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Health And Safety

Volume 169: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1990

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20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the Health and Safety Commission's annual report 1988–89.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave some moments ago to his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang).

Does the Minister agree that the greatest asset to industry is its work force and that the health and safety of that work force is of paramount importance? Is the Minister satisfied with the number of health and safety inspectors, and with what is he doing to increase the powers and numbers of health and safety inspectors?

I accept what the hon. Gentleman said in the first part of his question and I pay tribute to the work of the inspectors. However, we must both accept that a mere increase in the number of inspectors is not the whole answer to the question, although it is a valuable contribution.