HC Deb 13 June 1939 vol 348 cc1083-4
24. Mr. Tinker

asked the Secretary for Mines whether notification of outbreaks of fire on the coal-face or in the gob are sent to his Department immediately such fires are discovered; and will he consider exercising the power given to him under Section 81 of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, to order, by regulation, that such out- breaks shall be notified to the inspector for the division and also to the person nominated by the workers as set down for notices of accidents in Section 80?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir. The law at present requires that all cases of fire below-ground and of certain other dangerous occurrences shall be reported forthwith to the inspector of the division. If loss of life or serious personal injury results, then notice must also be given to a duly appointed workmen's representative, but if no serious personal injury is caused there is no obligation on the management to notify the workmen's representative. I have no power to alter the law in this respect, but I will note the matter for consideration in connection with the preparation of the new Safety Bill.

Mr. Tinker

Am I to understand from the hon. Gentleman's reply that notifica- tion of fires on the coal-face must be sent to his Department, and, if so, did an inspector visit the Ashley Green Collieries when the fire broke out there?

Mr. Lloyd

I could not give a detailed answer. I have no reason to believe that the regulations were not carried out, but I would not like to give a definite answer without notice.

Mr. G. Griffiths

How long does it take to put out a gob fire after there has been notification?

Mr. Lloyd

I cannot answer that question without notice.