HC Deb 05 June 1934 vol 290 cc742-4

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of examinations made at collieries by workmen's inspectors appointed under Section 16 of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, in each of the inspectorate divisions of England, Scotland and Wales, for the years 1932 and 1933, giving the number of accumulations of firedamp reported during such examination?


As I have a long reply to give, including a tabular statement, with the hon. member's permission, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Will the reply contain a statement as to whether or not His Majesty's Inspectors of Mines have an opportunity of verifying the reports of the workmen's inspectors?


My hon. Friend had better await the long statement which I propose to circulate.

Following is the re-ply and tabular statement:

Following the Debate on the Mines Department estimates an analysis on this point had been specially made from the reports of the workmen's inspectors for 1933 and is printed below.

I would point out that any classification of this kind can only be approximate, and that it cannot take any account of the extent and gravity of the defects in ventilation reported to have been found. In many instances where the defect was slight and temporary, it is stated in the report of the workmen's inspectors that the defect was remedied before they had left the spot by attention to the brattice cloths or hurdle sheets. In some of the instances in which places were fenced off, the percentage of firedamp reported by the workmen's inspectors was less than 2½.

In view of the amount of work involved, and as the result is not likely to show much difference, I do not propose to make a similar analysis of the reports for 1932, unless there is a general desire that this should be done.

Inspections on behalf of Workmen during Year, 1933.
Inspection Division. Number of Reports of Inspections. Number of Reports which called attention to any defect in Ventilation. Nature of Report. Number of cases in which places were fenced off because of:—
Firedamp. General, e.g., "Ventilation in need of improvement." "Ventilation only moderate" due to:—
At Faces (including cutting side). In Rippings. In Cavities In Roof Breaks. At Faults. In Goaf In Returns. Firedamp. Blackdamp. Fumes of Explosive. Heat. Firedamp. Black-damp.
Scotland 58 6 4 1 1 1
Northern 1,696 43 14 7 1 1 8 11 1 3 4
Yorkshire 125 49 19 13 6 1 3 3 3 1 2
N. Midland 49
N. Western 18 6 6
Cardiff and Forest of Dean. 809 23 5 12 1 2 3
Swansea 101 11 6 2 3 4
Midland and Southern. 24 3 1 2
TOTAL 2,880 141 44 20 19 2 4 5 3 14 22 2 6 9 5