A public-sector union has called for a radical overhaul of the fatal accident inquiry (FAI) system to be fast-tracked through the Scottish Parliament.
Unite is backing Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson’s private member’s bill to reform the inquiry system.
The trade union is also calling for an emergency Holyrood debate into offshore health and safety following Friday’s fatal helicopter crash off Shetland.
On Thursday, bereaved families and trade union leaders slammed the delay into the holding of the FAI into the deaths of 16 people in the Super Puma in 2009 in which 14 passengers and two crew died.
Unite believes the main aims of Ms Ferguson’s bill – to ensure FAIs happen much faster and for the legal enforcement of sheriffs’ recommendations – must be urgently introduced.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Friday’s horrific events should now compel the government to ensure the safe passage through parliament of Patricia Ferguson’s FAI reforms.
“On Thursday we our anger over the current FAI process and the ridiculous delays in starting the FAI into the 2009 Super Puma crash, the agony this is causing victim’s families and the fact that we do not have legally enforceable outcomes from the process.
“This will be of no comfort to the families impacted by Friday’s catastrophe but we need these reforms to our civil justice system in Scotland and we need them now.”
Mr Rafferty added: “Unite is also clear that we need an urgent debate into the future of offshore health and safety.
“This is our growth industry for the next 30 years.
“It generates unimaginable wealth locally and globally.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said ministers were committed to bringing forward a bill to implement the recommendations of Lord Cullen’s review of FAI legislation.
“Investigating deaths is a highly sensitive and complex area of work, and it is vital that procurators fiscal investigate deaths thoroughly and professionally,” she said.
“The length of time taken to investigate will vary depending on the individual circumstances of each case.
“Lord Cullen did not recommend that sheriffs’ recommendations should be legally binding and there would be practical difficulties in doing so.”