Written Answers. - Health and Safety Regulations.

Denis Naughten

Question:

51 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Science the action he intends to take to address health and safety concerns in second level science labs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16412/02]

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989, it is the responsibility of school management authorities to have a safety statement in place in their workplaces. It is open to school management authorities to apply to the building unit of my Department for capital funding to address any specific safety concerns identified in the course of preparing or updating a safety statement. A circular letter in this matter was issued to management authorities in 2000.

Training in laboratory safety was made available to science teachers in 1998 and all schools were supplied with handbooks on school laboratory management and safe handling and disposal of chemicals at that time. Health and safety issues are addressed where relevant in the inservice programmes provided under the physical sciences initiative.