HC Deb 09 July 1970 vol 803 cc830-1
22. Mr. Golding

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if he will take steps to reduce the number of accidents and health hazards in industry.

Mr. Dudley Smith

Yes, Sir. It is certainly our intention to do all we can to bring about a reduction in occupational accidents and illnesses. We hope to receive valuable advice in due course from the Committee on Safety and Health at work under the chairmanship of Lord Robens.

Mr. Golding

Remembering the general welcome given by both sides of the House to Part I of the Employed Persons (Health and Safety) Bill, which introduced a medical service to seek out health hazards in industry, will not the Government, as a matter of urgency, reintroduce Part I of that Bill, since many people are suffering severely as a result of the delay?

Mr. Smith

As I have just told the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), we are considering this as a matter of urgency, but we have been in office only for about two weeks. We shall bring forward our proposals probably very quickly.

Mr. Peter Archer

As about five times as many working days are lost through industrial injuries as are lost through industrial disputes, will the hon. Gentleman make sure that his Department gets its priorities right?

Mr. Smith

Yes, I think that we are getting our priorities right, and that is why we attach considerable importance to the far-reaching inquiry which is now under way. The urgency of it is well realised by Lord Robens, and the first meeting has already been held.

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