HL Deb 27 June 1974 vol 352 cc1640-55

3.26 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. Almost 18 months ago to the day, this House debated the Report of the Committe of Inquiry into Safety and Health at Work—the Committee which was so ably chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham. That very full, informed and constructive debate was, I believe, a significant contribution to the process of extensive consultation and discussion that has accompanied the preparation of the Bill which is now before us. The message of our debate was clear. The noble Lord, Lord Robens, and his Committee had done an excellent job in analysing the weaknesses of our present legislative and organisational arrangements for controlling safety and health hazards in industry; and the Committee's recommendations for improvements, far-reaching and comprehensive as they were, provided the essential basis for new legislation. The Government, in effect, were told to get on with the job quickly.

Of course a Bill of this size and importance takes time to produce. Nevertheless, it is still solidly based on the Committee's recommendations. There has been no dilution; and I think it is fair to say that the very extensive consultations with both sides of industry, local authority associations, professional organisations and so on, that took place on the Robens Report, and then on the consultative proposals for this Bill have increased both knowledge and understanding of the whole subject. The strengthening process has been continued in another place, where the Bill has been considered with speed, but none the less with deep thought, much constructive comment, and a very large degree of unanimity. I am sure that this House also will welcome it, and will want to expedite its passage.

It can very aptly be described as an historic measure, because it is, after all, the culmination of over a century and a half of health and safety legislation. The first Factories Act of 1833, which set out to do something about the appalling working conditions created by the Industrial Revolution, was followed by a whole series of such Acts, each one broader in scope than its predecessors. At the same time, the general principle of regulating working conditions, accepted at first with great reluctance by a laissez-faire society, was gradually extended to other sectors of employment—to mines and quarries, to agriculture, and, as recently as 1963, to offices, shops and railway premises. Other Acts set out to control specific sources of major hazards which affect workpeople and the public; such as explosives, petroleum, alkali works and nuclear installations. Increasingly we have learned that the operations of industry are a matter of vital concern to the whole community, not just in the economic sense, but in terms of effects upon our quality of life.

Another lesson learned early in this process was that, without a system of enforcement, legislation of this nature was unlikely to be effective. So with these various Acts came the development of the various inspectorates—the Factory Inspectorate, the Mines and Quarries Inspectorate, the Explosives Inspectorate and so on. Their development is an important part of our social history. We have now come a very long way since the appointment of the first four factory inspectors in 1833. Much has been achieved by a century and a half of legislation for safety and health at work, but much more needs to be done. The figures speak for themselves. Something like 1,000 people are killed every year at work. Half a million suffer accidents. Around 20 million working days are lost annually through occupational accidents and diseases. Every year brings its own crop of disasters, some large some small, often affecting members of the public as well as work-people. Aberfan, Dudgeons Wharf, Lodden Bridge, Lofthouse Colliery, and now Flixborough—one could go on for a long time indeed with the melancholy roll call.

We have now before us a Bill whose purposes are to build on the achievements of the past, and to provide for continuing improvements in standards of health, safety and welfare, to keep in sten with developments in industry and in public expectations. As the Robens Committee pointed out so vividly, the process of making health and safety legislation over the past century and a half, in piecemeal fashion to deal with specific problems, has resulted in a corpus of law which contains many anomalies and leaves many gaps in cover. Parliament can but rarely find the time for new measures to keep up with the ever-changing technologies of industrial processes and the health and safety problems which they create.

This Bill is, therefore, primarily an enabling measure. It provides powers to devise new controls for new problems as and when they occur. It provides for the establishment of a new organisation, whose sole concern will be the promotion of health and safety, and gives it responsibility for ensuring that the powers to impose controls are fully used and that such controls are effectively exercised. It also does all that legislation can do to stimulate forward thinking, the taking of measures to prevent problems arising, rather than to control them when they do.

The purposes of the Bill are set out in the first clause. The objectives are simple but all-embracing—to secure the health, safety and welfare of all persons at work, and to protect the public from risks to their health and safety arising from work activities. The means of achieving the objectives are also set out in Clause 1. The enabling powers in the Bill are to be used with a view to revising and replacing the existing piecemeal legislation—out-of-date and often limited in application as much of it is—by an integrated and comprehensive system of up-to-date provisions. This system of new provisions is to be designed to maintain or improve the standards of health, safety and welfare laid down in the existing legislation.

