Unite is calling for the Scottish government to support the fast-track of Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) reforms and for an emergency Scottish parliamentary debate into offshore health and safety following Friday’s fatal helicopter crash.
Only hours before Friday’s catastrophic events, bereaved families and trade union representatives slammed a further delay into the launch of an FAI over the deaths of 16 people in the Super Puma crash off the Aberdeenshire coast in April 2009.
Unite believes that the aims of the member’s bill put before the Scottish parliament by Patricia Ferguson MSP to radically overhaul the current FAI system - proposing a swifter FAI launch and legal enforcement of the Judge’s recommendations – should now be urgently introduced.
Furthermore, following the fifth Super Puma offshore helicopter ditching in four years and a number of incidents throughout 2012 on North Sea rigs, an emergency debate into offshore health and safety should take place when the Scottish parliament reconvenes next week.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Friday’s horrific events should now compel the Scottish government to ensure the safe passage through parliament of Patricia Ferguson’s FAI reforms.
"On Thursday we vented our anger over the current FAI process and the ridiculous delays in starting the FAI into the 2009 Super Puma crash, the agony this is causing victims’ families and the fact that we do not have legally enforceable outcomes from the process.
"This will be of no comfort to the families impacted by Friday’s catastrophe, but we need these reforms to our civil justice system in Scotland and we need them now.
"Unite is also clear that we need an urgent debate into the future of offshore health and safety. This is our growth industry for the next 30 years. It generates unimaginable wealth both locally and globally. Politicians across the spectrum are pinning their economic and energy hopes to it but at what price?
"As a country we need to forensically examine how we are protecting and serving the interests of the industry’s most important resource – its people.”
Notes to editors:
- For further information please contact Peter Welsh, Unite Scotland communications, on 07810157931.