HC Deb 14 May 1895 vol 33 c1160

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the workers in flax mills find the respirators they have been recently required to use quite unbearable, consequent on their impeding respiration and becoming dirty and offensive, so that they wear them round their necks instead of over their mouths; whether the proper ventilation of the mills, by exhaust fans and otherwise, does not make the use of such respirators unnecessary; and, whether he will cause inquiry to be made as to the relative advantages and disadvantages of ventilators and respirators?


In reply to my hon. Friend's question, I have to say that the respirators used in flax mills are light and simple, and can easily be washed. Cases have occurred of operatives failing to wear the respirators, as required by the Rules, but steps have been taken to secure that this is done. Good ventilation is most desirable; but it does not, in the opinion of the Inspectors, dispense in all processes with the need for respirators. The matter was made the subject of full inquiry before the rules for flax and linen factories were established. Any suggestions for their improvement from practical men will receive careful consideration.