There have been voices raised, in another place as well as in some quarters outside Parliament, querying the reliability of these stated purposes. These critics of the Bill have wondered whether, in the process of revising and replacing existing legislation, standards of protection may, in fact, be lowered, specifics may be lost in generalities, and so on. I suspect that part of the trouble is that because it is an enabling Bill this Bill has an unfamiliar appearance by comparison with other health and safety legislation. It imposes only requirements of a very general nature. It does not itself seek to regulate known and specific hazards in detail. But, as I shall try to make clear, this does not for one moment mean that those hazards will not henceforward be controlled, and in the most stringent way. We must have the imagination to look to the potential which the Bill's provisions contain. In particular, we must look to the effects of the Bill upon those most directly involved in securing health and safety, the two sides of industry.

First, the new organisation which will be set up to take responsibility for health and safety matters will have a membership largely drawn from the two sides of industry. They will take responsibility for putting forward proposals to Ministers for the new regulations which will control the activities of industry in the interests of health and safety; and they will have a direct say in the way in which all existing and future requirements are carried into effect on a day-to-day basis.

Secondly, and most importantly, the Bill provides for rights to be given to trade unions to appoint safety representatives who in turn may call for the setting up of a safety committee at their workplace, where management and employee representatives may co-operate in devising new policies for health and safety and in ensuring that they are followed up. This responsibility for taking initiatives to secure workpeople's safety can be squarely placed on the representatives of these workpeople, quite apart from and in addition to the responsibility on management to comply with the law. Thirdly, the Bill provides extensive powers and duties regarding the free flow and full availability of advice and information on health and safety matters. This is an essential counterpart of regulation and enforcement, a vital means towards increasing awareness of the problems involved. The availability of information and advice as part of the process of educating people to a greater awareness of health and safety problems will be as important in the future in improving health and safety standards as legislative controls.

Fourthly, in considering how the powers in the Bill will ensure that its purposes are achieved and that standards of health and safety are progressively improved, we must look at the power to make health and safety regulations. This is an extremely comprehensive power; regulations may be made for any of the general purposes stated in Clause 1 of the Bill. The power extends to everything from the licensing, design, siting and operation of plants which pose major industrial hazards, such as nuclear installations, or chemical plants of the kind established at Flixborough, to the number of windows in a secretary's office. I have no doubt that it is comprehensive enough to deal with the problems raised by future technologies that we have not yet dreamt about.

But I should emphasise that it is not a power which can be exercised without responsibility. Proposals for regulations will normally be put forward to Ministers by the new Commission, which will have at its disposal the best expert resources available. That Commission will be accountable to Ministers and Parliament for the way in which it fulfils its duty of reviewing the needs for more legislation and of bringing forward proposals. Before it puts forward its proposals, it is required by the Bill to consult interested bodies so as to ensure that what it is proposing is workable and effective. And, of course, the regulations will actually be made by Ministers who will be accountable to Parliament for their adequacy. I hope that what I have said makes clear that this Bill is not just a statement of laudable purposes, but that it makes concrete and powerful provision for achieving those purposes.

May I describe a little more comprehensively its main provisions. First, the Bill is entirely comprehensive in its scope and application. It applies for the control of operations of all industry. Requirements may be imposed on anyone who carries on an undertaking or anyone who works in one. Protection may be extended to such people and, at one and the same time, to members of the public who may be affected by the way in which industrial operations are carried on. Thus, for the first time some 5 million workpeople who have been without Statutory protection will come under the Bill. Moreover, and very importantly, the closely-related questions of public health and safety as affected by industry and workpeople's health and safety may be dealt with as part of one comprehensive approach. The gaps and loopholes in existing legislation are eliminated.

Next, the Bill provides for the establishment of a Health and Safety Commission to administer the legislation in place of the present fragmented arrangements, so rightly and cogently criticised by the Robens Committee, whereby a number of Government Departments do this work. This unification of administration will create a single and major centre of initiative for progress in this field. Health and safety at work will cease to be a poor relation, diffused between different Departments. It will become a subject in its own right, attracting the priority it deserves. The membership of the Health and Safety Commission will reflect the interests of those most affected by the legislation—employers, trade unions, local authorities and the public at large. Thus those most directly concerned will have a major say in the making and implementation of policies, rules and procedures of national application.

