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Health And Safety Regulations

Volume 172: debated on Tuesday 15 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make representations to the Health and Safety Executive about the case for putting prosecutions of those breaching health and safety regulations through the Crown court and not initially through the magistrates court.

All cases must by law go initially to the magistrates court. Under section 19 of the Magistrates Court Act (1980), responsibility for referral of cases to Crown court rests with the justices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the outcome of his meeting with Transmanche Link following the death of William Cartman on 7 May; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 14 May 1990]: My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State met Mr. Jack Lemley, chief executive of Transmanche Link (TML), who assured him that the highest priority would be given to safeguarding the health and safety of workers employed on the construction of the channel tunnel.My right hon. and learned Friend reminded TML that although the Health and Safety Commission and Executive have extensive powers which they have used and will continue to use to enforce United Kingdom safety legislation, the prime responsibility for safety at the site rested with the management, as with any contract.

HSE inspectors will continue to monitor safety standards at the site and will not hesitate to enforce action that they consider necessary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make it his policy to encourage people on employment training courses to train in skill shortage areas.

[holding answer 14 May 1990]: It is my right hon. and learned Friend's policy to encourage eligible unemployed people to join employment training with the aim of securing employment on completing training, including training in skill shortage occupations where appropriate, within the resources available.