HC Deb 18 April 1923 vol 162 cc2060-1
120 and 121. Mr. CAIRNS

asked the Home Secretary (1) if he is aware that 1,475 fatalities have occurred in the last 10 years in the shipbuilding trade of this country, and that the number of men injured during the last 10 years is 84,789 men: will he institute an inquiry at, once with a view of decreasing these figures to the lowest possible level;

(2) if he is aware of the dissatisfaction existing in the shipping industry building section at the way the staging is erected and of the way in which the ladders are lashed; and, if so, will he see to the appointing of competent men to do that kind of work in order to save life?


The figures cited by the hon. Member correspond with those given by me in reply to questions asked on the 6th and 22nd of last month except that the figure for non-fatal injuries does not include cases arising in the years 1915 to 1919 for which, as I pointed out, no figures are available. As I stated in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Smethwick on the 12th of this month, I am about to appoint a Departmental Committee to inquire into the circumstances and causes of accidents in this industry and to report what further measures for their prevention are desirable. I am aware that the arrangements adopted at certain works in regard to staging have been the subject of dispute between employers and workers, but so far as the Factory Department is aware, the requirements on the subject in the existing Regulations are complied with. Any proposals for the amendment of these Regulations will be a matter for consideration by the Departmental Committee.


When will the Committee be set up?


As soon as possible. I have got the names of nearly all the members who have agreed to serve— I think all except one.

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