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  3. Union reacts to 70% increase in Scottish workplace deaths

The Unite union has responded to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data that reveals that the number of workplace deaths in Scotland was 29 in 2018/19 compared to 17 in 2017/18, an increase of 70%.

It is calling on the Scottish Parliament to pass the Culpable Homicide Bill proposed by Claire Baker, a member of the Sottish Parliament. This bill would establish the legal criteria for deaths that have been caused by recklessness or gross negligence.

Unite claims that it has helped raise the standards of health and safety in the construction industry through its Construction Charter, which promotes health and safety. The union is also promoting mental health and wellbeing in the construction industry, helping members who have mental health issues to get the help and support they need.

Paul Mooney, the co-chair of the Unite Construction National Industrial Sector Committee, said that Unite has urged many councils to sign up to their charter. He states:

“To date over half of all local authorities in Scotland have signed, and the union is holding councils to account as construction contracts are delivered.”

Health and safety is much more than wearing the right protective workwear or PPE (personal protective equipment), although that is a good start. The Construction Charter covers all aspect of construction site safety.

As recently as August, a worker died in a construction site in Glasgow city centre. Initiatives such as the Construction Charter aim to prevent more fatal accidents.

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