Workplace Deaths in Scotland

I spoke today in the debate on workplace deaths in Scotland.  There is cross-party concern at the sad increase in deaths this year.  The Minister acknowledged this, going on to say that:

While the increase this year in workers’ deaths in agriculture is troubling, it is time not to change direction, but rather to continue to work together to reinforce the changes needed to safeguard workers’ lives...   ...The figures are disappointing, and I genuinely feel for all the families, but there is a real cross-party commitment to continue to do everything we can in this important area.

Bill Grant


Does the hon. Gentleman share the concerns expressed by National Farmers Union Scotland that the number of deaths in the agriculture sector increased by five to 13 in 2018-19? That happened despite the best efforts of the Farm Safety Foundation, the Health and Safety Executive and the NFU itself. In the UK as a whole, agriculture, forestry and fishing have the worst fatality figures of the main industrial sectors. Does he agree that the UK and Scottish Governments need to assist?


Hugh Gaffney


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.