« ZurückWeiter »
as the line of the hitch, and while Hoggan was apparently holing at the face the water burst out the coal, which struck him, and he was borne along with the force to C, where he was afterwards found. Toban, who with another drawer, was filling a tub with coal at B, got into the flood and was carried right to the main dook and was drowned. The men who worked in the level D and upset, had great difficulty in reaching a place of safety, and to get to level road above had to keep close by the left side of stoop.
The manager and officials were aware of the water in the slope dook, and the former was of opinion the quantity was not dangerous, and did not put the provisions of General Rule 13 into force. At the Fatal Accidents Inquiry held subsequently the manager stated that having met with an injury he was unable to go underground for ten days prior to the accident to superintend operations. This did not appear to me to be a valid reason for the non-compliance of the rule, as a narrow place with bores should have been begun weeks before.
A calculation of the cubic space occupied by the water in the main dook after the burst showed that quantity of water was about 54,000 gallons, and that it filled the slope dook for a distance of 105 feet, giving a statical pressure of 8.3 lbs. per square inch. The total pressure on the piece of coal displaced and which struck Hoggan, was fully four tons. Proceedings were taken against the manager for a contravention of General Rule 13, and he was convicted, but the Sheriff let him off with an admonition.
Three persons were killed due to this cause, and all happened in connection with coal-cutting machines, Two of the cases were caused by the cutting part, the picks of which caught the men while in motion, and inflicted terrible injuries. The third case was caused by part of the hauling gear giving way while cutting was in progress.
There were two cases of death by electric shock, and both were caused in connection with coal-cutting machines.
No. 34 in List.-The first took place at Arniston Colliery, Edinburgh. Preparations were being made to begin the "cut," and this necessitated renewing the the picks on the disc. To enable this to be done the current was switched on sufficient to cause disc to revolve the distance between the picks; while this work was in progress a slight shock was felt just as the current was put on, and the leakage ran up the haulage rope which deceased was getting in order. He shouted to the man at the switch handle to switch off, which had already been done, and after a word to his companions he fell forward and became unconscious. He was at once removed to the nearest road, and artificial respiration applied for fully two hours, but he succumbed.
The other men working about the machine felt the shock, but it was so slight that they compared it to a "jag," and they were none the worse. A thorough test of the machine, cables, &c., by a galvanometer failed to discover the defect.
The voltage was 450, and current was continuous.
No. 83 in List.-This accident occurred at Hawkhill Colliery, Fife.
The machine in use was a disc worked with a voltage of 450 and continuous current of electricity.
The height of the working was 2 feet 9 inches to 3 feet and across the run of 190 yards the face was wet from roof and floor. Owing to the nature of the seam difficulty was experienced in keeping the faces in a straight line, and a man was employed to go in front and take off projections of coal to allow the machine a free and uninterrupted run.
On the night of the accident the machine was cutting as usual and deceased was in front about 30 yards from the machine taking off a "nose" of coal, and another man was close by boring holes for blasting down the coal when suddenly the machine became alive and the electric current ran along the haulage rope, and deceased, who apparently was sitting on a part of it, was "shocked" and thrown across both parts of the while the man beside also received a shock but was thrown toward the face clear of the rope; he at once called the attention of the man in charge of the machine to switch off, and in attempting to do so he was thrown down, and the current remained on until one of the men ran to the latch box and cut it off. Deceased was then removed to a convenient place, and artificial respiration applied for about two hours, but he did not recover; the body of deceased was wet owing to the water from roof and on floor.
An examination of the machine was afterwards made, and it was discovered that the cable going through the machine casing to the field magnet coil was bare inside the bushing and had come in contact with the metal of the casing causing the machine to become alive, and all the parts connected as well.
The cable was insulated in the usual way and was inside rubber tubing, right to theinside of the casing of the machine: it passed through the casing by a brass bush and small rubber ring screwed tightly up, apparently the cable had received rough usage to cause it to be bared in the inside of the casing.
An accident occurred whereby a horse was killed which shows that cables on a horse haulage road should be placed in such a position that a horse cannot reach them.
In proceeding outbye with a loaded rake it stopped suddenly and the driver went back over the rake to ascertain the cause, and while examining the tubs the horse began to eat the bark off a prop on the roadside which carried a cable, and getting the cable between its teeth it bit through the insulation, receiving a shock which killed it. The cable was an ordinary insulated one and the voltage was about 500.
The fatal accidents on railways have increased by four as compared with last year. Three of the persons killed were men who were well acquainted in the duties of working among waggons. One case was of a particularly sad nature, the colliery locomotive was moving a train of loaded waggons across the weighbridge, when a locomotive belonging to the railway company crashed into it and the driver was fatally injured, the latter by a mistake on the part of a railway official had been shunted into the wrong road.
GENERAL REMARKS ON ACCIDENTS.
The accidents during the year have increased almost 33 per cent. as compared with last year, this being out of all proportion with the increase of persons employed, which was less than 3 per cent.
A new class of accident has now to be reckoned with, namely, coal-cutting machines, no less than five fatal accidents happening in connection with their working.
