Scottish Mining Website

Fatal Accidents in Mines in Scotland 1891
- compiled from appendices to the reports of the Inspector of Mines and Collieries. Additional details from the main body of the report are given where available. Many accidents are not listed in these reports and additional names have been added from newspaper reports and other sources - information not sourced from the mine inspectors reports is indicated by a shaded gray background
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YearMonthDayHourCollieryLocationOwnerFirst nameSurnameOccupationAgeCategoryHour of shift when accident occurredCauseExtra Info
1890December2210amMillburnLanarkCornsilloch Coal CoJohnRamageDrawer19Miscellaneous underground4thCrushed by tub. Died Feb 18 1891

From Main body of report: This accident happened on the 22nd December 1890, and resulted fatally on the 18th February 1891, too late for inclusion in the returns for the year 1890. The accident took place at the termination of a clock which at that point had an inclination of 1 in 6 ; a few yards outbye from the termination of the dook was a working level, the drawers employed in which pushed the empty hutches up into it from the lye, and let down the full hutches with snibbles in the wheels. Deceased brought out a loaded hutch from the level, leaving it at the junction of the level and the dook, with the wheels snibbled, while he went into the lye ; shortly afterwards another drawer came out of the level and left his loaded hutch without snibbles next to deceased's hutch; deceased returned to his hutch, and commenced to lower it down the dook proceeding in front of it; the other hutch commenced to move forward, and eventually collided with deceased's hutch, and he was crushed under it.
1891January1  GlenclellandWishawKerr & MitchellJamesFlemingMiner27Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal at stoopsNB Date in report is wrong Newspaper report - Cambusnethan pages
1891January52amHermandEdinburghHermand Oil Co LtdJohnMcKnightpitheadman20Above ground3rdBurned by naphtha

From Main body of report: Deceased, a pitheadman, was in a cabin filling a naphtha lamp with naphtha from a gallon can. He seems to have turned down the flame of the naphtha lamp, but did not extinguish it, and it probably set fire to the contents of the can and to his clothing. Deceased was in the habit of attending to the lamps, and his clothing may have been impregnated with naphtha and oil, as it continued burning until he was led into a pond.
Newspaper report
1891January6--CadzowLanarkCadzow Coal Co LtdJamesMcMathTramp; not employed--Above ground-Drowned in pondNewspaper report - Hamilton pages
1891January1012.30pmMauricewoodEdinburghShotts Iron CoJamesTolmieDrawer17Miscellaneous underground7thCrushed by tub

From Main body of report: Accident occurred on a "cuddie brae," or a self-acting incline worked by a balance; the length of the brae was 25 yards, and the inclination 1 in 9. No one saw the accident happen. The drawers ran their hutches down the brae, and it appeared that deceased had accidentally allowed the loaded hutch to run down the incline before he had attached the chain to it and being in front of it was run over.
Newspaper report
1891January14--CroftheadLinlithgowPeter ThorntonHelenScottNot employed10Above ground-Crushed by waggons

From Main body of report: Had gone to the pit with food for relative
1891January158.5pmEarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdThomasMeeWaggon trimmer20Above ground3rdRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: While deceased and another workman were filling coal, that had fallen from the screens, into a waggon, a waggon shifter went to the empty lye about 170 yards away, and commenced to lower six empty waggons down to the screens, the road inclining slightly in that direction ; the waggon-shifter states the six waggons were coupled when he started them by removing a trig from before the wheel of the first one ; he went to the last waggon intending to control their speed by the brake attached to it, as the brakes on the other waggons were on the side next a wall near the screens where he would not have room to pass. The third and fourth waggons either were not coupled or became uncoupled, as the three first waggons ran away and collided with the waggon deceased was filling, causing it to run over him.
1891January195pmBridgenessLinlithgowBridgeness Coal CoWilliamHuttonCollier38Falls of roof & sides4thFall of stone  
1891January22  Springside No 10DreghornA Kenneth & SonsHughJohnstonBottomer36In shafts  Pushed a hutch into the open shaft from a mid-working and fell after it

From Main body of report: Was evidently under the impression that the cage was opposite the landing, and pushed a hutch into the open shaft and fell with it to the bottom
1891January225.15amAirdriehouseLanarkAirdrie Coal CoSamuelMurrayFireman60In shafts1stCrushed by cage

From Main body of report: Arose from a signal 1 from the bottom, which was meant as "Ring once, when the cage is in motion, to stop" being taken by the engineman to mean "Ring once for the ascent of the cage, whether loaded or empty." The special conditions at the time were of a nature to account for this misunderstanding, and deceased, who was getting off the cage was crushed by its being raised. The special conditions alluded to were as follows : only one rope was in use at the time; the cage attached to this rope had been used up to the time of the accident for chesting water, and the needles at the shaft bottom were removed so as to allow the cage to dip into the sump. Of three persons descending in the cage one intended to get off at a landing place 5 fathoms above the bottom. Before descending, some conversation had taken place with the engineman as to whether the cage should be stopped at the higher landing in going down, or should be lowered to the bottom and then belled up. The engineman, who stated that owing to the want of balance from the other rope and cage the stoppage of the cage in use at the high landing was more difficult, seems to have thought it agreed that he should stop at the high landing, if possible; he did stop the cage before reaching the bottom, but it was below the high landing; deceased did not get off, and two signals were made for the descent of the cage; the engineman, receiving this signal, lowered the cage very cautiously, as he knew the needles were out at the bottom, to within 2 ½ft. of the usual resting place. One was then signalled, and this was meant by those in the cage to stop it; the engineman, however, seems to have thought that it meant the cage was empty and all clear, and he raised it at the moment deceased was getting off. The engineman had no doubt lowered the cage very slowly, and may have actually stopped it before he received the last signal, and been under the impression that the persons in it had got off.
1891January2710amNiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdRobertBaxterManager40Miscellaneous underground5thFell down incline

From Main body of report: No. 7 in the list was the case of Mr. Baxter, a manager, falling down a carriage incline in the Edge Coal Series at Niddrie. The incline lies in the stairhead seam, at an angle of from 60° to 70°, it is traversed by two carriages running on rails; between the lines of rails are trees set between the roof and pavement. The mode of signalling is by electric wires. On the day of the accident the dookheadman heard something fall in the incline and found the signal wires were not working. He sent for Mr. Baxter, the manager, and they commenced to climb down the incline and had proceeded many fathoms when Mr. Baxter slipped and fell to the foot of the incline, a distance of about 80 fathoms; he was instantly killed. I examined the point which the dookheadman stated he and Mr. Baxter had reached when the latter fell, and saw nothing unusual in the road. I must say, however, that it appeared to me to be a risky undertaking to climb down such an incline, as no ladders were provided. Mr. Baxter was an active, pushing man, and he no doubt was anxious to remove any cause for stoppage of the incline ; at the same time I would not recommend any person to climb a long distance down such inclines, unless it was for the purpose of saving life.
1891January287amBalgonieFifeC B BalfourWilliamAdamsonCollier15Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of coal  
1891February13  Hamilton Palace No 1BothwellBent Colliery CoRobertMoonieBrusher41Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at brushing face  
1891 February 18   Millburn Lanark Cornsilloch Coal Co John Ramage See entry at top of page under 22 Dec 1890
1891February18  North Motherwell No 2MotherwellMerry & CunninghameJosephQueenMiner16Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at face  
1891February20  Overjohnstone, No 8MotherwellLate Lord Belhavens TrusteeWm.McDowallBogie boy16Miscellaneous underground  Fell off bogie and was run over  
1891February21  Enterkine No 9AyrGeorge Taylor & CoGeorgeMillerRoadsman45In shafts  Fell down a blind pit while putting in a needle

