A member of the Scottish Parliament is calling for a health and safety working party to be set up in the wake of research showing staff are twice as likely to be killed at work in Scotland than they are in England.
MSP Cathy Jamieson said the Scottish Parliament should not ignore health and safety issues just because it does not have legislative powers.
Jamieson said, “Some people think the Parliament should only discuss matters over which it has legislative competence. But what we can do is concentrate on health and safety promotion.”
Jamieson’s Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency covers the former Ayrshire coalfield. Mining has now been replaced as the main source of employment in the area by call centres, electronics companies, and opencast mining.
Research published last year by academics at two Scottish universities showed employees in Scotland are twice as likely to die at work than those in England.
The Scottish Safety Anomaly, written by Dr Charles Woolfson and Professor Mathias Beck, also found staff in Scotland are 26 per cent more likely to experience serious injury in the workplace.
A motion proposed by Jamieson aimed at forming a working party – a report recommendation – failed earlier this year.
She said, “I am keeping it on the boil…What I don’t want to see is claims in 10 to 15 years from people who have been injured in the new industries because we have failed to recognise the dangers.”