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Patrick McGuireScotland’s leading personal injury firm and health and safety campaigners, Thompsons Solicitors have urged the Scottish Government not to water down safety systems for adventure activities in Scotland.

The comments come as the Scottish Government launched a consultation on how to react to the UK Government’s plan to replace the statutory Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) with a new voluntary code of practice.

The options on the table are:

  • Adopting the UK Government’s proposals and bring in a voluntary scheme.  This would end the inspection regime.
  • Introducing a scheme where public bodies could promote and encourage compliance, not enforce it. 
  • Ensure that a statutory scheme with inspections would continue in Scotland.

The AALA was set up in 1995 to licence caving, climbing, trekking and watersports operators.

Partner at Thompsons Solicitors, and health and safety campaigner, Patrick McGuire, said:

“Watering down these safety regulations would be dangerous and irresponsible.  Health and Safety regulations are there to protect people and should be strengthened not diluted. 

“Any optional safety scheme would send the message that health and safety should be a secondary concern for businesses.  This would be unacceptable. 

“We have a series of great adventure activities in Scotland that should rightly be promoted across the world.  Having robust measures in place guaranteeing that these activities will be carried out safely adds value to Scotland’s tourism sector. 

“At Thompsons we see first hand the suffering caused by those who disregard people’s safety.  Every possible measure needs to be taken to ensure that people’s safety is respected.

“We look forward to putting our views in greater detail to the Scottish Government in their consultation.” 

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