HC Deb 29 January 1991 vol 184 cc782-3
9. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the number of factories and other places of work which have not been inspected by factory inspectors for three, five, seven, nine and 11 years; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth

As the reply contains detailed statistics I shall, with permission, arrange for it to be printed in the Official Report.

The figures include many premises that have a low inspection rating based on inspectors' judgment of risks, site standards and management control. In addition, these premises also include those that have been visited for other purposes such as the investigation of an accident or complaint.

Mr. Bennett

Does the Minister accept that the level of fatalities and accidents in British industry is still far too high? He said in answer to an earlier question that it is important to make workers and employers conscious of the problems of safety at work and that one of the best ways of ensuring that is to have regular inspections.

Mr. Forth

Indeed, the hon. Gentleman is correct. We share the view that accident levels are always too high. The number of health and safety inspectors has increased in the past year or two and a carefully planned series of visits and inspections is carried out by the Health and Safety Executive. Work is continuing, and will always continue, to find more and better ways of ensuring that awareness of safety requirements in the workplace is improved and that our health and safety record, which is already very good by international camparison, continues to improve. That is our aim.

Following is the information: There are 493,035 fixed premises registered with the Health and Safety Executive's factory inspectorate (FI). The following table shows the number of fixed premises registered with FI and recorded as not having received a planned inspection within the last three, five, seven, nine and eleven years:
Number of years since last inspected Number of premises not inspected
3 247,713
5 187,971
7 158,980
9 95,606
11 69,564