wasn’t in place – but it had happened before. Someone, somewhere, knew the risk and did nothing...

risk assesment

Risk Assessment: 5 steps for compliance

“Risk assessment” – yes we know, these words make your eyes roll, you want to yawn and your instinct is to run to the kitchen to make a strong coffee. Well, we sympathise. via GIPHY It’s not a fun task for any company. We just see so many cases that could simply have been avoided...

good lawyer

7 things a good lawyer should do for you (and probably isn’t)

‘Good lawyer’ you say? Is there such a thing?! Well, when we say ‘we do things differently at Ferguson Legal’ it’s with this aim… Yet people often respond by asking, ‘well, how?’ Fair enough. This is a claim that many people across lots of different industries make – and it should be backed up....

Apology – is it too late to say sorry?

In the normal course of life, an apology goes a long way. We all make mistakes. Recognising that, saying sorry and offering to somehow fix it is a common sense way of dealing with those mistakes. Until June 2017, organisations were reluctant to offer this simple solution because they worried it could lead to...

Love thy lawyer

Everyone loves a quickie – so here’s one… We all know that lawyers are not very well liked. I’ve no idea why, I’m delightful. Let’s get the lawyer jokes out the way – How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb? You won’t find a lawyer who can change a light bulb....

HGV death leads to almost half million pound fine

A truck company that buys, refurbishes and sells Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and trailers has been sentenced after the death of 63-year-old self-employed worker William Price. On 21 February 2013 Mr Price suffered fatal head injuries when the half-ton frame of a lorry trailer, he was dismantling, fell on his head at the Marston...

Scottish Environmental Issues…

Are you involved in, or affected by, environmental issues? Do you have opinions on the way environmental cases are currently dealt with? Then the Scottish Government is seeking your views. They are asking how effective environment cases (both civil and criminal) are being dealt with by the current Scottish court system. The results of...

commercial law

Commercial Law – what is it and why should I care?

Commercial law is a bit of an obsession here at Ferguson Legal – so we’ll break it down for the regular folk! We think you (as a person) and you (as a company) should have just a basic understanding of what it is, then you’ll know when to call us. We’ve made you a...

directors' responsibilities

Directors’ Responsibilities: The Directors’ Directory Part 1

Directors’ responsibilities apply to any company director. Over the next three posts we will break down the role of the company director – starting with the responsibilities. Directors’ responsibilities: Statutory Duties Directors need to be aware that they are personally subject to statutory duties in their capacity as directors of a company. In addition, the company...

appointing a director

Appointing a director – The Directors’ Directory Part 2

Appointing a director is a fairly straightforward process. My last post concerned directors’ responsibilities. I will now focus on the appointment process. Appointing a director happens at any time after incorporation. Likewise, a director can resign or be removed by the shareholders at any time, providing such actions do not contravene any provisions in the Companies...

removing a driector

The Directors’ Directory part 3: Removing a director

Removing a director is a fairly straightforward process. My last post focused on how to appoint a company director – I’ll now outline how to remove one. A director can be removed from a company for a number of reasons. The resignation or termination must be in accordance with three things: the terms of the...

IT security

IT security is a health & safety issue

After Deloitte was hit by a cyber security attack earlier this week, we have to ask, how safe are we? We at Ferguson Legal care more about health and safety than your average UK citizen. So we need to suggest that IT security be considered under the health and safety banner. If one of...

The Fee for Intervention Scheme

If you have been subject to a Fee For Intervention bill and wished you had challenged it, read on! We recently explored the Judicial Review case of HSE’s Fee For Intervention dispute process. A consequence was the HSE agreed to look at changing the process for challenging such fees. (It entered into a legal agreement with...

risk assessment

Risk Assessment – what is required?

A risk assessment must be carried out by “competent persons” in ALL companies, no matter how big or small. This is a legal requirement under the European health and safety legislation (commonly known as the “six pack”). In the UK it is the Management, Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 which requires all...

modern slavery act

Modern Slavery Act – company obligations

One year on from the Modern Slavery Act and the introduction of section 54, modern slavery remains high on the government’s agenda. The Prime Minister has recently stated at UN meetings that the issue is a global one, while the Scottish government has launched an awareness campaign after victims were found in small and...

Great British Bake Off

Great British Bake Off – DANGER, DANGER!

If, like us, you’re delighted Great British Bake Off is back on TV, you may have noticed that Kate Lyon, one of the contestants, is a health and safety inspector… We love a bit of health and safety chat at Ferguson Legal so here’s a little blog we prepared earlier. Dig in! Beware the...

DVSA Compliance – Legal column in FACTS magazine

Reducing costs is nothing new especially when it comes to the government schemes. So it was only time before the cost cutting reached the DVSA. It introduced two initiatives, the Remote Enforcement Office and the Earned Recognition Scheme, aimed at performing fewer road-side checks on compliant fleets. How is DVSA compliance changing? In relation...

insurance legal checklist

Insurance legal checklist – FACTS legal column

Over 100 people are killed and seriously injured every week in crashes involving someone who was driving for work. It is an offence under road traffic law to ‘cause or permit’ a person to drive a vehicle that is in a dangerous condition or without a valid licence or at least third party insurance....

