Pottery Industry (Dust Hazards)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1951.

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Photo of Sir Barnett Stross Sir Barnett Stross , Stoke-on-Trent Central 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give any information as to new methods of combating dangerous dust hazards in the pottery industry, especially in the tile industry; and what action he is taking to encourage their use.

Mr. Lee:

New or improved methods in regard to a wide variety of matters have been developed and are being increasingly applied in consultation with the factory department. They include new and better methods of rendering floors impervious and of cleaning them, and improvements in the design of vacuum cleaning appliances; improved transport of ground flint and clay dust: a new flint calcining process which avoids some dusty operations; and as regards tile works in particular, improvements in the arrangements for dust storage and supply and a newly developed process for preparing clay dust.

Photo of Sir Barnett Stross Sir Barnett Stross , Stoke-on-Trent Central

I thank my hon. Friend for the information he has given, but is he aware that two firms are using methods on the lines he himself has suggested, as the result of which it is virtually impossible for silicosis to affect workers in the tile-making industry, and will he do all that he can to see that his inspectors urge other firms to use these methods?

Mr. Lee:

I do not know whether the methods used by the two firms my hon. Friend has mentioned are known to us. I will make inquiries and see what I can do to help him.

Photo of Mr Malcolm McCorquodale Mr Malcolm McCorquodale , Epsom

Can the hon. Gentleman say how far these improved methods to which he has referred are being used? I can assure him that if he needs assistance from this House in applying these methods he will get it in full measure.

Mr. Lee:

I am quite sure that that is so. I am not quite certain which are the two firms my hon. Friend has mentioned, but I will look into the matter.

Photo of Sir Barnett Stross Sir Barnett Stross , Stoke-on-Trent Central

Is my hon. Friend not aware that in the report of the Chief Inspector of Factories these firms are specifically mentioned, although, of course, not by name, as having brought forward these specific ways of handling tile dust so that there is no risk at all to the worker?