Scottish Mining Website

1893 Fatal Accidents

Notes - The information in this page is mainly 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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Information from Appendix to Inspectors Report
Extra Info
YearMonthDayHourCollieryLocationOwnerFirst nameSurnameOccupationAgeCategoryHour of shift when accident occurredCause
1893January103.30pmBarncluithLanarkArchibald RussellPatrickClarkMiner24Falls of roof & sides1stFall of roof on engine plane

From Main body of report: This accident, resulting in the loss of two lives, occurred on a main haulage road over which the hutches were led by means of an endless rope moving at a speed of about two miles per hour. A bogie, provided with clips for gripping the rope, preceded the rake. The road dips inbye, and snibbles were placed in the wheels of some of the empty hutches. An attendant rode on the bogie, but the miners were not allowed to ride on it or on the rake, and notices to that effect were posted up near the shaft bottom. At the time of the accident an empty rake of 12 hutches was being drawn inbye, and in these hutches the deceased men and others were riding. At a steep part of the road the hutch next the bogie left the rails; the attendant noticed this and at once detached the bogie from the rope, but the rake continued to move, although the hutches were snibbled in the usual way ; he attempted to stop the rake by placing his back against the bogie, but was unsuccessful, and the hutch that was off the rails displaced some timber supporting the roof and relieved some stone which fell upon the hutch in which the deceased men were riding. The under-manager was charged before the Sheriff with not enforcing the rule against riding in the hutches, but the charge was not maintained.
1893January147.30amRossLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdJamesKirkhopeLabourer18In shafts1stCrushed by cage

From Main body of report: Deceased and another labourer named Patrick Cassidy were engaged in sending down fodder in hutches from the low scaffold, or surface level, to the Splint Coal. A pair of cages ran in the shaft, but only the rise cage was used for this purpose, and the engineman placed it in position at the low scaffold, where no shuts were in use, by observing the position of the crosshead of his right-hand engine. Coal was being raised at the time, and when a hutch of fodder was ready, deceased called to the engineman, who lowered the cage containing an empty hutch from the high scaffold to the low scaffold, where the empty hutch was taken off and replaced by a hutch of fodder; deceased then cried "There" and the engineman lowered the cage to the bottom. When the fifth hutch of fodder was ready, the cage was called for and was lowered to the low scaffold, but brought to rest about four inches too high. This did not prevent the removal of the empty hutch, but when deceased and Cassidy attempted to push on the hutch laden with fodder they found they could not accomplish it. Deceased then, according to Cassidy's statement, called to the engineman, "Lower a wee bittie;" they continued to push the hutch forward, the cage was lowered to the bottom of the shaft, and as it left the low scaffold the hutch fell into it, and rested on its end ; Cassidy fell with it, but caught the crossbar of the cage and arrived safely at the bottom; deceased was found lying in the cage dead, having evidently been crushed against the side of the shaft. The engineman, who was a steady and experienced man, stated he received a cry for the cage, and lowered it to the low scaffold, and then received the cry "There," on which he lowered the cage to the bottom, and was not aware of any accident having happened until informed by the manager some little time after.
1893January149amOrbiston Nos 1 & 2BellshillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoMatthewBusbyMiner51Falls of roof & sides5thFall of roof at working face 
1893January181.30pmTannochside No 1UddingstonCalderbank Steel & Coal CoJas.HutchiesonMiner40Falls of roof & sides6thFall of roof at working face 
1893January1910.30amBonnysideStirlingJames Dougall & Sons LtdRobertMarshallMiner52Falls of roof & sides3rdFall of stone 
1893January205.15pmNewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJohnNeesamSinker chargeman41In shafts4thKnocked off kettle

From Main body of report: This accident took place in a shaft 20 feet in diameter, which was being sunk at Newbattle Colliery. A feature in this sinking was the use of a permanent double-decked scaffold suspended on steel cables, from which the shaft sides were walled while sinking was proceeding below. Two large kettles running between the surface and the bottom passed through an opening in the centre of the scaffold, and loose riders, sliding on the cables suspending the scaffold, accompanied and steadied these kettles while they ran between the surface and the scaffold. A third and smaller kettle travelled between the surface and the scaffold for the use of the wallers, a loose rider (see plate) also moved with this kettle, sliding on the two parallel parts of a rope which passed round a sheave (to which a pump was attached), below the scaffold. The accident was caused by the rider of the small kettle sticking on the guide-rope's, and afterwards falling away, while deceased was descending on the kettle. At the time of the accident the shaft was 165 fathoms deep and the scaffold was hanging 35 fathoms from the bottom. The master sinker and deceased left the surface together, standing on the rim of the kettle. The former had no light, deceased had a lighted lamp in his hat when he commenced to descend, but it was extinguished before they arrived at a point 64 fathoms from the surface where the master sinker got off the kettle to attend to a pump stationed there and illuminated by an electric lamp, which enabled him to see that when deceased commenced to descend lower on the kettle the rider was following in the usual way, resting on the socket of the winding rope. The engineman who was lowering the kettle felt a sudden shock on the rope when it was within five fathoms of the scaffold; he at once stopped the engine. Some men were working on the lower deck of the scaffold, and they heard deceased and the rider fall on to the upper deck. The rider was still attached to the guide-ropes, but the hole in it through which the winding rope passed had broken open and allowed it to fall past the kettle.
1893January277.30amLochgellyFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdHenryGillisMiner41Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of stone 
1893February77pmNewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdCharlesPrydeDook footer17Miscellaneous underground5thCrushed by tub

