November 8, 2018 Blog

Labour launches Culpable Homicide Bill to protect workers

November 8, 2018

Claire Baker MSP

Far too many people in Scotland each year do not return home to their loved ones after going to work.

On average 17 people each year in Scotland die in workplace incidents, but not a single prosecution has occurred over the last decade.

It’s clear then that the law currently does not provide enough protection for workers and that’s why I have launched my member’s Bill to ensure that is brought to an end.

It is simply unacceptable, in the 21st century, to have workers dying as a result of negligence or recklessness by their employers.

New legal avenues for prosecution and statutory punishments would send a clear message to employers that health and safety must be the number one priority for any business.

I hope all political parties in the Scottish Parliament will join with me to end the scandal of death and injury at work.

The Bill has already won support of third-party organisations…

Patrick McGuire, Thompsons Solicitors, said:

“It is a fundamental principle that the law should apply equally to all.

“That principle has never been reflected in the law of culpable homicide particularly as it applies to companies and organisations.

“We need a clear set of rules that define when both individuals and organisations are guilty of this very serious offence.  The rules must put organisational and individual wrongdoers on the same footing before the courts.

“This is exactly what Claire Baker’s Consultation proposes and she should be thanked for taking this very important issue forward.  If the proposal finds its way on to the statute book the prospects of every victim of homicide achieving justice will be improved.”

Ian Tasker, Scottish Hazards, said:

“Scottish Hazards is fully supportive of the proposals put forward by Claire Baker MSP to amend our law of Culpable Homicide.

“Current legislation is failing bereaved families, involuntary deaths should be investigated in the same way, and under the same law regardless of where they happen, in our communities or in the work environment.

“We are sure the trade union movement will get behind this Bill and help to deliver justice for families bereaved by deaths at work.”