From Main body of report: A roadsman, along with the under manager was engaged putting buntons in a blind pit, when he lost his footing and fell to the bottom, receiving fatal injuries.
1891February217.30amGreenfieldLanarkArchibald RussellJamesGrayCollier58Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of head coal  
1891February23  Bredisholm No 3UddingstonGlasgow Iron & Steel CoSamuelMcSevenyMiner38Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal while “stooping”  
1891February24  Nethercroy No 1KilsythCarron CoJamesGrahamBrushing contractor44Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at road head  
1891February249.30amSpringbankLanarkSpringbank Coal Co LtdDavidBlackWaggon shifter30Above ground3rdCrushed by waggon

From Main body of report: A waggon-shifter was moving empty waggons into position for loading; when the first waggon arrived at the required point he placed a trig before one of the front wheels, but the wheel passed over it. He then placed the trig before one of the hinder wheels ; this wheel mounted the trig and the waggon moved to one side, the wheel coming down clear of the rail. Deceased's head was crushed between the grease-box of the waggon and an upright supporting the screens, causing instantaneous death.
1891February272.30pmEddlewoodLanarkJohn Watson LtdJohnBrownCollier15Miscellaneous underground8thCrushed by tubs

From Main body of report: Deceased was employed with his father at the working face; he went to the shaft to see what was detaining the driver who supplied hutches to the section; when the driver of the empty hutches left the shaft to go inbye, deceased ran after the race, and about 90 yards from the shaft was met and run over by a full race drawn by a horse, and coming outbye. The road was laid with two sets of rails at the point where deceased was hurt; the driver of the full race had shortly before gone to the hinder end of his race while inserting snibbles, the road inclining to the shaft, and consequently was not in a position to prevent the accident.
1891February2712.30pmShawfieldLanarkJohn WilsonJamesBoyleStooper40Falls of roof & sides7thFall of stone  
1891February2710amGreenhillLanarkRobert YoungMichaelHanlonCollier42Falls of roof & sides4thFall of stone  
1891February28  Hayside No 1KilmarnockJ Oastler & CoJohnCummingsMiner39Falls of roof & sides  Fall of midstone from working face  
1891March1  Bredisholm No 1UddingstonGlasgow Iron & Steel CoNeilMcGillHaulage attendant26Miscellaneous underground  Caught by the driving pulley of a dook pump worked by wire rope  
1891March9  DaldowieMount VernonDunn BrothersJamesHoodRoadsman20Miscellaneous underground  Caught by the dook “race” while putting up a prop  
1891March112pmBogLanarkHamilton McCulloch & CoJohnDuncanCollier36Falls of roof & sides8thFall of stone  
1891March138.15amDenbeathFifeBowman & CoDavidMcKenzieCollier20Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of coal  
1891March1411pmLoanheadEdinburghShotts Iron CoDavidPorteousBoiler fireman24In shafts16thCrushed by cage

From Main body of report: Deceased was ascending the shaft in the cage, and when near the surface he moved his position so as to be ready to step off; in doing so, his foot caught the hutch guard, and he staggered and allowed one of his arms to project beyond the cage, and it was crushed between the cage and shaft timbering. He was released at once and seemed little worse, no bones being broken, but he died from the effects three days afterwards.
1891March17  Ballochmyle, No 5CumnockWm WalkerClaudNimmoRoadsman21Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on drawing road  
1891March17  Gateside No 1CambuslangFlemington Coal CoJamesWrightMiner14Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at working face  
1891March223.40pmGreyriggStirlingGreyrigg Coal CoPeterStewartPumper54In shafts6thFell off cage

From Main body of report: Deceased, who worked a hand-pump in the mine, should have come to work at 7 p.m. on the day before the accident, but did not arrive at the pit until 12.40 a.m. on the day of the accident. He was then in a state of intoxication, and asked the winding-engineman to send for another pumper. He returned to the pit at 10.30 a.m., and the day-shift engineman, who did not observe in him any signs of intoxication, lowered him down the shaft. Deceased came to the surface at 2 p.m., and re-descended in a quarter of an hour. Shortly before 4 p.m. he returned to the shaft bottom, gave the usual signals, and the cage was raised, but he was not on it when it arrived at the surface. The engineman at first thought deceased had forgotten something after signalling, and had not got on to the cage, but hearing groans he lowered some men to the bottom who found deceased lying injured on some tramplates 8 inches broad which cross the shaft bottom in front of the cage, and are raised a few inches above the road. Deceased may have fallen off the cage.
1891March2311amTownhillFifeTownhill Coal CoThomasPritchardWheeler20Falls of roof & sides6thFall of coal and stone  
1891March231.5pmStonecraigsLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdRobertMcEwanCollier20Falls of roof & sides7thFall of roof  
1891March247amMerrytonLanarkMerryton Coal CoRobertWallaceMiner28Falls of roof & sides1stFall of stone; stone mine  
1891March242pmBroxburnLinlithgowBroxburn Oil Co LtdJamesBonnarDrawer22Miscellaneous underground7thCrushed by tub

From Main body of report: This accident happened on a cut chain brae in the Broxburn Oil Shale mine, and was caused by the bottomer signalling for a loaded hutch to he sent down the brae before he had received the signal from the last bench further up the brae that had made use of the chain that the empty hutch was detached and the cut fixed; the consequence was that the full hutch ran amain with only a portion of the chain attached, and, striking the empty hutch attached to the chain at the foot of the brae, caused the empty hutch at the bench higher up to move forward suddenly and injure the drawer there. The bottomer contravened Special Rule 81 ; he was charged before the sheriff, pled guilty, and was admonished.
1891March25  Overjohnstone, No 8MotherwellLord Belhaven's TrusteeJamesBlackSinking contractor60In shafts  Fell out of “kettle” to bottom of shaft

From Main body of report: A sinking contractor lost his life by falling off a sinking “kettle” while he and the oversman were measuring the depth of the shaft. He had been standing, as is usual, on the rim of the “kettle” which at the time was stationary, but he had been drinking heavily for some time previously, and I fear he was not in a fit state to ride on a kettle.
1891March2710amAllantonLanarkWilliam Barr & SonsThomasRodgersonWaggon trimmer15Above ground3rdCrushed by waggons

From Main body of report: The waggon-shifter was moving forward 10 waggons from the back lye to the screens at the pit; he uncoupled the five first waggons and ran them in the direction of the nut screen, but on reaching a switch they stopped, and he went to get a horse to move them. While he was away a waggon-trimmer uncoupled the leading waggon and moved it forward about a foot; deceased attempted to pass between it and the next waggon in order to assist, when the last five of the 10 waggons, which had been moving forward unnoticed, collided with the four waggons behind him and pushed them forward against the leading waggon, causing deceased's head to be crushed between the buffers.
After the accident, it appeared that deceased when applying for work had stated to the manager that he was over 16 years of age, while in fact he was not 16, and therefore not allowed under Section 7 (8) of the Act to move railway waggons.
1891April211.45amEarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdJohnWatsonpitheadman48In shafts6thFell from cage

