HC Deb 03 December 1974 vol 882 cc1339-40
12. Mr. Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will publish the recent report issued by the Factory Inspectorate under the Factories Act 1961 made by it following the fire at Courtaulds Red Scar Mill, Preston.

Mr. Harold Walker

There was a fire at Red Scar Mill, Preston, in July 1973, but no report on this occurrence has been prepared recently.

During the summer of 1974 a priority inspection of the plant was carried out by the Factory Inspectorate. Subsequently, follow-up action including discussions with management and with trade union representatives was taken. A confirmatory letter has been sent to the occupier as a routine part of the inspectorate's procedures but, in accordance with normal practice, it is not intended to publish this letter.

Mr. Thorne

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that there is considerable disquiet in the plant about the use of CS2 and H2S gases? Tests from time to time have tended to indicate that all is not as well as it might be. Is my hon. Friend aware of local concern about the fumes emanating from the factory? As the management is aware of the report, should not those employed in the plant also be aware of it?

Mr. Walker

I am aware of the concern that has been expressed about carbon disulphide and hydrogen sulphide fumes at the plant, and their emission. The letter that has gone to the occupier refers to that matter, amongst a number of other things. It is a comprehensive letter, covering many points. I mentioned that the inspectorate has had discussions not only with the management but with the trade unions and their representatives at the plant. The Health and Safety at Work Act provides for a more ready flow of information to work people, and that will become operative in the new year.

Several Hon. Members rose


Mr. Speaker

Order. I am sorry that I cannot call more hon. Members for supplementary questions. We have dealt with only 14 Questions in nearly 35 minutes.

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