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an Appendix to this Report (see Appendix I.). The following table is an epitome of the fatal and non-fatal accidents reported during the year :
Non-fatal Accidents Reported.
The Death-Rates from Accidents per 1,000 persons employed were (a) above ground ·588, (6) below ground •944, and (c) above and below ground •870.
TABLE (6). ACCIDENTS from EXPLOSIONS of FIRE-DAMP or Coal Dust, classified according to CAUSE.
Table (7). ACCIDENTS from Falls of Roof and SIDE, classified according to the Place where they
TABLE (8). ACCIDENTS with ExPLOSIVES, classified according to the NATURE of the EXPLOSIVE.
Name of Explosive.
No. of Persons injured.
• Not inciuding accidents which come under the heads of “ While thawing” or “ While charging or stemming holes."
Of the above, 1 person was killed and 2 injured while illegally riding, and 1 person was killed and 2 injured by going in front instead of behind tubs while moving them by hand on inclined roads.
• The term “waggons" includes bogies, corves, hutches, trams, trolleys, trucks, tubs.
EXPLOSIONS OF FIRE-DAMP.
Portland No. 2, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, 1st SEPTEMBER, 8.5 A.M.
Top Hard COAL.Accident No. 461. This explosion occurred during the time that deceased was engaged in clearing up an old roadway, which, in some parts, had been a bare creeping road. The place was worked with naked lights, but deceased had a safety-lamp with him for examination purposes. During the time the airway was very small, the work was carried on by the use of safety-lamps, but two days before the explosion occurred they were discontinued and naked lights were introduced. The deceased was throwing dirt into a goaf, and it is probable that the action of the shovel and dirt caused some firedamp to come from the goaf on to the lighted candle. The explosion shows how readily some managers discard the precautionary measure of using a safety-lamp for the introduction of a naked light. Had the manager continued the use of safety-lamps until the old airway was completely made good, the accident would not have occurred.
The explosion appeared to be a very slight one, but it was sufficient to cause the death of a workman.
Eleven non-fatal explosions of fire-damp have occurred during the year, or seven more than in the previous year.
The number of explosions of fire-damp is not creditable to the district. These explosions can be prevented, and if managers of mines in which gas has been found would at once introduce the use of safety-lamps, we should soon have a clean sheet from such accidents.
The danger from the use of naked lights is not an imaginary one, neither does a long immunity from finding fire-damp in a mine warrant their
indiscriminate use. It is time that the question of the use of safety-lamps was decided by a simple rule depending upon facts, or a standard of gas indication, and not left open, as now, to a matter of opinion, for wherever the introduction of safety-lamps depends upon an opinion, there will be opinions diverse and innumerable.
EXHALL, WARWICKSHIRE, 28TH JANUARY, 9.30 P.M. Tw()-YARD Coal.- This explosion occurred at an open running electric motor, temporarily fixed in the working face, for the purpose of hauling tubs along the coal face. The motor was a portable one of 12 horse-power working at 500 volts pressure.
There was an automatic circuitbreaker and single pole switch fixed near the motor. Before starting the motor, the circuit-breaker is put in operation and then the rheostat-starter is used, and to stop the motor, the circuit-breaker is knocked out and the rheostat put back. When the circuitbreaker is knocked out, there is a vivid Aash of blue flame if the motor is running, but if it is knocked out while the motor is at rest, there is no such flash.
The motor was fixed near to a heading known to contain gas, and just prior to the accident an official turned some ventilation into the heading for the purpose of clearing it. This current of air, with any gas it might contain, would pass over the motor, but it being at night no work was required of the motor, and no men were working near to it except two repairers. These men went into the coal face for the purpose of getting two empty tubs, and one man began playing with the motor. He started it running, and then knocking the circuit breaker out, caused a spark which ignited fire-damp. This burnt a few seconds and injured the man who had interfered with the motor. It was a foolish action, and one which might have ended in more serious results.
Whenever the electric current is not required in a mine, or part of a mine, the current should be switched off as near as possible to its source of supply.
MANNERS, DERBYSHIRE, 6th FEBRUARY, 8.30 A.M. KILBURN COAL.—This explosion was very slight. A loader was
A loader was pushing a full tub along the working face, with a lighted candle placed on the top of the coal in the tub, and, when passing a partly built pack, some portion of the roof fell and drove a small quantity of gas towards the lighted candle. The only injury done was the burning of the man's hair. No fire-damp had been found previously in the working face.
STANTON, DERBYSHIRE, 10th FEBRUARY, 8 A.M. EUREKA COAL.-A stallman was drilling a shot-hole in the working face, and placed a lighted candle near the mouth of the hole. The drill appears to have forced out of the shot-hole a small portion of fire-damp, which fired at the candle and slightly burned the man.
