HC Deb 11 March 1969 vol 779 cc1141-2
3. Mr. David Watkins

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if, in view of the need to improve health and safety at work generally, he will enforce without delay the standards of the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act in all Government premises.

Mr. Mellish

This is my policy in conjunction with the Factory Inspectorate of the Department of Employment and Productivity.

Mr. Watkins

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind how important it is that the Government, as an employer, should clearly be seen to be setting an example to industry on the importance of health and safety at work?

Mr. Mellish

I take the point, and must concede at once that the conditions under which some of our civil servants work are an absolute disgrace. It is about time we improved some of them.

Mr. John Hall

Does the Minister agree that the conditions under which staff work in the Palace of Westminster are deplorably below the standards laid down by the Act? Will he take steps to make this place an example to other employers?

Mr. Mellish

I would hope that staff in this House, like staff elsewhere, will join their appropriate trade union and make their representations in a proper way.