§ 86. Dr. Stross
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that, although the total number of fatal and other accidents in the coal mines is the lowest ever recorded, the percentage due to the use of explosives remains very high; and what plans are being considered to lessen the general use of explosives.109W
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
I am aware that the number of accidents due to the use of explosives has not shown the marked downwards trend of accidents due to other causes. This, no doubt, results from the fact that the amount of explosives used has increased by 40 per cent. since 1938.
I have drawn the attention of the National Coal Board to the urgent necessity of using less explosives; the question has been considered by the National Consultative Council; the divisional boards are reviewing the arrangements at all their collieries; the Board are developing the use of machinery and appliances which do not require explosives. I am taking steps to improve the education, training and supervision of all who fire shots, and to tighten up the relevant statutory requirements.