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71% of public liability claims made by women

By | Leisure Centres, Nursing Homes, Pubs, Restaurants & Pubs, Retail, Swimming pools, Uncategorized

Women accounted for seven out of 10 public liability insurance claims last year, according to new figures released by the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board is the independent statutory body which awards personal injury compensation after motor, workplace and public liability accidents. It is self-funded predominantly through fees charged to those who are responsible for such injuries.
In previous years, women have accounted for a far higher proportion of awards made than men. This trend continued last year with women accounting for 71.4 per cent of total awards made, as opposed to 28.6 per cent for men.
Slips, trips and falls were the most common accident type, accounting for 67 per cent of total awards. They included accidents on wet floors/surfaces, uneven/broken pavements, drains and manholes. The resulting injuries included fractures, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and lacerations. They resulted in awards of under €38,000.
More than 1,700 public liability awards were made during 2013, with compensation totalling €44 million awarded. The average public liability award rose year on year by almost 11 per cent to €25,120. The average award for men was €25,664, while women received an average award of €24,902. In addition, over a two-year period, the number of awards of more than €100,000 increased from two in 2011 to 18 in 2013.
Other accidents included burns and scalds, which accounted for 2.5 per cent of awards, while accidents involving falling/flying objects accounted for 5 per cent. Two per cent of public place accidents involved animals, including dog attacks and bites, bull attacks, being trampled by a horse and collisions between cyclists and dogs.
More than 40 awards were made for accidents which occurred in supermarkets, including injuries from trolleys and baskets, while almost 100 accidents occurred in leisure-type facilities such as sports clubs/gyms, cinemas and hairdressers. Nearly two-thirds of public liability awards were to people in the 25-to-64 age group, but 18-24-year-olds were the least likely to receive compensation, with the group accounting for just 8.3 per cent of cases.
For the third consecutive year, Saturday was the most common day for public place accidents while the fewest number of accidents occurred on Tuesday, as was the case in 2012. Taking the last three years into account, January has been the safest month while July has seen the highest level of accidents throughout the year.
Some 17 per cent of all awards made by the Injuries Board in 2013 related to public liability, with motor liability representing 75 per cent of awards and employer liability 8 per cent. The average processing time of seven months was four times faster than the prior adversarial system, with a “substantially lower” administration cost.

Article courtesy of the Irish Times, written by Colin Gleeson

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Woman who fractured knee after slipping on new tiles wins €71k

By | Hotels, Leisure Centres, Nursing Homes, Pubs, Restaurants & Pubs, Retail, Swimming pools

A sales representative from Dublin, sued a tile company which operates 21 outlets across the country.

The Judge said he had to agree with a description he had heard of the floor tiles being “lethal”. He also commented that compensation guidelines by the government body which makes personal injury awards, the Injuries Board, were out of date and therefore not relevant in this case.

The plaintiff claimed the company was negligent in supplying a tile which was not fit for purpose in that they did not have sufficient anti-slip properties particularly for use in an area which would regularly be wet.

The woman who fractured her knee when she slipped on new porcelain tiles was awarded more than €71,000 in the High Court.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/woman-who-fractured-knee-after-slipping-on-new-tiles-wins-71k-29729070.html#sthash.H0VYr0fG.dpuf

Swimming Pool Safety Guidelines

By | Hotels, Leisure Centres, Swimming pools

pool with tilesSwimming and water safety are life-saving skills, which provide thousands of people with the means to enjoy Ireland’s aquatic environment in a healthy, enjoyable and safe manner.
Although swimming pools offer a greater level of safety, the risk of accidents happening remains ever present. Due to the ever-presence of water on pool floors, slipping is likely if care is not taken.
This risk is all the more prevalent with the recent upsurge in the number of leisure centres and pools opening in Ireland and the number of adults and children visiting these venues.
The following are a number of guidelines which should be considered when talking about Slips, Trips and Falls in swimming pools and leisure centres:

  • Sudden drops and/or steep inclines can present particular dangers for users. A slip resistant and non-abrasive finish should be provided in these instances.
  • Pool floors and the surrounds should be surfaced with non-slip materials and there should be appropriate signs in place to discourage running.
  • Steps, handrails and ladders must be of sufficient strength and be firmly fixed to the poolside and should have treads which are slip resistant and have no sharp edges.
  • All ramps should have a slip resistant surface and handrails on both sides.
  • It is a legal requirement that all facilities shall have a written operational plan. Do you know the risks and how they are to be dealt with e.g. slippery floors after cleaning.

For further details on whether your swimming pool or leisure centre is compliant, please contact Richard on 0876915650

Information in this article has been sourced from SwimIreland and ILAM and Irish Water Safety

Falls in Nursing Homes

By | Nursing Homes

showerFalls are a common but often overlooked source of injury and, in many cases, death. Falls among nursing home residents however occur more frequently and repeatedly than in the home. In Ireland approximately 250 older people die each year from falls. Three quarters of falls related deaths occur among those aged over 65  and those who survive falls frequently sustain hip fractures and head injuries that result in a reduced quality of life with perhaps even a permanent disability .

