Prisons: Industrial Health and Safety

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of health and safety conditions for prison staff.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The health and safety of our staff and those in our care remains our primary priority. Risks to staff are assessed and suitable controls implemented accordingly. The efficacy of those controls is monitored at local and national level via a variety of processes including joint audit work with prison unions. HM Prison & Probation Service’s (HMPPS) leadership team is kept regularly informed of trends in injuries and ill health and of the status of occupational risks its staff is facing and is thereby in a position to respond accordingly.

HMPPS recognises that the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of employees is paramount. All HMPPS staff have access to an occupational health service and employee assistance programme. This includes 24 hour, 365 days a year access to signposting and counselling; trauma support services; a wide ranging health promotion website and personal wellbeing zone.

It is a priority to ensure that prisons are places of safety and reform and the government has invested an additional £70 million investment in safety, security and decency. This has included £16 million to improve conditions for prisoners and staff and £7 million on new security measures, such as security scanners, improved searching techniques, phone-blocking technology and a financial crime unit to target the criminal kingpins operating in prisons

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