§ 7. Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Minister of Labour whether recordings are taken 1397 of illness, fatigue and injuries which may be caused by speeding up of factory and other workers; and whether employers are informed of any evil consequences arising therefrom?
§ Mr. Bevin
Factory employers are encouraged, as a part of their arrangements for proper supervision in the interests of health and efficiency, to keep records of sickness and absenteeism which may afford indications of excessive fatigue or of something else amiss in the factory or in a particular department of it. It would not usually be possible without close inquiry at the particular factory, which would primarily be a matter for the management, to ascertain how far any evident fatigue or ill-health or accidents are attributable to speed of working as distinct from long hours and other factors, but the importance of optimum rates of work from the point of view both of efficiency and of accident prevention is stressed in the Industrial Health Research Board Report on Industrial Health in War, which received wide publicity, as well as in other publications.
§ Mr. Davies
While thanking my right hon. Friend for that answer, may I ask him to bear in mind that there are some National Health Insurance approved societies which cover the whole of the workers in a given factory, and is it not possible to get some reflection of what is happening from their statistics?
§ Mr. Bevin
I am not aware of any approved society that covers all the workers in a particular works. My experience in the administration of approved society work is that the people working in a particular works may be in insurance companies, friendly societies and trade unions. I have never known one society to cover everybody.