At Thompson’s we would like to reassure all our clients that as far as possible we are operating as normal. The health and safety of our staff and clients is our primary concern during this outbreak and as such we are reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will be adapting our working practices following government guidelines. However, we have had to make some minor changes to how we are doing things.

Following Government guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our offices and our staff are now all working from home using secure technologies to ensure they are able to continue to progress with existing and new cases as normal. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, however we are continuing to hold these meetings via phone and video calls. All the team are contactable on their direct dial numbers and email should you need to speak with your solicitor, please do not hesitate to talk to us about anything during this time.

We know these are uncertain and unsettling times for many of our clients, and the wider population, and things might look a little different for the foreseeable future. But our focus remains on our dedication, knowledge and strength that we provide to all our clients. We will continue to provide updates over the coming days and weeks in accordance with official guidelines and to keep everyone informed of the situation.

As always, for any concerns, advice and updates on your case; Talk to Thompsons.

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The UK has 9,000,000 deaf and hard of hearing people, meaning that a small but significant percentage of the UK workforce is losing its hearing and failing, in some cases, to take the steps to stem the worst effects of loss of hearing acuity.

More than 40% of persons over 50 have some level of hearing loss, and it is important that this does not needlessly become an impediment to communication at work.

The Scottish Executive was urged yesterday to fast-track legislation which would finally allow peace of mind - and better compensation - for the families of those who suffer from asbestos-related disease.

The plea came from John Greig, a former train repairer who is dying from mesothelioma, the most unpleasant form of the disease. He urged ministers to ensure hundreds of people suffering such illnesses did not have to face the same hideous choice as he does.

And to help the Courts determine who should be held accountable every company should be required to have a named individual as the Health and Safety director.

The demand for these changes to current legislation is being made by Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors in Glasgow.

A Cumbernauld woman who suffered a serious hand injury at work was today (Thurs May 19) awarded £150,000 compensation by a jury at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Noreen Carmichael (34) lost parts of four fingers while working on an unguarded moving machine at Isola Werke in 2000. She subsequently lost her job and suffers severe restriction of use of her dominant right hand.

That was the claim made today (Tuesday April 19) by Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors, Scotland’s leading personal injury specialists.

Speaking at the Scottish TUC conference in Dundee, Mr McGuire called for a change in Scots civil law to allow employees to receive full legal costs in the case of a successful action including a payment to their union to cover the costs of insuring the action.

The Scottish Executive should seize the chance to introduce a straight forward crime of Industrial Homicide to ensure companies are brought to account when fatal accidents happen.

That was the appeal made today (Monday April 18) by Frank Maguire, one of the country’s leading personal injury lawyers, speaking at the Scottish TUC conference in Dundee.

Insurers have failed in their attempt to evade responsibility for compensating thousands of victims of asbestos exposure according to a landmark judgment in a test case announced today in the English High Court.

Norwich Union and British Shipbuilders challenged the right of people exposed to asbestos to claim compensation for pleural plaques, scarring of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos. The judge rejected their argument that pleural plaques should not be compensated.

An HSE investigation followed an incident when ceiling tiles containing asbestos were removed during refurbishment work contracted out by AGFP at their factory in Lancashire. HSE found workers had been exposed to asbestos over a three day period. As the work progressed, AGFP managers suspected that the ceiling tiles might contain asbestos but still allowed work to continue in the contaminated area. The contractor was not licensed for asbestos work.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: "The government committed itself to achieving a five per cent decrease in the number of deaths at work between 2000 and 2004. Instead deaths have increased again this year. If the government is serious about reducing the levels of deaths and injuries it must increase the resources available to local authorities and the Health and Safety Commission for enforcing health and safety law."

The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 introduced the new duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises. Although the new duty only become law on 21 May 2004, duty-holders had been encouraged to start complying with the new duty from the introduction of the regulations.

The aim of regulation 4 is to help protect the largest group who are today at risk of exposure to asbestos, building and maintenance workers, thereby helping to prevent thousands of asbestos-related deaths.
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