From Main body of report: This accident occurred at the foot of a "gurdy brae " or self-acting incline, 15 yards in length, and with an inclination of one in three. Deceased was employed as a dook-footer at an incline of 240 yards outbye, and in addition to his duties there ran the tubs between both inclines. Although no part of his duty, he attached an empty tub to the chain at the foot of the gurdy brae and signalled it away; when about halfway up the draw bar of the empty tub broke, and both tubs descended the brae, and before deceased could get out of the way he was struck by the loaded tub and crushed against the side. The drawbar broke at the first bolt hole; the break on one side of the hole was an old fracture, which, however, could not be easily seen as the nut partly covered it.
1893February911amBardykesNewtonMerry & CunninghameWm.ReidBottomer21In shafts6thPushed a hutch into the shaft at a mid-working, and fell with it 22 fathoms

From Main body of report: The first of these [shaft accidents] happened at Bardykes Colliery, to the bottomer at a mid-working who had signalled for the cage, and while it had been raised to the "door heads" to enable him to put a hinged needle across the shaft for it to rest upon, he seems to have forgotten to signal it down again. The consequence was that he pushed a full hutch into the open shaft and fell after it a distance of 22 fathoms, and received injuries to which he afterwards succumbed.
1893February1311.55amSanquhar Gateside PitSanquharJ. I. McConnellRobertDuffEngineman32Above ground5thHe overwound a chest of water, which fell on him

From Main body of report: The first of these [accidents above ground] occurred to an engineman who was winding water. In some unexplained manner he lost control of the engine, and just as the chest of water was drawn over the pithead frame he unfortunately ran out of the engine-house door to the spot where the water chest fell and was killed by it.
Newspaper report - Dumfriesshire pages
1893February1312.5amLoanheadEdinburghShotts Iron CoThomasDrylieMiner33Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of stone from roof and pavement

From Main body of report: This accident took place in a "Break Incline," which was in course of formation in the Corbie coal workings. The seam is 7 feet 3 inches in thickness; has a dip of 58 degrees, and is worked "Stoop and Room," the stoops being 30 feet in thickness, measured on line of dip, and the rooms or levels 9 feet in width. Upsets 4 feet by 3 feet 6 inches had been driven from each level to the one above by the miners in the ordinary course of working, until the top of the "fetch" of 54 fathoms was reached. The work of stripping the incline to the required width and height, setting the permanent timber, laying the rails, and generally completing the incline, was then let to a contractor, who took upon himself all responsibility in connexion with the regular inspection of the incline; and the safety of the workmen employed upon it, and therefore the regular fireman ceased to inspect it in terms of General Rule 4 (i). It was stripped from the top downwards, and when the accident took place it had been completed and the timber set to a point about 17 fathoms from the bottom. The deceased were engaged at this point, when about 20 tons of coal and blaes suddenly burst from the roof near the top of the incline, swinging the props and crowns which had been set under it. The debris swept down the incline, crashing through nine scaffolds on its way, and buried the deceased, killing them instantly. Proceedings were instituted against the manager (1) for failing to appoint a competent person to examine the incline before the commencement of the shift, as required by General Rule 4 (i); and (2) for failing to see that the results of such examination were forthwith recorded in a book kept at the mine for this purpose. He pled guilty to the second charge, and was fined in five pounds.
1893February132.30pmJelliestonDalmellingtonDalmellington Iron CoJas.McConnelBrusher55Falls of roof & sides1stFall of roof on road while brushing it 
1893February13  BenharLanarkRobert Addie & Sons LtdAlexanderMackMiner41Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Sudden death 
1893February159amKirkwood No 1CoatbridgeKirkwood Coal CoJosephFindlayBogieman19Miscellaneous underground3rdStruck by runaway hutches on a dook 
1893February17  BankendLanarkBankend Coal Co LtdJohnDonaldsonJigger12Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  By pump connecting rod. Not employed at the time. Pit idle 
1893February205amBothwell Park No 1BothwellWm. Baird & CoHughBoyceRepairer44Falls of roof & sides8thFall of roof on an old road 
1893February2310.30amDundonaldFifeDundonald Coal CoWilliamCampbellMiner42Falls of roof & sides5thFall of blaes 
1893February233amKeltyFifeFife Coal Co LtdJohnSymeBrusher42Falls of roof & sides5thFall of stone 
1893February272amShields No 1MotherwellJas. WoodFrancisStewartMiner44Falls of roof & sides4thFall of coal while “stooping” 
1893February284pmOrbiston Nos 1 & 2BellshillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoGeorgeCameronPony driver17In shafts10thFell down the shaft from a mid working