From Main body of report: In this case a pitheadman fell from a cage a few feet below the surface to the shaft bottom, a distance of 138 fathoms, and was instantly killed. Earnock Colliery has two shafts ; the downcast shaft is used exclusively for raising coal, the upcast exclusively for raising and lowering men and sending down material. The upcast shaft, which is rectangular in form, is in connexion with a fan. Over the top of the shaft is a building entered by double doors and lighted by large windows ; deceased and another pitheadman had brought into this building a hutch loaded with rails 15 feet long, and were preparing to load the cage with them. The cage had been lowered until its top was level with the surface, the cover had been taken off, the hinged floor of the upper deck had been raised, and deceased was on the bottom deck placing a piece of wood in position to cover a hole, when he fell from the cage through a space of 16 inches wide between tho shaft side and the cage. It was supposed that deceased had stumbled in the cage and fallen out.
1891April141.30pmCallendarStirlingCallendar Coal CoJohnAndersonCollier27Falls of roof & sides8thFall of roof  
1891April2111.30am to 1.30pmBalquhatstoneStirlingJohn Watson LtdThomasBinnieCollier23Falls of roof & sides6th to 8thFall of roof  
1891May26.10amCroftheadLinlithgowPeter ThorntonJohnSommervillepitheadman21In shafts1stFell down shaft

From Main body of report: This was another case of a pitheadman falling from the surface to the bottom of a shaft 60 fathoms deep. The shaft was circular and divided by a mid wall. One half of it was being slided, and while this was being done the fence, which had been used while sinking, was removed so as to allow the slides, 40 feet long, to be sent down the pit; at the close of each day the top of the pit was covered with planks ; deceased had just come to work and had removed all the planks but one, and when in the act of removing it he fell down the shaft with it.
1891May52pmWilsontownLanarkWilliam Dixon LtdPeterHunterPony driver15Falls of roof & sides8thFall of side  
1891May119amTarbraxLanarkCaledonian Mineral Oil Co LtdJamesMcQuinDrawer23Miscellaneous underground3rdCrushed by tubs

From Main body of report: Accident caused the death of a drawer during his first shift at the mine, although he had acted as drawer in other mines previously. The full hutches brought from the level were lowered down an incline of 1 in 7 with one snibble into the head of a wheel brae, and deceased, who was in front of the hutch, was overpowered, owing, it is supposed, to the snibble having dropped out. He had been assisted by the miner who employed him in bringing out the first two hutches, and had been instructed how to proceed, and had said he was quite able to do the work.
1891May16  Wellshot No 1CambuslangD G DunnRobertBrisbaneMiner20Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal through want of spragging  
1891May181pmMuiredgeFifeBowman & CoRobertMcKayPit bottomer44In shafts7thFall of tub from cage

From Main body of report: Deceased was assistant bottomer at the winding shaft. The cages are double decked, each deck holding one hutch which is secured in the cage by depressions in the rails and also by a guard. The top deck was loaded first, but the bottomer left the shaft before he had secured the hutch as he heard a rake of hutches approaching which called for his attention. Deceased, who was not authorised to signal, did so, not observing that the hutch in the upper deck was not secured ; the cage was raised and the bottom deck set level with the plates, and deceased pushed forward a loaded hutch into the cage and was in the act of securing it when the hutch in the top deck moved backwards and fell upon him. He was so injured that he died in a few minutes.
1891May219amBogLanarkHamilton McCulloch & CoDavidRossScreenman63Above ground3rdFell from coal cleaner

From Main body of report: A travelling belt used for cleaning coal was being repaired, and deceased placed himself on the under or return half of the belt near where the side chains were cut for the purpose of the repairs. The belt gave way and he fell from it first 9 ft. on to a waggon of coal, and then to the ground. The belt was under the charge of deceased ; he was warned that he was in an unsafe place.
1891May21  Hallhill No 1BailliestonWm Baird & CoRobertWrightDrawer17Miscellaneous underground  Crushed against the roof by a passing loaded hutch  
1891May22  Quarter No 1DennyWm Baird & CoJamesDowlarMiner40Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at working face  
1891May26  Auchenharvie No 5StevenstonGlengarnock Iron & Steel CoAlexr.Deansreddsman54Above ground  Crushed against door post by a hutch while drawing in front of it  
1891May269.30amLittle RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdJamesVentersCollier35Falls of roof & sides4thFall of roof Newspaper report - Beath accidents
1891May274amDeansLinlithgowWest Lothian oil Co LtdJamesJohnstonePit bottomer26In shafts10thFell down shaft

From Main body of report: In this case the shaft is 38 fathoms deep to the Broxburn shale and passes through the Fells shale at 20 fathoms ; only the latter seam was being wrought, the former being under water. The shaft, rectangular in shape, contained two cage spaces, but only one was used for raising shale from the Fells shale, a water chest in the other space raised water from the Broxburn shale when the other cage was not in use from Fells shale. The shaft at Fells shale was fenced off in the water space and up to two days before the accident the winding space was fenced by an open sparred gate. Two days before the accident the cage winding from Fells shale was tilted up to hold two hutches abreast instead of only one, and when this was done the gate that had been in use was too narrow, it was taken off' and the joiner was instructed to hang a wider one; this was not done and the shaft remained unfenced up to the time of the accident. When winding water the cage used for raising mineral traversed the whole depth. There were no shuts in the shaft at the Fells seam. When the bottomer at the Fells shale had no full hutches to send up he belled two to the engineman, who then drew water until two was again belled, indicating that full hutches were ready to be sent up.
Deceased as bottomer had cleared out the bottom of hutches and belled two to the engineman who raised the water chest to the surface, the winding cage being then at the Broxburn shale; full hutches came to the bottom, and deceased, apparently forgetting that he had signalled to the engineman to draw water, pushed one of them into the shaft and fell after it to the bottom.
Newspaper report _ Lothian pages
1891May281.30pmClydeLanarkClyde Coal Co LtdJohnMcDonaldCollier14Falls of roof & sides7thFall of stone  
1891May30  Thankerton No 4HolytownJohn McAndrew & CoJohnPinkertonBrusher20Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at road head while knocking out a prop  
1891June3  North Motherwell No 2MotherwellMerry & CunninghameJamesBlackBrusher49Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at brushing face  
1891June6  CampsEdinburghWilliam TorranceWilliamWhighamMiner35Falls of ground  Fall of limestone

From Main body of report: This occurred in the Camps Limestone mine. The bed is 42 ft. thick, of which the lower 35 ft. is worked. The inclination was steep at the place where the fall took place, which consisted of about three tons of limestone from the upper part of the bed and from the dip side of the working. Deceased was a contractor for working the mine. The place had been visited by the manager twice on the day of the accident, and he had observed no signs of danger.
1891June8  Pennyvenie No 1DalmellingtonDalmellington Iron CoAndrewWallaceDrawer14Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at face  
1891June127.10amHaywoodLanarkHaywood Gas Coal CoJamesBrittonPit bottomer20In shafts2ndFell down shaft

