Hot Summer Nights

first_imgLocal News WhatsApp WhatsApp Hot summer nights logo Downtown Odessa Inc. and Odessa Arts has scheduled Hot Summer Nights Concert Series at 8 p.m. June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28, July 12, July 19, July 26, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9 at the Noel Heritage Plaza, 321 W. Fifth St. In the event of inclement weather, shows will be moved to Odessa High School. The lineup will be released soon. In addition to the exceptional musical acts that have become the hallmark of this free outdoor concert series, the event includes local food trucks, as well as children’s activities. Bring the lawn chairs and blankets. Pinterest Twitter Hot Summer Nights Facebookcenter_img Twitter Pinterest TAGS  By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Previous articleQuick Hits May 25Next articleCounty hopes to increase voter turnout Digital AIM Web Support Facebooklast_img read more

Taking the strain

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. A new European directive concerns the exposure of workers to risks arisingfrom vibration. It sets strict parameters and will give employers a kick startin how to deal with or renew provisions for the prevention of these types ofinjuries, by Linda Goldman and Joan Lewis Work-related upper limb disorder is back in the occupational healthheadlines. Hard on the heels of the UK miners winning their case forcompensation for injuries to their limbs resulting from exposure to vibrating andpounding machinery, a European directive on the very topic was adopted in Junethis year. The directive regulates the minimum health and safety requirements regardingthe exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (vibration).Full details are available on the HSE website1 and it is expected that it willbe in force in the United Kingdom by 2005. It sets strict parameters for dealing with a specific aspect of work-relatedupper (and indeed, lower) limb disorders. The consultation period will startshortly and should give employers a kick-start in dealing with or renewingprovisions concerning prevention of these types of injuries. It is time to take a fresh look at some of the legal factors involved. A new slant on an old subject Repetitive limb movements are associated with muscle and joint strains, someof which result in long-term or permanent injury. The most extreme form ofrepetitive movement is that of vibration. People who use vibrating or pounding instruments are liable to suffer fromhand-arm vibration syndrome, also known as white finger, for obvious reasons.The condition which, in its mildest form, has an acute phase where circulationto toe(s) and/or finger(s) is halted temporarily as peripheral capillaries shutdown. The recovery phase is marked by an acutely uncomfortable sensation ofpins and needles. In its most serious form, the recovery period is delayed andmay result in an escalating series of problems ranging from loss of grip and,in its worst form, gangrene. The Health and Safety Executive reports that more than one million UKworkers are at risk due to exposure to vibration from the equipment they use atwork. The vibration may be subtle, as in the form of dental drills, or violentwith the catastrophic effects reported by miners in a long-standing series ofcases. Detailed information can be found on the white finger website2. Were it not for the potentially devastating effects of this painfulcondition, it would be on a lighter note that The Guardian newspaper recentlyreported that a 15-year-old Liverpool boy is a victim, having sustained hisinjuries playing computer games3. Vibration white finger is one of the multitude of disorders that affectpeople involved in the use of machinery or equipment, which either requiresrepetitive movements on the part of the operator or subjects the limbs of theoperator to transmitted movement. The legal framework People who suffer workplace injuries as a result of their employer’snegligence look for compensation from the wrongdoer. Under some circumstances,the State intervenes to administer punishment if injury is caused, or could becaused, by a faulty work procedure. Civil law has long imposed a duty of care on employers to ensure the health,safety and welfare of their employees in the workplace, and a correlative dutyon the employees not to undertake tasks or go about their jobs in such a way asto court risk. The common law duty, supported by the criminal law in the form of the Healthand Safety at Work Act 1974 and European-derived regulations, ensures that anyemployer who fails to provide a safe system of work and safe equipment will beliable to his employees who suffer injury as a result of that failure. The riskof injury must be reasonably foreseeable and, these days, should have beenidentified in a suitable and sufficient risk assessment under the Management ofHealth and Safety at Work Regulations. A risk that is not identifiable after aproper risk assessment may not have been reasonably foreseeable. The crucialfactor is whether the employer knew or ought to have known of the risk and tookreasonably practicable preventive steps. There is a correlative duty on the employee to take care of his own safetyand that of his fellow workers. This means that an employee should notundertake work that amounts to a risk, particularly if he has been forbiddenfrom doing a particular activity. For example, in 1953, Mr Stapley lost hisclaim for damages against his employer, Gypsum Mines Ltd, because his injurieswere sustained when he disobeyed an order to evacuate a mine whose roof wasabout to, and did, collapse. It follows that employees who work in excess of a work schedule, which mightotherwise have prevented them developing a work-related disorder, may have somedifficulty in establishing that their employer is liable. However, employerswill be liable if they have encouraged the breach of the rules, say by allowinga flexi-time person to work through designated breaks so that person can leavework early. New diseases for old The condition of writer’s