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Health and Safety

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how he plans to implement the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals legislation; and if he will take steps to ensure that there is no removal of the current legislative protection for the health and safety of the UK work force as a consequence of the implementation of that legislation; (75058)

(2) what consultation he plans to undertake with the Health and Safety Executive on the (a) implementation and (b) administration of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals regulations.

We are currently discussing the implementation of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation and a range of related issues with the agencies involved in the regulation of chemicals and with the devolved Administrations. The Health and Safety Executive is fully involved in this process and continues to work closely with Defra, in particular providing support on areas that are relevant to occupational health. REACH will not affect existing health and safety legislation.

One of the more important implementation aspects will be the appointment of a UK competent authority for REACH later this year. The competent authority will work closely with existing enforcement bodies, including the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.