From Main body of report: The next [shaft accident] happened at Orbiston Colliery to a pony driver, who was alone at the time, and in some unexplained manner fell from a mid-working.
1893March11.30pmLevenFifeFife Coal Co LtdJosephCummingMiner36Falls of roof & sides7thFall of coal 
1893March111amGateside No 1CambuslangFlemington Coal CoAlexr.LairdMiner50Falls of roof & sides4thFall of roof at working face while “stooping” 
1893March211.15amRossLanarkThomas BarrCharlesReidScreenman24Above ground5thRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: This accident, which was witnessed by the manager of the colliery, was caused by the dangerous practice of using a prop to sprag a railway waggon. Four empty waggons were beginning to move down an incline of about 1 in 12, when deceased snatched a prop five feet long from a stack of timber and attempted to insert it between the spokes of one of the waggons, but not entering it far enough it was twisted out by the guard of the wheels and pressed flat against the body of the waggon ; deceased was either jammed between the prop and the waggon or he received a blow. He eventually fell across the rails and the next waggon passed over him. The manager, knowing the danger of using long props for spragging waggons, shouted to him to desist, but deceased, who may not have heard, continued his attempts, with the result stated.
1893March81.45pmDewshillLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdAlexanderBaxterBoiler fireman19In shafts7thFell down pit

From Main body of report: This accident occurred in a shaft in which coal is drawn from the Upper Drumgray seam at 58 fathoms, and from the Lower Drumgray seam at 65 fathoms. The winding drum has two diameters, so that a cage runs to each seam. Deceased was employed as a boiler fireman, and during the shift he took a loaded tub of coal off the cage at the surface level or low scaffold from the Upper Drumgray side of the shaft. After giving the engine-keeper the signal that all was right, he ran it to the boiler fire-hole, situated 80 yards to the north of the shaft. The engine-keeper then lowered the cage so as to bring up the Lower Drumgray cage, and allow some men on the pithead to descend to the Lower Drumgray seam. After emptying the tub of its contents, deceased returned with it to the shaft, and. evidently forgetting that the cage was away pushed it into the shaft and was precipitated with it to the bottom. The shaft was properly fenced at the surface level by bars of wood fitting into wooden sockets.
Newspaper report - Shotts pages
1893March121pmCorby Craigs No 4DalmellingtonDalmellington Iron CoAlexr.GourlayEngineman--Above ground6thStruck by tumbling crank of pumping engine

From Main body of report: The next [accident above ground] also happened to an engineman who was cleaning the fly-wheel of the winding engine which was in close proximity to the tumbling crank of the pumping engine, and while thus engaged he was caught by the crank. There was no occasion whatever for him going near the moving crank, as he could have moved the fly-wheel and cleaned it all from a point of safety
1893March168.30pmSpringhill No 4DreghornArchd. Finnie & SonWm.BrownDrawer14Miscellaneous underground3rdCrushed by a hutch, which he was taking down a heading 
1893March2011.15amHamilton PalaceBothwellBent Colliery CoThomasConnollyScreenman47Above ground5thFell of a waggon in motion and was run over

From Main body of report: A "screeman" fell off a waggon and was run over by it
Newspaper report - Bothwellhaugh pages
1893March241.45pmDewshillLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdJacobArmourMiner25Falls of roof & sides7thFall of stone 
1893March252.30pmClydeLanarkWilsons & Clyde Coal CoPeterMcNaughtonWaggon runner60Above ground8thRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: Deceased was in charge of a horse which was pulling six empty waggons down a slight incline to the screens. When near the screens he attempted to pass below the tail chain of the horse while the waggons were moving, he slipped and fell and the four wheels on one side of the first two waggons passed over his left leg.
1893March2710.15amCarronhallStirlingCarron CoAlexanderHunterMiner64Falls of roof & sides5thFall of coal

From Main body of report: This accident; was caused by a fall of coal, and shows that although the rule as to spragging is faithfully carried out, accidents may occur. Deceased and his son worked together, and, as is usual in the district, left their place holed and the coal well secured with "gibs" on the Saturday previous to the accident. Between Saturday and Monday morning the coal had broken at the back of the holing and rested on the gibs. Deceased was engaged "mending" the holing, while, at the same time, the man who occupied the place to the left was holing out a "gavel" or unholed piece of coal at the march between the places. As soon as the gavel was out, the coal fell along the face, and deceased was so severely crushed that he died from his injuries a week afterwards. The gibs or sprags were sufficient to keep up the coal so long as the gavel was in, but immediately it was removed, they were no longer able to sustain the weight of the coal. While making inquiry into this accident Mr. McLaren discovered that some of the men were in the habit of going to their working places without first having received a report from the fireman that it was safe to do so, in contravention of General Rule 4 (i), and Special Rules (57 and 68, and prosecutions resulted.
1893April63.15pmQuarterLanarkColin Dunlop & CoJohnMcGregorDriver27Falls of roof & sides9thFall of roofNewspaper report - Hamilton pages
1893April78amNewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJamesLynchBoiler cleaner44Above ground2ndSuffocated by steam

