Health and safety issues in Scotland are to be handled by specialist prosecutors, according to solicitor general Frank Mulholland.
He has announced a new H&S division of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, with units in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and an eight-strong team of prosecutors.
He says: “Whether they are dealing with tragic loss of life or incidents that are potentially life threatening, our specialist prosecutors are working hard to help create and maintain safer workplaces and environments across Scotland.
“Drawing on their expertise and experience, they will identify unlawful practices that put safety at risk in our communities, bringing to justice those who fail to discharge their obligations under health and safety law.”
High-profile cases such as the North Sea crash of the Super Puma helicopter with the loss of 16 lives, and the sinking of the Flying Phantom tug on the River Clyde, in which three died, are included.
The initiative has been welcomed by the Health and Safety Executive. Regional director Paul Stollard said that “joint working in such specialised and sensitive territory can only be enhanced by having a dedicated team of lawyers involved”.