The Bill also provides for the establish. ment of a Health and Safety Executive, as the Commission's operational arm. This will provide advice and services to industry and others, and will be responsible for enforcing the Statutory requirements. It will comprise most of the present central Government inspectorates concerned with regulating work-activities in the interests of health and safety. The Executive will be a highly professional organisation, with a wide range of scientific support facilities. As a further measure of co-ordination, the Employment Medical Advisory Service is to be placed under the wing of the Commission, alongside the other specialist groups within the Executive. This is provided for in Part II of the Bill. It is also intended that the National Radiological Protection Board should be able to put its expertise to use on behalf of the Commission and Executive. The Radiological Protection Act is amended to allow for that.

The Bill also enables local authorities to be given enforcement responsibilities. They will have a most important role in enforcing this legislation in certain fields. They already have substantial enforcement duties under some of the existing legislation with which the Bill is concerned, and this will continue under the overall guidance of the Commission. A close partnership between the Commission's Executive and the local authorities is an essential aim of the Bill and of the proposed administrative arrangements. Fire authorities will also be given more responsibilities for general fire precautions, in workplaces as elsewhere, but not under this Bill. The Fire Precautions Act 1971 is amended by the Bill to enable them to take on these additional functions— which is a further step in the direction of rationalising who does what in the health and safety field.

The Bill also provides extensive powers for inspectors of those bodies who will enforce the health and safety requirements. These powers include powers to issue notices containing directions requiring improvements, or ordering operations to cease until serious risks of danger have been overcome. The Bill will also enable the penalties in existing legislation to be raised; and where there are more serious offences against health and safety requirements, the Bill enables enforcing authorities to prosecute in the higher courts where unlimited fines—and in some cases imprisonment—may be imposed.

I have not so far mentioned Part III of the Bill. This covers a different, but associated topic; namely building regulations. It is the responsibility of the Secretaries of State for the Environment and Scotland. For some time it has been evident that there is a need for new powers in order that the system of building control in England and Wales can be modernised and made more comprehensive and efficient. A consultative document, Proposals for a Building Bill, was published by the Department of the Environment in August, 1972. Part III of the Bill gives effect to the majority of the proposals outlined in that. It is essentially a corollary to the main provisions of the Bill since it is concerned primarily with the initial construction of work places and other buildings, while the main provisions in the Bill are directed to the health and safety of work places in use.

But there are two important aspects in which it goes beyond the scope of Parts I and II. First, it applies to all buildings; not only to work places. This is because to have confined the new powers to premises covered by the remainder of the Bill would have resulted in two codes of regulations—which would plainly be unworkable. Secondly, it extends the purposes for which building regulations in England and Wales can be made to include not only health and safety and the closely associated areas of welfare and convenience, but the conservation of fuel and power and the prevention of waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water.

There are no radical changes in the present building control system. However, the subject matter about which building regulations may be made is widened and updated and, in particular, no longer excludes (as at present) electrical services and equipment. The new provisions mainly consist of enabling powers and the making and amendment of regulations under the new powers will necessarily be spread over some years. Although building legislation, in Scotland is less in need of immediate revision, some amendments to it are made in Part III of the Bill to ensure that broadly similar powers will be available on both sides of the Border. The updating and extension of the building regulations will mean that the Health and Safety Commission and their agents, in dealing with premises with which they are concerned, will, generally speaking, be able to rely upon the building regulation system to look after the health, safety and welfare aspects of the design and construction of buildings and of services, fittings and equipment put into them.

I have left till last the general duties imposed by Clauses 2 to 9 of the Bill—


My Lords, my noble friend has been dealing with the question of what types of industry, factories and buildings will be affected. Before he leaves this point, can he say whether this will also apply to the operational side of transport; such as railways and marshalling yards, and lorries et cetera that are travelling our roads? Will they be within the orbit of this Bill?


My Lords, my noble friend Lady Birk is looking forward, I think with a mixture of trepidation and pleasure, to her first performance in this field and will be replying to the debate. It would be unkind of me to deprive her of the opportunity of replying to questions from my noble friend. It also saves me the trouble of taxing my brains.