From Main body of report: This was a case of a bottomer falling from a mid-working into the shaft. The cages did not run below the mid-working and the dip-winding space into which deceased fell was partially closed by two bars on which the cage rested ; these bars were about 2 feet apart. The deceased, just commencing his day's work, loaded and sent up the dip cage and then brought forward another hutch loaded with stones which he pushed into the same side evidently under the impression that the cage was there, the hutch fell through between the bars and deceased followed.
The dip winding space had been closed by a door for ventilating purposes up to a few days before the accident; this door had been removed as it was no longer required for ventilation, and it was not thought necessary to replace it by a gate as the needles partially closed the shaft, although, as the accident proved, not sufficiently.
1891June17  Maxwood No 1GalstonEglinton Iron CoSamuelWhitelawMiner20Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at face  
1891June227.15amMerrytonLanarkMerryton Coal CoThomasCairnsCollier24Falls of roof & sides1stFall of stoneNewspaper report - Dalserf pages
1891June2512noonGrangemouthStevenstonGrangemouth Coal CoWilliamWhitePony driver16Falls of roof & sides6thFall of stone  
1891July22.20pmLittle RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdPeterThomsonCollier36Falls of roof & sides9thFall of roofNewspaper report - Beath accidents
1891July212noonMuiredgeFifeBowman & CoJamesHendersonPony driver13In shafts6thIn shaft

From Main body of report: This accident occurred in a shaft where coal was raised from two levels, one at 34 fathoms and the other at 48 fathoms ; one cage only was used for each bottom and the drum was of two diameters. The fittings were apparently all in good order. When the upper level had no full hutches to send up, as was frequently the case, most coal coming to the lower level, it was stated to me to be the practice to leave on the empty hutch and bell away each time the cage came to the upper level. Deceased, a driver, came to the upper bottom with full hutches, and previously the cage containing an empty hutch had been running up and down the shaft in the manner described; when deceased arrived with the full hutches the bottomer took off the empty hutch from the cage and went forward to bring a full hutch, immediately afterwards he heard a noise in the shaft and saw deceased fall to the upper level.
The engineman stated he received a signal to raise the cage ; the bottomer stated he gave no signal and did not think deceased gave one as he would have heard the rebound of the signal lever at the bottom had he done so. The signals could be heard by persons on the pit head, but much reliance could not be placed upon such evidence as could be gathered from them, as in one was aware of anything unusual having happened until after the accident and the signals are constantly being made throughout the day. Deceased had no business near the cage.
1891July412.55pmAlloaClackmannanAlloa Coal CoWilliamFyfeOversman67Above ground7thCrushed by waggons

From Main body of report: In this case an oversman, on the completion of his work in the mine, got on to one of two waggons of dross which were being lowered by gravity down an incline leading from the pit; these waggons were followed by a locomotive in front of a train of 13 loaded waggons, the speed of which was being checked by some of the brakes being pinned down, and by the application of the brake on the locomotive : the waggons of dross were under the control of a guard ; they came to a standstill, and the train following was unable to be stopped in time to prevent a collision which threw the oversman off the waggon he was on, and he was run over.
1891July6  Quarter No 1DennyWm Baird & CoRobertMcPakeMiner70Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal  
1891July710.30amEarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdNeilFrazerSurface foreman35Above ground4thRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: Deceased, a surface foreman, was lowering an empty waggon from the back lye at the pit to the screens. He had neglected to secure seven empty waggons standing behind the one he brought away, and these waggons followed him. He saw what had occurred, stopped the waggon he was taking down, ran back, caught up a prop, and attempted to insert it in the last wheel of the first of the seven waggons. He did not insert the prop far enough, and he was caught by it and thrown on to the rails, the second waggon passing over his body.
1891July143.15pmNiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdCharlesBradenPony driver16In shafts2ndFell down shaft

From Main body of report: This accident took place in a shaft which is 256 fathoms deep, and is sunk partly in and partly adjacent to the seam of coal, which is here nearly vertical. The cages have three decks, each deck holding one hutch. There are several points in the shaft at which coal is put on the cage, and a system of signalling is in use which has been described in my predecessor's report for the year 1873. Shortly it is as follows : each level is provided with a signal lever which also acts as a fence to the shaft, the wire from this lever moves a piece of iron in a box and rings a bell in the engine-house. When the cage is wanted the bottomer raises the lever, which raises the piece of iron, and at the same time rings the bell in the engine-house ; the shaft is now unfenced, and after the cage is placed at the level it is not moved again until the lever is dropped, fencing the shaft and lowering the piece of iron in the engine-house.
No. 18 level, where the accident happened, is 62 fathoms from the bottom; during the principal shift two bottomers were employed, the full hutches being placed on the cage at one side and the empty hutches being taken off at the other, but during the afternoon shift, in which the accident happened, only one bottomer was employed, and the full hutches were placed upon and the empty hutches taken off the same side of the cage, the other side being then closed by an ordinary fence. At the time of the accident the appliances were apparently in good order except that the hell in the engine-house was not attached to the wire from No. 18 level. The engineman stated, however, that the movement of the piece of iron was a sufficient signal.
Shortly before the accident the bottomer at No. 18 level raised his signal lever and the top deck of the cage was set level with the bench; this deck was empty and was loaded with a full hutch, the cage was signalled up so that the lower decks might be loaded; the second deck was already loaded; the engineman therefore set the third and lowest deck level with the plates, it contained an empty hutch. As there were so many loaded hutches in the bottom the bottomer pushed the empty hutch through to the other side which he had unfenced ; he then went back for a loaded hutch to place on the cage. At this time deceased, a driver who had nothing to do with the bottoming, offered to go round for the empty hutch; he did so and had moved it when the engineman drew away the cage and deceased fell to the bottom of the shaft. The bottomer saw him fall as he brought forward the full hutch, which he had some difficulty in preventing falling into the shaft. The engineman stated that after setting the bottom deck of the cage level with the bench he turned for a moment to look towards the boilers, and on looking back he saw that the piece of iron connected with the wire of No. 18 level had dropped, and he therefore raised the cage.
1891July18--LevenFifeFife Coal Co LtdHenryHuttonNot employed7Above ground-Run over by waggons  
1891July226amClydeLanarkClyde Coal Co LtdJamesCullenFireman37In shafts2ndFell down shaft

From Main body of report: This accident happened in a circular shaft 134 fathoms deep to the splint coal, but used only for drawing water from that depth at night, during the day coal was raised by two cages attached to ropes on a dram of two diameters, one winding from the Ell coal at 108 ½ fathoms, and one from the Main coal at 121 fathoms. The cages were single decked, and rested on scaffolds at the Ell and Main coal seams during the day. At night these scaffolds, consisting of planks, were removed and other necessary changes made for the purpose of winding water. It was the custom of the fireman, after examining the workings, to return to the shaft and replace the scaffolds before the miners descended. Deceased, who was a roadsman acting as fireman at the time, descended to the Ell coal examined the workings, and returned to the shaft; he belled two for the cage to descend to the Ell coal, so that he might bell it up and hang it above the doorheads while he replaced the scaffold as he had been instructed. When deceased belled two the Ell coal cage was resting on needles at the surface, and arrangements were in progress for preparing for winding coal; the engineman could not therefore attend to the signal, but when he was able to lower the cage he did so; in the interval deceased had commenced to put in the scaffold was caught by the cage descending on him. He was able to cry out, and the cage was at once raised in answer to signals made by persons at the Main coal who heard him. On the cage being raised he fell through the scaffold to the Main coal.
1891July237amAddiewellEdinburghYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdArthurTonarMiner24Explosions of firedamp1stExplosion of fire damp

