HC Deb 20 February 1969 vol 778 cc153-4W
Mr. R. W. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (1) if she will take steps to prohibit the fixing of bars to factory windows and to ensure the removal of such bars at present so fixed;

(2) what action is being taken by the Factory Inspectorate on the frequency of visits made to factories considered to have a high fire risk;

(3) what instructions her department have issued to the Factory Inspectorate to ensure control of the storage and use of foam plastics and other inflammable materials which give off toxic fumes when ignited;

(4) if she is satisfied with the working of the Factory Inspectorate in relation to the requirements contained in Sections 40 and 49 of the Factories Act 1961; and if she will make a statement;

(5) if she has studied the report of the proceedings at the fatal accident inquiry concerning Messrs. A. J. & F. Stern Ltd. of Glasgow, details of which are in her possession; and if she will make a statement.

(6) if she will make a statement on the responsibility for fire prevention and enforcement of statutory regulations relating to fire between the authorities at present responsible.

Mr. Fernyhough

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker) on 14th February, 1969. My right hon. Friend will make a statement to the House as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I should like to emphasise that the law already contains stringent requirements about fire precautions, and it was the finding of the jury in the Fatal Accident Inquiry that the deplorable accident at the premises of A. J. & F. Stern, in Glasgow, was attributable to the fault and negligence of the employer who was in breach of sub-sections 1 and 7 of Section 48 of the Factories Act, 1961, which impose respectively obligations to keep escape doors unlocked and to provide a fire alarm.—[Vol. 777, c. 389–90.]