I was about to say that I have left till last the general duties imposed by Clauses 2 to 9 of the Bill, not because I think them unimportant, but for quite the opposite reason. They are the only substantive health and safety requirements in the Bill itself, and they provide a comprehensive and inescapable safety net for securing improvements in health and safety standards. For all their breadth, these are criminally enforceable duties, and this is why they are not expressed in absolute terms. More stringent requirements on specific matters can and will be laid down in regulations. But these general duties in the Bill will provide the enforcing authorities, who are concerned to prevent accidents and to achieve remedies for potentially dangerous situations, with firm grounds on which to base demands for remedial action, regardless of whether or not regulations have been made on any particular matter. We should not underestimate the practical relevance of broad duties of this kind in dealing with the enormous variety of circumstances of industry which cannot all be catered for in specific regulations.

These then are the main provisions of the Bill. It may help noble Lords if I also refer very briefly to some of the main points raised and amendments made in another place. First, on the question of availability of information, I have described what the Bill does in that respect, and I should say that the powers and duties which ensure that information can and will flow freely have been very considerably strengthened in another place. A good example of this is Clause 75, which amends the Companies Act to enable us to require information on health and safety matters to be included in directors' reports. This was a new clause inserted in the Bill, to follow up a recommendation of the Robens Committee. It is, I am sure, a most valuable addition.

Secondly, the Bill has been amended to put agriculture on the same footing as any other industry, while at the same time ensuring that the Commission will be able to utilise the inspectorial and other resources of the Agricultural Departments for enforcement purposes, by making an agency agreement with those Departments. This is an Amendment which must commend itself both in logic and in its practical implications. The essential difference, as compared with the Bill as first published, is that although special arrangements for enforcement in agriculture will be retained, to take account of the peculiar difficulties posed by the structure of the industry, the Commission will no longer be excluded from having responsibility for health and safety in agriculture. Agriculture will thus now have the best of both—worlds it will benefit from both agricultural expertise and health and safety expertise.

Enforcement on farms can be carried out, in the normal course, by inspectors of the Agricultural Departments who are fully familiar with the industry's problems and peculiarities. But, at the same time, the full expertise of the Commission and its Executive on health and safety matters, the full strength of a body solely devoted to health and safety, with all its back-up facilities and its overall responsibility to Ministers for health and safety in all industry, will be brought to bear on health and safety problems in agriculture. Health and safety risks in agriculture are becoming increasingly akin to those in other industries, and it is entirely in keeping that the Commission responsible for health and safety generally should assume responsibility for health and safety in agriculture as for all other industries.

A further matter raised in another place was the problem of mental health in industry; and there was some suggestion that the Bill ignored this problem. It does not. The word "health" is used in the Bill in its broadest sense. It is not particularised—it covers all forms and aspects of damage to health arising from work activities. I think the definition of "personal injury" in Clause 49 makes the point clear. There was also considerable discussion in another place about the question of controlling industrial developments so that the public and community at large are not put at risk. We must all have in mind what happened at Flixborough, and naturally noble Lords, like Members in another place, will want to know what the Bill can do to help minimise the chances of a repetition of that kind of tragedy.

As I said earlier, the Bill provides powers for licensing installations which present major potential hazards. This means that those who want to carry on particular kinds of operations—whether in existing plants or in new ones—will first have to obtain a licence from the Executive. In the case of new developments, the Executive will be able to get in at the planning and design stage; in the case of existing plants it will be able to impose conditions on operations—and, if necessary, require the cessation of some operations—in the interests of health and safety. Where health and safety licences are required, conditions can be laid down requiring the plant to be set up at a safe distance from any other buildings, and so on. This means that even if a local authority grants planning permission to a firm, if the Executive is not satisfied that the site chosen is safe for all concerned, then it can refuse the firm a licence to operate. But, in any case, the Executive and local authorities will certainly need to develop arrangements for close co-ordination and exchange of information on industrial developments which have the potential for putting in jeopardy the safety of whole communities; and the groundwork for this has already been laid by procedures which have been and are being developed jointly by the Factory Inspectorate and the Department of the Environment.

