Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 8th September 2016.

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Photo of Tom Blenkinsop Tom Blenkinsop Labour, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland 11:34 am, 8th September 2016

In June this year, my constituent John “Richie” Anderson, a miner for 35 years, was killed by a gas blowout at Boulby potash mine. In August, a contract worker was electrocuted with 11 MW while doing surface work at the same mine. Back in April, 11 miners escaped with their lives after the oxygen ran out in a safety zone because of an underground fire. The Health and Safety Executive has investigated the mine on a number of occasions in the past 12 months. Some of those 11 miners have had to return to work with clear signs of post-traumatic stress disorder because the sick pay of just over £80 a week is not enough to cover the cost of feeding a wife and children. Can we have a debate about health and safety law and the implications of workers having to return to work because sick pay is not adequate, when companies have accepted liability for the danger that they have placed their workers in?