HC Deb 26 February 1970 vol 796 c1377
15. Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what steps her Department is taking to reduce the number of accidents in the Hull and intermediate area; and when she now proposes to introduce legislation on safety, health and welfare in industry.

Mrs. Castle

Premises and processes which are subject to the Factories Act, 1961, and the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, 1963, are regularly inspected in Hull, as in other parts of the country. As regards the second part of the Question, the Employed Persons (Health and Safety) Bill was published on 18th February.

Mr. McNamara

I am very glad that my Questiton encouraged my right hon. Friend to publish her Bill so early. Is she aware, however, that, despite the inquiries and inspections, in Hull there had been a very ominous drift upwards in the number of industrial accidents there which have been considerably above the national average over the past five years? Is she satisfied that all possible steps are being taken to deal with the problem?

Mrs. Castle

I am aware that the level of reported accidents in Hull is high. Small-scale investigations were carried out by my Inspectorate in the South Yorkshire area to try to find reasons. Its conclusion was that the crude incidence rates of reported accidents are not necessarily a good guide to the level of safety, for the simple reason that the more active the local safety council in Hull is the more safety-conscious people become, and therefore the more accidents are reported. Therefore, I do not think that the situation is quite as bad as my hon. Friend thinks.