Probably one of the principal causes contributing to the increased number of accidents is the rush and hurry on the part of both officials and men to get through the work, without paying due regard to safety, and it would be a wise precaution on their part if more time was taken in order to ascertain exactly how matters stood as to the safe condition of the roof, sides and appliances. This matter I think requires to be seriously considered by all concerned.
Proceedings were taken against the owners of three mines. A mine was visited, and it was found that there was no plan kept at the office, notwithstanding that the owners were warned about the same matter on a former visit; a plea of guilty to the contravention was tendered. On visiting a mine it was discovered that for five months there had
been no manager, he having been forbidden to exercise the duties by the owners, a case was taken for contravention of Section 20 failing to have a manager, contravention of Section 21 failing to have daily personal supervision exercised by a manager or undermanager, and contravention of Section 49, General Rule 12 (a) for storing explosives in the mine; a plea of not guilty to the first charge, and guilty to the second and third charges was tendered, and accepted by the Procurator Fiscal acting on the instructions of Crown Counsel.
The fan at a mine, where gas was occasionally given off, was stopped on Saturdays and up to Sunday night, and the owners were convicted for contravention of Section 49, General Rule 1, in failing constantly to supply adequate ventilation.
Three managers were also proceeded against-one for failing to fence securely surface machinery, one for failing to fence an underground wheel and neglecting to have a proper signal on a haulage road, and one for failing to drive a narrow way and keep bore holes in approaching a dangerous accumulation of water.
A change took place during the year in the composition of the Board of Examination for granting certificates to managers and under-managers. Mr. J. W. Ormiston, who, as a representative of the Mining Engineers, served on the Board since its inception on 25th March, 1873, with much acceptance, was removed by death, and his place was filled by Mr. James Caldwell, General Manager of the Pumpherston and Tarbrax Shale Mines. The following is a full list of the Board :
Robert McLaren, Esq., H.M. Inspector of Mines (Chairman).
After the passing of the Mines Regulation Act of 1872, an examination for certificates of competency was held in Edinburgh in June, 1873, and up to 1906 there have been 37 examinations held. The candidates who sat for managers' certificates number 2,352, and since 1888, those who sat for under-managers' certificates numbered 1,260. During the first five years, from 1873 to 1877 inclusive, when the examination was of an easier nature, there were 275 candidates examined and 165, or 60 per cent., passed, but in the 29 years that have since elapsed there have been 2,077 candidates for first class certificates of whom 731 or 35.1 per cent. passed. Of the 1,260 candidates for undermanagers' certificates, 1,030 have passed, being 81.7 per cent. At the last examination the percentage of passes was 27-3 for first class, and 70 for second class.
The average age of the candidates for first class is about 30 years, and for second class, about 29 years; the minimum age is 23 years.
From 8 to 10 per cent. of the candidates come from the North of England and from abroad, as India, South Africa, Australia and Canada.
The examiners were the same as last year, namely, Jonathan Hyslop, Esq., M.E., John Gemmell, Esq., M.E., and the Secretary. The examination was held in Edinburgh on the 11th and 12th May; there sat for 1st class certificates 117, of whom 32 passed, and for 2nd class certificates 86, of whom 60 passed.
Probably the principal reason why so many candidates come forward to the examination is that the date is convenient, as falling immediately after the science schools and colleges have closed for the session.
A case of contravention of Section 32 was discovered in connection with the examination. A man, who was employed as a pitheadman at a colliery in Ayrshire, sat as a candidate and obtained a 2nd class certificate. His papers showed that he had been five
years fully underground in different capacities, and a certificate to that effect was signed by the manager of the colliery. The pay sheets of the colliery however on examination disclosed that the time worked underground was very far short of the necessary five years required, and the manager on being interrogated admitted that he took the man's word for his time underground, and had no knowledge of his experience. The time to take proceedings had unfortunately elapsed, but the certificate was cancelled.
Ankylostomiasis.-Information reached me that two miners from the south of Edinburgh had been treated for this disease, and I at once made investigation and found that it was the case.
The facts are that the men had worked in the gold mines in India, one for about two years, and one for fully a year; both came back to this country in August, ill and suffering from the disease; the one least affected started in a mine in Edinburghshire, and worked from the 25th August until 2nd October, when he was informed by the manager that if he had the disease he must leave the mine, which he did, and two days later he went to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he was treated. After the medical authorities had satisfied themselves that he was no longer affected with the worm, he was discharged cured on 27th November. The other man, who did not start in any mine, was admitted to the infirmary on 31st August, and at the end of the year was not cured, but it is stated he is recovering.
The section of the mine where the man worked was dry and had a moderate temperature, and while employed as a miner he was cutting a trouble," and only he and his drawer worked in the section. He stated that only on one occasion had he discharged fæces, and it was covered up in the waste. The men who came in contact with him have since been examined and found to be free from the symptoms of the disease and in satisfactory health.
Explosives used in Mines.-The owners were again asked to make a return of the various kinds of explosives used at their mines, and they very willingly filled up a form and returned it with the form for output and persons employed.
There is an increase over all of 185 tons 8 cwts. 2 qrs. 24 lbs. as compared with last year.
The following table shows the quantities of the various explosives in the counties: