HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc20-1
23. Mr. Dell

asked the Minister of Labour what was the result of the survey carried out in April, 1964, into the extent to which reportable accidents are in fact notified to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Factories; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Thornton

Altogether, 38 per cent. of those accidents included in the survey which appeared to be reportable had not been reported. This figure is 5 per cent. better than that established in the previous survey but is still far from satisfactory, and efforts to improve the position are being maintained.

Mr. Dell

In view of this widespread contravention of the basic requirement to report accidents, which throws doubt on the whole validity of the accident statistics, particularly in the construction industry, can the Minister inform us whether the Department intends to make further prosecutions, especially bearing in mind that in no recent year has the number of prosecutions of firms for this failure exceeded 80?

Mr. Thornton

According to my information, there were 120 convictions in 1963 and 419 in 1964 for failure to notify accidents or industrial diseases.

Mrs. Braddock

Is the Minister satisfied that sufficient information is being obtained about the type of accidents? Is he aware that my information is that there are very many more industrial accidents than there have been previously? Does he think that it is about time that this matter was looked into again in order that we may establish what is causing the additional accidents and whether the Ministry's Factories Inspectorate are doing their job in following up the reports which they receive about accidents?

Mr. Thornton

I am sure that the Factories Inspectorate are doing an excellent job. This problem of the low proportion of the reporting of accidents has been a problem for some years, but we are effecting an improvement in the whole position. My hon. Friend can be assured that we are watching this very closely and taking all practicable steps to improve the situation.