§ Mrs. Bain
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report the (a) current and (b) proposed arrangements for keeping records of past, present and future known and suspected carcinogens used at individual places of work, and for making these records available to people who may subsequently develop cancers related to work activity.
§ Mr. John Grant
I am advised by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that the Carcinogenic Substances Regulations 1967, the Mule Spinning (Health) Special Regulations 1953 and the Patent Fuel Manufacture (Health and Welfare) Special Regulations 1946 require the occupier to keep a register of all persons employed in connection with these work activities. There is no requirement in these regulations for the occupier to keep any records of past, present and future known and suspected carcinogens used at individual places of work, nor for the occupier to make the registers available to people who may subsequently develop cancers related to work activity.
However, in the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 there is an obligation on any employer to make available to safety representatives the registers referred to above and also, 540W with certain reservations, any information within the employer's knowledge necessary to enable them to fulfil their functions. In addition, under the terms of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, the courts can require the production of any document relevant to a civil claim being pursued through the courts.
I am also advised that the Health and Safety Executive, with a view to putting proposals to the Commission, is examining the need for preparing draft regulations to control the hazards to work people from exposure to certain known and suspected carcinogens which will be named in lists forming part of these regulations, and that consideration is being given to the question of arrangements for keeping records and for making these available to work people.