THERE has been a large decline in the number of workplace inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland over the past three years, according to new figures.

Despite significant numbers of fatal injuries in the agriculture, construction and service industries, checks have fallen in all three sectors.

Glasgow MP Ann McKechin, who obtained the figures, said: "It's shocking to see such complacency on the part of the Government, given the number of deaths and injuries in Scotland's workplaces.

"Everyone who goes to work in the morning is entitled to get home safely.

"Workplace deaths in the construction and agriculture industries remain too high, but the number of inspections has seen steep decline.

"It is frankly unacceptable for the Health and Safety Executive to have set no target for the number of inspections in the agricultural sector, given this is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in."

"The Government should urgently address the drop in inspections, and should reconsider its decision to stop proactively inspecting farms. Safety at work should never be the victim of cost cutting exercises."

A parliamentary written answer shows the number of inspections fell from 3579 in 2010/11, to 2787 last year.

In the agricultural sector, inspections dropped from 289 in 2010/11, to 96 the following year and just 90 last year.

In construction, the fall was from 1707 in 2010/11 to 986 the next year and 958 last year.

Conservative minister Mark Hoban also said no targets had been set for agriculture sector inspections.