An inquiry into health and safety in Scotland by The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee has been welcomed by Thompsons Solicitors. Frank Maguire, Thompsons Senior Partner said: “The Health and Safety Executive plays a vital role in trying to ensure that employers comply with rules and regulations designed to make workplaces safe.
“As specialists in personal injury cases, my colleagues and I see first hand the devastating effects of workplace deaths and accidents.
“The inquiry has a major role to fulfill in investigating the work of the HSE in Scotland and the potential effects of a proposed 35% cut in its funding.”
Launching the inquiry in Aberdeen, the Scottish Affairs Committee chairman Ian Davidson said: "This is the launch of what we hope will be a very thorough investigation of the hazards faced by workers in Scotland.
"Every death or serious injury is a human tragedy and we want to work with both sides of industry and the HSE to see what could be done to reduce this toll."
The inquiry was launched in Aberdeen after a National Audit Office report confirmed the cost of workplace accidents north of the border was about £187m last year and that the rate of fatalities and serious injuries was also higher than in England and Wales.
Thompsons Partner in Aberdeen Chris Gordon who was part of an invited audience at the launch said: “The committee is looking for submissions on how the HSE can be made more effective, and we will certainly contribute to that process.
“The Committee’s research has shown that Scotland’s higher industrial death rate was mainly due to our bigger agriculture and building industries.
“Agricultural deaths and accidents are a major issue in the North East where so many people work in agriculture and forestry, and an area of particular concern to Thompsons.
“We will also be checking our files on incidents in other industries like fishing and offshore working to see if any patterns emerge that will help the Committee in its work. ”
The closing date for submissions to the Scottish Affairs Committee is June 16.