From Main body of report: This accident took place in one of a battery of five Lancashire boilers, each 30 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter, and made to work under a steam pressure of 100 lbs. per square inch. Each boiler was furnished with a 3 inch diameter "blow-off " or sludge pipe, fitted to the bottom of the boiler close to its front, and connected at right angles to a main sludge pipe 4 inches in diameter, which passed along the front of the boilers and discharged into a brick culvert 2 feet wide by 2 feet 10 inches high. On the evening prior to the accident, the engineer in charge blew off No. 2 boiler in order that deceased might clean it on the following day. On returning to work next morning he commenced to prepare No. 4 boiler for blowing off. Deceased assisted him to screw down the crown valve and to lift the safety valve. When the steam pressure had been reduced to 70 lbs. the engineer went to open the sludge cock, and, unknown to him, deceased entered No. 2 boiler by the sludge door. The boiling water and steam from No. 4 boiler, in passing along the main sludge pipe, dammed back through the open sludge cock into No. 2 boiler, filling it with steam and scalding deceased to death. To lessen the risk of similar accidents, it was suggested that each sludge pipe should be led separately to the culvert. The manager approved of this and gave effect to it.
Newspaper report
1893April86.15amKingseatFifeWallace Bros.AbramMoffatRoadsman59Miscellaneous underground1stCrushed by hutches

From Main body of report: Deceased, who was somewhat infirm, and said to be rather deaf, was run clown by five loaded hutches on a portion of road about40 or 50 yards long, inclining outbye, and lying between the horse road and the engine lye. The horse rakes ran by gravity over this section of road, and the first rake going to make up the engine rake of 24 hutches was not snibbled so as to allow it to occupy the outer end of the lye. The rake which caused the accident was the first rake run that day, and as usual it was not snibbled; it had attained a speed of about eight miles an hour at the point where it ran into deceased, who was coming inbye. The driver was behind the rake, and he saw that deceased was in danger and called to him, and at the same time held on to the last hutch, but was unable to stop the rake. There was no manhole on this portion of the road, nor, unless it could be termed self-acting, was any required by law. At the same time it was a road that should either have been provided with some place of refuge or travelling prohibited on it. The manager agreed to adopt the latter course.
Newspaper report - Fife pages
1893April115pmHeathery KnoweBailliestonFerrier & StrainAlexr.SwanEngineman--Falls of roof & sides11thFall of roof on roadNewspaper report- Bothwell pages
1893April139pmPentlandEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdMatthewJudgeDrawer26Miscellaneous underground3rdJammed by hutch

From Main body of report: Deceased signalled away a rake consisting of an empty hutch (permanently attached to the rope and called the chain hutch) and two hutches loaded with oil shale, from a platform on a dook dipping one in three, the haulage on which was performed by a steam engine on the surface working a single rope. When the rake started, and as it was passing round the curve at the bench, it left the rails and crushed deceased against a tree, which was displaced and caused a heavy fall of roof; the fall of roof did not, however, cause death, as deceased was clear of it. The attendant or chain runner whose duty it was to signal away the rakes was higher up the dook at the time; the rope had been taken down by the chain hutch, which had been derailed, and the chain runner after lifting it on to the rails had signalled it down, he remaining at the place to adjust the rails.
1893April19  NethertonLanarkJames HoustonRobertLeesMiner26Falls of ground  Fall of limestone

From Main body of report: The fatal accident occurred at the face of a room in a limestone seam 4 feet 6 inches thick with a holing of 7 inches of blaes and 2 inches of coal. Deceased was holing, and his partner, who stood near with his hand on the block which fell, felt it coming. He sprang back and shouted to deceased, who, however, could not get clear, but was instantly crushed to death, the block weighing four tons.
1893April2112.20amCadder No 16BishopbriggsCarron CoWm.TaylorMiner52Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of roof at working faceNewspaper Report - Dunbartonshire accidents
1893April2410.10pmColtnessLanarkColtness Iron Co LtdThomasMartinDrawer & pony driver38Miscellaneous underground1stCrushed by horse

From Main body of report: Deceased was in charge of a horse which was employed in drawing the sets of empty tubs inbye over a flat portion of an engine dook. At the inbye end of this flat portion he uncoupled the horse and turned it aside into an old road-end, and, assisted by a drawer, pushed the tubs as they passed him until the increasing inclination of the road enabled them to pull out the engine rope. The horse became restive and pushed him against the tubs, which jammed him against the stoop corner. The drawer went to his assistance, when the horse again backed violently against deceased, fracturing his ribs and driving them into his lungs.
1893April244.15pmGlenbuck, Davie PitMuirkirkCairntable Gas Coal CoAndrewWoodMiner22In shafts10thFell from the cage while ascending

