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the strata over the worked-out area, crushing over the coal at the face and on the sides, causing an upheaval or arching up of the floor. Since this accident a double row of chocks have been placed across the face, and the overlying lay of 2 feet of roof has been taken down along with the working of the coal.
SURFACE ACCIDENTS. Four accidents, causing four deaths ; in the previous year there were only two deaths.
By Machinery.—One accident causing one death.
On October 19th, at 12 noon, at Messrs. Speakman's, Bedford Colliery, John Unsworth, 58, screens engineman, fatally crushed by a shaft driving the picking belts, &c. The shaft is one of the ordinary kind used to drive surface machinery. This one drove three picking belts, and was situate under a jigging screen making three sizes of coal. There would be accumulations of small coal constantly to be removed. The shaft was 14 inches above the floor. At the place where the accident occurred there is a coupling-box with projecting bolts, bearings, and bevel wheels ; these required cleaning and oiling. A two-rail fence was four feet from the coupling box, wheels and bearings. Orders had been clearly given that no oiling was to be done while in motion ; that if deceased went within the fencing he must first stop the engine. Evidence proved that deceased had taken a spade within the fence, and he had been seen removing small coal ; he was not oiling at the time. From his position it was obvious that he had been leaning over the revolving shaft. At the point where the coupling-box and its projecting bolts would take hold of the front of his shirt portions of a shirt were found twisted round the coupling-box. He wore two shirts ; one was usually open at the breast. When I saw the place and had his position explained I formed the opinion that he had leant over the coupling-box to feel at a pedestal bearing ; there was reason to believe it had been heating. Whilst leaning over the coupling-box his shirt was caught, he was drawn over the shaft head first and severely crushed. Three points arise :-(1) Cleaning small coal from near the revolving machinery. Orders had been given that this must be done after work ceased—he was paid overtime for doing it. Despite this he was seen within the fence, whilst machinery was at work, shovelling small coal away. (3) Oiling the machinery. Orders had been given that oiling must only be done with the machinery stopped. There was no evidence that he was oiling, no oil can was near him. bearings occasionally get hot, and it is desirable this should have immediate attention. I say that it is distinctly in the interests of the owners to box over these revolving shafts ; at parts where attention is required-coupling-boxes, pedestals, wheels, &c.—a lid could be provided to raise and give access to these parts.
access to these parts. A railed fence around is not sufficient. This is the third fatality under similar conditions ; in the other cases the revolving shafts were boxed over after the fatalities. It should not require a fatality at each mine to bring home the need ; three lives are quite sufficient in the district.
These are sufficiently described, as regards the fatal ones, in the list of Fatals, Appendix I.
A number of deaths from natural causes and from causes not comprised under the Coal Mines Act were reported ; in accordance with your directions they are not described
The prosecutions by owners of mines of persons employed in or about their mines were 44 in number, 41 convictions being obtained.
1 Contraventions of rules about matches and smoking Having matches in his possession in the mine
Having a cigarette in his possession in the mine
1 Contraventions of rules about timbering Neglecting to set sprags
13 Contraventions of rules about trams or tubs :
Neglecting to put in stop block
3 Miscellaneous contraventions :
Removing danger fence without authority
3 Getting into cage whilst in motion
2 Making false report on the condition of the mine
Fourteen owners took proceedings for breach of rules. Earl of Ellesmere, fifteen cases ; Thomas Fletcher & Sons, Ltd., six cases ; Clifton and Kersley Coal Co., Ltd., five cases; New Moss Colliery, Ltd., three cases ; West Leigh Collieries, Ltd., three cases ; Astley and Tyldesley Collieries, Ltd. two cases ; Pearson & Knowles Coal and Iron Co., Ltd., two cases ; Wm. Ramsden & Sons, Ltd., two cases ; Denton Coal Co., Ltd., Duxbury Park Coal Co., Fletcher Burrows & Co., Platt Bros. & Co., S. Scowcroft & Sons, Wigan Coal and Iron Co., one case each.
In addition to these cases the executors of Colonel Hargreaves had cases for "tallying," changing the tokens on tubs ; and there were cases for a breach of the peace, fighting, not taken under the rules.
As owners :—Messrs. Edward Pilkington, Clifton and Kersley Collieries (Chairman); H. Hargreaves Bolton, Accrington and Rossendale Collieries" ; John S. Burrow's, Atherton Collieries.