Price fixing for HGVs – can you claim?

Price Fixing – The Infringement The European Commission has issued a record £2.9 billion fine to five major Scania truck manufacturers after it was found that they co-ordinated truck pricing and colluded on passing on the costs of compliance with emissions rules from 1997-2011. Buyers of medium and heavy goods vehicles were significantly overcharged...

Worker crushed and two firms fined

A worker suffered multiple serious injuries when a trolley carrying hydraulic rams toppled on its side and trapped him between it and a stillage. DHL and JCB have both been fined in relation to the incident, which happened on 16 October 2013. Stafford Crown Court was told how the DHL employee was auditing in-coming...

Abnormal Loads – FACTS magazine legal column

Of all the challenges presented by transport and logistics perhaps the largest comes with an abnormal load, as the regulations here are complex. Known as an ‘Abnormal Indivisible Load’, it can’t be broken down into smaller loads for transport without undue expense or risk of damage. For example, a 180 tonne transformer. An AIL...

Protect your lone workers

Working alone is a known health and safety red flag area, as one company found to its cost recently. An Exeter-based water treatment firm was fined £1.8 million after a lone worker drowned at one of its plants just after Christmas. The tragedy could have been prevented and it’s likely the sizeable fine reflected...

The Brexit impact Part 3: Health and Safety

On 23 June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union, signalling a momentous change to Britain’s political and economic landscape. No European Union Member State has ever left the EU so the process of withdrawal is untested. A successful Brexit will involve disentangling the UK from complex politico-legal, financial and other...

Dropped: Judicial Review of HSE’s FFI dispute process

A judicial review challenge over the disputes process of the Health and Safety Executive’s cost recovery has been dropped. The HSE has settled the matter out of court. The case was due to be heard on 8 March 2017 after OCS Group, an international facilities management and maintenance company, was granted permission for the judicial...

#TGIF

#TGIF Have a good #Friday!! #lawyerlife #lawfirmfun #Ladylawyers...

Energy

The Brexit impact part 2: Energy

What are the legal issues for the energy sector following Brexit? Potential need to follow energy policy without being able to influence its drafting. Firstly, UK energy policy is generally ahead of the curve when compared to the rest of the EU. However with Brexit, UK and EU Energy Union priorities may differ. Given...

The Brexit impact part 1: Construction

Ferguson Legal has examined the impact Brexit is likely to have on various industry sectors such as construction; health and safety; procurement; sustainability and environment; employment and bribery and corruption. In part 1, we will look at the likely consequences for the Construction sector and what you can do to protect your company. No...

Our Boss is cool…

For Christmas, the #Boss replaces the normal water cooler with this… how cool is she? #Champagne #LawfirmFun #TGIF...

H&S Awards – Shortlisted

That moment when we find out we’ve been shortlisted for Health & Safety Law Firm of the Year UK – Law Awards 2017 #goteam Absolutely delighted. Good luck to all the firms who have been nominated. #TeamGoals #Health&Safety #GetProactive #GetLawSavvy  ...

Dear Carole… Mobile Device use & driving…

Dear Carole We are all under huge pressure to check our fleet management software at certain points of the day. I’ve found that keeping the iPad in the cab with me and checking it while I’m at a red light or stuck in slow moving traffic is the only solution. I’m guessing this probably...

Dear Carole… Tachographs and taking chances…

“Dear Carole, I’m a long-distance lorry driver and some of the guys in the fleet have got this hack for our digital tachographs. They say it’s brilliant and untraceable, but I’m pretty sure our company has some good software of their own. I don’t really want to risk it, but I’m at a real...

Farewell to the Jungle

As harrowing as the images on the news may be, I suspect many haulage and delivery companies have welcomed the news of the dismantling of “The Jungle”. The French authorities have been clearing the refugee camp in Calais and busing thousands of migrants to centres across France. It had been a major problem for lorry...

HSE warn HGV drivers over coupling systems

HGV drivers are frequently putting lives at risk by not following basic safety procedures when coupling and uncoupling vehicles, the Health and Safety Executive have warned. The workplace health and safety regulator urged drivers to apply parking brakes and use (or retrofit) warning alarms to avoid a repeat of an incident in January 2015...

Festive Season… drinking… driving…

We’ve all been there. It’s the festive season, everyone’s celebrating and you have a few too many drinks. You wake up the next morning and think: “Well that was a bit heavier than I expected, I hope I’m OK to drive…” But imagine you wake up thinking that and then climb into a lorry...

