§ Sir Dudley Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the proposed European Community directive on industrial noise and the implications that this has for British industry;468W
(2) what representations he has received from industry, the trade unions and other interested parties over the proposed European Community directive on industrial noise.
§ Mr. Gummer
My right hon. Friend and I have been awaiting proposals for legislation to secure the protection of hearing from noise at work from the Health and Safety Commission, which published a consultative document on this subject in 1981. The European Commission has more recently proposed a Council directive which would require all member states to introduce harmonised legislation on this matter. I am therefore awaiting advice on the contents of this proposed directive from the HSC, which is collecting comments from the CBI, the TUC and other interested parties. The Government will determine their attitude to the proposed directive in the light of the HSC's advice.
Ministers have received a number of letters from associations of employers concerned about the cost of implementing some of the measures which the European Commission has included in its proposal. The Health and Safety Commission is aware of these comments and will take them into account.