§ 2. Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
asked the Secretary for Mines when the new code of regulations for mine lighting is to be put into force; and what the effect of these regulations will be?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
These regulations were formally made on 1st June, and will be published with an explanatory memorandum in the course of a few days.
The general effect of the regulations will be to facilitate and require a substantial improvement in mine lighting. All safety lamps used at the working face and for other specified work in the face area must satisfy higher standards of candlepower, and these standards must be reasonably maintained in pit service. On haulage roads a carefully controlled extension of fixed electric lights is permitted subject to new conditions designed to ensure safety against the risk of explosion; and whitewashing at junctions, passbyes and other important traffic points, as well as machinery rooms, is made compulsory. Other provisions of the regulations deal with lighting at the surface and at shaft insets and sidings.
One part of the regulations comes into force on 1st July and the other parts on 1st September, except that a period is allowed for the replacement of the large number of safety lamps now in use which fall short of the new lighting standards.
I take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the effective work done in many quarters—some outside the industry itself—which has combined to make possible a measure which I believe will prove to be a notable one in the history of health and safety legislation.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House what the standard of comparison is or what period of time is allowed during which the improved standard will come into operation?
§ Mr. GRENFELL
When the Minister is substituting lamps of higher lighting power for lamps of less illuminating power, will be make provision, where electric lamps are substituted for oil lamps, that there is a sufficient number of oil lamps or automatic gas protectors installed?