From Main body of report: This was an explosion of fire-damp in the Fells oil shale seam of Addiewell No. 2 Pit. Four persons were burnt, one of whom died in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary six days after the accident. The seam of shale is 5 feet thick, and with 2 feet of underlying blaes which is lifted forms a working 7 feet high, the inclination of the beds is 1 in 5. The shale is worked stoop and room, the stoops being 60 feet on the level by 40 feet on the rise; the rooms are 14 feet wide, of which about 7 feet is stowed with the blaes. The seam yields a little fire-damp which was occasionally seen in the upsets or rise places, and the examination of the working places before the entry of the workmen under General Rule 4 (i), was made with a safety lamp. On the day of the accident, Rankine, the fireman, when making this examination, detected some fire-damp at the face of an upset about 17 yards up from the level (see Plate Fig. 1), in which the deceased worked. Rankine returned to the pithead and filled up and signed his report, omitting in it all reference to this fire-damp; but he told deceased that there was fire-damp in his place, and that he was not to enter it until it had been re-examined. The upset was bratticed to within 10 yards of the face. Rankine, accompanied by the workmen who were afterwards burned, proceeded to the foot of the upset; all the naked lights were extinguished by him before they reached that point; Rankine, followed by deceased, ascended the upset with his safety lamp, a Davy lamp without a shield, and found the quantity of fire-damp had increased ; he placed his Davy lamp on the floor, and, taking a piece of canvas, commenced to waft out the gas. Two or three minutes afterwards Peter Tonar opened the screen door at the foot of the upset, and immediately the fire-damp was ignited.
Rankine supposed that a lamp had been re-lit at the foot of the upset, but this was denied.
The explosion blew down the brattice which was replaced to within 12 feet of the face, and when Mr. Johnstone, inspector assisting, examined the place four days after the accident he found no fire-damp. The air-current at C then measured only 240 cubic feet per min.
It did not appear that fire-damp had been seen in the upset before the morning of the explosion ; no mention of it was made in the report book, but this could not be accepted as conclusive evidence in view of the fireman's omission to record the presence of fire-damp on the day of the accident.
The practice of wafting out fire-damp is very reprehensible ; no person should be allowed to work in any place where the ordinary current of air is not sufficient to clear away any fire-damp.
1891July24  Dechmont No 2CambuslangDechmont Colliery CoPeterHenriettaMiner50Miscellaneous underground  Explosion of compressed powder while forcing it into the shot hole with a jumper  
1891July282pmStonecraigsLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdAndrewCoulterCollier44Falls of roof & sides8thFall of coal  
1891July29  DalzielMotherwellWishaw Coal CoWm.MallieMiner26Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal  
1891August112.40pmRossLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdGeorgeAndersonCollier23Explosions of firedamp7thExplosion of fire damp

From Main body of report: This explosion, resulting in 2 deaths, was caused by the deceased persons proceeding past a fence with naked lights into an unoccupied place in which they had previously worked, their object being to measure the distance driven. Fig. 2 is a sketch of the place.
The seam is 5 feet thick, and is worked stoop and room ; the place B in which the explosion occurred was 9 feet wide, and inclined upward in the direction of the face at the rate of 1 in 6. It had not been occupied for more than a week before the accident.
The district was examined on the day of the explosion by the fireman before work was commenced, and no fire-damp was then seen. The fireman stated he examined the place in which the explosion occurred, and found it clear. The deceased worked in the place A with naked lights from about 6 a.m. up to 12.40 p.m.; they then proceeded past the fence into the place B, and caused the explosion. They were severely burned, and succumbed to their injuries, one two days and the other three days after the accident, in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Mr. McLaren, inspector assisting, who investigated the accident, was of opinion that after the fireman's visit to the place B a fall of roof had taken place and broken down the brattice, some distance from the face, short circuited the air, and allowed fire-damp to gather. The splint seam yields some fire-damp, and in it some of the neighbouring collieries use safety-lamps only. The district was not dry, and consequently the explosion was not extended by coal dust.
Mr. McLaren, when he examined the place four days after the accident, observed that the fine splinters on the wood bratticing showed signs of scorching by the flame. Some time afterwards I inspected the place, and observed that this was so on carefully examining the brattice.
Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1891August1  Hamilton Palace No 1BothwellBent Colliery CoSamuelDicksonMiner29Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coalNewspaper report
1891August39amBenartyFifeLochore & Capeldrae Cannel Coal Co LtdJohnFinlaysonLabourer17Above ground2ndFell before waggon

From Main body of report:Deceased attempted to stop some loaded waggons which were moving slowly by inserting a prop 4 1/2 ft. long into the wheels, when it was jerked against him and he was thrown on to the rails and run over.
1891August3  HaughheadUddingstonHaughhead Coal CoRobertStruthersBrushing contractor37Explosions of firedamp  Explosion of firedamp

From Main body of report: This explosion happened in a section of Main coal workings which was just being opened up, and therefore was of limited extent. When the fireman made his usual morning inspection, previous to the commencement of the shift, he found a considerable accumulation of firedamp in the workings, and in consequence the miners in that section were not admitted to work. The fireman and the deceased were instructed by the under-manager to clear out the firedamp, and to use safety-lamps while doing so. They accordingly proceeded to clear out the gas by tightening and re-arranging screens in order to force more air in, and it appears that some time after commencing operations the fireman went out to the pit bottom to get some stuffing, leaving the deceased on one side of a screen which separated him from the air current in which the firedamp was expected to be carried away. Previous to the departure of the fireman, the deceased had lighted a naked lamp from his safety-lamp which was not locked, and this the fireman seems to have permitted, as he merely told him to be cautious. When the fireman was returning from the pit bottom a violent explosion took place, and when the workings were subsequently entered, the body of the deceased was found badly mangled, having evidently been driven to a considerable distance from the screen by the force of the explosion. It is conjectured that for some purpose or other the deceased had gone through the screen with his naked light and ignited the firedamp which their operations had already dislodged. In using a naked light, the deceased not only disobeyed the under-manager's instructions, but also contravened Special Rule 87 (5), which prohibits naked lights where safety-lamps are required to be used. The fireman, however, was to blame for having failed to lock the lamps in use, and for having allowed the deceased to use an open light, however obtained. There was also a contravention of Special Rule 38 in this case which might have been attended with serious consequences. By this rule it is provided that where firedamp has been found and cannot be at once cleared out, the workmen shall not be allowed to enter – if the accumulation be dangerous – any place ventilated with the current of air which has left that place, until the impure air by further appliances has been entirely dispelled. In this case, the firedamp which was being dislodged was being carried away by an air current passing directly into another section of workings in which there were men using naked lights, and by a road which pony drivers and others were frequently passing with naked lights. The accumulation of firedamp was a dangerous one and both the fireman and under manager acted directly against this important regulation by permitting naked lights to the leeward while the firedamp was being dispelled. Proceedings against them were taken for contravention of the rules, and they were fined by the sheriff.
Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1891August3  Bredisholm No 3UddingstonGlasgow Iron & Steel CoJamesSandersonRoadsman51Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on road  
1891August6  Thankerton No 6HolytownJohn McAndrew & CoThos.McGheeBrusher35Miscellaneous underground  Explosion of powder by a spark from his lamp or pipe  
1891August91pmBreichLinlithgowHermand Oil Co LtdCharlesDunnBlacksmith38Above ground5thKnocked down by falling pipe

From Main body of report: Deceased was assisting on a Sunday to connect steampipes leading to an underground pump with the steampipe next the winding engine on the surface. The pipe next the winding engine was to be taken out and its position altered; it was supported by a block of wood and one bolt only, the other bolts having been unscrewed, and on deceased knocking out the block of wood the single bolt was not able to hold it, and it fell, striking deceased and causing an injury to his head.
1891August13--ArnistonEdinburghArniston Coal Co LtdThomasMurrayNot employed5Above ground-Fell off scaffold