How big is the problem?
About 5% of adults 65 and older live in nursing homes, but nursing home residents account for about 20% of deaths from falls in this age group.
Each year, a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Many falls go unreported.
Between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall each year. That’s twice the rate of falls for older adults living in the community.
Patients often fall more than once. The average is 2.6 falls per person per year.
About 35% of fall injuries occur among residents who cannot walk.

How serious are these falls?
About 10% to 20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries; 2% to 6% cause fractures.
Falls result in disability, functional decline and reduced quality of life. Fear of falling can cause further loss of function, depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation.

Why do falls occur more often in nursing homes?
Falling can be a sign of other health problems. People in nursing homes are generally frailer than older adults living in the community. They are usually older, have more chronic conditions, and have more difficulty walking. They also tend to have thought or memory problems, to have difficulty with activities of daily living, and to need help getting around or taking care of themselves. All of these factors are linked to falling.

What are the most common causes of nursing home falls?
Muscle weakness and walking or gait problems are the most common causes of falls among nursing home residents. These problems account for about 24% of the falls in nursing homes.
Environmental hazards in nursing homes cause 16% to 27% of falls among residents. Such hazards include wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs. Total Slip Solutions can assess and remedy high risk areas such as showers, baths, tiles, decking etc. Medications can increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, are of particular concern. Fall risk is significantly elevated during the three days following any change in these types of medications. Other causes of falls include difficulty in moving from one place to another (for example, from the bed to a chair), poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes, and improper or incorrect use of walking aids.

How can we prevent falls in nursing homes?
Fall prevention in nursing homes presents multiple challenges. It requires a combination of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and environmental changes. Making changes in the nursing home environment to make it easier for residents to move around safely. Such changes include ensuring that all surfaces adhere to guidelines. If they do not, a simple and cost effective solution is available through Total Slip Solutions in Wexford.

Total Slip Solutions would like to acknowledge the statistics in this article which were provided by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

Girl Awarded Compensation for Slip and Fall in Tesco

By | Retail, Uncategorized

tescoA nine-year-old schoolgirl, who was left with a permanent scar after she slipped and banged her head against a supermarket freezer, has been awarded €18,000 compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco.

Angela Prendergast was only six years of age when – in September 2010 – she was shopping with her mother at the Tesco Express Supermarket in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. As Angela and her mother were walking along the frozen food section, Angela slipped on a wet floor surface and banged her head against a steel freezer as she fell.

Although she was given First Aid by a member of Tesco´s staff, Angela´s mother – Ann Prendergast from Kilcoole in County Wicklow – took her to the local hospital, where the wound was cleaned and stitched with glue. Angela still has a two centimetre scar on the right side of her forehead to act as a permanent reminder of the accident.

On her daughter´s behalf, Ann Prendergast made a claim for injury compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco against Tesco Ireland Ltd. Tesco admitted that the negligence of their staff had been a contributory factor in the floor being slippery, and a settlement of €18,000 was negotiated between solicitors representing the two parties.

As the claim for Tesco slip and fall injury compensation had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement of compensation had to be approved before a judge before Angela´s case could be closed; and therefore the circumstances of Angela´s accident were related to Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

After hearing how Angela had banged her head, and seeing the scar that the little girl had been left with, Judge Deery approved the settlement of compensation for a slip and fall in Tesco, which will now be paid into court funds until Angela reaches the age of eighteen.

Article courtesy of the injury compensation zone.

Man who fell down stairs of pub settles action for €250k

By | Restaurants & Pubs

An elderly man who claimed he suffered a brain injury after falling down the stairs of a well-known pub has settled his High Court action for €250,000.

Grandfather and father-of-five Frank McHugh (80), of Maxwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin, was in a coma after the fall in The Stag’s Head in Dublin city centre and suffered a severe brain injury.

He will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life, his counsel told the court.

Mr McHugh sued Shelbourne O’Brien Ltd, trading as The Stag’s Head, as a result of his fall on April 24, 2011. Mr McHugh claimed there was a failure to provide a safe means of access to and from the toilets in the Dublin pub.

He also claimed a failure to give adequate warning of the dangers allegedly present in the stairwell.

Shelbourne O’Brien denied the claims and said Mr McHugh was the author of his own misfortune having fallen as a consequence of his own negligence.

It was further claimed that Mr McHugh failed to descend the stairs in a safe manner.

Richard McDonnell SC, for Mr McHugh, said his client suffered severe injuries and skull fractures and will require nursing care for the rest of his life.

The pensioner has no memory of the accident. CCTV footage showed him taking the first step of the stairs, and tumbling forward, counsel said.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine, approving the €250,000 settlement, said the way that Mr McHugh’s five children had looked after him on a rota basis since his accident was quite humbling.

Story Courtesy of Irish Independent
– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-who-fell-down-stairs-of-pub-settles-action-for-250k-30084125.html#sthash.y5M4iJcU.dpuf