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Health And Safety

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 3 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 16 May, Official Report, columns 435–36, what proportion of the Health and Safety Executive factory inspectorate's resources each year is spent on the identification and inspection of unregistered workplaces.

Resources devoted to identifying and inspecting unregistered workplaces vary but between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989 the Health and Safety Executive's factory inspectorate spent 6.5 per cent. of its resources on this work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his reply of 24 April, OfficialReport, column 170, if he will give details of the cases prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive which resulted in suspended custodial sentences; and what criteria were used by the Health and Safety Executive in deciding to prosecute.

[holding answer 2 July 1990]: Two suspended custodial sentences have been imposed. Both followed prosecutions for failing to comply with a prohibition notice.In 1985 the managing director of an asbestos stripping company was prosecuted for failing to comply with a prohibition notice. He received fines and costs totalling £7,500 and a 28-day suspended sentence.In 1987 a director of another asbestos stripping company received two suspended sentences of nine months to run consecutively, for contravening a prohibition notice.The Health and Safety Executive will generally institute criminal proceedings in cases where the offence is of a flagrant, wilful or reckless nature which either has, or could have, resulted in serious injury.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in relation to local initiatives by Health and Safety Executive areas which have concentrated on premises within a particular geographical area or sector of economic activity, what proportion of premises inspected have been found to be unregistered with the Health and Safety Executive.

The information requested is not centrally available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information the Health and Safety Executive's SHIELD database records about the registration of factory premises under section 137 of the Factories Act 1961; whether the information is available on the basis of Health and Safety Executive area by year; and at what cost in terms of person hours and computer time the information is compiled.

The Health and Safety Executive's SHIELD database has the facility to record the following information upon receipt of a notice of occupation under section 137 of the Factories Act:

  • Establishment keyname
  • Full name and address
  • Postcode
  • Local authority code
  • Main economic activity code
  • Number employed
  • Telephone number
  • Enforcing authority area
  • Health and Safety Executive area
  • Date record opened
  • Ownership code
Information on the registration of factory premises under section 137 of the Factories Act 1961 by Health and Safety Executive area and the cost in terms of person hours and computer time is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate by area the Health and Safety Executive has made of the approximate proportion of factory premises that are not registered with the Health and Safety Executive; and what approximate proportion of the factory work force is believed to work in unregistered premises.

The Health and Safety Executive has made no estimate of the number or proportion of unregistered factory premises or the number of employees who work in such premises.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give (a) the number of prosecutions and (b) the average fine under the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 for each year from 1983 to 1989 inclusive.

The information is not available in the exact format requested in the question. However, the table shows the numbers of informations laid, the number of convictions and the average fine made under the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 since they came into force on 1 August 1984.

Prosecution action taken under Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 by the HSE's Factory and Agricultural Inspectorates 1984 to 1988–89
Date of hearingNumber of informations laidConvictionsAverage fine on conviction £
198452500
19858273423
19861157293
1986–8724540350
1987–8823530328
1988–8931413217
1 1st quarter of year 1 January-31 March.
2 Year commencing 1 April
3 Provisional.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were (a) the numbers of prosecutions and (b) the average fine under the Asbestos Products (Safety) Regulations 1985 for each year from 1985 to 1989 inclusive.

I have been asked to reply.According to the returns made by the enforcement authorities, the number of prosecutions and the fines paid for breaching the Asbestos Products (Safety) Regulations 1985, which came into force on 1 January 1986, as amended by the Asbestos Products (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1987, were as follows:

YearCasesFine £
1986Nil
198713,000
19881500
1989Nil
The regulations have been largely effective in eliminating the use of asbestos in consumer products, and I am not aware of any general problem.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the number of prosecutions resulting from a fatality within the construction industry for each year from 1974 to 1989.

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many Health and Safety Executive field inspectors were (a) appointed, (b) resigned and (c) retired for each year from 1974 to 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the date and location by borough of the deaths of construction workers in the London area between the dates of 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1990.

