HC Deb 08 November 1945 vol 415 cc1439-40
32. Dr. Morgan

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether any reports have yet been made to him of the number of cases with an increasing incidence of alleged Raynaud's disease or dead hand or disabilities classified as vibrational diseases as the result of handling by work men at work of vibrating rotating machines in a factory at Trafford Park, Manchester; what medical inquiries or investigations have been or are being conducted by his departmental officers; whether he is aware that many such cases have been so diagnosed and certified by local medical practitioners; and that claims for compensation cannot succeed because the disease is not scheduled and the judge in common law cases will not accept the medical evidence as sufficient.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I have no information in regard to such cases at a factory at Trafford Park. Extensive investigations have been carried out by the Medical Inspector of Factories and the Medical Research Council, in collaboration, into the effect of electrically-driven vibrating tools in factories in Lancashire and Cheshire. These have not so far disclosed evidence of disability beyond frequently-recurring transient effects, which in some cases may be sufficient to cause the man to seek a change of employment.

I am advised that there is not as yet sufficient evidence that Raynaud's disease is so specific to employment as to justify its inclusion in the Schedule of Industrial Diseases under the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Dr. Morgan

Is the Minister aware that there is one trade union that produces, today at least 20 cases of persons handling vibratory machines in Lancashire?

Mr. Griffiths

I should be obliged if the hon. Member would submit particulars of those cases. Knowing his interest and experience in these matters, I shall be glad to discuss this subject with him.