HC Deb 14 April 1959 vol 603 cc840-1

In subsection (1) of section twenty-eight of the principal Act (which requires certain precautions where dust liable to explode on ignition may escape into any workroom) the words " into any workroom " shall be omitted and for the words " the dust " there shall be substituted the words " any dust that may escape in spite of the enclosure ".—[Mr. Iain Macleod.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The new Clause is concerned with amending Section 28 of the 1937 Act. Incidentally, I did not intend to be discourteous when discussing the last new Clause. I will, of course, look at the point raised by the hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. MacDermot). That I will do so is, I take it, assumed from silence on such occasions.

In the 1937 Act, subsection (1) of Section 28 lays down three specific requirements which must be taken as precautions with respect to explosive or inflammable dust, gas, vapour or substance. In Committee, it was argued with great force that one should not limit, as the 1937 Act does, this possibly dangerous accumulation of dust to the workroom itself, because the rooms that may surround the workroom could have such an accumulation of dust and with serious or fatal effects. I agree with that in principle.

The way I have done it in the new Clause is by omitting the words " into any workroom " and there will be a consequential Amendment to the Second Schedule. The effect of this is that the accumulation of dust must not take place practically anywhere in the factory. This can be achieved if we simply omit the words into any workroom "where they occur in the subsection of the principal Act.

Mr. Lee

There is little that I need add to what the Minister has said. As the right hon. Gentleman pointed out, we discussed this matter in Committee. It was felt that merely to confine, so to speak, the safety of the workmen to the workshop itself left out of consideration other parts of the factory in which explosive dust could easily accumulate. There could be many places, in narrow corridors and the like, where a vacuum is established and an accumulation of such dust could occur, perhaps, even more so than in the workroom itself. We were glad, therefore, that the Minister agreed to seek to meet the point on Report.

The words that the Minister has put before us today achieve that purpose and we are grateful. In the phase into which we are moving, the possibility of there being a danger of explosive dust in works lops is greater than it used to be as a result of the different types of processes which we now see in industry. Therefore, we feel it is all the more welcome, and is applicable to the new dispensation in industry.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added t6 the Bill.