The available information for the year commencing 1 April 1988 is shown in the table. Data for subsequent years are not yet available. An analysis of fatal injuries by local authority district could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Fatal Injuries1 to employed persons occurring in the construction industry in the Greater London area, 1988–892
Date of accidentNo. of fatal injuries
EmployeesSelf employed
April 19881
May 1988
June 1988
July 1988
August 198831
September 19881
October 19884
November 198831
December 198831
January 198921
February 198922
March 19891
Total197
1Fatal injuries reported to HSE's Factory and Agricultural Inspectorates under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, 1985 (RIDDOR).
2 Provisional.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give (a) the number of prosecutions and (b) the average fine for offences under the Asbestos Regulations for each year from 1974 to 1989 inclusive.

The information is not available in the exact format requested in the question. However, the table shows the numbers of informations laid, convictions and the average fine made under the Asbestos Regulations 1969 from 1974 to 1988–89, and the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 which revoked the 1969 regulations from 1 March 1988.

Prosecutions taken under the 1969 Asbestos Regulations and under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 by the HSE's Factory and Agricultural Inspectorates3
Date of hearingNumber of informations laidConvictionsAverage fine on conviction £
197445391
1975322279
1976332348
19779487265
1978393684
197916723
19801816217
1981118150
19821716325
19836055257
19846955347

Date of hearing

Number of informations laid

Convictions

Average fine on conviction £

19853025482
1986477647
1986–8752014414
1987–885148256
1988–89554313
Asbestos Regulations
1988–892 51919474
The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations

1 Not available.

2 Provisional.

3 Prosecution action taken by the HSE's Factory Inspectorate only for the years 1974–82.

4 1st quarter of year 1 January to 31 March.

5 Year commencing 1 April.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether the Health and Safety Executive has any plans to follow up the construction site blitzes; and whether an evaluation has been made of the effect of blitzes.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has no plans to mount another national construction site safety blitz campaign.The HSE published a summary of the blitz campaign in a free magazine-style report entitled "Build Safety"—130,000 copies of which were distributed.The HSE's evaluation of the campaign concluded that it was a success and as a result, smaller-scale local campaigns have since been undertaken in various parts of the country.

Enforcement notices issued under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1980 by the Health and Safety Executive's factory and agricultural inspectorates: 1981 to 1988–89
YearImprovement noticesProhibitions servedNumber of informations laidConvictionsAverage fine on conviction £
19814
198223522500
198326588313
1984401199150
198537112624563
219869222100
31986–874191612135
31987–8836687457
1 31988–89343107507
1 Provisional
2 1st quarter of year, 1 January to 31 March.
3 Year commencing 1 April.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many licences were (a) issued and (b) withdrawn for each year from 1983 to 1989 under the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983.

The information is not available in the form requested. The table gives the number of licenses issued, renewed and revoked under the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 by calendar year since they came into effect on 1 August 1984.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide an estimate of the proportion of (a) construction sites that are registered and (b) minor and major injuries that were reported to the Health and Safety Executive for 1988–89; and if he will make a statement.

It is not possible to provide an estimate of the proportion of construction sites which are registered with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE does not have information on the total number of sites which exist as notification is required only where work is expected to last for six weeks or more.All fatal injuries in the course of construction activity are reported to the enforcement authorities. The proportion of other reportable injuries which are not reported is not known. It is estimated that non-reporting of such injuries for employees in all sectors is of the order of 50 per cent. Although there is no firm evidence that the problem is more acute in particular sectors there are indications which suggest the degree of under-reporting in the construction industry may be significantly higher.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is (a) the number of fines, (b) the average fine and (c) the number of (i) improvement and (ii) prohibition notices issued under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1980 for each of the years 1980 to 1989.

The information requested is not available. However, the following table shows the number of improvement notices, prohibitions served, informations laid, convictions and the average fine per conviction made under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1980 since they came into force on 18 August 1981.

Number of licences issued, renewed and revoked under the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983
YearNumber of licences
New IssuesRenewalsRevocations
19841,313
19855711,0171
19863286082
19872392502
19881639191
19891223614

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Stretford, 24 April, Official Report, column 174, for each of the years 1974 to 1989, inclusive, if he will give (a) the number of Health and Safety Executive prosecutions passed to the Crown prosecution service for consideration and (b) the results of the prosecutions that were passed on.

Records are not kept of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutions passed to the Crown prosecution service for its consideration. Most health and safety prosecutions are undertaken by HSE inspectors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the fatalities of construction workers which led to prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act; under which section of the Act the prosecutions were taken; which of these prosecutions were against individual directors, managers or other employees, rather than against the company itself; and which of the deaths are still under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.