Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

opposite side of the jig, 18 yards distant, and almost directly in the path of the shot. Blood-poisoning supervened and he died seven weeks afterwards.

At Wood Farm, South Staffordshire, on February 27th, a miner was injured by the ignition of a half-bobbin of compressed gunpowder which he held in his hand while lighting a shot.

At Pendlebury, South Staffordshire, on May 1st, a miner was injured by coal projected by a shot to which he had returned prematurely on hearing the explosion of another shot.

At Windmill End, South Staffordshire, on May 16th, two miners bored out the stemming of a shot which had missed fire, and while examining some of the borings with a candle, some powder amongst them flashed, and ignited the charge in the hole. Both men were injured, the leading man very severely.

At Cannock and Leacroft, South Staffordshire, on May 21st, a fireman was firing a ripping shot charged with 10 oz. of Monobel Powder. He knelt three yards behind an empty tub which stood 14 yards from the shot, and on one side of which there was a clear passage two to three feet wide. A ricochetting stone struck him on the side, causing injuries to which he succuinbed 15 days afterwards.

At Shelton Deep Pit, North Staffordshire, on June 19th, a chargeman and shot firer charged four shot holes at the face of a dip, his battery meanwhile having been left some 45 yards away up the dip. Owing to some bungling, while he was charging the shots and coupling the inbye end of the firing cable to them, some other men proceeded to test the cable. The result was the shot was fired just as the shot firer turned away from it. One man was killed and the shot firer somewhat seriously injured. Proceedings were subsequently taken against the shot firer for contravention of Special Rule 127, in respect that he had not the battery with him while coupling up the cable to the charge, and that he had not himself coupled the cable to the battery ; and, at the same time, against the persons who had been testing the cable, for contravention of Special Rule 8, in respect that they had unlawfully done a certain act, by which they endangered the lives of persons employed in the mine. One of the latter was convicted of a technical offence, and fined 10s. and costs. In dismissing the summonses against the others on the ground of want of evidence against them, the Stipendiary remarked that it seemed to him that evidence could have been got against the more guilty party in the case if the minor guilty person had not been charged.

At Grange, North Staffordshire, on August 29th, a miner apparently lighted two ripping shots at a time, in contravention of a Special Rule and of a notice posted in the mine. As in the Coneygre case, he had evidently retired when one of the fuses had partly run, apparently in the belief that he had failed to light the other. On hearing the first shot

go off he returned at once and was killed by the explosion of the second. At Park Hall, North Staffordshire, on September 10th, a shot firer was fatally injured by ricochetting stones projected by two ammonite shots which he had fired electrically and simultaneously, in contravention of a Special Rule.

Underground Haulage Accidents.
During the year under review, 16 fatal and 61 non-fatal accidents were reported
resulting in 17 deaths and injuries to 63 persons.
The corresponding figures for 1:05 were 10 deaths and 66 persons injured.

TABLE (12).
UNDERGROUND HAULAGE ACCIDENTS.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Of the above, two persons were injured while illegally riding ; one person was killed and two were injured by going in front instead of behind tubs while moving them by hand on inclined roads ; one person was killed and two were injured by going in front of tubs moved by horses on inclined roads ; and one person was injured by going in front of tubs moved by a horse on a level road.

Some details of the fatal accidents will be found in Appendix I. In addition, the following points may be briefly noticed here.

At Fishley, South Staffordshire, on February 16th, one man was killed and two injured by two loaded tubs which got amain on an engine dip, owing to the breaking of a screw clip. A lad, whose duty it was to attach a drag or fork to the rear tub, had neglected to do so. He was subsequently prosecuted for contravention of Special Rule 101, convicted, and fined in two pounds and 10 shillings costs.

At Conduit No. 3, South Staffordshire, on September 21st, a lad was killed by a runaway loaded tub at the foot of a self-acting inclined plane. The top of the incline was guarded by a stop block and a runaway switch, which were in charge of a lad 15 years of age, who admitted that he had forgotten to close the block and open the switch after the running of the last journey. The brakesman, who was nominally in charge of the whole operations at the top of the incline, apparently did not consider it to be his duty to pay any attention to the stop block and switch. The whole arrangements were, in my opinion, very unsatisfactory, and were subsequently altered and improved.

At Littleton, South Staffordshire, on November 6th, a roadman was fatally injured by some runaway loaded tubs. The engine plane had a dip inbye averaging about five inches per yard, but was steeper at the top. The tubs were drawn in sets of two, and were attached to the rope by Smallman's clips. The only protection from runaways was a fixed runaway switch placed near the bottom of dip. The pin of a clip appeared to have broken, as was proved to have happened on several previous occasions, the runaway tubs leapt the switch, and struck deceased as he was endeavouring to reach a manhole. The clips were evidently much too weak for their work, and a stronger pattern was substituted.

By Machinery Underground, One fatal and two non-fatal accidents were reported during 1906, as compared with one non-fatal accident in 1905. The former is described in Appendix I.

Sundries Underground. Four fatal and 40 non-fatal accidents were reported, resulting in four deaths and injury to 40 persons. The corresponding figures for 1905 were one death and 29 persons injured.

The fatal accidents are described in Appendix I. None of the non-fatal accidents . calls for special comment.

Accidents on the Surface. Three fatal and 25 non-fatal accidents were reported, resulting in three deaths and injuries to 28 persons. The corresponding figures for 1905 were five deaths and 23 persons injured.

TABLE (13.)
ACCIDENTS on SURFACE RAILWAYS or TRAMWAYS.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

* The term “waggons” includes bogies, corves, hutches, trams, trolleys, trucks, tubs.

