HC Deb 04 February 1929 vol 224 cc1418-9W

asked the Home Secretary what decision he has arrived at in the matter of placing under the Workmen's Compensation Act certain operations in the artificial silk industry as coming under the industrial diseases section?


I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the question he asked on this subject on 17th May last, and to my correspondence with him in September when I explained the whole position very fully. No fresh facts have since been brought to my notice which would lead me to modify the views then expressed. The only two specific ailments which have so far been brought to my notice in connection with the arti- ficial silk industry are conjunctivitis of the eyes and sores on the hands which are sometimes caused by the acid. As regards the conjunctivitis, there do not appear to be any sufficient grounds for scheduling this disease. Compensation is not payable under the Act unless the worker is disabled for at least three days, and I am advised that even the severer cases of this affection do not as a rule disable the workman for more than one or two days and that where in exceptional cases it has caused more prolonged disablement, it has been due to actual splashes of the acid into the eye which would constitute an accident within the meaning of the Act. The sores on the hands would appear to be covered by the diseases already scheduled under the Act as dermatitis or ulceration of the skin produced by dust or liquids, but these sores, if treated promptly, should not incapacitate the workman.

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