Pye Hill, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, 10TH FEBRUARY, 8.20 A.M. TUPTON COAL.-A small quantity of fire-damp had accumulated in the higher part of a cutting-end at the coal face. The end was near the airway, but the air current appears to have made a short circuit over the partially built pack, and left the top corner of the working face partially unventilated.
A workman went to the cutting to get a hammer, when his lighted candle ignited the
and he was slightly burned. COTES PARK, DERBYSHIRE, 1st May, 7.45 A.M. Tupton COAL.—In the early morning an official of the mine had fired a shot by electricity in the ripping of a working roadway, and afterwards examined the place, finding it free from gas. A stallman was at work shortly afterwards near the ripping, using a naked light, when he ignited some fire-damp. No one was injured, but the gas continued to burn in the breaks in the roof for a short time, and the heat produced was such that the stone roof was quite hot when the flame died out.
It is satisfactory to report that the manager at once gave instructions for safety-lamps to be used in future.
LoscoE, DERBYSHIRE, 13TH JUNE, 11.30 A.M. DEEP Hard COAL.—This was the most serious non-fatal explosion during the year. The coal face was rising, and was in close proximity to faulty ground. A full tub, with a lighted candle placed on the top, was being pushed along the coal face, towards the roadway, when an explosion of fire-damp occurred, which burned, more or less, four persons. The air current had probably been diverted, owing to a door having been left open, for the men say they found the door open when leaving the mine shortly afterwards. This appears probable, for when the accident was investigated, a test was made by opening the door for a few minutes, when gas was found to have accumulated at the place where the explosion had occurred a few days earlier.
This explosion supports the suggestion that all mines should be worked with safetylamps, for when it was investigated, the under-manager stated that he had been at the mine for eight years, and no gas had been reported as having been found during that time, hence, if such a mine cannot be trusted with naked lights, it indicates that all mines should be worked with lamps as a precautionary measure, and in anticipation of the mine, sooner or later, giving off fire-damp.
Pilsley, No. 1, DERBYSHIRE, 14TH JUNE, 8.30 A.M. DEEP Hard COAL.-A workman was taking a tub of dirt towards a pack in the working face, and probably had a lighted candle on the top of the tub. The candle ignited a small quantity of gas coming from a feeder in the coal. The height of the coal face was under 4 feet, and the tub, passing along, wafted the gas towards the candle. The man was slightly injured.
PLEASLEY, DERBYSHIRE, 25TH JUNE, 12.30 P.M. Top HARD COAL. – While a number of men were at work in a stall, a sudden weight came over the place, causing a fall of roof in a large goaf. One of the men in escaping from the working place passed near the goaf, and the fall having driven a little gas out, his lighted candle ignited it. was only slightly injured, and worked to the end of the shift.
BLACKWELL “A” WINNING, DERBYSHIRE, 1st AUGUST, 9 A.M. DEEP Hard Coal.A fall of roof to a considerable height had occurred between two working places, and one set of men working up to this, made a communication with the fall. This caused a slight change in the ventilation, and probably was the reason for the gas over the fall being brought down until it reached one of the naked lights and exploded. Three men were burned. No
gas had been reported as found in the mine since the 5th December previous to the explosion. GRANVILLE, No. 2, DERBYSHIRE, 31st August, 7 A.M.
EUREKA COAL.—This was a simple ignition of gas with no one injured. The men were entering the working face, and the stallman was examining the place with a safety-lamp, another man, closely following, carrying a naked light, when a small quantity of gas was ignited by the second man's candle.
Portland No. 2, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, 7TH SEPTEMBER, 10 P.M. Top HARD COAL.Five workmen were proceeding to their work, when one of the men, carrying a lighted candle, states that he fired some gas and was burned. Some of the lights were extinguished, and the men hastened to find an official of the mine, who returned to the place and found a brattice sheet on fire. There was considerable difficulty in obtaining any reliable details of how the ignition occurred. Gas has been found near this place since the accident, and this supports the man's explanation that gas was exploded, but full details could not be obtained.
TEVERSALL, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, 16th OCTOBER, 7.45 A.M. Top Hard Coal.—A workman had taken a tub containing rails into the coal face, and was in the act of unloading them opposite a goaf when a heavy fall of roof occurred in the goaf, which appears to have driven some gas on to the lighted candle, carried by the workman, where it exploded. Two men were slightly burned.
FALLS OF ROOF AND SIDE.
Accident No. 1.-The deceased was a holer, and shortly after starting to work in the morning, when he had holed a length of four feet to a depth of three or four inches, a portion of the roof fell and fatally injured him. The Special Rules require that holing sprags shall be set before commencing to hole, and as a further precautionary measure, it was the custom of the mine to set face timber for supporting the roof. At the time of the accident no sprags had been set, nor any face side props.
There was an ample supply of suitable timber within easy reach, and at the inquest, the under-manager said, “ I have no doubt about it that if a prop had been set it would have prevented the fall. It was the deceased man's duty to have set it."