As mining engineers, agents or managers of mines :-Messrs. Henry Bramall, Andrew Knowles & Son's Collieries ; George H. Hollingworth, 37, Cross Street, Manchester ; Joseph Dobbs, Slievardagh Collieries, Ireland.
Persons not being owners, agents, or managers, and employed in or about a colliery :Messrs. James Ashworth, Accrington ; George Worthington, Blackrod ; James Pearson, Swinton, near Manchester.
As inspector of mines of the district :-John Gerrard.
The examiners appointed by the Board to conduct the examination were :-Messrs. T. Herbert Wordsworth, Ashton-under-Lyne ; William Pickup, Rishton, near Blackburn ; Percy Lee Wood, Clifton, near Manchester.
The examination commenced on December 21, 1906, at the Municipal Technical School, Manchester, by permission of the Committee of the City Council, to whom the Board passed a cordial vote of thanks.
Seventy candidates presented themselves for examination in the first class, of whom 13 qualified, 18-5 per cent. Their names and places of residence are : Cecil A. Atkinson, Trentham ; Herbert Danby, Mansfield ; J. Stanley Foot, Manchester ; R. Hinchcliffe, Castleford ; Thos. Jones, Pemberton ; J. H. Jackson, Urmston, Manchester ; Wm. Kehoe, Rishton ; Fred McAvoy, Wigan ; G. M. M. McAinsh, Earlstown; M. Maden, Accrington ; Wm. Roberts, Skelmersdale ; T. Roberts, Audenshaw ; W. N. Whitehead, Bolton.
Of these, six reside in the district, seven outside ; and of the latter three reside in West Lancashire.
Ninety-four candidates presented themselves for examination in the second class, of whom 34 qualified, 26:1 per cent. . Their names and places of residence are :
J. T. Ashton, St. Helens ; Jethro Ball, Golborne ; Alfred Beck, Ormskirk ; John Burgess, Pemberton ; Frank Clark, Mansfield ; J. Cowcill, Little Hulton ; T. W. Elliott, Chesterfield ; G. A. Evans, Walkden ; T. Griffiths, Chirk ; T. Gawthorpe, Rotherham ; A. Guest, Chesterfield ; H. Heap, Accrington ; F. W. Hardy, Alfreton ; Jas. Hilton, Atherton ; Wm. Hitchin, St. Helens ; Jas. H. Kilshaw, Skelmersdale ; S. Kynaston, Denaby Main ; W. R. Langford, St. Helens ; R. W. F. Mayfield, Hollinwood ; J. Parsons, Pontefract; Fred Rylance, St. Helens ; Horace Rowson, Ellenbrook ; D. Robinson, Hucknall Torkard ; Edgar Schofield, Leeds ; W. Summerscales, Denaby Main ; W. Strachan, Little Hulton ; T. Summer, Ashton-under-Lyne ; G. Thorneycroft, Chesterton Staff ; Jos. Twigg, Walkden ; Herbert West, Bagworth, Leicester ; Jno. Williams, Wigan ; Chas. Whitfield, Castleford; G. S. Wingfield, Sheffield; E. Whittaker, Deepcar.
Of these, nine reside in the district, 25 outside ; and of the latter, nine reside in West Lancashire.
The questions given at the examination appear as Appendix III.
The following are the percentages of those sitting for examination and having qualified :
First Class, 1906, 18:5 ; 1905, 25:5; 1904, 21:3; 1903, 43.8; 1902, 26.9 ; 1901, 31:9; 1900, 29; 1899, 39 ; 1898, 25 ; 1897, 31.6 ; 1896, 21; 1895, 11; 1894, 39 ; 1893, 24 ; 1892, 56 per cent.
Second Class, 1906, 36 ; 1905, 27:7 ; 1904, 33:3 ; 1903, 42.5 ; 1902, 49:3; 1901, 35 ; 1900, 40; 1899, 41; 1898, 40-9; 1897, 41 ; 1896, 59; 1895, 42; 1894, 18; 1893, 26; 1892, 56 per cent.
