76. Mr. David Adams
asked the Secretly for Mines whether he is aware of the increased number of coal miners' deaths due to falls of ground at the working face in the coal mines of the Northern division; and whether, as these deaths are shown to have increased whether calculated on a basis of manshifts worked, million tons raised, or per thousand persons employed, he can account for the fact that this increase is more serious and more uniform in the mines of the North of England than in other coalfields; and what steps are proposed in connection therewith?
§ The Secretary for Mines (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)
I regret that the figures for deaths due to falls of ground at the working face in the Northern Division for 1938 show some increase over the average for the years 1935 to 1937, but they are practically the same as the average rate for Great Britain. Everything possible is done to ensure the carrying out of the regulations designed to decrease the risk to life in the mines.
§ Mr. Paling
Is the increase in the number of deaths due to any increase in machinery at the coal face?
77. Mr. David Adams
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware of the serious increases in the numbers of coal-miners killed owing to blows from projected material resulting from shot-firing, and to accidents from electricity in 1938 in the mines of the Northern division; and what remedial measures have been applied or are in contemplation?
Is the Secretary of Mines considering the desirability of making the use of safety lamps obligatory as they are known to be a remedial measure?
§ 83. Mr. G. Macdonald
asked the Secretary for Mines whether the substantial increase in the output in the coal industry in Great Britain during the last three months has adversely affected the accident rate in the industry; and whether all is being done, that can he done, to prevent any relaxation or disregarding of the safety regulations?
§ Mr. Lloyd
For the year as a whole the figures of persons killed and seriously injured compare favourably with those in previous years. As regards the latter part of the Question, the unfortunate accidents at Valleyfield Colliery and Hatfield Main Colliery naturally affected the accident rate, but apart from those two accidents the increased output has been obtained without any material effect on the accident rate.
§ Mr. Macdonald
Is the hon. Member aware that there have been complaints in the mining areas about the relaxation of safety regulations and will he take action in the matter?