§ Mr. Barron
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the National Coal Board has applied for any alteration or exemption to the Mines and Quarries Act or other such legislation relating to the coal mining industry in the last six months.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1985]: The National Coal Board has not applied during the last six months for any alterations of existing health and safety legislation for coal mines. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Mines and Quarries has received and granted exemptions although the precise numbers are not readily available. Such requests relate to individual mines and come from individual NCB colliery managers. Provisions in mining legislation empower the Health and Safety Executive to grant specific exemptions, so long as the safety of employees will not be prejudiced by the granting of such exemptions, and these exemptions are always subject to conditions on either scope or application and often time.