Week Commencing 13/11/2023 – In The News

Lighthouse Charity pioneers bold path for prisoners

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is pioneering an innovative programme designed to reintegrate prisoners into the workforce and help bridge the longstanding skills gap in the construction sector.

The pilot project at Cardiff Prison embraces the support of the Lighthouse Charity, GLA Group and Central Group to offer specialist skills training, soft skills development, and an exciting pathway into the roofing industry. This initiative promises to not only empower prisoners but also changes the construction industry’s landscape, bringing new found hope and opportunities for all.

Sarah Bolton, chief operating officer of the Lighthouse Charity, articulated the importance of this programme, “In our pursuit to bridge the skills gap within the industry, we’re supporting a fully inclusive environment and engaging with individuals who may never have considered a career in construction before.

Through this holistic partnership, we are able to deliver not just the essential vocational skills, we’re also ensuring easy access to vital soft skills training. Many ex-offenders could face societal prejudice and difficulties finding work. This programme will enhance their employability and empower individuals entering the sector to embark on a sustainable career, with the skills to overcome the daily challenges of life.”

Read more on the HSM website.

Manager jailed and funfair company fined after three-year-old girl dies

An operations manager at a funfair company has been jailed for six months and disqualified as a director for five years after a three-year-old girl died on a Norfolk beach. The funfair company he was working for has been fined £20,000.

The inflatable trampoline Ava-May Littleboy had been playing on exploded, ejecting her high into the air.

Ava-May, from Somersham in Suffolk, had been taken by family and friends to the Bounce About attraction that had been set up on the beach at Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk, on July 1, 2018.

She and a nine-year-old girl were on the trampoline when the blast happened without warning. While the older child suffered minor injuries, Ava-May was thrown upwards – witnesses described her as being shot up between 20 and 40 feet, or the height of a house. She landed on the beach. In the process, she sustained fatal head injuries.

In a tribute, Ava-May’s mother said a family tradition is now to spend Ava-May’s birthday at her bench in the local park.

Johnsons Funfair Limited, trading as Bounce About, operated a number of bouncy castles, slides and other inflatables on the beach at Gorleston, and at another site on Great Yarmouth beach.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council worked with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on a joint prosecution. Charges were brought against Johnsons Funfair Limited and its operations manager, Curt Johnson, whose wife was sole owner and director of the company.

Visit the HSE website to read more about the incident.

90% of retail workers have been abused by customers, survey reveals

90% of retail workers – and 95% of managers – have revealed they have been abused by customers at work – being threatened, punched in the face and hit with a metal basket.

In addition, 14% of retail workers said they experience abuse up to three times a week, for a third of those surveyed it is happening weekly and two thirds of respondents said the shouting, abusive language, insults and threats have gotten worse over the last two years.

But despite 63% of colleagues surveyed admitting customer abuse has left them feeling stressed or anxious about going to work – 24% revealed they did not report incidents to managers.

And almost a quarter said they wouldn’t call the police because they or a manager had tried this before and found it unhelpful.

The findings have been revealed in a poll by charity Retail Trust and now bosses are calling for victims to report abuse and get support needed.

For more on the findings, visit the SHP website.

Kettle Produce worker strangled unconscious in carrot baton machine

A food company has admitted failures that led to one of its workers being strangled on a machine that makes carrot batons.

Remigiusz Cyrek was choked unconscious after being dragged into the machine and trapped by a giant roller.

Kettle Produce admitted failing to ensure the safety of staff at its Orkie Farm facility near Freuchie, Fife, from August 2017 to June 2018.

The company, which has a £150m turnover, faces a substantial fine.

Mr Cyrek, a Polish national, had been employed as a hygiene operative with the company since 21 August 2017.

The 37-year-old was unable to work for six months after the injury.

Fiscal depute Gail Adair told Dundee Sheriff Court that the conveyor belt and rollers should have been isolated and completely switched off before the weekly clean.

Read more about the incident on the BBC website.

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