HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc389-90W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the circumstances surrounding the suspension and subsequently continued employment of train drivers who are caught driving without due care or attention. [97776]

Mr. Hill

In the first instance, it is for the employer to decide on appropriate disciplinary action to be taken with staff who contravene proper working practices. In addition there are duties on employees and employers under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and under specific regulations to ensure that work is done safely. For instance, the Railways (Safety Critical Work) Regulations 1994 require that employees are fit and competent to undertake activities (such as train driving) which are safety critical. The Health and Safety Executive could prosecute employers or employees who have contravened these duties and requirements.

Among the immediate measures agreed at the meeting that my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister held with rail industry leaders on 25 October were a review of consistent standards of driver training and establishing a consistent approach to safety management, embracing best practice across the network.