HC Deb 25 April 1907 vol 173 cc241-2
MR. STEADMAN (Finsbury, Central)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to the death of a man named Meakin on board the s.s. "Hyson" on 9th April last, by becoming entangled in the machinery of the ship's winch, owing to the place where the man was working being obscured by escaping steam from the cylinders of the winch, and the boy in charge of the winch being inexperienced; if so, if a breach of the dock regulations have been committed, what steps have been taken for such a breach; and what provision is being made to enforce the dock regulations.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) This Question was put to me yesterday by the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness, and I replied as follows:—I have received a Report with regard to this accident. No breach of Regulation 14, relating to exhaust steam, or of Regulation 16, fixing the age below which persons may be employed as winch drivers, appears to have been committed. The escape of steam that occurred in this case was due apparently to the blowing out of the packing glands. The immediate cause of the accident was the catching of the clothes of the deceased in the shaft of the winch. It has not been the custom, I understand to fence this part of the winch, which has not hitherto bean regarded as dangerous, and the; inspector states that no accident of the kind has occurred previously during the eighteen months he has been in the district. I am, however, causing inquiry to be made as to whether it would be practicable to do so. I have already stated in reply to Questions in the House the steps which I have taken to strengthen the inspection of docks; in particular, the staff of the Liverpool district, where the accident occurred, has been increased by an additional inspector's assistant.