§ Mrs. Helen Jackson
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate she has made of the annual cost of occupational ill health; and what action she proposes to take to lessen this.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
Reliable estimates of the annual cost of occupational ill health are not presently available. Health and Safety Executive economists are carrying out research into the cost of occupational ill health and expect to publish the results of this work early next year.
Improving the level of occupational health is a main priority for the Health and Safety Commission and Executive. Details of their current activities and plans for action are set out in the Commission's annual reports and plans of work. These include the preparation of a comprehensive framework of regulations under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 covering the main categories of workplace health risks, practical guidance and campaigns, and an extensive programme of research and surveys of the scale and pattern of occupational ill health.