This Week's News 10.08.18

Woman sues salon for £1 million

A woman has launched a £1 million landmark legal action against a beauty salon over claims a botched hair treatment caused her to have a stroke. Adele Burns, 47, claims stylists at Rainbow Rooms in George Square, Glasgow, washed her hair six times after failing to get the colour right. Less than 24 hours later, she suffered a massive stroke and Adele says medics linked it to her head being repeatedly pulled backwards into the salon basin which also allegedly did not have protective padding. The nurse from Mid Calder, West Lothian, now hopes the court action - the first of its kind in Britain - will hold parlour bosses accountable and improve standards. Adele said: "My life has been turned upside-down from what was meant to be a rare day out. With backing from my doctors, there is no doubt in my mind the salon caused the stroke. This hasn't just left me isolated from society - I've been isolated from my own body." Adele visited the award-winning salon for a £200 cut-and-colour on 21 April 2016 as part of a special day out arranged by husband Campbell, 52. After the five-hour appointment, she left with a headache but put it down to not getting a chance to eat while at the salon. The following day Adele's condition drastically deteriorated when she lost her sight and felt dizzy while cleaning the bathroom. She rested for a minute where after gathering her strength crawled to the phone and called Campbell for help. But after a few moments, she dropped the phone mid-conversation and passed out again. Terrified Campbell rushed home and found his wife unable to speak or move and the right side of her face was drooping - he immediately called for an ambulance. It was confirmed at St John's Hospital in Livingston, that Adele suffered a stroke following dissection of the vertebral artery - a clot caused by trauma in the neck which stops blood getting to the brain. The incident left Adele unable to drive which meant she couldn't work and had to sell their home. She also now struggles to speak, read, write and move. Court papers state salon staff never asked Adele to attend for a "strand test' before her appointment which would have prevented the need for her hair to be re-washed and re-coloured six times. Documents also accuse the salon of negligence by failing to offer Adele a front-facing sink or provide neck protection during the treatment she received. Medic reports show there is no history of strokes in Adele's family history along with a CT scan which confirmed the stroke she suffered following the trip to the Glasgow parlour. Jennifer Watson, associate at Digby Brown Solicitors and specialist beauty treatment lawyer, said: "A civil action against Rainbow Rooms is underway after our client's life was undeniably altered following her appointment with their salon. Thousands of people will seek beauty treatment like this every year and Adele is incredibly brave in speaking out as a way of alerting others to the risks. Strokes caused by hair washes are not unheard of as there have been a handful of similar cases across the globe - however I'm not aware of anything similar having called in Scottish courts. This claim of negligence will be rigorously pursued but as it is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Electrical safety at work

Electricity is a familiar and necessary part of everyday life, but electricity can kill or severely injure people and cause damage to property. Electricity should be part of your risk assessment. Staff must be trained in how to use electrical appliances "competently'. This means they have the skills and knowledge to use the appliance without injury to themselves and others. Users must visually check equipment before use to check there are no loose wires, faulty switches, cracks in the casing, smoke or a small of burning. Damaged or defective equipment should be removed from use immediately. The appliance should be clearly labeled with "FAULTY - DO NOT USE" and keep secure until it is repaired by a competent person or disposed of. See Maintaining portable electric equipment in low-risk environments.

Simple Precautions

  • Appliances and power sockets are switched off before plugging in or unplugging
  • Equipment is switched off and unplugged before cleaning or making adjustments
  • Equipment is used away from water and with dry hands

The HSE poster on Electric Shock First Aid gives basic advice on first-aid procedures if someone has an electric shock at work.

Free mobile first aid apps from St John Ambulance

This is first aid advice at your fingertips. Even basic first aid knowledge can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Two free first aid apps put potentially life-saving advice at your fingertips. Available for AndroidTM, BlackBerry® and iPhone® mobile device users, this first aid advice app provides easy to follow advice on a range of first aid scenarios, including CPR, diabetic emergencies, choking and allergic reactions. Go to this page to download the first aid advice app.

Congratulations to the following learner who completed her Apprenticeship this week

Alice Dockerill - Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship

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