Worker Crushed between two vehicles

Leedale Limited, a waste management and plant hire company in Derbyshire, was fined £300,000 after a worker was fatally crushed between two vehicles. Derby Crown Court heard how 39-year-old Matthew Lambert was refuelling his road sweeper at the Company’s yard. The refuelling point on the vehicle was at the rear; whilst he was refuelling a...

Employee killed in trench collapse

A company has been fined £2.6 million after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed in on him. On the 14 April 2010, Mr Sim, a sub-contractor working on behalf of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited, was laying ducting for new cable for an offshore windfarm that was being built...

Food giant fined for safety failings.

Frozen Food giant McCain Foods (GB) Limited has been fined £800,000 for safety failings after an employee nearly lost his arm. Peterborough Crown Court heard how 34-year-old employee, Adam Regan, was checking the condition of a conveyor belt when his arm became entangled and was almost severed. Although his arm was saved, he now has limited...

health & safety, Fireworks.

Bonfire & Fireworks – Not child’s play

Bonfire night has been and gone; with the news of several firework events being cancelled due to bad weather it got us thinking – doesn’t happen often we agree but it did – about fireworks, health & safety and children. Anyway, fireworks and bonfires are inherently dangerous and quite often people, mainly kids, forget this....

Offshore, Health, Safety and what’s going on…

Offshore oil and gas is often thought of as being one of the most dangerous and high risk areas to work in. Well, is this true? Let’s have a look at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) annual Offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2015 (“Report”). This Report tells us how the industry has performed...

#getbrexitsavvy

Since 23 June 2016 when the British people voted to leave the European Union the conversations and topics have surrounded the momentous change to Britain’s political and economic landscape. The legal questions on the Brexit situation have been largely side-lined. Extricating the UK from the EU legal system is one of the biggest legal...

#Duty Calls…….

A Director,  the leader of the pack, the boss, king (or queen) of the business…….everything you have dreamed off……but the reality is do you really know your duties and the penalties that occur if you fail to exercise your responsibilites? #PERSONALLY LIABLE You could be held personally liable for losses resulting from illegal acts,...

Stop!! Do you know your legal obligations?

With the dark nights upon us, we must confess The Apprentice is our guilty pleasure, as we get snuggled up on the sofa with a nice hot cuppa. Amongst all the frantic tasks, drama and tension of the boardroom, we have been thinking about the understanding of the legal obligations as a company director...

A meeting about a meeting?

With the announcement that The Apprentice is soon to return to our screens, it got us thinking at Ferguson Legal about meetings, and ‘the boardroom’. How often should company’s hold board meetings? Is there a set rule? Does Lord Sugar conduct his meetings in the usual manner? Do companies have meetings for the sake...

health & safety

A Stark Warning

I know we constantly bang on about health & safety at work but it is so essential for Company Directors to take personal responsibility to train and protect the safety of their workers…..as the consequences are devastating. Company Director Kenneth Thelwall, from Enfield, has been jailed for 12 months following the death of one...

Olympics

Gold, silver, bronze and green?

Get ready, set, hold on a minute the water is green? What really did happen the pools in Rio? After offering little clarity about why the water in two Olympic competition pools mysteriously turned green, Rio 2016 officials have said it was because a a contractor poured hydrogen peroxide into the diving well and the large pool in the centre....

The Million Pound Drop

Unfortunately this article is not about the Channel 4 BAFTA-winning game show hosted by Davina McCall, this is about the incident of Thames Water who earlier in the year were ordered to pay out a whopping, record breaking £1 million after polluting a canal in Hertfordshire. This is the highest ever fine for a...

Paul Lawrie Foundation

Out On a School Night, Paul Lawrie Foundation Dinner

Last week we attended the Paul Lawrie Foundation Dinner with special guest Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex told tales from his management career that lasted for 39 years, where he won 49 trophies, making him the most successful manager in the history of British football – you could have heard a pin drop in...

safety

Such a boring subject…

Let’s be honest, most people do not take health & safety serious until something happens, correct? We are not accusing you of this, but like most fast paced lifestyles nobody stops to take heed until the pleeeeep hits the fan. This was one of the thoughts behind the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act...

Time to Clean Up Your Act?

I will do it tomorrow, It is only a little mess, they won’t do anything Sound familiar? These little messes can turn into one big nasty one as Oran Environmental Solutions found out. They got issued the highest penalty ever in Scotland for environmental offences for waste offences. The penalty was imposed on Oran...

Something’s Gotta Give

Since the announcement in April of funding from Central Government to the Health & Safety Executive being cut we were left wondering how can the same organisation run effectively with such a huge financial blow? This is going to be one uphill struggle, I mean we are not talking a few pounds here it will...

Savvy sister site has arrived in style

From the outset it was always the ambition of Carole Ferguson, Managing Director of Ferguson Legal to showcase the fun and savvy side of the world of law, with a new, fresh and innovative approach giving a tongue and cheek style to hard hitting stories allowing everyone to relate which may have otherwise not...

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