Mining Apparatus.

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 6th December 1938.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he will consider issuing a regulation that no cast-iron shall be used in the manufacture of apparatus for use in mines; and that all designs, and a specimen of apparatus to be manufactured for use in mines, shall be approved in the first place by the Safety in Mines Research Station, Buxton?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

Cast-iron has many proper uses in mining apparatus and the general prohibition of its use would not be justified. The suitability of the materials used in the construction of flameproof electrical apparatus is one of the matters dealt with in the examination and tests which govern the official certification of such apparatus, and exception is taken to the use of cast-iron or any other material for purposes for which it is considered to be unsuitable.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

Is it not a fact that a recent report published as a result of an investigation into an explosion stated that it was largely due to the use of cast-iron, and in view of that, and seeing that some of the biggest manufacturers are now adopting other methods of manufacturing apparatus, could it not be made more universal?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

As the hon. Member refers to a report, I should like to refresh my mind about it.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he has considered the need to have all apparatus intended for use in mines to be made flameproof and that the designs and methods of testing by manufacturers must be approved by the Safety in Mines Research Department, Buxton?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

Yes, Sir. Official testing and certification of flameproof electrical apparatus and electrical signalling apparatus have been carried out on a voluntary basis for some years past. General regulations have recently been made requiring that all electrical signalling apparatus for use in seams in which safety lamps are required to be used must be of types so certified. The question of requiring that other electrical apparatus shall in similar circumstances be of certified flameproof design is one of the matters which has been submitted to the Royal Commission, and will be considered in the light of any recommendations they may make on the subject.