HC Deb 18 June 1974 vol 875 cc371-2
Mr. Rose

I beg to move Amendment No. 35, in page 7, line 15, after 'intentionally', insert 'or recklessly'.

The purpose of the amendment, I assume, is less contentious than the purpose of earlier amendments. I can, therefore, move it briefly and with the minimum of argument. It seeks to add the word "recklessly" so as to cover a situation in which there is interference with or misuse of safety equipment because the offender does not care whether his action is dangerous.

There may be no intention to expose any employee on the premises to risk. It is hard to visualise anyone wilfully so doing, except perhaps in the case of vandalism. The amendment provides for a situation not where there is a definite intent but where the employee has a right to expect a far more stringent safeguard than is provided as the clause stands. In any event, the burden of proof and the intention would be extremely difficult to establish unless "recklessly" were inserted. It is against reckless actions on the part of employers or the action of others on behalf of employers, and fellow employees, that the safeguard is required. For that reason I trust that my hon. Friend will see his way to accepting this very short but relevant and worthwhile amendment which provides for a more stringent duty upon those who are dealing with safety equipment.

Mr. Harold Walker

I shall try to emulate the commendable brevity of my hon. Friend. I tell him right away that I am happy to accept the amendment. It provides a desirable strengthening of the clause. I am grateful to him.

Amendment agreed to.

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