Lawford Kidd's Blog

Lawford Kidd's injury solicitors' blog designed to cover all areas of the law relating to accident compensation claims, injury claims and no win no fee in Scotland.

New Bill to reform FAIs in Scotland

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson has launched a consultation exercise on a proposed members Bill to overhaul the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) system in Scotland.

According to Ms Ferguson, the Inquiries into Deaths (Scotland) Bill aims to create a system for investigating sudden and accidental deaths which is fit for purpose: allowing for a thorough investigation and also for lessons to be learned from the death.

The case for change

FAIs are currently governed by the Fatal Accident and Sudden Deaths Inquiries Act 1976. They take place following deaths that have occurred in a number of prescribed situations, including where deaths occur after a workplace accident or while the deceased was in custody.

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1225 Hits

Government welcomes publication of Hume inquiry

The Scottish Government has welcomed publication of an inquiry by HM Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities into the unsuccessful attempt to rescue Alison Hume from a disused mineshaft in 2008.

The Inquiry, by Steven Torrie, was ordered by Scottish Ministers under Section 44 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, and followed a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Mrs Hume’s death.

Ministers ordered the Inquiry to ensure lessons are learned from the tragic death of Mrs Hume and that issues raised in the Fatal Accident Inquiry are addressed.

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1528 Hits

Regulator prosecutes Network Rail for Grayrigg train derailment

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has announced that it has begun criminal proceedings against Network Rail for a breach of health and safety law which caused a train to derail near Grayrigg in 2007.

On 23rd February 2007, the 17.15 Virgin Trains service from London Euston to Glasgow Central derailed on the West Coast Mainline near Grayrigg in Cumbria. There were 109 people on board. One passenger, Mrs Margaret Masson, was killed and a further 86 people were injured, 28 seriously.

Ian Prosser, Director of Railway Safety at ORR, said:

“ORR has conducted a thorough investigation into whether criminal proceedings should be brought in relation to the train derailment near Grayrigg on 23rd February 2007, which caused the death of Mrs Masson and injured 86 people. Following the coroner’s inquest into the death of Mrs Masson, I have concluded that there is enough evidence, and that it is in the public interest, to bring criminal proceedings against Network Rail for a serious breach of health and safety law which led to the train derailment.

“The railway today is as safe as it has ever been but there can be no room for complacency. The entire rail industry must continue to strive for improvements to ensure that public safety is never put at risk.” 

Network Rail is facing a charge under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This results from the company’s failure to provide and implement suitable and sufficient standards, procedures, guidance, training, tools and resources for the inspection and maintenance of fixed stretcher-bar points.

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Inquiry terms of reference published following FAI

The Scottish Government has published terms of reference for an inquiry to be conducted by the Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities. The independent inquiry will report to Ministers by 31st March 2012.

The inquiry was announced by the First Minister following the publication of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the death of Allison Hume. Ms Hume died after falling down a disused mineshaft in Ayrshire.

The FAI, led by Sheriff Leslie, found that her death may have been avoided had a number of reasonable precautions been taken.

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3401 Hits

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