HC Deb 10 November 1921 vol 148 cc606-7

asked the Home Secretary if his attention has been called to the increased number of fatal accidents occurring on board ship, loading or discharging in docks, resulting from unprotected hatchways; if he is aware that these accidents arise through neglect of the dock regulations; and will he take the necessary steps to see that the regulations are strictly observed?


My attention has not been called to any increase in the number of fatal accidents due to unprotected hatchways. The number of such accidents during the present year has not yet been separately tabulated, but the total number of fatal accidents in docks is less than half that for the corresponding period of 1920. As stated in the recently published Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories, greatly increased attention has been given to docks, and I may add that four prosecutions for unprotected hatchways or openings have already been taken this year.


Has not the right hon. Gentleman had reports submitted to him showing an increased number of fatal accidents arising from this cause; has he not had complaints of the total disregard of the dock Regulations with regard to hatchways being protected, and has he not been applied to to take action against certain shipowners for this very offence of allowing hatchways to be unprotected?


I have already said that my attention has not been called to any increased number of accidents, but increased attention has been paid to this source of danger. Four prosecutions have actually been instituted, and no doubt each of those cases involved complaints such as my hon. Friend refers to.