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Mine-Workers (Dermatitis)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps are being taken to deal with the increasng number of dermatitis cases in the mining industry?

of miners employed in each county during the same periods?

The figures relating to the number of mines at work in the years 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941 are given below, together with those relating to the number of miners employed in 1938. It would not be in the public interest to publish figures of miners employed in years later than 1938, but I am sending them to my hon. Friend for his private information. Comparable figures for the year 1942 are not yet available either in respect of the number of mines at work or of the number of miners employed.

Any epidemic of this disease, however small, which is reported among a particular set of workers at a particular mine is investigated medically in relation to the working conditions, and ameliorative measures taken so far as possible. But the large majority of the cases appear to be sporadic in the sense that they comprise, in ones and twos, workers having many different occupations and employed at many different mines. These cases present a difficult problem which will be further investigated through my medical officers of mines who are now taking up their duties in the coalfields.