Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The regulations for the exclusion of women do not apply to quarries and open workings, and some witnesses suggested that they should be extended to them. In their opinion the limitation to under ground workings gives an unfair advantage in the market to coal raised from quarries. In particular, concerns working second class coal feel themselves handicapped in competing for the railway market with coal from railway collieries, much of which is got from open workings. This last grievance has been removed by the voluntary adoption by the Railway Board of the substance of these regulations in the quarries under their control, and we have only to consider the question in reference to quarries in private ownership. Our view is that the existing regulations involve as great a disturbance of the economic position of women in the coalfield as is desirable at present, and we are not in favour of their extension to quarries on any grounds other than those of health. We think that arguments based on health considerations would be met by limitation of the permissible load for women where the depth and lead exceed a certain number of feet. The exact standards are a matter for expert consideration and we would leave them to be fixed by the Mining Boards on the advice of their technical and medical experts. We recommend that the Board, having fixed the standards, should register those workings in which they find they are exceeded, and require the managers of them, by regulation, to serve out to women in their employ baskets of a size not to exceed, when loaded, the maximum weight prescribed. We do not recommend any restriction where the depth and lead are less than the prescribed standard.