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Industrial Health and Safety: Black Economy

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of health and safety standards in the informal economy. (188363)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces the requirements of health and safety legislation wherever it finds failings, regardless of the status of the workers affected. However, formal assessment of health and safety standards overall in the informal economy is by definition extremely difficult. HSE works in partnership with other Government Departments to identify and tackle failings in compliance wherever they occur. A recent example is our involvement in a programme of work to detect illegal employment of migrants in the West Midlands, and the use of information and intelligence arising from this to target inspection at workplaces, some of which were previously unknown to HSE.