From Main body of report: Two miners fell off the cage in an unexplained manner while ascending the shaft at Glenbuck and Daldowie Collieries.
Newspaper Report - Muirkirk pages
1893April249.30amClydeLanarkWilsons & Clyde Coal CoDavidSmithMiner46Miscellaneous underground3rdCrushed by hutches on haulage road

From Main body of report: For some distance from the shaft bottom the haulage road on which this accident happened is flat, and required the use of both a main and tail rope; beyond the flat portion the road dipped inbye, where only the main rope was required. At the inner end of the flat portion of road was a return sheave for the tail rope, the empty rake was stopped here, the tail rope taken off, and the rake then ran in by gravity, taking the main rope with it, the speed being controlled by the brake on the main rope drum, which revolved loose on the shaft. The ordinary rake was 15 hutches. Ten hutches loaded with stone were brought to the shaft from another part of the mine, and were, along with five empties, taken inbye by the engine along the road on which the accident occurred. The stone contained in the ten hutches was to be stowed in the workings. The engineman was informed that ten hutches loaded with stone were on the rake, but he stated he was not informed that five empties were added. The engineman intended, when he stopped the rake at the tail rope sheave, to fix the main rope drum to the shaft so that he could control the speed of the rake, which was heavier than usual, by the engine as well as by the brake. Unfortunately when the rake reached the tail rope sheave he was unable to stop it and it ran past the sheave, broke the tail rope, and ran amain down the inclined part of the road. He then attempted to fix the main rope drum, which was revolving rapidly, to the shaft but was unsuccessful, lie then applied the brake, but was unable to check the rake, which ran at a high speed, until a junction was reached, where it left the rails, and the hutches were thrown, in all directions. A fireman and a contractor were coming outbye and had arrived at the junction, where they were caught by the hutches. The contractor was killed and the fireman slightly injured.
Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1893April27--Gilbertfield No 2CambuslangCambuslang Coal CoPatrickMcNameeMiner20Falls of roof & sides1stFall of coal 
1893May16.30amGovan No 6GlasgowWm Dixon LtdEd.MilliganMiner50Miscellaneous underground1stIgnition of a shot which had not gone off, and to which he returned too soon, and while lighting another squib

From Main body of report: One man lost his life by a shot hanging fire, and by its going off just as he returned to it without having allowed the prescribed half hour to elapse.
1893May53.30pmAllantonLanarkMorningside Coal CoAndrewKyleMiner32Falls of roof & sides9thFall of stone 
1893May7  CaldercruixLanarkJames Nimmo & Co Ltd---------Tramp--Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Fell down pit 
1893May13NoonDaldowieMount VernonDunn BrothersGeorgeHarperMiner48In shafts7thFell off cage while ascending the shaft

From Main body of report: Two miners fell off the cage in an unexplained manner while ascending the shaft at Glenbuck and Daldowie Collieries.
1893May164pmLochgellyFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdWilliamFlemingRoadsman38Miscellaneous underground3rdStone fell down brae

From Main body of report: Deceased was engaged cleaning a wheel brae which was 76 fathoms in length, and had an average gradient of about one in one and three-quarters. When he was about the centre of the brae a stone fell from the roof or side near the top, rolled down, and struck him on the head, fracturing his skull.
1893May166.30amHome FarmLanarkHamilton McCulloch & CoJohnRobertsonCoal picker18Above ground
(Reported in 1894)
1st Fell from waggon; back injured

From Main body of report:
Deceased was employed as a dirt picker at a coal screen. He was going up to the pithead scaffold to commence work for the day, and instead of ascending by the trap stair, he went up by the screen. When stepping off the corner of a truck to climb a short vertical ladder, in order to reach the picking table, he missed his grip, his foot slipped off the truck, and he fell upon his shoulders on the rail. His injuries were not at first considered to be severe, but it subsequently transpired that his back had been broken. He succumbed to his injuries about three months after the accident on 11 August 1893. Although death resulted in 1893, I did not receive notice of it until January 1894. Each year along, with the form for the annual return of quantity of mineral raised and persons employed, a form for stating the number of days lost through non-fatal accidents is sent out, and it appeared that the manager of the colliery was not aware of the young man's death until he then made inquiries under this head.
1893 Accidents reported in 1894 report
1893May189.30pmCardendenFifeC C M RattrayJamesSkinnersSinker57In shafts1stKettle fell down pit