Finally, the question of joint consultation, and appointment of safety representatives. We in this House have not had as many opportunities to discuss these questions as have Members in another place, and perhaps therefore we may see the provisions of Clause 2 with fresher eyes. We cannot but welcome provisions of this kind which will give rights 10 trade unions to ensure that the voice of workpeople on the shop-floor is heard on the safety and health matters which so directly and urgently affect them. This must be a major step forward, even if it is a step in a slightly different direction from that which some people in another place would wish. In my view these provisions place the responsibilities in the right place—on those who are best organised to make use of them. I hope that the noble Lords will be able, to welcome these provisions for the great step forward that they really are.

That is a sentiment which, in fact, applies to the Bill as a whole. I hope I have illustrated its breadth and comprehensiveness and made clear its objectives I cannot think that those objectives will be in dispute. I hope and trust that noble Lords will join with me in welcoming this Bill, which provides a charter for renewed progress and continuous improvement in matters which all too rarely get the attention from Parliament that they deserve. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a—(Lord Hughes.)

3.55 p.m.


My Lords, it gives me pleasure and satisfaction to talk from this Box about a Bill which we on this side can support warmheartedly if not 100 per cent. wholeheartedly. Of course the pleasure would have been greater if I had, as I had hoped, been doing the same thing from the Box opposite. I think it would have been one of my tasks. Then, of course, the satisfaction could have reached its century, as we would have been dealing with a Bill good in all aspects, instead of a good Bill which has been defaced just a little: a few warts added here and there, and added, I fear, for cosmetic purposes. But the pleasure, though impaired in these ways, is none the less real, and I have the additional satisfaction of welcoming the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, to the Benches opposite. I have usually only been able to get to this House in the late afternoons, so I am not sure whether the noble Baroness has broken her duck at the Dispatch Box or not but for too long now I have been, in the Opposition Whip's Office, a shadow in search of a substance, and if the substance is to be the noble Baroness, nobody could be more delighted than I am. I have always had great respect for her, and that consoles me a little in my present enforced and ghostly role.

I think the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, was a little wanting in gallantry. I would have been pretty upset if one of my senior Ministers had left me "in the cart" like that; and I am not nearly so pretty as the noble Baroness.


My Lords, if the noble Earl will allow me to interrupt, he does not, of course, have the tremendous advantages that I have.


My Lords, that was very gracefully said.

My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, said, a year and a half ago my noble friend Lord Drumalbyn and I spoke as strongly as we knew how on the Second Reading of a rather similar Bill in your Lordships' House. I do not propose this afternoon to detain your Lordships by making substantially the same speech again, but I should like quickly to resume one theme. Our Government recognised, with the noble Lord, Lord Robens, that in terms of international comparisons this country was not doing too badly where industrial accidents and fatalities were concerned. But we recognised also that although there was very roughly the same incidence of fatalities and of all accidents in this country in 1970 as in 1961, in several European countries there had been a notable decline in accidents per head during the same time.

So, as well as honouring formally the work and the great achievements of Lord Robens and his Committee, we agreed with the Committee in practical terms that this country had reached some kind of plateau in accident prevention. We recognised that we needed new institutions and new initiatives; that working along the same lines was unlikely to produce a dramatic breakthrough. Since then we as an industrial nation have suffered the appalling trauma of Flixborough. We are to be reminded of this again this afternoon in a Statement, if we need any reminding. This debate, indeed, is taking place in the shadow of Flixborough.

I remember that in Government I had the pleasant task of presenting a great international chemical company with a base in this country with an award to celebrate five years of operation without a single disabling accident. I said then that although the avoidance of accidents or incidents which do not cause injuries appeared in a way to be negative, the achievement of non-events as it were, it could only be done by positive and active means.

We have now to learn and learn quickly from a cataclysmic event. But if Flixborough has cracked the whip of immediacy at us, we must also recognise that the accidents and ill-health which are still occurring—the on-going situation, so to speak—are quite enough justification for these new initiatives; 1,000 people killed every year and perhaps as many again dead from prescribed diseases. At least half a million reportable accidents—and by that term I mean accidents which involve one having to take three or more days away from work—23 million working days lost each year at a cost, I am told, of some £200 million. And one cannot, of course, quantify human cost. So if the Bill can push forward new initiatives and generate additional concern we welcome it. If the new initiatives and concern can put paid to some proportion at least of all that carnage and cost, then all sides will declare themselves grateful to it, and doubly grateful to the sterling work of the noble Lord, Lord Robens.

