Thompsons Solicitors, Scotland's leading personal injuries specialists, have made a number of very strong submissions the Westminster Government's Work and Pensions Committee Health and Safety Enquiry.
Thompsons' vast experience of personal injury cases, and their campaigning ethos on behalf of victims of road traffic accidents, industrial accidents and industrial diseases means they are experts on all aspects of health and safety legislation and related issues.
Among the hard-hitting points Thompsons have made to the committee are the view that there is a direct correlation between inadequate inspection levels and fatalities, and the view that the UK law enables employers to avoid their health and safety obligations.
Mr Frank Maguire, Senior Partner with Thompsons Solicitors said: "We have made some very robust points to the Enquiry and we very much hope they will take them on board.
"For instance we make the point that the current balance between prevention and enforcement is wrong.
"We believe that prevention is always better than enforcement. The ratio of proactive to reactive work should be 60:40
"It is clear from the HSE's own internal audits that enforcement has been too low. There has been significant under-enforcement where offences have occurred.
"Despite the thousands of cases Thompsons handles each year which result in significant compensation being paid out as a result of common law negligence and health and safety breaches, it is rare for there to be a corresponding HSE prosecution.
"There are good and proactive employers out there. However their position and competitiveness is undermined by companies which increase profitability at the expense of safety.
"It is common knowledge in the construction and other industries that low tenders mean reduced terms and conditions for the workers and reduced safety implementation.
Mr Maguire added: "We also believe that the penalties for health and safety offences are not proportionate.
"Whist we see no benefit in fining a company out of existence or that it cannot implement the necessary health and safety changes required, there should be much higher penalties and the introduction of other types of penalty as contained in the Corporate Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide Act.
"We consider the average fines (2003-4 figures) in the lower courts of around £4,000 and the higher courts of just over £30,000, to be far too low.