The following are the revised conditions the candidates must comply with :“ Each candidate must be 23 years of age. He is required by the Coal Mines Regulation Act to have had five years' practical experience in a mine, subject to the said Act; or he must have received a diploma in Scientific and Mining Training after a course of study of at least two years at any University, University College, Mining School, or other Educational Institution to be approved of by a Secretary of State, or to have taken a degree of any University so approved which includes Scientific and Mining subjects, and to have also had practical experience in a mine for at least three years.
It is very desirable that each Candidate should be in possession of a First Aid (Ambulance) Certificate.
The subjects fixed for examination are the following :-
1. Arithmetic, including vulgar and decimal fractions and square root.
used in mines and the management of steam engines, steam boilers, and pumps.
3. The Coal Mines Regulation Acts, 1887 and 1896, and the Mines (Prohibition of Child
Labour Undergound) Act, 1900, and the Special Rules (including the Special Rules for the installation and use of electricity) in force in this district ; also the Explosives in Coal
Mines Order or Orders in force at the date of the examination. 4. The practical working of collieries with especial reference to the methods practised in this
district; and surveying and levelling. 5. Mine gases and the principles and practice of lighting and ventilating coal mines. Candidates will be required to satisfy the Examiners that they understand a plan and section, also to show how they would ventilate workings on a plan to be produced to them. For 2ND CLASS CERTIFICATES :The examination and qualification for second class certificates will be suitable for practical
working miners, and will be such as to ascertain the knowledge necessary for the practical
working of mines in this district.
1. Arithmetic—first four rules.
of Child Labour Underground) Act, 1900, and the Special Rules in force in this district ;
also the Explosives Order before mentioned.
4. Mine gases and practical ventilation. It will be necessary for you, before you can be admitted to the examination, to produce to the Examiners
1. Your authorization from the Secretary of State to appear for examination. (The fee payable
for this authorisation is £2 for a first class certificate and £1 for a second class certificate, which should be remitted to the Under Secretary of State, Home Office, Whitehall, by means of_a Post Office Order on the General Post Office, London, payable to
W. P. Byrne, Esq.) 2. The prescribed evidence as to character, consisting of— a. A statement that you have had at least five years practical experience in a mine ;
or that you have bad at least three years of such practical experience and have received such a Diploma* or have taken such a Degree* as above mentioned. The statement must also contain particulars of the nature and periods of the employment in which each practical experience has been gained ; and a declaration must be appended that all the allegations are true, such declaration being signed by you in the presence
of one witness. (Form No. 1.) b. Testimonials from two persons (whose addresses must be given) as to your sobriety,
experience, ability, and general good conduct. (Form No. 2.) 3. Satisfactory evidence that you have had not less than five years' practical experience in
a mine, or that you have received such a Diploma or have taken such a Degree as above mentioned, and have had practical experience in a mine for at least three years.
(Form No. 3.) Testimonials will not be returned to candidates after the examination.
Unsuccessful candidates can obtain information as to the subjects in which they have failed upon application to the Secretary.”
List of Mines.-A list of mines of which abandonment was reported in 1906 is given as Appendix IV.
Complaints.-A number of complaints have been investigated, every care being taken to maintain the confidential nature of the communication.
Inspections.—Mr. William Saint reports that he made 222 visits to mines, going below ground on 158 occasions. Quarries and factories comprised 53 visits. Five inquests were attended and one case of Petty Sessions. Office work occupied 30 days. Leave of absence 29 days, sickness two days. Travelled 11,574 miles by rail and water, 3,204 miles by road.
Mr. G. B. Harrison reports that he visited 302 mines, going underground on 172 occasions. Quarries and factories comprised 83 visits. Fifteen inquests were attended and six cases of Petty Sessions. Office work occupied 14 days. Travelled 8,728 miles by rail and 1,620 by road. Absent on leave a fortnight and off duty nine days through sickness.
I have visited 241 mines, going underground on 178 occasions. Quarries and factories comprised 142 visits. Sixty inquests were attended. Away from duty and engaged in office work 26 days. At the Home Office and before the Royal Commission on Mines occupied 20 days. Have travelled by rail and water 26,401 miles, and by road 3,309 miles.
Exemptions.—Two exemptions were granted during the year, one from the weighing clauses for Waterloo Colliery, and one from a second shaft whilst one being sunk for the Astley and Tyldesley Collieries, Limited. Explosives.-All the owners in the district very kindly filled in forms giving the
* The Diploma or Degree must be produced.