From Main body of report: Had gone to the pit with food for relative
1891August15  Lanemark Afton PitNew CumnockLanemark Coal CoRobertNeilMiner17Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on road  
1891August15  BarrwoodKilsythWm Baird & CoJohnDavidsonStone-picker14Above ground  Run over by a waggon while snibbling it  
1891August19  Braidhurst No 2MotherwellSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoWm.CarsonMiner38Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on road  
1891August228amCowdenbeathFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co LtdJohnNeilsonCollier35Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of roof

From Main body of report: The fireman when visiting deceased's working place on the day before the accident gave him instructions to set timber under the portion of roof whence the stone subsequently fell; when making his inspection before the entry of the workmen on the day of the accident the fireman found that the wood he had directed deceased to put up had not been set. After making his inspection of the part of the mine where deceased worked the fireman proceeded to another district to inspect it, and in the meantime deceased and other miners passed into their working places, and shortly after commencing work the stone fell on deceased. In order to put a stop to the miners proceeding to their working places before seeing the fireman, a prosecution, No. 16 in the list of prosecutions, was instituted.
1891August26  Parkhead No 17MotherwellGlasgow Iron & Steel CoRichardMartinMiner28Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal  
1891August318.30amEarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdAlexr.Browning, junCollier15Falls of roof & sides3rdFall of roof  
1891August31  Caldwell No 2BeithWm Dixon LtdJamesRankinLabourer58In shafts  Pushed a hutch into open shaft and fell down along with it

From Main body of report: A labourer on the surface, in broad daylight pushed a hutch into the shaft at the low scaffold
1891September12.30amGarriongillLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdAdamScottRepairer16Falls of roof & sides5thFall of coal and stone  
1891September1  Springhill No 4KilmarnockArchd. Finnie & SonJohnBanksBrusher47Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at road head while knocking out props  
1891September44.15pmDunnikierFifePeter Herd and SonsJamesCollinsBrusher45Falls of roof & sides3rdFall of roof and coal  
1891September4  Bank No 1New CumnockNew Bank Coal CoJamesTroddenPony driver26Miscellaneous underground  Crushed against the roof while riding on the front hutch of a “race”  
1891September8  Monkland No 9AirdrieCalderbank Steel & Coal CoJohnSmithMiner38Falls of roof & sides  Fall of midstone  
1891September1012.30pmBarncluithLanarkArchibald RussellAbrahamDargueRedsman44Falls of roof & sides6thFall of roof  
1891September11  Springside No 11DreghornA Kenneth & SonsAndrewHaggertyBrusher44Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on road  
1891September1410.40amCastlehillLanarkShotts Iron CoThomasBrownCollier17Falls of roof & sides4thFall of coal  
1891September14--LodgeStirlingJohn Watson LtdWilliamAitkenDrawer43Miscellaneous underground-Sudden death; apoplexy  
1891September18  BallochmyleAuchinleckWm WalkerJohnGilmourCarter66Above ground  Hutch fell into the scree at the pithead and struck him  
1891September222.15pmBentLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdOwenGellicksCollier18Falls of roof & sides8thFall of coal and blaes  
1891September22  BroomhouseMount VernonHaughhead Coal CoJohnMairMiner45Falls of roof & sides  Fall of midstone  
1891September227amElphingstoneHaddingtonR & J DurieAlexanderReddingCollier24Falls of roof & sides1stFall of coal and blaes  
1891September23  AuldhouseburnMuirkirkCairntable Gas Coal CoJohnDempseyDrawer42Miscellaneous underground  Ignition of shot which he is supposed to have been stemming with a jumper  
1891September246pmRiddochhillLinlithgowGavin Paul & SonsJohnMarshallPit bottomer19In shafts1stFell down shaft

From Main body of report: This accident was in connection with a mid-working, and was due to an act of forgetfulness on the part of the bottomer. He appears to have thought that the cage was at the Jewel coal when it was at the surface, and pushing a full hutch into the shaft he fell with it a distance of 11 fathoms. The shaft at the Jewel coal was enclosed on both sides by doors, one of which was propped open by a piece of coal.
1891September263amFenceLanarkNitshill & Lesmahagow Coal CoJamesMeikleTub coupler16Miscellaneous underground7thCaught by rake of tubs

From Main body of report: Deceased, a lad of 16, was employed on the night shift; he came to work about 8pm, and appears to have fallen asleep about 3am. in a dangerous position, and was crushed to death between 30 stationary hutches and five moving hutches actuated by an endless rope and moving at a speed of three miles per hour.
1891September2810.45pmMonklandLanarkCalderbank Steel & Coal CoJohnMcIntyreCollier28Miscellaneous underground4thPremature explosion of a shot

From Main body of report: In this case it was stated by a fellow workman, who was engaged with deceased at the face of a stone mine, that deceased had charged the hole with bobbins of compressed gunpowder, and was in the act of stemming the hole with a pick shaft when the shot exploded, but from the fact that on an examination of the place I found a bobbin of gunpowder lying near the hole with the fuse inserted, I am led to believe that the hole was being charged at the time it exploded ; a wooden stemmer for pushing home the charge was in the possession of the men, but it was found some distance from the hole, and had evidently not been in use at the time; a steel jumper was lying near the hole.
I have a strong suspicion that deceased was pushing in the charge with a steel jumper, and if this was so he was contravening General Rule 12 (d). The hole was machine-drilled, and was in such a position that it is possible that a spark from deceased's lamp, which he probably had in his bonnet, may have dropped into the hole and ignited the charge.
1891September2910.40amBathvilleLinlithgowJames Wood LtdAlexanderMarshallCollier33Falls of roof & sides4thFall of coal  
1891September29  WanlockheadSanquharDuke of BuccleuchWm.McCall, senMiner69Falls of roof & sides  Fall of side  
1891September299amLevenFifeFife Coal Co LtdHenryIrelandLocomotive driver27Above ground3rdFell before waggon

From Main body of report: This occurred near a coal-washing machine. Ten empty trucks were being run down to the washing-machine under the charge of the guard. Under ordinary conditions the pinning down of the brakes of the three leading waggons would have been sufficient to control the whole. As the day was showery the rails were wet, and the waggons were moving too fast, and he pinned down three more brakes; in the meantime deceased seeing seven waggons standing in the washery siding on the same line of rails, feared they would be displaced, and he ran to the rear one and seated himself on the brake lever with his legs and arms under the buffer. The shock of the collision drove the waggon forward a few feet, and deceased fell on the rail and was run over.
1891September306.15amFenceLanarkNitshill & Lesmahagow Coal CoJohnMcIntyreFireman54Falls of roof & sides11thFall of stone  
1891October32pm or laterLinridgeLanarkLinridge Coal CoDavidMcAlpineCollier51Falls of roof & sides8thFall of roof

