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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fine over forklift truck accident

Concrete firm Elite Precast Concrete Ltd has been fined £10,000 after an accident in one of its factories in which Polish labourer Tomasz Kosmacz suffered serious leg injuries when he was hit by a forklift truck.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the lack of translated instructions contributed to the accident. HSE inspector Katharine Walker said “The incident was entirely preventable. Had the instruction requiring the use of a pallet to move the waste been translated into Polish and effectively communicated to the workers, Mr Kosmacz would not have had to endure these painful injuries.

This set of template risk assessment forms can help you follow a systematic method of looking at work activities, assessing what could go wrong and deciding what controls you need to implement in order to prevent loss, damage or injury.

Ocado shares up

Online supermarket Ocado has seen a significant rise in its share value following the announcement of healthy sales figures and the extension of a key loan agreement. It also confirmed plans to raise a further £35.8m through a new share issue.

Commenting on the uplift in share value, by 14 pence to 75 pence, the company’s chief executive Tim Steiner said “We are delighted that Ocado has achieved such strong endorsement from both its institutional and other shareholders and its lenders who support our confidence in our business model and growth prospects“.

If you are responsible for the management of shares in your company, this downloadable set of Share Capital and Profits template documents can be used for a range of purposes, from issuing shares to reducing share capital.

Green jobs creation

Up to 750 job vacancies could be created in Scotland following a deal between Scottish Enterprise and Areva, one of Europe’s largest offshore wind energy companies. Under the agreement, Areva will locate turbine operation and blade manufacturing facilities in Scotland.

Commenting on the news, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said “Scotland shares Areva’s vision of a cleaner tomorrow. Today’s announcement provides a further boost to Scotland’s position as one of Europe’s key locations for offshore wind and takes us another significant step further in achieving our ambitious carbon reduction target“.

If you are in the fortunate position of being able to take on new employees, ensure that your recruitment processes run smoothly and to the law. This downloadable set of professionally drafted recruitment template documents enable employers to manage the application, selection, interview process and procedures involved in employing new staff.

Microsoft and Google in patent war

A dispute between Microsoft and Google over the cost of a licence to use certain patents has culminated in a trial in Seattle. Google argues that Microsoft should pay fees of $4 billion per year for its use of connectivity and video coding patents help by Google-owned Motorola. But Microsoft believes the licence to use the intellectual property should cost far less – just over $1 million per year.

Microsoft claims that Google has requested an excessive amount of money for its FRAND patents (patents offered on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms). But deadlock was reached when Google insisted on negotiating a deal based on the starting point of a 2.25% royalty demand.

If your business is dealing with patents, this professionally written set of Patents, Know-How and Design Agreements can be of assistance in securing your business model.

Women directors quota defended by EU

As reported in the Simply-docs blog entry of 6th September 2012, draft legislation drawn up by EU officials includes plans that would enforce a rule on businesses of a certain size, whereby they would have to reserve a minimum of 40% of their non-executive board roles for women by 2020.

The policy has now been officially launched by European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, after being postponed following warnings by EU lawyers that quotas might not be enforceable. But the proposals require member states to decide what action to take against companies failing to reach the quota, so there is clearly room for manoeuvre on a national scale.

If your company is considering changing the composition of its board of directors, this useful set of templates can help with all matters involving directors including appointments and removals.

Fall in Unemployment

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there was a fall in the number of unemployed people in the UK, by 49,000 in the three months to September 2012, bringing the total figure down to 2.51 million. The ONS explained that a reduction in youth unemployment was the primary reason for the change.

Commenting, Mark Hoban, the Employment Minister, said “This is another good set of figures. We’ve seen the number of people in work increase by 100,000 and youth unemployment is below a million again.” However, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne noted that the figures also “showed another very sharp increase in long-term unemployment, heading up now towards the million mark.”

If you are in the fortunate position of being able to take on new employees, ensure that your recruitment processes run smoothly and to the law. This downloadable set of professionally drafted recruitment template documents enable employers to manage the application, selection, interview process and procedures involved in employing new staff.

Aerospace company fined over chemical accident

Aerospace company Inflite Engineering Ltd has been fined £17,000 following a workplace accident in which an employee sustained a chemical burn to his eyelid and inside his tear duct after flicking sodium hydroxide crystals into his face. An HSE investigation concluded that the company – which admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 – could and should have done more to prevent the incident and protect the worker.

Commenting, HSE Inspector Vicky Fletcher said “This incident was completely preventable. It was a specialist task involving both the risk of chemical burns from the caustic soda, and also falling from the tank to the ground or, even worse, into an adjacent uncovered tank containing sodium cyanide solution“. She went on to warn that “It is essential that thorough assessments of … risks are carried out to determine if there is sufficient in-house expertise.

This set of template risk assessment forms can help you follow a systematic method of looking at work activities, assessing what could go wrong and deciding what controls you need to implement in order to prevent loss, damage or injury.

Dixons offers jobs to Comet staff

Electrical retail chain Comet recently entered administration, putting over 6,000 jobs at risk. Dixons is reportedly offering Christmas jobs to hundreds of Comet employees who face redundancy due to the insolvency.

Commenting, Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons Retail, said “We have delayed our recruitment so that Comet colleagues who want to join our stores can get a chance to do so. … We are hoping we will get as many as possible of the Comet colleagues to join us“.

If your company is facing the prospect of having to make redundancies, ensure that you follow the correct procedures with the help of these professionally written template redundancy documents.

Viagra loses patent case

A ruling against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer by the Canadian Supreme Court means that other drugs companies may start producing their own “generic” versions of Viagra. The court upheld an appeal by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical which argued that Pfizer’s original patent application was incomplete.

The verdict of the Canadian judiciary runs contrary to legal rulings in the US, Spain and New Zealand, where Pfizer managed to successfully defend patent lawsuits by Teva against its erectile dysfunction drug.

If your business is dealing with patents, this professionally written set of Patents, Know-How and Design Agreements can be of assistance in securing your business model.

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