HC Deb 13 November 1967 vol 754 cc14-5
15. Summerskill

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to reduce the increasing number of industrial accidents and deaths.

6. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Labour what proposals he has to attack the problem of the mounting number of industrial accidents which rose to 296,610 in 1966.

Mr. Gunter

I have recently appointed the Industrial Safety Advisory Council, both to advise me on measures to be taken centrally and to encourage and co-ordinate action throughout industry to promote safety. Priority is being given to work on safety training in close co-operation with the machinery set up under the Industrial Training Act; joint consultation on safety; research needs and the improvement of statistical information as a basis for action.

Government financial support is being given to the work of RoSPA's regional organisation for industrial safety.

Legal requirements are continuously under review, and within recent months a start has been made on a major revision of the safety, health and welfare legislation for which I am responsible. In addition steps are being taken to increase the strength of H.M. Factory Inspectorate. While legislation and enforcement have as important part to play in accident prevention, there will be an effective reduction in the number of accidents only if managements and employees fully understand and accept their own responsibilities.

Dr. Summerskill

I welcome my right hon. Friend's proposals. Does he not agree that insufficient education and propaganda are being carried out in factories, particularly among young people?

Mr. Gunter

Yes, I agree. That is why I added the last sentence to the effect that it is for management and employees to come to terms about the propaganda that is so necessary.

Mr. Archer

Will my right hon. Friend take specific steps to implement the Chief Inspector's recommendation that top management should be encouraged to take a personal interest in safety matters, as it does in production matters?

Mr. Gunter

Yes. I have already had discussions with the C.B.I. on this.

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