HC Deb 30 June 2003 vol 408 c1W
Mrs. Brooke

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission (1) whether all statutory health and safety standards are applied throughout the Parliamentary Estate; and whether all manual workers on the Parliamentary Estate have been fully trained in health and safety legislation; [121592]

(2) when the last full health and safety audit of the Parliamentary Estate was carried out; where hon. Members may inspect it; and when the next audit is due. [121593]

Sir Archy Kirkwood

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the regulations made under it do not in terms apply to the House. The Commission nevertheless attaches great importance to applying both the spirit and practice of the legislation. The House employs qualified health and safety specialists, and seeks to ensure full compliance with the law and industry best practice. All directly-employed works manual staff are required to undertake wide-ranging health and safety training including manual handling, risk assessment, control of substances hazardous to health and emergency first aid training. Contractors' staff are required to be competent individuals, who must work in accordance with a health and safety action plan. This plan is based on a formal risk assessment which is carried out for each project.

Statutory health and safety standards are met through a 10-year rolling programme which includes cyclical maintenance, inspections, surveys and audits. Health and safety audits using the RoSPA Quality Safety Audit method were carried out in the Parliamentary Works Services Directorate and in the Refreshment Department in 2001. Currently an audit of the Serjeant's Departmental Safety Action Plan is being carried out. Copies of these audits are available for inspection from the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Service in 7 Millbank.

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