HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc14-5
9. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Labour if he will take steps to undertake research in the development of safety devices in industry.

Mr. Thornton

The Factory Inspectorate carry out with the industries concerned a number of investigations into the development of safety devices. My right hon. Friend is at present reviewing the whole field of research into industrial safety and health, and, if my hon. Friend has any particular projects in mind, my right hon. Friend will be very willing to consider them.

Mr. Bence

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he bear in mind that a great deal of the restrictive attitude in industry towards increasing productivity is very often due to the failure of employers to install modern protective equipment? Will he not agree that, especially where women operate machines, protective devices are essential if the productivity of modern machines is to be speeded up?

Mr. Thornton

I very much agree with my hon. Friend. This is a problem which is constantly under review by the Department. We encourage, sponsor and initiate research in many directions, particularly through the Industrial Research Association.

Dr. Summerskill

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that his statement that safety and health in industry are to be taken in conjunction is extremely welcome? Will he not agree that they should be jointly reconsidered as part of a comprehensive occupational health system?