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Losing your husband, wife or other family member as a result of an accident at their work is, like any such death, absolutely devastating. It is all the more so if the death was avoidable.

This is not a rare event. Around three Scots a month leave for work but never return because they have been killed. That is a higher figure per head of population than England and Wales.

For many of their loved ones the sense of loss is harder to take because recklessness on the part of the employer was to blame.

If someone is killed through another's recklessness they can be prosecuted for culpable homicide, but if a company is reckless and kills someone then there is very little likelihood that they will be.

Just like the Transco gas explosion in Larkhall, they will only be prosecuted under health and safety regulations, pay the fine and walk away.

That is why Trade Unions, MPs, MSPs and family groups have been campaigning for a law of Corporate Culpable Homicide, so that a company can be brought to book for killing someone.

Here in Scotland I helped MSP Karen Gillon draft a Private Members Bill on the subject, but it was effectively blocked by the Scottish Executive, and ran out of time to be considered in the life of this parliament.

Scotland is included in legislation which is passing through Westminster, but many fear it will be a watered down version of the Scottish proposals and MSPs may well raise the issue again after the May elections.

In the meantime what are your rights if a relative or loved one is killed at work as the result of reckless conduct on the part of their employer?

You cannot force a prosecution for any breaches under health and safety legislation. That is a matter for the Procurator Fiscal and ultimately the Lord Advocate.

I have seen very serious cases where the prosecution has been for relatively minor breaches and the resulting fine is only a few thousand pounds You do not even have a right to a Fatal Accident Inquiry because the Lord Advocate again will decide that in light of any prosecution.

I believe we need a law of Culpable Homicide which will not only give justice to victims' families, but also act as a real deterrent to unscrupulous employers placing their workers' lives in jeopardy.

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