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Health and Safety Inquiry Launched In Aberdeen

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An inquiry into health and safety in Aberdeen has been launched after it was confirmed that the total cost of workplace accident last year was £187 million. The Scottish Affairs Committee on Monday met in Aberdeen to launch the inquiry and carry out a thorough investigation of the hazards faced by employees in Scotland.  Some of the questions that will be looked at include whether or not HSE has identified the areas of concern correctly and what effect reduction in HSE staff will have on the organisation as well as its work in Scotland.

The MPs launched this inquiry after the National Audit Office confirmed the costs of workplace accidents.  

Ian Davidson who is the chair of the committee said that the aim of the investigation is to find the reasons why workplace injury rates are higher in Scotland than any other parts of the UK.

According to the Labour MP for Glasgow South West, injuries and deaths caused at workplaces is a human tragedy and they aim to work with the HSE and both sides of the industry to see how they can reduce the number of workplace accidents taking place in Scotland.  

The inquiry will also assess the potential impact of the 35% cut in HSE budget.  

In February this year, a memorandum for the company that was produced by the National Audit Office stated that the difference in the rate of injuries and accidents taking place in Scotland compared to other parts of the UK such as Wales and England can be attributed to differences in the number of workers employed in high risk industries.  A study conducted by the HSE in 2000 concluded that a greater proportion of its workforce was employed in high risk industries including construction and agriculture.

According to NAO reports, workplace injuries and accidents that required three or more days off work across Scotland in 2009-2010 would have a total cost of about £187 million which makes around 10% of UK’s total.  

According to the HSE, the estimated number of working days lost in Scotland in 2009 and 2010 was 2.5 million.