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At the working face

32:73 29:27 39.13 35•71 37:04 22:53 45.21 29.63 18.61 | 41:10

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Total

61.82 51.22 50.00 51.78 50.00 29:57 64:39 50.62 46.51 53.43

Number of Deaths from Falls of Roof and Side per 1,000 Persons employed Under

ground in the District during the past Ten Years 1897 to 1906 inclusive.

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The very unsatisfactory death rate under the heading of Falls of Roof and Sides will be apparent from the above tables and also that practically no improvement has resulted from any precautions supposed to have been taken during the past ten years.

ACCIDENTS IN SHAFTS.

Two fatal accidents occurred under this heading :

In one, a man while ascending an upcast shaft with others in the cage and having got more than three quarters of the way up, fell out without any apparent cause. This is a case which, of course, gates on the cage would have prevented, but I have doubts as to the desirableness of men being confined in this manner. There are arguments

both ways.

In the other case, apparently some coal fell down the shaft from the full tram which was being discharged from the cage at the surface, and a piece struck deceased on the head as he was entering the other cage at the bottom. This is a source of accident which I am very much surprised is not more frequent, especially to hitchers, as quantities of coal fall down the Monmouthshire and South Wales shafts during banking operations, due to the way in which the coal is piled up on the trams. To remedy this, however, a total revolution in the trams and customs of the South Wales Coal field would be necessarya large order to undertake.

TABLE (11).

ACCIDENTS with Explosives, classified according to the NATURE of the EXPLOSIVE.

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ACCIDENTS with ExPLOSIVES, classified according to their CHARACTER or CAUSE.

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There was no fatal accident in the district during the year from the use of explosives.

There were, however, three non-fatal accidents :

On the 23rd June, at Easton Colliery, powder was ignited by a spark from a naked light while a hole was being charged and resulted in injury to one person. The use of safety lamps would have prevented this.

On the 15th August, at Victoria Colliery, Ebbw Vale, a charge of carbonite having missed fire a fresh hole was bored near it and fired. Search for the charge being unsuccessful it was thought to have exploded, but on work being resumed the collier struck the detonator with his pick, causing the charge to explode which resulted in injuries to two persons.

On the 5th October, at Blaina (No. 3 Griffin Pit) Colliery, owing to carelessness on the part of the person responsible for the detonators used in driving a hard heading, one or more lay about on the floor. Some tools which were thrown down struck and exploded one of the detonators, resulting in injury to one person.

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Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. Tons. Cwt. 60 19 41 2 36 12 51 5 48

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The number of fatal accidents and deaths under this heading is one more than in the previous year, and when compared with districts outside the South Wales Coalfield it will be seen that the number is excessive. My remarks as to the roadways, &c., in last year's report need not be repeated but I confirm them one and all.

The number of hauliers or putters (by horse or by hand) killed is the same as in the previous year; the difference under the several headings as compared with 1905 is under the roadsmen, &c., and persons walking into, or coming out from their work.

There were four persons killed on the roadways going to or returning from their work. I think myself that if, where the distances are considerable, proper arrangements were made at the commencement of the shifts for conveying the men into the far end of the engine planes, and at the end of the shift for bringing them out they would be much appreciated and I certainly think, looking back at my Manchester experience, that there would not be more risk than at present with the men walking along the engine planes while the journeys are running.

If such arrangements were made, travelling on the engine planes during the shift could be prohibited, and, except in case of illness, men could be required to wait for riding out time.

It might be that more care would be necessary in keeping the roadways in order, but this would be highly advantageous as well as remunerative for coal work, as on better roads there would be less frequent stoppayes through trams getting off the rails.

In many cases arrangements might very well be made which would render it unnecessary for a rider to accompany each journey, and thus reduce one of, if not the most dangerous of dangerous occupations. This table has reference to a generally dangerous occupation when calculated on the number of persons so employed, and the “riders” is the worst or most dangerous.

The accidents are all described in Appendix I., pages 47, 48, and 49.

TABLE (15).

TOTAL ACCIDENTS AND DEATHS FROM UNDERGROUND HAULAGE IN COLLIERIES OWNED

BY THE FOLLOWING FIRMS.

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There are some object lessons to be learned from this table if carefully studied and comparisons made. The conditions of the roadways will probably be found to play an important part in connexion with it. The practice of hauliers walking in front of their horses on inclined roads is to be deprecated, as also the hauliers following each other too closely on the headings.

MACHINERY UNDERGROUND. There was no fatal accident under this heading and only one non-fatal accident reported during the year.

SUNDRIES UNDERGROUND. There are 5 fatal occurrences recorded under this heading. By reference to page 49 it will be seen how apparently trivial the causes and initial injuries were in some of them ; two, mere scratches of the skin ; one, a chip or splinter of stone striking the

eye ; one, a strain when assisting to lift a tram on to the rails, and one, the falling down of a 13 feet collar which had just been lifted upon the arms or props ivy several men and left before it was properly secured.

Before the Compensation Act came into force I do not think the first four would have been reported as accidents at all, yet they now stand as black marks against coal mining and the individual collieries where the men where employed.

SURFACE MACHINERY.

Two fatalities occurred under this heading :

One, at Llanhilleth Colliery, to a boy 13 years of age, who was appointed by the mechanic of the colliery to oil certain pullies belonging to the surface haulage. The boy attempted to do so while the pulley was in motion, and became entangled in it.

The mechanic was seriously to blame, and, when I made enquiry as to what steps the Company proposed taking to enforce their Rules, I was informed that they had decided to dismiss the mechanic, against whom general untidiness in connection with the surface was another ground of complaint. He received notice but was subsequently kept on.

The other fatality was at Blaina Colliery, and resulted from a stoker entering an egg-end boiler, which he had to clean out during the week end, before it was properly cooled down. He was overcome in some manner, presumably by the heat, and died before sufficient assistance could be summoned to get him out.

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Five fatalities occurred under this heading :

One, resulted from a full tram running down to the tippler on a gradient, intended to allow of their working automatically, and crushing deceased as he was tipping another tram.

One, while crossing the sidings, and not noticing the locomotive with two empty trucks coming towards him.

Three, while shunting and moving waggons. The scenes of two of these require improvement ; the sidings, which are generally very steep, are insufficient for the work and too narrow (in the 6 feet) between the lines.

SECTION IV.

PROSECUTIONS. There were no prosecutions during the year under this Act against owners, agents, or managers.

There were a few cases in which the Rules did not appear to have been satisfactorily

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