From Main body of report: Deceased was engaged in stooping in a tract of Ell coal lying near the surface, approached by a day level. The miners used the day level in going to and returning from their work. The hutches were drawn by the miners to near the mouth of the level where a horse took them to the screens at a pit some distance away. On the day of the accident, a Saturday, deceased was visited in his working place by a roadsman at 11.55 a.m. Some time after this a fall of roof took place, and deceased was buried. Most of the miners left the mine about 2 p.m., and no one noticed that deceased had not come out; it was no doubt assumed that he had done so. Deceased lived alone, and no alarm was raised in consequence of his not returning home, and he lay in the mine until Monday morning, when a roadsman who was examining the workings found him under the fall. He was then dead. I was informed that no bones were broken. The surface clay was within two feet of the coal at the point where the fall took place. The place when I examined it appeared to have been well wooded, and it seemed as though a fall of coal had taken place and knocked the trees out next the face below crowns set in the place, and so allowed the roof to come down. There is some probability that had deceased been rescued soon after the fall took place his life might have been saved. The only rule providing for seeing the miners out of the mine is No. C4 in the Special Rules, which is as follows:—
"The bottomer shall not leave his post at the pit-bottom until the whole workers of his shift shall have ascended the shaft''
but in this case there was no shaft and no bottomer.
1891October7  Woodhill No 14KilmarnockGlengarnock Iron & Steel CoPeterMcPikeDrawer16Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at working face  
1891 October 8  Dumbreck Kilsyth   John Leishman Surfaceman 49 Not recorded - with thanks to Stella Turner for providing this information
Subsequent investigation suggests this was a railway accident, possibly while deceased was walking along the lines to work
1891October124.50pmGilmertonEdinburghGilmerton Gas Coal Co LtdWilliam RLaingScreenman37Above ground11thRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: Another case of being thrown under waggons by a tree used for spragging. Some waggons left unsecured followed two empty waggons deceased was taking to the screens, and he went back and made use of a tree 7 1/2 ft. long to sprag them. Not inserting it far enough, it was jerked against him and he was thrown before the wheels and run over.
1891October13  Kirkwood No 1CoatbridgeKirkwood Coal CoCharlesMcKayDrawer24Miscellaneous underground  Run over by runaway hutches on a dook Newspaper Report - Old Monkland pages
1891October14  DalzielMotherwellWishaw Coal CoPatrickSweeneybogieman48Miscellaneous underground  Fell, in some unexplained way, in front of his bogie and was run over  
1891October16  CultsFifeJames MartinGeorgeRobertsonMiner13Falls of ground  Fall of limestone

From Main body of report: This occurred in a bed of limestone lying nearly level, and about 17 1/2 ft. thick, the lower 11 ft. of which is worked. The part worked is divided into several plies. The bottom plies had been worked forward about 3 ft. at the face of a room about 14 ft. wide, and the miner who employed deceased had, up to a short time before the accident, been engaged in drilling a hole in a loose block of limestone lying on the floor under the top plies, with a view to break it up by blasting. He went back from the face a short distance and deceased commenced to drill, when without any warning a block of limestone from the upper plies fell upon him, breaking in its fall the jumper he was using. The block fell from clay backs.
1891October21  LeadhillLanarkLeadhills Silver lead Mining and Smelting Co LtdThomasNeilsonMiner27Miscellaneous underground  Made ground gave way

From Main body of report: This occurred in sloping a vein about 7 ft. wide at Leadhills Lead Mine. The ore and vein stuff after being detached from the vein rested on timber stretching from side to side of the vein. The miners worked on the top of this loose stuff. The previous shift had observed signs of weakness in one of the supporting timbers and had told deceased and his partner of this. They examined the timber, and placed a tree under the timber to which their attention had been called, and in doing this it is supposed they may have loosened the adjoining support, as this one shortly afterwards gave way, causing the loose stuff to run, carrying deceased with it.
1891October232.15pmWallyfordEdinburghDeans & MooreRobertSkirvingCollier24In shafts9thFell from cage

From Main body of report: Appears to have been due to deceased having fainted and fallen off the cage while ascending the shaft after the completion of his day's work. Deceased complained of feeling unwell immediately before he fell. Three other persons were in the cage with him.
1891October23  Tannochside No 1BothwellCalderbank Steel & Coal CoAndrewCarsonMiner50Falls of roof & sides  Fall of coal 
1891October23  Souterhouse No 2CoatbridgeRobert PettigrewEdwardSweeneyMiner45Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at working face 
1891October267.30amMonklandLanarkCalderbank Steel & Coal CoJosephParkesRoadsman & drawer40Falls of roof & sides1stFall of stone 
1891October28--GreyriggStirlingGreyrigg Coal CoRobertRankineNot employed10Above ground-Crushed by waggons

From Main body of report: Had gone to the pit with food for relative
1891October28  BogsideIrvineEglinton Iron CoSamuelMontgomerieScreenman72Above ground  Run over by a waggon when about to sprag it 
1891October2910pmWoodmuirEdinburghWoodmuir Coal CoJamesFrazerBrusher53Miscellaneous underground3rdExplosion of shot

From Main body of report: In this case a contractor for brushing the roof in the longwall roads, and a workman in his employ had drilled a machine hole and charged it with gunpowder; during the stemming the copper needle broke, and about 9 inches of it was left in the hole; the contractor went to an adjoining place and borrowed another needle, a boring hammer, and small jumper; shortly after he had returned to the shot it went off, killed the workman, and seriously injured the contractor. It appears probable that the shot was being unrammed in order to extract the part of the needle left in the hole in contravention of General Rule 12 (e).
1891October294.50pmPentlandEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdJohnMcDonaldDrawer22Miscellaneous underground3rdStruck by runaway tub

From Main body of report: Accident occurred on a self-acting incline dipping at an angle of 30°. To prevent the tilting of the hutches on the steep gradient each end of the rope has two coupling chains with hooks or "gabbies," one of which is hooked into the ring at the end of the draw-bar of the hutch, and the other on to the upper end of the hutch (see Figs. 3 and 4). The draw-bar of the hutches is furnished with a link at each end for coupling purposes, and one of these links has a hook attached to it. It appears that a hutch was shoved over the top of the incline with one of the hooks attached to the rope hooked into the gabbie link at the end of the draw-bar, the other hook having hold of the edge of the hutch; these hooks became detached, and the hutch ran amain and struck deceased, who was at the bottom of the brae.
1891November57amLittle RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdThomasWoodFireman32Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of stone 
1891November5--TarbraxLanarkCaledonian Mineral Oil Co LtdMichaelKerrMiner25Falls of roof & sides-Fall of shale

From Main body of report: Deceased worked in a solid place in the Fells Oil Shale Seam of Tarbrax No. 2 pit, and his place was visited at 10.30 a.m. on the day of the accident by the fireman. Deceased was then in an adjoining place where the fireman afterwards saw him and gave him some directions as to securing his place, which appear not to have been attended to, and a fall of side took place. Nothing was known of the accident until about. 6.30 p.m., when some of deceased's fellow lodgers, finding he had not returned to his lodgings, went to the pit and found him lying under a piece of shale in his working place; he was bruised, but no bones were broken ; the shock and exposure, however, caused his death next day. This accident has similar features to the last one [Oct 3 1891, Linridge], but in this case there was a bottomer, as the mine was worked by a shaft. Mr. Johnstone, inspector assisting, who investigated the case, stated in his report:—" The arrangements for checking and recording the number of persons who ascend or descend the shaft appear to be defective. The day-shift men descend at 6 am., and are received in the bottom by the oversman. This is not usual. Special Rule 56 requires the bottomer to attend during his shift to regulate affairs in the bottom, and to make all the necessary signals. Special Rule 59 prohibits his allowing any person to make signals while he is on duty. Special Rule 61, however, authorises the manager or oversman to appoint any qualified person to attend to the signals in the bottomer's absence. The oversman counts the number of men who descend, and records it by inserting a pin in a perforated board, each perforation representing a 'tow,' or four men. The total number on the shift is afterwards noted upon a slate kept by the bottomer for this purpose. A few men are employed on the night shift. They are taken down at 9 pm by the night fireman, who reports to the oversman in the morning how many are down, and the number is added to that on the slate. The number of men who ascend is noted by moving the pin backwards in the perforated board until when they have all ascended the pin is at zero. Special Rule 64 requires that the bottomer shall not leave his post until the whole workers of his shift shall have ascended the shaft. W. Taylor. (23), bottomer states that on the 5th instant [the day of the accident] he left off work and ascended the shaft only when he believed that all the workers of his shift had ascended. On that day a greater number ascended than were recorded as having descended. He accounts for this by supposing that more men had been down during the night than were reported to the oversman or to him."
1891November6  Drongan CastleAyrGeorge C BlackJohnMcLuskieMiner32Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof 
1891November9  Cadder No 16BishopbriggsCarron CoRobertMcEwanDrawer19In shafts  Pushed his hutch into the open shaft at a mid working and fell with it

