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Mr. Hugh Johnstone's Report.
Report on the Inspection of Mines and Quarries in the Stafford Inspection District, for the year ending 31st December 1906.— By Hugh Johnstone.
23rd March, 1907.
In pursuance of Section 43 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, Section 20 of the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act, 1872, and Section 2 of the Quarries Act, 1894, I have the honour to report upon the inspection of Mines and Quarries in the Stafford Inspection District, during the year 1906.
The district comprises the Counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
During the earlier part of the year it was under the charge of Mr. W. N. Atkinson, to whom I am indebted for much valuable assistance when taking over the work of the district, of which you were pleased to place me in charge on 21st July. Prior to this date Mr. Atkinson made 114 visits to mines, of which 45 included underground inspections, inspected 8 quarries, and attended 14 inquests. Since coming to the district I have visited 105 mines, made 32 underground inspections, inspected 126 quarries, and attended 11 inquests. A considerable portion, of my time has been taken up with meetings with mine owners and others, concerning official matters apart from actual inspection duties, and with correspondence and clerical work; practically the whole of the latter work having been done at night.
Mr. H. R. Makepeace, Assistant Inspector, reports that he was officially engaged on 290 days. He visited 313 mines, making 215 underground inspections, inspected 61 quarries, and attended 25 inquests. He was absent from duty on sick leave for 16 days.
Mr. F. H. Wynne, Assistant Inspector, reports that he was officially engaged on 273 days, made 252 visits to mines, of which 186 included underground inspections, inspected 78 quarries, and attended 27 inquests. He was absent from duty on 31 days, 23 of which were on account of sickness.
All the fatal accidents, and all the more serious of the non-fatal accidents reported, were investigated, and all the inquests attended with the exception of one, the Coroner's notice of which had been inadvertently misdirected, and only reached me on the day following that on which the inquest was held. All complaints received prompt
With a decrease of nine in the number of mines at work, owing to the exhaustion and abandonment of some of the smaller mines in Shropshire and Worcestershire, there has been an increase in the number of persons employed as compared with the preceding year, of 694 persons underground and 109 aboveground, making in all an increase of 803, or 1.46 per cent. North Staffordshire shows an increase of 769, and South Staffordshire an increase of 376; while Shropshire shows a decrease of 258, and Worcestershire a decrease of 84.
The total quantity of mineral raised exceeded that of the preceding year by 629,181 tons, or 4 per cent. The increase was obtained chiefly in North Staffordshire, where the output of coal showed an increase of 520,262 tons, or 9.13 per cent. ; and that of ironstone an increase of 114,581 tons, or 13:44 per cent.
The total increase of output in North Staffordshire amounted to 639,339 tons, and in South Staffordshire to 77,226 tons; while Shropshire and Worcestershire showed decreases of 10,754 tons and 76,630 tons respectively.
Employment was fairly steady throughout the year, except at the House Coal Collieries during the heat of summer. Prices continued practically at their former low level until the closing months of the year, when a very perceptible improvement set in. There were no changes in wages, and no strikes or disputes of any magnitude.
QUANTITY OF MINERAL RAISED per PERSON EMPLOYED.
The corresponding figures for the United Kingdom in 1906 were 374 tons per person employed underground, and 301 tons per person employed underground and above ground.
The following Table gives the number of the various types of Coal Cutting Machines in use, with particulars as to their description, motive power, distribution throughout the district, and output produced.
The above machines were used at 10 collieries.
Thirteen machines worked by compressed air produced
Amount of Coal and Ironstone
The total number of accidents reported during the year, including accidents on private branch railways, &c., was 341, an increase of 21 as compared with the previous year. There were 74 fatal accidents, causing 78 deaths, an increase of 11 accidents and
10 deaths as compared with 1905. One accident caused by a runaway tub on an engine dip resulted in two deaths, and one accident from a fall of ground caused four deaths.
The accidents, fatal and non-fatal, are summarised in Table (5), and the former, with the exception of those dealt with in the body of this report, are described in detail in Appendix I.
SUMMARY OF FATAL and NON-FATAL ACCIDENTS, classified according to PLACE
* This heading does not include accidents occurring in the shaft, but not connected with its working, and therefore falling under one or other of the cther headings.
All accidents occurring from the breakage of chains (including lashing chains and bridle chains) are included under (a); accidents from the breakage of draw bars, hooks, or other couplings (in cases where men are run over or crushed) under (b).
Including accidents in which persons were knocked down by trams or tubs in motion though the wheels may not actually pass over them; but not including accidents coming under (a).
The following tables show the counties in which the accidents occurred :—
The death-rate from accidents per 1,000 persons employed during the year is as. follows:
0.231-In previous year
Above and below ground
The increase is chiefly due to deaths from explosives in North Staffordshire, which have doubled as compared with the previous year, and to deaths from falls of ground in South Staffordshire, which show an increase of nearly 50 per cent. The death-rate from all underground accidents in South Staffordshire was 1.904 per 1,000 persons employed, and of this death-rate falls of ground accounted for 1.142. The death-rate from falls of ground in the "Black Country," taken by itself, was 2.342 per 1,000 persons employed below ground.