HC Deb 08 March 1949 vol 462 cc965-6
25. Mr. Elwyn Jones

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the annual report of the Chief Inspector of Factories for the year 1947 stating that guards to protect against serious injury in factories are frequently unobtainable except after delay, sometimes of several years; whether there has been any improvement in the supply of such guards; and what steps have been and are being taken to deal with this problem.

Mr. Isaacs

During 1948, as steel output improved, it was found possible to arrange a special scheme for providing material for guards on the basis of certificates of factory inspectors. I understand that this has cut down delays in guard manufacture, and that the position is now much easier. It will continue to be closely watched.

Mr. Elwyn Jones

Is my right hon. Friend taking any steps regarding the manufacture of these guards by any Government agency?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir; a new factory was opened at Caerphilly about a month ago for this purpose.

Mr. John Lewis

Is it not a fact that there is a statutory obligation on the manufacturers of new machines to see that they are supplied with adequate guards and fencing?

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the absence of these guards causes an increased number of accidents and also increases the number of claims in respect of them and the defences against such claims, and is not that an added reason for haste in increasing the supply of these guards?

Mr. Isaacs

If my hon. and learned Friend will look at my answer to the Question and to the supplementary question, he will see that we are doing everything we can.

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