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Departmental Staff (Powers Of Entry)

Volume 972: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many officials for whom he is responsible have the power to enter premises, subject to statutory conditions, and, in each case, to indicate the statutory authority under which such power is exercised.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 October 1979, c. 256–7]: I am in-in my Department currently holding the power to enter premises are as follows:4. A survey of asbestos workers which provides information on the incidence of mesothelioma and carcinoma of the bronchus in asbestos workers and information on asbestosis.5. A mortality study of polyvinyl chloride manufacturing workers.6. A mortality study of styrene manufacturing workers.7. A mortality study of carbon black workers.8. A mortality study of iron, steel and non-ferrous foundry workers.9. A mortality study of steel foundry workers in Scotland, as detailed in my reply to the hon. Member of 16 July 1979.The above studies are in adidtion to those being carried out by research organisations and industry itself.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate he makes of the annual rate of occupational cancer deaths in Great Britain; and if he will instruct the Health and Safety Commission to undertake an investigation under section 12(b) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, in conjunction with the Registrars General and cancer registries using linked records, into a recent estimate that such deaths now total between 32,000 and 54,000 per annum.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 October 1979, c. 256–7]: I am informed by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that it is not possible to make a reliable estimate of deaths in Great Britain due to occupational cancer, mainly because of the difficulty of determining the extent to which cancer has an occupational origin in each case.I do not propose to instruct the Commission to undertake a study of this subject as I am satisfied that the Commission, which is currently undertaking several studies of occupational cancer, has adequate procedures for determining, in the light of the various demands made on its funds, research needs and priorities.