But it is because of this general good will, this unpartisan concern, that I so much regret the tacking on to the Bill, by a minority Government, of what can only be described as a few partisan banners. We cannot keep politics out of safety and work legislation because that would keep Parliament out, and that would cut out Ministerial responsibility. But we can surely keep out politicising. What has been added to the Bill is a special privilege to one slice of our working life—a big and important slice, but a slice all the same. I refer, of course, to the special privilege for recognised trade unions to appoint safety representatives and establish safety committees. I refer to the contentious and therefore partisan and, in my view, damaging stuff in Clause 2. This privilege is "in prescribed circumstances", certainly, and words like "request" are used. But I find that such emollients cannot cope with the difficulties we find here and the fears that we have.

What are the difficulties? Of course the Opposition recognise, with the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, that in many cases the trade union is the normal organisation for creating the safety committee. Of course we agree with the Under-Secretary of State for Employment when he said in Standing Committee in another place that as a lifelong trade unionist he has had occasion to feel somewhat critical of our trade unions for being too obsessed with pursuing wages rather than with getting themselves involved in such matters as health and safety. Good for the Minister for saying that! But what about the interests and the legitimate democratic rights of others employed in firms and in industry? There are many firms where there is no union. There are many only partially unionised firms. There is nothing to be said against unions or unionising, of course; but safety and health at work is just what it says and should not, in my view, form any part of a recruiting drive.

My Lords, we find that the Labour Party is always talking about industrial democracy. Yet it looks to us as though here a Labour Government are going out of their way statutorily to deny the opportunity for representation of work safety committees to non-trade unionists. We are concerned, too, for the fate of those individuals who have long and successfully concerned themselves in safety and who might wish to continue to be safety representatives. If only recognised trade unionists can do the appointing there might be circumstances in which some people with admirable records could get edged out. What I fear most of ail is the possibility of safety and health at work getting caught up, perhaps all too literally, in the machinery of bargaining between unions and employers.

Imagine a situation—and I do not say that it would occur often, but it could occur—and the Bill seems to me to encourage it to occur in which a union-appointed safety committee could intervene in an existing pay dispute with the subtle air of saying that if the dispute could be settled to the union's satisfaction there might be a slight lessening of pressure on the safety front. We must neither politicise or commercialise this area of life. I have said that we would be vigilant in Committee on these aspects. Generally, of course, as I have also said, we welcome the Bill. It is not before time. I do not mean that the Government have been laggard in putting it forward. On the contrary, I congratulate the Government for completing its stages in another place within three and a half months of the General Election. But it is well known that the new package of safety and health legislation has been held up for too long by one or two seismic inter-Departmental rows. The Secretary of State himself acknowledged this on Second Reading in another place. Good for him, too!

The Secretary of State said he was glad that the Whitehall war had led to triumph all round. He said he was prepared for the laurels to be shared by every Department in Whitehall so long as the Department of Employment retained the sword. He felt that they did. I suppose that they do, or I should say, I suppose that he does. But I cannot close without shedding a metaphorical tear for that great Department of State—the Department of Employment—so denuded of functions and personnel as to be Whitehall's, or rather St. James's, "streaker". Look at the limbs it is losing, to use a gorier description: Training and Employment Services to the Manpower Services Commission; Industrial Relations and the Manpower Consultancy to the Conciliation and Arbitration Service: Factory Inspectorate to the Executive and Commission under the legislation before us, and the Employment Medical Advisory Service also. I grant that the Secretary of State is still Head of Commonwealth but he is surely no longer Rex Imperator, or perhaps I should say Pes Imperator.

We on this side, my Lords, were going to do the same thing, so perhaps I should keep my mouth shut. I rather regret the current vogue for hiving away, if not hiving off. Add a dash of regional dispersal and a dash more of regional devolvement under Kilbrandon-ism and it seems to me you have a perfect recipe for anxious and confused civil servants.

Once again, I am grateful for the chance to have taken part on Second Reading of the Bill. With a few qualifications we wish it every good fortune. By "we", I do not mean just the Opposition. This country initiated the Industrial Revolution. For better, as well as worse, and like it or not, that revolution remains the hope of most of mankind. It has improved the human situation but at tremendous cost to our environment and even, should war become endemic, to our humanity. It is up to us as a species to humanise the Industrial Revolution. This Bill contributes to the effort.