From Main body of report: Deceased was engaged at the bottom of a small pit, 55 feet deep, which was being sunk to form an outlet from a seam which lay at a further depth of about 10 feet. The debris was raised in kettles, 1 foot 10 inches square by 1 foot 6 inches deep, which were attached to a 1 inch diameter hemp rope by means of ordinary spring hooks. The rope coiled upon a windlass barrel 9 inches in diameter, placed 3 feet 9 1/2 inches above the pitmouth. The kettles were not detached from the rope at the pitmouth, consequently, to permit of their being emptied clear of the shaft, several feet of slack rope required to be paid out. This frequently caused the hook in the pit bottom to twist on the bow of the kettle, and care had to be taken to see that it and the rope were hanging properly before each kettle was sent away. Deceased filled and sent away a kettle of debris, apparently without observing that the hook was twisted, and as the night was dark the windlassmen failed to see it. The circular link connecting the rope and the hook came up edgewise against the windlass barrel, on touching which it suddenly twisted round upon its side, and the consequent jerk detached the kettle from the spring hook. The windlassmen shouted to warn deceased, but before he could get clear, the kettle fell upon him, fracturing his skull and killing him instantly.
Newspaper report - Auchterderran pages
1893May197pmGovan No 5GlasgowWm Dixon LtdEdwardGillespieBrusher45Falls of roof & sides1stFall of roof at brushing face 
1893May2312.30pmDysartFifeEarl of RosslynAlexanderBarclayPit bottomer48In shafts11thCoal fell down pit

From Main body of report: Deceased was employed as bottomer in a pit 33 fathoms deep. While stooping to turn down the hutch guard on a cage which had just landed in the pit bottom, a piece of coal, which had apparently fallen from the newly ascended cage when it was set back upon the shuts at the pitmouth, fell down the shaft and struck him on the back of the head, causing a compound fracture of the skull.
1893May272amOrbiston Nos 1 & 2BellshillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoPeterMcAllisterRoadsman44Miscellaneous underground3rdOvercome by fumes while extinguishing an underground fire

From Main body of report: The most serious accident happened at Orbiston Colliery, through an underground fire, and by it three men lost their lives. Referring to the accompanying plan, of the part of the splint coal workings of Nos. 1 and 2 Pits, A B is a dook extending from the pit bottom to a distance of 300 yards to the dip. No working operations except pumping water had been carried on in this dook for some time. A pump placed near the foot of the dook discharged the water at the top, the pump being worked by wooden pump rods connected to the rods in the shaft and carried down the road A B on pulleys. These pump rods were of red pine, having an iron plate fixed beneath the parts running on the rollers, which were of iron, 7 inches in diameter. The length of the pump stroke was 3 feet 9 inches, and the speed of working was about six strokes per minute. The air circulating in these workings, and stated by the manager to be about 4,000 cubic feet per minute, went in the direction shown by the arrows. It appears that shortly before midnight on the 26th of May the plunger casing of the shaft pump in the Splint Coal broke, and when this was discovered two men were sent down the dook to open a stop-cock on the discharge column of pipes at the point C, to run water taken down a bore hole from the Ell Coal at D into the Splint Coal lodgment. When about half way down the dook they were met by smoke, and on going farther down to the point B, they they saw the pump rods on fire, whereupon they returned and reported what they had discovered. Under the directions of the under manager, proceedings were at once taken to extinguish the fire, which was found to be of comparatively trifling extent, being confined to a pump rod, two or three props, and some loose coal which had fallen off the side of the road. Four men named James Smith, John McKillop. William Maddison and R. Chisholm, went down the dook past the fire and broke a joint in the discharge column of pipes some 6 yards below the fire, with the intention of obtaining water, but were unable to force the pipes apart. They next went up past the fire, and again returned to where they had broken the joint, and sat down to wait until pails were brought down to them, as they meant to carry water from the stop-cock at C. The fumes off the fire were not bad at first, but the smoke went up the dook against the air current, while below the fire the air seemed much clearer and the lamps burned well. One of these men, James Smith, stated that after waiting some time he and John McKillop began to feel giddy, and getting alarmed, he wanted the others to accompany him out the return airway C H, and out by F G to the dook above the fire, but they remained where they were, and he went alone, but was overcome by the fumes, and was afterwards found insensible at the point J. Meanwhile, other men went by the road G F H C, and found McKillop and McAllister at K. McAllister was carried out the way they came, but died shortly after the fresh air was reached at G. Andrew Muir and Maddison tried to follow with McKillop, but feeling themselves being overcome, they had to leave him and crawl out by the road C H. Maddison was afterwards found dead at F, and Muir insensible at E. McKillop's body was found at K, but was not taken out until 10 a.m., after the fire had been extinguished. This was done under the superintendence of Mr. D. M, Mowatt, the manager, who reached the colliery at 5.30 a.m. By forcing more air down the dook, the workmen were enabled to got to the fire where, after drilling holes in the discharge pipe, they got a supply of water, and had no difficulty in getting the fire put out. This accident probably would not have happened had the fire been of a more serious nature. No one at first thought there was any danger, as the men were able to enter the return airway with seeming impunity, and the lamps throughout continued to burn, one having been found burning beside the body of McKillop when it was taken out. The fatal consequences seem to have resulted from the imperfect combustion forming carbonic oxide gas which is of a very poisonous nature, but does not extinguish a lamp as does carbonic acid gas. The origin of this fire is a matter of uncertainty. It was stated by one of the men who discovered it that the burning pump rod was covered by pieces of coal that had evidently fallen off the side of the road. It is therefore not unlikely that this coal fell and that the heat generated by the rods rubbing on it was sufficient to cause the fire to break out. It appears that no one had been down the Splint Dook for six days previous to the discovery of the fire, the practice being for a man to go down to grease the pump rods and look at the pump only once a week. By General Rule 5 and Special Rule 38 it is required that the roadsmen once at least in every 24 hours shall examine the state of the external parts of the machinery in actual use below ground. It was therefore the duty of the manager to have appointed a competent person to make a daily inspection of the whole of the pumping machinery, and if the fire originated in the manner referred to, it is probable that had the prescribed inspection been made, the rubbing of the pump rods on the coal would have been detected in time and the fatal consequences of the fire would not have followed.
Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1893May285amNewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdAlexanderGordonSinker36In shafts7thRider fell upon him

