HC Deb 11 May 1964 vol 695 cc30-1
34. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to lay down minimum standards of health and welfare in the building industry; whether he will apply to all building contractors, the standards now insisted upon by the Ministry of Public Building and Works in relation to Government contracts; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Godber

Minimum standards are already laid down in the Building (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations, 1948. The health and welfare requirements are being revised and preliminary drafts of the new Regulations have been under discussion with interested organisations. I hope soon to be in a position to publish a Statutory Draft. These Regulations will cover a wide variety of building sites and also works of engineering construction. It would not be appropriate to insist on the Ministry of Public Building and Works' standards being applied over the whole field, as these relate only to large construction sites where work is expected to last at least 12 months.

Mr. Prentice

Is the Minister thinking in terms of similar standards for those of the Ministry of Public Building and Works in relation to large contracts? Can he give any indication of the timing of the procedure which he has just described—when he expects the new regulations to be brought before the House in their final form?

Mr. Godber

I have thought about this problem of large sites. I felt that it was probably right to provide general regulations covering the whole field. We can, perhaps, see what they look like when they emerge. There has been a good deal of discussion on this matter and I cannot yet give a firm guarantee on dates. We want to get agreement if possible.