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Factory Accidents

Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the remarks of one of His Majesty's Judges at Leeds Assizes on 2nd May, 1940, on the careless and inefficient manner in which one of His Majesty's inspector's of factories inquired into an accident the day after it took place in which a young man lost a hand and forearm at the Yorkshire Copper Works, and was awarded £2,000 damages; and what disciplinary action he proposes to take?

The question at issue appears to be whether it would be practicable to guard a particular type of machine more fully without interfering unduly with the working of the machine. I am causing further inquiry to be made into this matter, but on the information before me I have no ground whatever for concluding that the inspector, who formed an opinion based on his expert knowledge and experience, was inefficient or careless.

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to a case at Leeds Assizes on 30th April, 3940, in which a man was awarded £1,450 damages against the Yorkshire Copper Works for the loss of an eye through a particle of copper entering it from an insufficiently guarded circular saw which His Majesty's Judge described as unsafe and defective although His Majesty's inspector of factories had frequently visited the place; and will he see that there are more numerous inspectors and more efficient inspections of these works to safeguard the employés against frequent accidents of this kind?

I understand that this case is likely to be the subject of an appeal to a higher court, and in the circumstances I think I should not comment upon it at the present stage.