Driving a privately owned BMW? These guys are brilliant.

on Wednesday, 15 March 2017.

Autohaus Diagnostics is a partnership between Michael Futers and Craig McDonald, two highly skilled and dedicated motor vehicle technicians. Although our business is small we believe this offers a great advantage to our customers - when you contact Autohaus Diagnostics, you'll be dealing directly with the person who will be looking after your vehicle.

Perhaps our greatest strength is our depth of knowledge and experience, which can be seen through significant professional successes in industry competitions and accreditations. Together we have 43 combined years of experience in the motor trade, of which 22 years have been gained in a BMW franchise. We have received over 100 days of BMW factory training covering all aspects of the BMW motor car, as well as a substantial amount of distance learning.

During our time in the dealer network, Michael Futers attained BMW Master Technician status and Craig McDonald attained BMW Senior Technician status. To be awarded these titles, a prescribed number of technical courses must be passed, and rigorous assessments are made by BMW UK to confirm the technician's ability. There are only approximately 40 Master Technicians in the BMW UK network at this time.

Website: http://www.autohausdiagnostics.co.uk/index.htm

Telephone: 01904 769100

Host a Made in YORK afternoon event

on Monday, 27 February 2017. Posted in News, Promotions, Events

Host a Made in YORK afternoon event!

This year we agreed to draw up a list of dates where other paid members can host/present our afternoon events.

In terms of co-ordinating, promoting and managing the administration of the events of course I will still do all those things but you would be 100% in charge of the content and meeting format!

Traditionally our afternoon events have had 3 or 4 mini presentations followed by a group discussion. I think the group discussion worked well so perhaps that is something that could be developed more. If still want some presentations should we dispense with the projector and screen to keeps things simpler and more personal?

So far Mark Hind, Debbie Pickering, Jane Fisher, Mark Harris, John Bramwell and Ally Hayes have expressed an interest in hosting. Please get in touch if you would also like to present an event.

Below are dates and links to all our 2017 afternoon events.

If you want to present an event please let me know which event you would like to host asap this week so we can get a schedule drawn up and dates in the diary.

Thursday 23 March


Thursday 27 April


Thursday 25 May


Thursday 22 June


Thursday 26 October


Thursday 23 November


Any questions please ask.

Thank you.


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Small business risk assessment advice

on Tuesday, 24 January 2017.

I run a small business and I have been told in the past that I shouldn’t rely on a “generic” risk assessment. 

What are the dangers of doing so?

The problem with using a “one size fits all” risk assessment, rather than one which has been tailored to your particular business, is that it may mean that potential hazards are overlooked.

It is worth considering a recent case involving the waste and recycling company Veolia, which was subject to an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following a serious incident at one of its plants.

A 41-year-old worker had been sweeping up when a stack of baled waste collapsed on top of him, causing injuries including a fractured skull and eye socket.

Officials from HSE found that the firm had failed to follow the correct procedure when it came to stacking the bales, in spite of specific guidance being made available.

At the root of the problem was the fact that Veolia was relying on a “flawed and inadequate” risk assessment.

The penalties imposed by the court were severe, with the business fined £450,000 and ordered to pay more than £11,000 in costs.

The Veolia case highlights the importance of risk assessments covering all aspects of your operation and adhering to guidance set out by HSE, whether it relates to working at height, heavy machinery or noise levels in the workplace.

If these regulations have not been followed then it is likely to leave your business with little protection should an incident occur.

If you have concerns about the risk assessment currently in place and whether it does enough to address potential dangers then it is worth considering carrying out a health and safety audit.

This is an opportunity to review your current working practices and clarify whether or not your present system is sufficient.

Whether you are an employee or employer, if you would like advice about risk assessments or any of our services please give our employment team a call on 01904 528 200 and speak to Jo or Gill.

Bus company case leads to fresh debate over work breaks.

on Tuesday, 06 December 2016.

A recent case brought to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has highlighted how important it is for businesses to make sure they allow adequate time for rest breaks.

In Grange v Abellio London Ltd, it was held that firms could be in breach of the Working Time Regulations if they do not ensure that the working arrangements enable a worker to take a break from their duties (which has been enshrined in UK law for almost 20 years.)

What was noteworthy about this particular ruling was that it made clear that even those staff who have not explicitly requested a break can bring a claim if their employer has failed to ensure that working arrangements allowed for workers to take the rest break.

