asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the report of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council on vibration syndrome will become available; and if she will make a statement.
The Report is published today (Cmnd. 5965). The majority of the council concluded that they could not recommend the prescription under the Industrial Injuries Act of any disease caused by vibrating machines, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has accepted this conclusion.The council's terms of reference required it to consider whether
"diseases of bones, joints, muscles, blood vessels or nerves of the hand, arm or shoulder (including Raynaud's Phenomenon) caused by vibrating machines should be prescribed".
It found that the only condition about which any question of prescription arose was vibration-induced white finger (VWF) and its considerations concentrated on that condition. The council examined a substantial body of evidence, including that arising from two special research projects undertaken on its behalf. but found no way round what it reports as being the basic problem, viz., that there are no objective clinical tests available or likely to be devised which would reliably identify VWF attributable to occupation in a particular person and enable the disablement resulting from it to be assessed with reasonable accuracy.