Workplace Deaths: Scotland

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:00 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Hugh Gaffney Hugh Gaffney Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 4:00 pm, 24th July 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman, who makes his point very clearly. A lot of migrant workers come over to work in the agriculture business. One death is too many, never mind five.

There has not been a single prosecution in Scotland under the UK Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. It is clear that it is not fit for purpose. It has failed to make our workplaces safer, as highlighted by the increase in workplace deaths in Scotland last year. My colleague Claire Baker MSP presented a Bill in the Scottish Parliament that seeks to strengthen the law. It would create two kinds of statutory culpable homicide—where death is caused “recklessly” or by “gross negligence” on the part of an employer. That is the kind of change in the law we must seriously consider if we are to deter employers from action that may jeopardise the lives of their workers.