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There is again an increase in the persons employed below and above ground. The figures for last year were 46,698 below ground, and 10,366 above ground, giving a total 57,064; and for this year 48,090 below ground, and 10,579 above ground, total 58,669; the increases, therefore, are below ground, 1,392, and above ground 213, a total increase of 1,605.
For several years there has been an increase of female labour on the surface, but this year there is a slight decrease, the decrease being entirely due to the employment of less women, over the age of 16 years.
The condition of trade is reflected by the increases of minerals, the increase over all being 1,496,932 tons; with the exception of other minerals, which shows a decrease of 48,678 tons, all the other minerals record increases. Coal contributed 1,428,001 tons, fireclay 47,996 tons, ironstone 16,183 tons, and oil shale 53,430 tons. All the counties have increased outputs except Kinross, Peebles, and Sutherland.
In the following table the output per person employed is given
The output per person employed underground has increased 19 tons, and under and above ground 16 tons as compared with the previous year; the increase below and above ground is accounted for by the fact that the outputs were handled without increasing the surface staff to any extent.
Three causes contributed to the increased output below ground-an increase in the coal produced by coal-cutting machines, where more coal is put out per man employed than by hand-holing; increased output of shale, and steadier work, whereby the average time the mines worked was increased; the average days worked in 1905 was 259, whereas in 1906 the average was 280.5.
COAL CUTTING MACHINES.
Again I have to report an increase, both in the machines in operation, and the quantity of mineral produced.
The motive power mostly in favour is electricity, as the increase for the year of machines at work is 58, as compared with 16 of compressed air; a number of the machines have only been in use for a short time during the year.
The mineral produced has increased 544,882 tons, over that of the year 1905, and all the counties have contributed to the increase.
The collieries at which machines are at work are distributed over the Counties as follows:--Clackmannan, 3; Edinburgh, 7; Fife, 18; Haddington, 4; Lanark (East), 25; Linlithgow, 2; and Stirling (East), 6.
In the following table particulars are given of the motive power used, the kind of machine, and mineral produced in the Counties :
The accidents during the year under review numbered 392, causing the loss of 86 lives and injuring 339 persons; the increase was thus 15 in accidents, 21 in deaths, and 11 in persons injured as compared with last year.
With the exception of falls from roof and sides, increases have to be recorded under all the divisions. The accidents reported for the first two months of the year were much above the average, but as the year progressed an improvement manifested itself, not sufficient however to maintain the average for the two preceding years.
Double fatalities occurred in three instances, by a fall of roof while repairing a roadway, an outbreak of fire underground, and an inrush of water.
As usual, the fatal accidents are tabulated under the various heads, and a short report stating the cause of each accident, in Appendix I. The following table gives a summary of the accidents reported :—
SUMMARY OF FATAL and NON-FATAL ACCIDENTS, classified according to PLACE
The death-rates are unfavourable as compared with last year, being 1.538 below
ground, 1.134 above ground, and 1.465 below and above ground.
The following table gives the death rates per 1,000 persons employed, and the number of deaths which have taken place in the different Counties:
The Counties of Fife and Edinburgh contributed 56 of the fatalities in the district, or fully 65 per cent. of the total deaths; the proportion of these counties for persons employed and output are 50 per cent. for the former and 49 per cent. for the latter, showing that it is entirely owing to these counties that the death-rate is high. The County of Clackmannan, for the fourth successive year, has had no fatality.
The following Table gives the summary of deaths and how caused in the mines where accidents occurred during the year: the details will be found in Appendix I. :—
The deaths occurred at 60 mines owned by 42 owners, as compared with 44 and 28 last year; and of the 28 owners at whose mines there were fatal accidents last year, 20 contributed to the list in 1906.
ACCIDENTS from EXPLOSIONS of FIRE-DAMP or COAL DUST, classified according
The explosions number 23,
involving the death of three persons and injuring 24; one death was the result of an explosion toward the end of last year, whereby three persons were injured; the explosions last year numbered 20, causing one death and injuring 29 persons.
With one exception all were caused by naked lights, and the explosions were not affected by the presence of coal dust.
The larger number of the accidents were slight, and but for the obligation to send notice of explosions if there is any injury whatever, they would not have been reported. It is not considered necessary for under officials in a mine free from gas to have any knowledge of gas, and the result is that when gas is met with in such mines the officials