HC Deb 09 August 1911 vol 29 c1146

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to page 6 of the Report of the Departmental Committee upon the use of Electricity in Mines, where it is stated that almost every electrical accident is preventable, and, as long as the accident list contains a proportion of preventible accidents, there is room for improvement; whether, on account of the badly-constructed or badly-maintained apparatus in our mines, he will consider the advisability of appointing an adequate number of competent electrical inspectors so as to examine electrical apparatus in mines and to ensure that such apparatus is of proper type, and also maintained in such a condition as to preserve the safety of the workers in the mines of this country?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)

I am aware of the statement by the Home Office Committee referred to in the question. The responsibility for the provision of electrical apparatus of proper type and its maintenance in a safe condition rests. primarily with the management of the mine, and the new rules which the Committee have recommended and which I am taking steps to bring into force propose further and more stringent requirements to ensure safety of construction and maintenance in the case of the electrical plant used in mines. It will be the duty of the inspectors to see that these requirements are carried out, and adequate provision has already been made for the purpose. An electrical inspector of mines was appointed in 1908, whose whole time is given to this work. Many of the other inspectors have the necessary electrical knowledge, and the possession of such knowledge has for some years been a condition of the appointment of all new-inspectors; and, as I have already informed the House, a large increase of the inspectorate has recently been sanctioned.