Scottish Workplace Safety Inquiry ‘Cannot Be A Missed Opportunity’

Expert Comments On New Review

04.04.2011

A workplace injury expert at Irwin Mitchell is calling for authorities in Scotland to ensure that the new inquiry into workplace health and safety in the country does not become a “missed opportunity” to provide better protection to employees.

The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee is expected to launch a review into standards across the country this week, after research revealed that the rate of workplace deaths and serious injuries was high in comparison to England and Wales.

It is expected that the committee will consider the work of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Scotland and whether more efforts can be made to protect workers in light of concerning figures.

Leading law firm Irwin Mitchell represents a number of victims who have suffered life-changing injuries in accidents at work, as well as the families of those who have tragically lost their lives in avoidable incidents.

Commenting on the plans, Elaine Russell, a workplace injury specialist at the firm’s Glasgow office, said: “This review must lead to a step change in how health and safety is viewed in Scotland and help to protect more employees from the dangers that can emerge while at work.

“We have seen first-hand the terrible impact that serious work accidents have on so many people, leading a huge number of victims to leave jobs they love and changing the dynamics of family life forever.

“It is vital that we don’t look back on this moment in a few years’ time and lament it as a missed opportunity to ensure all employers are doing everything in their power to protect their staff."

Elaine added that concerns over cuts to the HSE also need to be considered in the review.

She explained: “We are hopeful that any cuts to the HSE do not impact on the safety standards which the organisation works so hard to uphold.

“The only way that an improvement will be seen in health and safety figures in Scotland is if lessons are learnt from the past and changes are made which will prevent avoidable incidents from claiming anymore victims.”