HC Deb 07 June 2004 vol 422 c20
18. Ann McKechin (Glasgow, Maryhill) (Lab)

If he will make a statement on the Health and Safety Executive investigation into the Stockline Plastics factory explosion in Glasgow. [177330]

The Minister for Work (Jane Kennedy)

The Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, and the chair of the Health and Safety Commission Bill Callaghan, agreed that there should be a joint investigation into the factory explosion in Glasgow on 11 May 2004, involving the Health and Safety Executive, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and Strathclyde police. That joint investigation is now proceeding in a co-ordinated and co-operative manner, but it is too early to speculate on the cause of the explosion.

Ann McKechin

I thank my right hon. Friend for her reply. I take this opportunity to give credit to the emergency workers, the voluntary sector and the local community in Maryhill for their marvellous response to this tragedy. Clearly, as my right hon. Friend stated, we need to wait until tile full evidence is available before making any judgment as to the cause of the tragedy, but will she assure the House that if the inquiry should show evidence of a health and safety failure, there will be a full, independent investigation of the role of the Health and Safety Executive in its earlier visits to the factory?

Jane Kennedy

I, too, want to add my words of congratulation not only to the members of the emergency services, but to the staff of the Health and Safety Executive who were on site very quickly after the incident. The HSE has visited the site of a number of occasions in the past 30 years; indeed, it has done so twice in the past four years. Following standard procedure, it will be conducting a prior role inquiry to determine whether there are lessons to be learned, both for the employer and for the HSE.

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