HL Deb 24 February 2004 vol 658 cc47-8WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How frequently Health and Safety Executive inspectors expect to examine the records of pesticide purchase and use required to be maintained by farmers and other authorised users, and whether the records are checked against stocks held. [HL1336]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors would not normally examine records of purchase as part of their inspection activities. Responsibility for the advertisement, sale and supply of pesticides is a matter for local authority officers authorised to exercise the enforcement powers under pesticides legislation, as amended.

HSE inspectors are authorised to enforce the provisions of the Food and Environment Protection Act and associated legislation in connection with the storage and use of pesticide products in those premises for which HSE is the enforcing authority for the purposes of health and safety legislation.

HSE inspectors will examine records of pesticide storage and use as and when appropriate and relevant as part of:

  • (a) the routine preventive inspection of premises; and
  • (b) the investigation of pesticide-related complaints or ill health.

The selection of premises for inspection and incidents for investigation is determined respectively by HSE's strategic and priority programmes and by its incident selection procedure.

Published guidance and codes of practice for the users of agricultural pesticides (Defra's green code and HSE's agricultural information sheet No 16) make no reference to maintaining records of purchase. The keeping of an accurate stock record away from the store is advised to assist the emergency services in the event of an incident involving a pesticide store.

Published guidance and codes of practice for the suppliers of agricultural pesticides (Defra's yellow code) advises of the need for an accurate and up-to-date list of the quantity and types of pesticides stored (again for use in an emergency) and record of all movements of stock in and out of the store, including sales.