HC Deb 31 October 1966 vol 735 cc4-5
5. Mr. Holland

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has yet received a report on the pilot survey conducted by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate in 1965 to seek to discover the reasons for the continuing increase in the number of reported industrial accidents; whether the report reached firm conclusions; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gunter

Following consideration of a paper based on the reports submitted by the two inspectors concerned in the Industrial Safety Sub-Committee of my National Joint Advisory Council, the subject is being further examined in my Department. The survey was a pilot study, intended to indicate lines for further inquiry; it was not expected to reach firm conclusions.

Mr. Holland

Cannot the Minister give us some idea when he will set up an inquiry which will be able to reach firm conclusions, and will he not agree that when information becomes available which may be relevant to industrial accidents the maximum possible publicity should be given to it to aid industry to reverse this rising trend?

Mr. Gunter

I hope that the revised draft will be put to the first meeting of the Safety Advisory Industrial Council which I am setting up in consultation with the C.B.I. and the T.U.C. I hope that the revised draft will receive consideration then.

Dr. Summerskill

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that a pilot survey of this kind was carried out in my constituency of Halifax as long ago as 1957, with some appalling results? Surely it is time the Government took responsibility in this matter and ceased to carry out surveys?

Mr. Gunter

I am not so sure that the year my hon. Friend refers to is the year we are talking about—of this pilot scheme—but I am very impressed by the urgency of this matter. I hope that the talks, which are now almost continuous at the Ministry between both sides of industry, will lead to some results ere long.