§ Mr. Meacher
I am very concerned about all work-related violence. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a range of guidance on violence at work and I have asked the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) to consider options for further action which would make a significant impact on preventing assaults, verbal threats and abuse in the workplace, particularly for higher-risk occupations.
In relation to the public transport sector, my Department has published guidance on how bus operators can reduce the risk of violence on their bus services, including the fitting of alarms and two-way radios on vehicles. The guidance has been widely circulated and well received throughout the industry.
The HSC's Railway Industry Advisory Committee (RIAC) held a conference on violence at work in the railway sector on 8 July 1999. As a result, RIAC are developing a national co-ordinated plan in partnership with industry to reduce assaults.
More generally, our programme of measures to improve personal security in the public transport system—including, for example, the Secure Stations Scheme launched in 1998—emphasises the need for transport operators to improve the personal security of both staff and passengers.