Young Persons (Machine Injuries)

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

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Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

asked the Minister of Labour how many young persons were injured by woodworking machines, drilling machines and lathes in 1949; and whether he will list the types of machines where danger exists for young, inexperienced workers and the safety guards required.

Mr. Lee:

The statistics asked for are not available, and the suggestion in the second part of the Question is quite impracticable.

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

Possibly the hon. Gentleman has misunderstood the latter part of the Question, which asked whether he was prepared to proscribe these machines in the case of young persons?

Mr. Lee:

The difficulty is that one or two sorts of machines, such as drillers and lathes, cannot be proscribed. There is a whole series of different types of machines and some single-purpose machines produced for the purpose of a single employer's needs, and to begin to proscribe one or two of them would not make any difference to accident rates.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Do not the Factory Regulations already provide that every dangerous machine shall be securely guarded?

Mr. Lee:

Yes, certainly.

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

As the hon. Member is obviously misinformed, would he read the last report on this subject by the Chief Inspector of Factories?

Mr. Lee:

I may be misinformed, but I have worked at lathes and machines from the age of 14 until I came to this House.

Mr. J. T. Price:

Is the Minister aware that one of the most dangerous lethal machines in general use in this country is the bacon slicer in the grocer's shop, which is not covered by the provisions of the Factory Acts at all?