HC Deb 17 March 1891 vol 351 cc1225-6

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the evidence at the inquest on George Wells, a platelayer of the North London Railway Company, who was killed at Highbury Station at 9 a.m. on 6th February, from which it appears that Wells came on duty at 6 a.m. on 5th February, worked till 5.30 p.m., resumed duty at 11 p.m. on the 5th, and would, if he had not been killed, have continued on duty till 5.30 p.m. on the 6th, and thus was on duty no less than 21½ hours, divided by an interval of only 5½ hours' rest, up to the time of his death, and would, if the accident had not occurred, have been on duty for 30 hours, with an interval of only 5½ hours; and whether the Board of Trade have made representations to the North London Railway Company, with a view to the prevention of such excessive hours of work; and whether he will consider the advisability of requiring Railway Companies, in the Reports they send in of fatalities and injuries occurring to individual workmen on their lines, to state the number of hours at which such workmen have been employed previous to the occurrences?


My attention has been called to the fatal accident referred to, and I have received a communication from the Railway Company on the subject. The company state that on February 5th the deceased platelayer had been working at his ordinary duties from 7 in the morning until 5 o'clock in the afternoon; but, after having rested until half-past 11, was specially employed on overtime in a relaying operation, which could not be carried out until after the passenger traffic had ceased. They attribute the accident to failure on the part of another company's driver to give warning. I shall be glad to show the hon. Member the correspondence on the subject. I will consider the question of the Reports.