§ 68. Mr. ARTHUR HENDERSON
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a Government inspector, in giving evidence before the Departmental Committee on accidents, recommended that the whole of the staging, both outside and inside a vessel, should be put up by skilled men with a sufficient number of labourers, all employed direct by the firm, and that 1858 these men should exercise systematic supervision over the erection and maintenance of all staging, ladders, and gangways during the whole time the vessel is on the stocks, and that the Committee practically endorsed this recommendation; whether any action has been taken to put the recommendation into effect; if not, will he state the reason why; and whether he is aware that the number of serious and fatal accidents due to the lack of efficient staging is increasing?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Report of the Accidents Committee sets out on page 56 the steps which had already been taken to give effect to the recommendations of the two inspectors who had made inquiry into the question of shipbuilding accidents. The further investigation referred to in the Report has since been taken in hand, and the report of the inspectors is expected very shortly. The inspectors inform me that a considerable improvement has already been effected both in the system of erecting stages and in the kind of stages used, and that although the total number of shipbuilding accidents has increased recently owing to the great activity in the trade, the reports indicate that the number of serious accidents due to defective staging has not increased in the same proportion.