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Clause 55—(Lighting)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 1 July 1954

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7.0 p.m.

I beg to move, in page 38, line 13, to leave out from "provision," to the end of line 21. and to insert:

"of
(i) suitable and sufficient lighting (whether natural or artificial) in every part of the mine above ground in or through which persons work or pass;
(ii) suitable and sufficient artificial lighting in every part of the mine below ground in or through which persons work or pass, other than a part in which the installation of artificial lighting is inadvisable for reasons of safety or is unnecessary because of the amount of light emitted by lamps normally carried by persons who work in or pass through it or for any other reason."
I move the Amendment in accordance with a promise made by my right hon. Friend in Committee to try to find some way of introducing the words "suitable and sufficient" with reference to lighting. We had a good deal of discussion about the degree and method of lighting, particularly below ground. It was agreed that it was not necessary, even though it might be practicable, to light places where the miners were not necessarily working but might be passing to and fro and which were sufficiently lit already by miners' lamps. We have, by this Amendment, introduced the phrase we were particularly asked to introduce, "suitable and sufficient," and I think the House will consider that by the redrafting we now have this provision in a more agreeable and a simpler fashion.

I want to express my appreciation, and that of my hon. Friends, of the Minister's response in this matter. There is reliable evidence that has been revealed to us in the last few years that improved lights underground has reduced the number of cases of nystagmus. I hope that when the Minister makes regulations he will see to it that every conceivable thing is done to make it possible for the best lighting that can be procured to be installed. We appreciate that there is a desire on the Minister's part to improve lighting.

I would add another word of thanks for the Amendment. Improved lighting does reduce the incidence of nystagmus and generally contributes to the prevention of all accidents, and it also helps to increase production, and, of course, contributes to the general welfare and happiness in the pits. One of the first things the National Coal Board did when it was set up was to make large-scale experiments with fluorescent lighting.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 38, line 23, after "lighting," insert "thereat."—[ Mr. Joynson-Hicks.]