From Main body of report: This accident took place in the same pit as did accident No. 4, and was also caused by the fall of the rider of the small kettle, but under different circumstances. The shaft was sunk 185 fathoms at the time, and the walling scaffold was hung 25 fathoms from the bottom. Some rhones or water boxes were to be fixed to the side of the shaft, beginning 30 fathoms above the scaffold and extending some distance below it. The rhones were fastened at the surface to the rope of the small kettle, and the rider rested on a gland screwed to the rope 31 fathoms from the hose or socket, the rhones were then lowered into position and secured to the shaft side by workmen working from one of the large kettles, the rider of which was made fast at the surface so as to allow the kettle to be deflected from the perpendicular. When this work was finished the rope was detached from the rhones and the saddle hung on to the end, deceased got on to it and was signalled to the surface, the rider still resting on the gland 31 fathoms above him: after ascending about 30 fathoms the rider fell away, knocked deceased off the saddle and fell with him on to the walling scaffold.
1893June17amPortland No 4KilmarnockPortland Colliery CoGilbertWilsonOverman53Miscellaneous underground1stCaught by a bell crank while attempting to pass it 
1893June4  RawyardsLanarkRawyards Colliery Co LtdThomasBrownEngineman56Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Natural death 
1893June6NoonPumpherstonEdinburghPumpherston Oil Co LtdJohnNailenRoadsman40Miscellaneous underground7thCrushed by carriage

From Main body of report: Deceased, a roadsman, was crushed by the descending carriage on a dook extending from the surface and inclined at about 34 degrees. He was descending on foot from No. 8 to No. 9 bench. From No. 8 to No. 10 bench canvas brattice was carried down the dook, and behind this brattice there was ample room for any person to pass clear of the carriage, but deceased travelled on the carriageway. There were no manholes in the dook between Nos. 8 and 9 bcnches, and it was a question with me whether this was a contravention of General Rule 14, which provides that "Every underground plane on which " persons travel, which is ... worked by an engine . . . shall be provided . . . with sufficient manholes for places of refuge, at intervals of not more than twenty yards." This dook was ordinarily traversed by the miners and others on the carriage, and only on special occasions was it travelled on foot. Deceased could have had the use of the carriage had he desired it. Under the circumstances I did not advise a prosecution. At the same time I would point out to managers that on any such road which is ordinarily travelled on foot, even if only by officials, manholes are necessary in order to comply with the General Rule quoted.
1893June83.20pmMuiredgeFifeBowman & CoAlexanderDeasHanger on12In shafts9thCrushed by cage

From Main body of report: Deceased and a number of other workmen had gathered at the pit bottom at the close of their shift, and were waiting their turn to ascend. The dip cage had been sent up with both of its decks loaded with men. The engineman, in accordance with the regular custom at the pit, stopped it with its upper deck level with the plates at the pithead, thus setting the lower deck of the rise cage level with the plates at the pit bottom. Deceased forthwith stepped upon this cage without waiting for the bottomer's permission, and before any one could see his intention or stop him. Some of the workmen shouted to him to come off until the cage was lowered and its upper deck set level with the plates. He attempted to do so, but was caught by the cage, his head being crushed between its upper deck and the plates of the landing, and his skull fractured. The winding spaces in both sides of the shaft at the pit bottom were fenced with horizontal bars of iron, hinged at one end. The accident would have been prevented had the fencing bar on the rise side not been raised until the cage was properly set. Deceased had only been employed underground for about six weeks.
1893June92pmNewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJohnInglisDook footer17Miscellaneous underground8thBar fell down dook

