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Clause 24—(Limitation On Number Of Persons To Be Employed At Coal, &C, Mines In Places With Single Exits)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 1 July 1954

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I beg to move, in page 18, line 22, at the end, to insert:

Provided that no such provision as aforesaid shall be made with respect to a mine by the Minister or an inspector unless the Minister or the inspector, as the case may be, is satisfied that no persons employed in the mine will be exposed to undue risk in consequence of the making of such provision.
This Amendment is a little more than consequential. It gives effect to an undertaking given by my right hon. Friend in Committee and concerns relaxations of the general safety regulations which provide that there should be at least two independent ways of escape from a part of the mine in which more than nine persons are employed. When that is done it is laid down that a relaxation should not be authorised unless the single means of escape does not result in the persons being exposed to undue risk.

The question of undue risk is one about which the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. Blyton) was particularly anxious, and I hope we have met his point. There is also an Amendment down in his name dealing with "inconvenience," and if he formally moves it we shall be happy to accept it.

I beg to move as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after "risk," to insert "or inconvenience."

As the Parliamentary Secretary has told us, this Amendment deals with a mine where there is only one road out and where a miner takes a risk greater than the normal risk of his employment lt is generally recognised that if there is only one way out there is sure to be some upset in ventilation. We wish to put in the word "inconvenience," so that, in circumstances like that, we shall not have men working in very high humidity. For that reason we put down this Amendment, and I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for accepting it.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment agreed to.

Proposed words, as amended, there inserted in the Bill.