§ Mr. Prescott
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will, in future, collect and publish statistical data in respect of the number of inspections of United kingdom-registered merchant vessels for purposes of ensuring the occupational health and safety of merchant seamen, the number of warnings, improvement notices and prohibition notices issued and the nature of the infringements for such action, the number of prosecutions mounted for statutory infringements, the nature of those offences and the outcome of the prosecutions, the direct and general costs incurred by that section of his Department which has responsibility for seafarer occupational health and safety and the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents investigated by the marine inspectors.
§ Mr. Ridley
Marine surveyors from my Department make general inspections of United Kingdom registered ships and in doing so they take into account those requirements affecting the occupational health and safety of seamen. The number of these inspections is recorded. My Department now also records data in respect of improvement and prohibition notices, prosecutions mounted for infringements of occupational health and safety legislation and accidents investigated by marine surveyors. Warnings delivered by surveyors are often verbal and advisory and little would be gained by requiring them to be recorded.
Shipboard accident statistics are already published and, depending upon its general usefulness to the industry, additional information relating to the topics mentioned above will either be published or made available to the industry on request.
The costs in promoting occupational health and safety are incurred across a wide range of activities and to separate them would not be cost effective.