HC Deb 27 February 1930 vol 235 cc2396-7

asked the Home Secretary, whether he can give, for 1922, 1928, 1927 and 1928, the number of cases of baker's dermatitis; whether, as between the earlier and later years, there has been any marked increase; if so, what steps are being taken to arrest the in crease; and from what date the disease became notifiable under the Workmen's Compensation Act?


As the answer is a rather long one, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it with the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer;

The numbers of cases in which bakers obtained certificates of disablement under the Workmen's Compensation Act from the certifying surgeons in respect of dermatitis in the years mentioned are as follows: In 1922, 102; in 1926, 334; in 1927, 375; and in 1928, 389. The last few years, therefore, show a marked increase as compared with 1922, but this may be largely due to the new Order which came into force in January, 1923, and which relaxed considerably the conditions under which compensation for dermatitis had previously been payable. The disease was first brought under the Act by an Order dated 6th May, 1916.

The main precautions against the disease are, I am advised, care of the hands and arms and scrupulous personal cleanliness, and in order to promote this a Welfare Order was made under the Factory Acts, and came into force in May, 1927, which, among other things, requiries the provision in bakehouses of suitable washing facilities and the prominent display of the official cautionary notice as to the prevention and cure of dermatitis among workers handling flour and sugar. These provisions have secured improved conditions of work and a wider knowledge of dermatitis in the industry, and should do much to arrest the incidence of the disease. I understand also that co-operation is being given by a joint committee, consisting of representatives of the National Association of Master Bakers, Confectioners and Caterers and the Amalgamated Union of Operative Bakers and Confectioners, which, with the assistance of one of the medical inspectors of factories, has been considering the question.