Construction Site

Unite repeats call for strong culpable homicide legislation in Scotland

Unite the union has today (23 August) repeated its call for the Scottish parliament to pass the Culpable Homicide (Scotland) bill proposed by Claire Baker MSP following the tragic death of a construction worker in Glasgow.

Yesterday (22 August) a construction worker died after an incident at the £40 million revamp of the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow city centre. Unite is the largest trade union representing construction workers across Scotland.

The Culpable Homicide (Scotland) bill proposes to create statutory culpable homicide criteria whereby death is caused “recklessly, or by gross negligence”.

The proposed legislation aims to address trade union concerns regarding the existing health and safety regulations. Health and Safety Executive figures show a ‘sharp increase’ in the number of Scottish workers who never return home to their families, which has risen from 17 in 2017/18 to 29 in 2018/19. This is the equivalent to a 70 per cent increase in workplace deaths. Unite believes the fatality at work figures illustrate that the existing legal framework is ineffective, in addition to the lack of company directors being successfully prosecuted for health and safety breaches.

Stevie Dillon, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: “Unite has repeatedly called for greater enforcement and regulation in the construction industry including stronger health and safety standards. In cases like the tragic death at the St Enoch’s Centre, we demand a full investigation and where it is shown that the incident occurred through recklessness or negligence then directors must face the consequences of their inaction.

"It is absolutely tragic that there has been a 70 per cent increase in deaths related to workplace incidents in the last year across all industries. Claire Baker’s Culpable Homicide (Scotland) bill provides a clear way forward to tackle this scourge in the workplace, and it’s an imperative that this proposed legislation becomes a priority for the Scottish parliament.”

ENDS

  • For further information contact Stevie Dillon on 07894414597.

    Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

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