asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if in view of the 13,571 visits made by factory inspectors to the 9,598 registered premises in the year ended September 1960 he will state the number of male and female inspectors engaged in such inspections during 1960; and whether he is aware that the amount of time devoted by each inspector to each inspection is excessively restricted as a result of his Department's policy.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Factory Inspections.
The number of factory inspectors serving on 30th September, 1960, was, as indicated in the Report for that year, one chief inspector, four senior inspectors (one of whom is a woman) and thirteen ordinary inspectors, including two women. The number of ordinary inspectors is at present fifteen, including three women.
I do not agree that the amount of time devoted to inspections is excessively restricted.
Surely the Minister does not suggest that three female inspectors are sufficient to look after the interests of thousands of females working in industry in this country?
It depends upon what the Deputy means by "looking after the interests". They perform the functions of an inspector and I am satisfied the job being done is being well done.
Surely it is indicative of the fact that they are not being properly looked after when there have not been two visits in one year to each factory, according to the Minister's own figures?
That may happen in any year in respect of some factories where conditions appear to be all right in accordance with the Act. In so far as the number of visits per inspector is concerned, we compare very favourably with the average in Britain.