Scrap metal licences – do you need one?

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) estimates that metal theft costs the UK economy around £750m every year, and in 2012 claimed 10 lives.

In an attempt to regulate the industry, the Government announced that from the 1st October 2013 every scrap metal dealer in England and Wales is required to apply to their Local Authority for a licence to operate. Enforcement began in December 2013 to allow the £5b industry time to adjust, but those affected must apply for an interim licence from.

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Crisis Response: preparing for the worst

Police and HSE involvement following a serious workplace accident is now the norm. With the number of corporate manslaughter prosecutions rising, and six-figure fines for breaches of health and safety legislation involving a death now commonplace, the ramifications of a serious incident are becoming ever more acute. The haulage industry is no exception. For example, in January 2013, Neightfreight was fined £300,000 after one of its drivers was killed by a runaway truck at its depot in Northamptonshire.

The increasing trend for regulators to prosecute companies and their directors places employers in a particularly stressful situation following a serious incident or fatality at work. Time spent planning in advance can make that situation easier to manage. Below are six top tips for managing such a crisis.

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Driver First Assist: First aid intervention and legal liability

November 2013 saw six cyclists tragically die in London over the space of 14 days. Cycle and road safety are increasingly prominent in the public consciousness. However, the question of preventing fatalities is not a simple one and whilst accident prevention is seen as a priority, the possibility of incidents cannot be ruled out. For that reason it is important that the response to road traffic accidents is also kept in mind so that lives can be saved if an accident occurs.

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New influx of workers: challenge or opportunity?

1 January 2014 saw the lifting of labour restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers in nine of the European member state countries. This included Germany, France and Britain. The background facts were that when Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 and initially some temporary measures were put into place by nine member states for the first seven years of membership in relation to the right to work and to benefit from social and medical programmes. This was a result of a concern that there would be a sudden influx of a new workforce who could potentially increase welfare benefits costs.

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