HC Deb 29 June 1960 vol 625 cc1379-80
34. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the inconvenience and possible danger to health caused by diesel fumes from trucks used in sheds at the West India Docks; to what extent the experimental use of filters has proved successful; if he has now completed his inquiries into the bearing of the Factories Act on this problem; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Peter Thomas)

Inquiries and tests undertaken by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate do not indicate the presence of a hazard to health which would justify making regulations under the Factories Acts. The Inspectorate will keep in touch with the Port of London Authority and the union representatives on practical methods of reducing such unpleasant conditions as arise from time to time. Experimental work is continuing on the filters and on other modifications to the exhaust system.

Mr. Driberg

Is the Minister aware that, while it is probably true that these fumes are unpleasant rather than dangerous for most of those who work part-time in these sheds, for those who are indoors all day, such as tally clerks, there may be a real danger to health, since these diesel fumes hang about low and the ventilation is not really enough to get rid of them?

Mr. Thomas

Chemical tests were made in the West India Docks, and they confirmed the Inspectorate's view that, as far as existing medical knowledge goes, there is no hazard to health in these sheds.