SECTION IV.

PROSECUTIONS. The owner of Dunge Colliery, Shropshire, was prosecuted by direction of the Secretary of State, for (1) employing persons in a mine without having two shafts or outlets ; and (2) permitting persons to be in a mine for employment, without having two shafts or outlets, in contravention of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, Section 16.

Particulars of this and of 45 prosecutions by owners against workmen will be found in Appendix II.

Special reference may be made to one of these, in which a motor driver was convicted and fined in the maximum penalty of two pounds with nine shillings and six pence costs, for wilfully connecting a power cable, carrying a current of 500 volts, to a signal wire and giving a man a severe electrical shock. Such actions are worse than foolish, and might very easily result in loss of life, and, as a consequence, prosecution for culpable homicide.

Several prosecutions for cruelty to pit ponies were reported to me, but as these were taken under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, they have not been included in the above list.

SECTION V.

General Remarks. Explosives used.—The following Tables showing the quantities of the various kinds of explosives used during the year in Mines under the Coal Mines Regulation Act, the estimated number of shots fired, and the methods of firing them, are compiled from returns furnished by the mine owners :

TABLE (14).
PERMITTED EXPLOSIVES.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

With reference to shot-firing by electricity, I find that there is a very prevalent belief amongst shot-firers that “hang fires * are impossible, and that when the firing cable has been disconnected from the battery all danger is over, and one may return to the shot without delay. This idea is rather favoured by the North Staffordshire Special Rule which provides that if a shot misses fire, no person shall return upon it “ until after the lapse of at least one hour ; if, nowever, the shots are fired by electricity, the authorised shot-firer, or competent person, may return immediately, after disconnecting the cable of the

battery and taking the battery with him.” A similar rule is in force in Shropshire and Cannock Chasc. It cannot be too widely known that this idea is erroneous, and that if the flashing charge in a detonator or electric fuse becomes damp the shot may hang fire for an appreciable time after the disconnection of the battery, or even after the fuse wires have been pulled out or their connection with the firing cable broken. I have come across quite a number of cases in which shot-firers have narrowly escaped serious accident from this cause.

Safety Lamps.— Tables Nos. 17 and 18 have also been compiled from returns made by the colliery owners at my request. The proportion of lamps secured by the screw lock is steadily diminishing, but I regret to see that in some portions of the district the conversion is not proceeding so rapidly as might be desired.

In Shropshire the percentage of screw-locked lamps is 47 as compared with 55 in 1905 ; in North Staffordshire it has fallen from 14 per cent. in 1905 to 5 per cent. in 1906 ; in Cannock Chase it has fallen from 31 per cent. in 1905 to 15 per cent. in 1906 ; and in the Black Country it has fallen from 76 per cent. in 1905 to 74 per cent. in 1906. In the last-named portion of the district, however, it is to be observed that the total number of safety-lamps in use is comparatively small, and of these 24 per cent. are used in naked light pits for examination purposes only.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

An incident, which fortunately did not result in any injury to the persons employed, but which I think deserves attention as it points to a very serious risk arising from the use of electrical machinery in fiery and dusty mines, occurred at the Stafford Collieries on 14th July. An electrical bar coal-cutter, driven by a direct continuous current of 550 volts, was being started after an 18 minutes' stand for inspection, when an ignition of gas or coal dust took place. The flame travelled for 10 to 15 yards under the holing, but did no damage. The holing at the place was slightly damp, but the seam generally was dry and dusty. On subsequent examination it was found that there was a dead earth from the starting switch and connection to frame of machine, and also from the frame of machine to coal face. The earth on the machine was found to be due to defective insulation of the lead from controller to field coils—the insulation, which consisted only of Blackley's tape, having been rubbed through by the sharp corner of motor casing The machine was subsequently removed to another district.

In seams which are dry and dusty, and which give off fire-damp, a comparatively small initial explosion might result in a very serious disaster. With machines such as coal-cutters, which are necessarily subject to great vibration and rough usage, it is not possible to ensure that failures of insulation will not occur and give rise to sparks or arcs, or that joints and casings intended to be flame-tight are really so. Additional risk arises from the possibility of the insulation of the cables being cut or injured at any moment by falls of roof or side. Under these circumstances, it is a matter for the most serious consideration whether, and to what extent, the use of electricity as a motive power should be used or permitted within the danger zone.

Board for E.camination for Certificates.

The constitution of ihe Board is as follows :

Mr. G. Macpherson, Green Royde, Pedmore, near
Stourbridge,

Mine Owners.
Mr. H. C. Peake, Walsall Wood Colliery, Walsall,
Mr. F. Rigby, Audley, Stoke-on-Trent.
Mr. N. T. Beech, Priors Lee, Salop,
Mr. A. M. Henshaw, Talk-o'-th'- Hill, Stoke-on-

Mining Engineers.
Trent,
Mr. John Williamson, The Hills, Cannock.
Mr. Enoch Edwards, M.P., Miners' Offices, ?

Burslem,
Mr. T. Mansell, Miners' Hall, Great Bridge, near Miners'
Tipton,

Representatives.
Mr. A. Stanley, West Hill, Hednesford, Stafford-

shire. Hugh Johnstone, His Majesty's Inspector of Mines for the district

(Chairman).

Secretary to the Board, Mr. R. S. Williamson, The Grange, Hednesford. The Examiners appointed by the Board were Messrs. G. A. Mitcheson, J. C. Cadman, and A. Sopwith.

« ZurückWeiter »