HC Deb 07 April 1971 vol 815 cc433-4
22. Sir J. Gilmour

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what information is available to him as to the number of chain-saw operators in Scotland who are suffering from the form of vibration effect known as white fingers; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Edward Taylor

The only information available suggests that up to one-third of the Forestry Commission's regular chain-saw operators in Scotland are affected by vibration syndrome in varying degrees. Vibration may be reduced by improved techniques and suitably modified saws; the Commission is introducing both.

Sir J. Gilmour

As there must be much unknown information about chain-saw operators not in the Forestry Commission, would my hon. Friend consider whether some arrangement could be made for an alteration to the chain-saws now in use so as to stop this symptom from developing?

Mr. Taylor

The Forestry Commission has successfully encouraged some saw manufacturers to develop anti-vibration mountings and is replacing its own saws with suitably modified models. Naturally, we hope that other manufacturers will follow suit.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

Surely the hon. Gentleman has made an error by saying "only one-third". He must be very concerned that it is as much as one-third.

Mr. Taylor

Of course I am, and I did not use those words. What I said was "up to one-third".