Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Industrial Accidents.

19.

asked the Minister for Labour the number of industrial accidents reported to his Department for the years 1987 and 1988.

The number of industrial accidents notified to my Department during 1987 and 1988 are as follows: 1987 — 3,060 (including 12 fatal accidents); 1988 — 2,943 (including 14 fatal accidents).

20.

asked the Minister for Labour if Irish Rail, Bus Éireann and Dublin City Bus report accidents in relation to health and safety at work; and the number of accidents reported for the years 1987 and 1988.

Irish Rail, Bus Éireann and Dublin City Bus report notifiable accidents under the Safety in Industry Acts to my Department.

The Acts apply only to places such as maintenance workshops and manufacturing areas within these companies. Present legislation does not cover such workers as bus and train drivers, conductors, inspectors, ticket sales staff, permanent way workers, etc.

The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Bill, 1988, which I introduced in the House on 15 December 1988, will extend the limited scope of existing safety and health legislation and bring the benefits of legislative protection to all workers.

It has not been the practice to publish the numbers of industrial accidents reported to my Department by individual employers.

In respect of the upcoming legislation, is it proposed to extend the health and safety protection to busmen who are attacked by criminal elements or vandals?

We seem to be entering into another area now. It may not be the responsibility of the Minister in the House.

If it extends to bus conductors and drivers it is an interesting question.

It is a fact that busmen are being attacked in their place of work in the cabin of their buses. It is causing a discontinuation of bus services in some suburbs and it is a serious problem.

I hope we will be able to deal with that tomorrow.