cramp has been known since man first took up thequill. Then came a work system involving rapid input of data into computers anda more intensive use of keyboards than was ever known in the typewriter age. Inthe 1980s an epidemic of a condition known as repetitive strain injury – RSI –swept Australia. It was characterised by its lack of connection with anyformal, orthopaedic diagnosis and its generally poor prognosis. The constant feature was pain, although the site of the symptoms varied. Inthe 1990s, there were signs that the UK workforce would succumb. The mainvictims were young women working at data-input keyboards. The occupationalhealth profession was and remains concerned about dealing with diffuse symptomsarising from similar work processes involving upper limb and hand activity, inparticular. The feature of RSI was that it did not fit into the categories known tomedical science including syndromes named after tennis and golf but more likelyto be encountered in the workplace than on the playing field. Before the main impact of risk assessments and industry getting to grips, asit were, with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations,there were alarming signs of employers being unable to recognise that humanjoints and muscles needed as much loving care as the machinery that was causinginjuries. Equally alarming was the financial impact of the increasing volume oflitigation. The general flavour of the cases that have come to court is that a standardtextbook condition is needed for a claim to succeed. After that, causation mustbe proved on the balance of probabilities. In Sony v Rugamer the courtsrecently decided, although the House of Lords has yet to make a final decisionin the matter, that psychological overlay (which may be a feature ofintractable ‘RSI’ cases) is not a clinically recognised illness. Prevention The foundation of prevention is risk assessment. The HSE is increasinglyprosecuting people who have failed to carry out this essential duty. Aconviction in the criminal court is likely to increase the injured person’schance of success in their civil claim and will affect insurance premiums. The Vibration Directive will place a greater and much needed emphasis onprevention. The recent cases brought by sufferers from asbestos-relateddisease4 have created a landmark precedent. In people who have been exposed torisk by several employers, who have brought their cases before the court,liability has been shared by all those who might have been liable. Previously,the victim had to show which phase of work caused the problem and name thespecific employer who was directly responsible for the current medicalcondition. Linda Goldman is a barrister at 7 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn. She is headof training and education for ACT Associates & Virtual Personnel. JoanLewis is the senior consultant and director of Advisory, Consulting &Training Associates and Virtual Personnel, employment law and advisory serviceconsultancies and licensed by the General Council of the Bar in employmentmatters under BarDirect. 1. www.hse.gov.uk/hthdir/noframes/vibrat.htm2. www.whitefinger.co.uk3. www.shopping.guardian.co.uk4. www.bbc.co.uk/l/hi/health/1991023/stmA framework of preventionA famous case in 1993 concerning a group of chicken pluckers who contractedtenosynovitis was Mountenay (Hazzard) and others v Bernard Matthews (1993). The judge set out the following guidelines for employers tofollow to reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable:– Warn of the risk– Enable employees to make an informed choice as to whetherthey will take the risk– Advise employees to take medical advice at the first sign ofaching wrists or hands– Provide mechanical assistance for squeezing movements– Gradually introduce new employees  to repetitive working movements– Rotate dutiesThat case was 10 years ago. What seemed like stunning insightsinto prevention are now commonplace. The approach to the European VibrationDirective should be followed in the same constructive light. Better to err onthe side of caution – saying you are sorry is very expensive these days.CasewatchPollitt v The Post Office (2001)A keyboard user performing data input on postcodes, about asrepetitive a strain as there can be, failed to persuade the court that theemployer was liable for the condition, described as RSI even though he had beentreated by neuroplasty for relief of his symptoms. Provided there is a recognisable diagnosis, the plaintiffs arelikely to be successful, as was seen in the Bernard Matthews case. However, inMughal v Reuters, about 10 years ago, the judge  said that the term RSI had been “subjected to a semantic andlogical demolition”, but continued to use it because the term had”achieved a life of its own”.Tovey v Inland Revenue (1996)Kathleen, a typist, settled her case against the Inland Revenuefor £82,000. She developed intractable RSI which prevented her from working,although her work had been carried out under supervision.Mulligan v Midland Bank (1997) Michelle Mulligan, a bank clerk, successfully sued the MidlandBank after developing tenosynovitis due to repetitive strains induced byexcessive amounts of typing. She was awarded £155,000 to cover loss of earningsand an award for the pain and suffering caused by her injury.Rance v Lomax Sayers Ltd (2001)The claimant handled plant pots in the course of his work,lifting them and moving them. He was diagnosed with tendonitis, lateral andmedial epicondylitis and ganglion. His claim succeeded.King v Coopers and Lybrand Ltd(2001)The claimant complained that she suffered diffuse pain causedby excessive typing on a computer keyboard but her claim for compensationfailed.The University of Loughborough hasa register of all the recent cases on www.lboro.ac.uk-db/sumjudg.htm  but does not show the amounts of damagesawarded in the successful cases. Where damages have been awarded in public, itmay be possible to find the information from the court or the local newspapers. Taking the strainOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more