HC Deb 20 June 1996 vol 279 cc510-1W
Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate his Department has made of(a) the cost per cubic metre of producing desalinated water and (b) the overall cost of providing desalinated water as a long-term solution to water shortages in Britain. [33536]

Mr. Robert B. Jones

In its 1992 report "Water Resources Development Strategy", the National Rivers Authority—now part of the Environment Agency—in considering options for meeting imbalances between public water supply and demand which might arise, estimated an indicative overall cost of between £4 million and £6 million for production of 1,000 cu m of water per day by means of desalination. The work which informed this report indicated water production costs generally in the order of 70p to 80p per cubic metre, although in plants featuring energy recovery—for example, from an adjacent power station—the costs might be in the range of 42p to 48p per cubic metre.

Mr. Ian McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) on how many occasions in each of the past five years health and safety problems in his Department and its agencies have been reported via internal monitoring; and on how many occasions the Health and Safety Commission has become involved; [33476]

(2) how many (a) minor, (b) major and (c) fatal injuries have been suffered by staff in his Department and its agencies in work-related incidents in each of the past five years, showing in each year how many were related to information technology and giving details of all incidents involving fatalities. [33477]

Sir Paul Beresford

The numbers of accidents reported in my Department and the agencies for which it was responsible at the time are:

Year Minor Major Fatal
1991–92 508 2 1
1992–93 277 1 0
1993–94 230 1 0
1994–95 176 0 1
1995–96 219 0 0

Data on accidents related to information technology are not collected separately.

The Department records accidents at the time of their occurrence and collects the data annually. As required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, the Health and Safety Executive was notified of all major injuries and fatalities at the time they occurred. Of the two fatalities, one was as a result of a fall from a window. The second occurred while a lift was being repaired.

Mr. McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the cost in each of the past five years of rectifying working conditions that were the responsibility of his Department and its agencies, to bring them up to acceptable health and safety standards, detailing incidents involving information technology and those involving expenditure of more than £5,000. [33479]

Sir Paul Beresford

My Department has a continuing programme of maintenance and repair to its buildings, furnishings and equipment to ensure a good working environment for its staff and visitors. Expenditure specifically related to health and safety measures is not recorded separately.