HC Deb 21 February 1939 vol 344 cc203-5
64. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been drawn to the continued increase in the incidence of silicosis in the South Wales coalfield as revealed by the fact that in 1938 out of 434 certificates of disablement by silicosis 382 were issued to miners in the South Wales coalfield; and whether he can indicate what steps are being taken by His Majesty's inspectors in the Cardiff and Swansea divisions to prevent silicosis?

Captain Crookshank

I am aware of the position in regard to silicosis in South Wales and it is a matter for grave concern. Continuous efforts are being made to improve the conditions, notably as regards ventilation generally and the suppression of dust during drilling and after blasting in stone and the mitigation of dust on the travelling roads. A further recent development is the introduction in substantial numbers of the new Mark IV respirator sponsored by the Government.

65. Mr. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of miners certified to be disabled by industrial diseases in 1938; whether any of the scheduled diseases shows an increase in its incidence; and how these figures compare with previous years?

Captain Crookshank

Particulars of the number of cases of industrial disease amongst miners for which compensation was paid during 1938 will not be available for some months. The most recent information is that which was supplied to the hon. Member in reply to his question on 26th July last.

70. Mr. Mainwaring

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can provide a statement showing the average age, when certified, of miners suffering from silicosis, and the average duration before death ensues after certification for the period 1925 to date?

Captain Crookshank

Particulars are available only since 1st June, 1931. During the period from that date to 31st December, 1938, the average age of coal-miners when certified as disabled from silicosis was approximately 50 years. Since 1st June, 1931, disablement certificates have been issued in about 1,850 cases and of these cases about 220 have subsequently been certified as having died from silicosis. As there are more than 1,600 cases in which no certificate of death from silicosis has been issued, it is not possible to give any figure for the average period which elapses between the issue of the disablement and death certificates.

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