Investigating Workplace Fatalities
Losing a loved one in any circumstance can be a devastating experience.
But not knowing why it happened can make that experience all the more harrowing and the process of moving on with one’s life more difficult.
We are now five years on from the Flying Phantom disaster in which three crew members lost their lives and still their relatives are waiting for a full public inquiry into what went wrong.
Thompson Solicitors who acted on their behalf have spoken of their frustration at a justice system that has left the families in the dark, powerless and feeling let down.
No family that has lost a loved one should have to go through such an ordeal.
This is why I am supporting a Bill that will address the current failings in the justice system with regard to investigating workplace fatalities, announced by my Labour colleague Patricia Ferguson, who has been working with families of the Stockline disaster in which nine workers were killed in a factory explosion.
The proposed Bill will ensure a quicker outcome for the families of the deceased by allowing fatal accident inquiries to take place alongside criminal proceedings.
It will no longer allow families to be cast aside and will put them at the heart of the process by giving them the opportunity to influence the scope and criteria of any inquiry that takes place.
And most importantly of all, it will give families the chance to find out the full truth about what happened to their loved ones.
While this may not replace the sense of loss that these families feel, it may just give them the closure they need to move on with their lives.