asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement outlining the progress made in reviewing the constitution of the dangerous pathogens advisory group, and in particular about the proposed transfer of responsibility for the group from his Department to the Health and Safety Executive, the strengthening of the group by the inclusion of representatives of trade unions and the general public, and the arrangements made for consulting all those concerned.
asked A review of the constitution and responsibilities of the dangerous pathogens advisory group is being undertaken by a working group of officials from the Government Departments concerned and the Health and Safety Executive. Their report to the Ministers and the Health and Safety Commission is expected shortly, and we shall then consider with the Commission the action we need to take.
The relevant provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 already apply to laboratories and the Health and Safety Executive's programme of initial inspections of those laboratories holding category A pathogens has been completed. The Health and Safety Commission published a consultative document last week in which it put forward proposals for a statutory scheme requiring the notification to the Executive of work with dangerous pathogens.