The decision by the Health and Safety Executive not to investigate the building of DGOne leisure centre in Dumfries has been labelled “bonkers” and strengthens the need for a criminal investigation, says South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
The comments come after the HSE ruled out an investigation partly because they “will not ordinarily consider investigations except in cases where death or serious injury has occurred”.
Colin Smyth said:
“The Health and Safety Executive seem to take the attitude that unless someone is killed or injured they aren’t interested in safety and that is frankly bonkers. Their whole aim should be to prevent injury, and that should include investigating cases where it is clear for everyone to see that the standard of building work may well have meant a serious health and safety risk. The rejection of an inquiry strengthens the need for a police investigation to get to the bottom of whether the law was broken by those responsible for the work. It would be scandal if people are let off scot free. Whilst the council’s inquiry is welcome, that is focused on the role of the council. The people who actually built the leisure centre don’t need to take part, and no doubt they won’t take part, in the inquiry. The public will increasingly be left with the impression that big businesses can do whatever they like when it comes to public safety and get away with it, unless someone is injured or killed and that is frankly a disgrace”.
Meanwhile, Colin Smyth has tabled a series of Parliamentary questions asking the Scottish Government what other public sector contracts Keir Construction- the company who built DGOne -are currently involved in and what checks the Government make on previous work before awarding contracts.
Colin Smyth added:
“It seems that Keir Construction are involved in a whole host of contracts with other councils and the Scottish Government across Scotland, so I’ve asked the Government to come clean on just how many contracts this company have and demanded to know what checks are made on previous work, when these contracts are awarded. It seems to me that if a company makes a complete mess of a major building project, that should be taken into account when it comes to deciding whether to give them more taxpayers money for other projects but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It begs the question, how do we know we won’t have another DGOne type project somewhere else in Scotland in a school or a hospital if these checks aren’t carried out?”