The case in question related to a man who worked at Abellio, a London bus company, and in his role as relief roadside controller was responsible for monitoring services in the capital.

Originally his working day lasted eight and a half hours, which included half an hour which had been designated as a lunch break.

After it proved difficult to fit this into the hectic schedule, four years ago the bus company decided that it would allow the controllers to finish half an hour early instead.

In 2014, one of the team submitted a grievance and subsequently launched a Tribunal claim on the grounds that he had been refused the break required by law for a period of almost two and a half years.

At the original hearing it was decided that since Abellio had never expressly denied the man a break, the claim should be thrown out.

Following this he appealed and the EAT interpreted the situation rather differently, arguing that failing to make adequate provision could amount to refusal. They made it clear that employers must be proactive in ensuring that working arrangements allowed workers to take these breaks.


If you would like advice about the law relating to employment status please call Hethertons employment team on 01904 528 200 and speak to Jo or Gill.


on Monday, 05 December 2016.

It’s a familiar headline that normally leads us into a shock horror story of how a patient was left for hours in a corridor or badly mistreated behind closed doors at the hands of NHS staff.

However in this case the headline has got your attention for all the right reasons.

Last week I spent a few days in my local hospital and was literally blown away by the treatment I received from every single member of staff I had the pleasure of meeting. And believe me there were many.

As a result I wanted to give the NHS a huge public thank you.

Most NHS staff on the shop floor are not motivated by money and that really shone through. Their dedication and willingness to do everything they could for me the patient was second to none and to be honest at times it was overwhelming.

There are lessons to be learned here for us all which are applicable in our personal lives and the business world. Have a think next time you have the opportunity to go the extra mile.

In the meantime if you can share some positive NHS feedback why not give them a shout here. It’s deserved 10 times over by the majority.

Thank you (you know who you are).

John Lloyd-Hughes

Fundraising success for Special Care Baby Unit

on Thursday, 24 November 2016.

Earlier this autumn, Alison Atkinson, Recruitment Administrator in the University of York’s Commercial Services department, raised a fantastic £1048.95 for York District Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.

Alison completed the Run For All 10k for SCBU which has held a special place in her heart since her friend and colleague’s baby, Ben, had to spend some time being treated there earlier this year. On her experience, Alison said “I ran 10k in 1 hour and 14 minutes, knocking nearly 5 minutes off my previous personal best. Not too shabby I guess for a 55 year old! However, I may well do it all again next year and try to run sub 1 hour and 10 minutes”.

When asked how she felt during the run, Alison said “it was amazing and every step of the way I thought of Ben which spurred me on”.

The Special Care Baby Unit was also selected by the staff at NISA Market Square, University of York, to receive funds from NISA’s Making a Difference Locally initiative. They received a check for £1000 which was presented by Caroline Leafe, Assistant Store Manager. The funds from both Alison and NISA will go towards state-of-the-art equipment designed to give babies in the Special Care Baby Unit the best possible start in life.

Companies can’t afford to ignore the dangers of horseplay

on Tuesday, 01 November 2016.

If someone is injured in the workplace as a result of reckless behaviour by one of the employees is the business liable?

This question was actually tested following an incident at a Scottish scaffolding company, in which a senior member of staff threw a claw hammer which struck a colleague on the head.

Stanley Smith, the Yard and Transport Manager at Harsco Infrastructure Ltd, had been engaged in a good humoured exchange with one of the fork lift truck drivers about who should go to collect refreshments that morning.

When his colleague had shouted something after him, Mr Smith had replied “I will teach you to speak to your manager like that.” He then picked up the hammer and threw it in the driver’s direction.

However, as the tool flew through the air it had struck a third member of the workforce, Christopher Somerville, on the head. He was taken to hospital and spent several days off work with his injuries.

Mr Smith had admitted fault and was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct, while Mr Somerville had launched a compensation claim against Harsco.

His original claim was rejected and an appeal was thrown out earlier this year, after the court ruled that the incident, which had arisen following light-hearted banter, was not connected to Mr Smith’s employment and consequently the company could not be held responsible.

However, had he thrown the hammer while engaged in work duties, the outcome of the case could have been very different.

The incident is a useful reminder for all businesses to ensure that they consider possible incidents of horseplay when drafting their health and safety policies. Employers must make it clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated and look at the options for disciplinary action if the rules are ignored.

Whether you are an employee or employer, if you would like advice about health and safety policies please give our employment team a call on 01904 528 200 and speak to Jo or Gill.