From Main body of report: Was evidently under the impression that the cage was opposite the landing, and pushed a hutch into the open shaft and fell with it to the bottom
1891November1711.30amGarriongillLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdDavidLawriePit bottomer57In shafts6thFell down shaft

From Main body of report: This was another case of pure forgetfulness on the part of the bottomer. The hutches are lowered in the shaft from the Ell coal to the Main coal, a distance of 14 fathoms, by a single cage worked by a winding engine on the surface. The entrance to the shaft at the Ell coal was provided with a hinged gate, which, however, usually stood open during working hours. There was no light about the shaft except the open lights carried in the workmen's caps. The signalling apparatus was in accordance with the law. A drawer came out with a loaded hutch, and deceased went and helped to shove it up a slight incline leading to the shaft, under the impression that the cage was there; it was pushed forward and fell into the shaft, and deceased followed it, the drawer saving himself by catching hold of the gate.
1891November216.45amBroxburnLanarkBroxburn Oil Co LtdJohnStewartMiner50Falls of roof & sides1stFall of top shale 
1891November216.30amCameronFifeBowman & CoThomasDryburghCollier21Falls of roof & sides1stFall of coal 
1891November242amFenceLanarkNitshill & Lesmahagow Coal CoWilliamSmallLabourer35Above ground6thCrushed by waggons

From Main body of report: No one saw this accident happen. It took place during the night and appeared to have been caused by deceased being crushed between a stationary waggon at the screen, and some empty waggons which had moved forward.
1891November2410.15amShieldhallStirlingCarron CoSamuelClellandCollier32Falls of roof & sides4thFall of roof 
1891November26  Carfin No 1MotherwellWm Dixon LtdBernardGillonSinker30In shafts  Explosion of dynamite while stemming a shot

From Main body of report: Accident caused by an explosion of dynamite in a sinking pit, and resulted in the death of 2 sinkers. There were four men in the shaft, and they were charging three shot holes with dynamite. One of the deceased men was pressing home with a tamping rod two cartridges, when they exploded, and inflicted fatal injuries on himself and one of the other sinkers. It appears that the pitheadman had been instructed to keep the cartridges in a warm place in order to ensure that they were in a proper condition to use, but the cartridges which exploded had been brought by him from the magazine shortly before the accident, and sent down the shaft before they had thawed. The leading sinker and the other man who escaped admitted that they were aware of their condition, and spoke to one another about the matter, but although they were aware of the danger incurred by manipulating frozen dynamite, they decided to use them.
1891November30  Common No 16CumnockEglinton Iron CoDonaldMcPhersonMiner45Miscellaneous underground  Explosion of compressed powder by a spark from his lamp 
1891December1  HallsideCambuslangJames Dunlop & CoJohnMcGinlayBrusher26Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof while knocking out a prop at brushing face 
1891December4  Bardykes No 1CambuslangMerry & CunninghameJamesMuirheadMiner14Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on road 
1891December8  Glenclelland No 1MotherwellKerr & MitchellWm.GibsonMiner47Miscellaneous underground  Premature ignition of a shot while lighting it 
1891December88.45amUdstonLanarkUdston Coal Co LtdJohnKerrCollier52Falls of roof & sides2ndBurst of coal 
1891December14  Craighead No 1BothwellWm Baird & CoJohnPatersonoverman42Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof on road 
1891December142pmBlairhallFifeColtness Iron Co LtdWalterMcPhersonLabourer24Above ground7thRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: Three empty waggons were being drawn to the pit by a locomotive engine; deceased and his brother sitting on the cape of the centre waggon. The locomotive driver, seeing the points in front standing open for the wrong road, put on his brake so as to allow the brakesman time to run forward and alter them. The sudden stop caused deceased and his brother to fall on to the line between the first and second waggons, the latter of which passed over deceased's body.
1891December177pmBenartyFifeLochore & Capeldrae Cannel Coal Co LtdRobertSpittalCollier32Falls of roof & sides5thFall of roof 
1891December248.30amBathvilleLinlithgowJames WoodRobertButterPony driver14Miscellaneous underground2ndKicked by pony

From Main body of report: Deceased, while endeavouring to catch hold of the head of an entire horse given to kicking, was kicked by it on the head and his skull was fractured. The accident took place in a lye 9 feet wide and 9 feet high. Deceased was not driving the horse which kicked him, but was assisting its driver to catch it. The horse in turning at the lye had pulled some of its harness off, and became unruly in consequence.
1891December24  BalglassLennoxtownMatthew MuirheadJamesMcGheeMiner40Falls of roof & sides  Fall of roof at working face 
1891December268.15amAuchlochanLanarkW C S CunninghamWilliamDownieCollier36Miscellaneous underground2ndCrushed by tub

From Main body of report: This took place near the top of a "cuddie brae" or self-acting incline worked by a back balance; deceased's working place was a few yards from the top of the incline, the connecting line of rails dipping from the face to the incline. Deceased's son acted as drawer, and also ran the tubs on the incline; it seems that deceased either left a full tub at the face improperly secured, and it followed him to the incline, or he had been lowering it to the incline proceeding in front of it, and had been overpowered ; his son was at, the time coming up the incline behind an empty tub, and the full tub and it collided. Deceased was crushed between them.
1891December285.45amLochgellyFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdRobertWattersDrawer16In shafts1stFell down shaft

From Main body of report: Accident happened during the time the miners were being lowered down the shaft at the commencement of the shift. The engineman had been on duty from 8 a.m. on Sunday, the previous day, until 5.45 a.m. on Monday, the time when the accident happened. The exchanging of shifts by the day and night engineman was the reason of the long hours, and this is the usual custom, although in some cases the day shift man comes on duty on the Monday mornings in time to lower the workmen. After about half the men had descended the shaft the bottomer signalled that men wished to ascend ; the engineman signalled back ; the men got on the cage at the bottom, and the bottomer signalled the cage away. During this time some men got on to the other cage at the surface unobserved by the engineman, and deceased was in the act of getting on when the engineman moved the cage away, jamming his head between the cage and the pithead plates; on the cage being raised in response to cries, deceased fell to the shaft bottom. The pitheadman stated he heard the first signal from the bottom, but did not hear the second to raise the cage, and he told deceased to get on to the cage. The pitheadman had been in a cabin a few yards from the shaft top some short time before the accident, and this may have caused him not to hear the signal from the bottom to raise the cage. There was a regulation at the colliery that men were not to ride the shaft against other men, but this was apparently only partially understood. The engineman had a good view of the south side of the shaft, and two persons had got on to the cage from that side, but he stated he did not see them get on.

Last Updated 15th April 2012