From Main body of report: This accident was caused by the slipping from its place of a bar or crown, 9 1/2 feet long by 7 inches square, put in for the support of the roof and sides of a carriage and pumping dook lying in the Kailblades seam and inclined at 30 degrees. After falling out the bar slid 40 fathoms to the foot of the dook. The dook is about 9 feet by 6 feet sectional area. The bar had been notched into the coal sides, and the side pressure usually fixed such bars firmly, but in this case the coal supporting the ends of the bar must have fallen away and the side pressure had not been applied. The empty carriage was descending at the time for the miners who were congregated at the dook foot. The carriage was derailed at the place from which the bar fell, but whether this caused the fall or was the effect of it could not be determined. Deceased was climbing on to the dook from a side entrance, two or three feet below the floor of the dook just as the bar arrived at the point, and he was killed instantly. The dook was examined daily by the officials, all of whom traversed it on the carriage, from which they could see the whole of it, but no danger had been observed.
1893June121pmMossideLinlithgowGavin Paul & SonsGeorgeRennieMiner53Falls of roof & sides7thFall of coal 
1893June195.15pmDouglas Park No1BellshillWilsons & Clyde Coal CoJas.McGeochMiner27Falls of roof & sides11thFall of roof at stoops while taking out props 
1893June213amPumpherstonEdinburghPumpherston Oil Co LtdWalter H.CurrieMiner19Falls of roof & sides9thFall of shale 
1893June238.10amSpringbankLanarkSpringbank Colliery Co LtdAlexanderRossDrawer21Miscellaneous underground2ndCrushed by hutches

From Main body of report: Deceased worked at the foot of a dook, which extends for a distance of about 50 fathoms from the pit bottom, and has an average dip of one in five. The tubs are drawn up one or two at a time by an open ended rope worked by an engine at the dook head: no one was permitted to ride on the tubs or travel on the dook behind the loaded set. Contrary to this regulation, deceased had travelled up behind two loaded tubs for a distance of about 15 yards, when the tubs ran back upon him, owing to a rivetted muzzle pin in the coupling chain, by which they were attached to the rope, having given way. Deceased slipped and fell between the rails, and the tubs ran over him, fracturing his ribs and crushing them into his lungs. There was a fork 3 feet 1 inch in length attached to the rear coupling of the second tub, but it failed to hold or derail them in time to save him.
1893June302.30pmHerbertshire No 3DennyRobert Addie & SonsJos.RobertsonMiner27Explosions of firedamp8thExplosion of fire damp, caused by a miner opening his safety lamp

From Main body of report: The first fatal explosion happened in No. 3 Pit, Herbertshire, Denny, and by it two persons were killed and other five injured. In accordance with section 45 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, you directed a formal investigation of this explosion to be made, and appointed Mr. Charles J. Guthrie, advocate, and myself to hold the investigation, which was accordingly held in the Sheriff Courthouse, Stirling, on 12th and 13th September. The report based upon our investigation was forwarded to you, and has since been published, so that it is unnecessary here to enter into all the particulars. I made my usual investigation of the explosion the day following that on which it happened, and thereafter I sent a report thereon to the Procurator fiscal, who also made an investigation in the usual manner. Previous to your directing a formal investigation to be made, there appeared in the newspapers copies of a letter to the Secretary of State from Mr. R. Chisholm Robertson, a miner's agent, requesting on behalf of the miners that a public inquiry be made, on the ground that the miners had no confidence in the investigations of the Inspector of Mines and the Procurator fiscal. I presume that before making this statement he would satisfy himself that he had grounds for such a complaint, but although he represented the workmen at the inquiry, and every facility was afforded him both in making an inspection of the mine and producing any witness whom he wished to examine, the result of his examination was that nothing of any importance bearing on the explosion was brought to light which had not previously been referred to in my report, a copy of which was provided for his use. There can be no doubt that this explosion was caused by one of the miners, named John Hamilton, and who was also injured, or by a fellow workman, opening a safety lamp and exposing the naked light, which ignited some firedamp, and this in turn ignited the coal dust in the roadway leading from his working place. Hamilton was arrested, lodged in prison, and charged with causing the explosion. He was afterwards liberated on bail, and after having appeared as a witness at the formal investigation, the charge against him was withdrawn by the directions of the Lord Advocate. Since this explosion, two workmen employed in this mine have been prosecuted for opening their safety lamps. The first offender was let off with a fine of 2l., but in the second case, the sheriff did what is very much required, vix., imposed the sentence of 30 days' imprisonment without the option of a fine.
Separate report
1893June307.30amRosehall No 12CoatbridgeRobt. Addie & SonsWm.WyllieMiner40Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of roof at brushing face 
1893July52.30pmGilmilnscroft No 4AuchinleckGauchalland Coal CoHughHannahMiner35Falls of roof & sides8thFall of roof at brushing face 
1893July611.30pmBrownleeLanarkArchibald RussellRobertSmithBrusher23Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of stone 
1893July74pmShawsburnLanarkW & D SymWilliamSymReddsman17Falls of roof & sides9thFall of roof 
1893July117amKeltyFifeFife Coal Co LtdAngusStewartLabourer56Above ground1stRun over by waggons.

From Main body of report: Deceased, a labourer, was killed by being run over by a waggon half full of coal, which was being pushed forward by a locomotive engine, which was at the same time drawing three empty waggons. The noise from shaking screens and travelling belts was considerable, and deceased appeared not to have heard the waggons. The driver of the locomotive saw that deceased was in danger and he blew the whistle and the shunter applied the brake, but the wheels skidded, and deceased was run over by the waggon preceding the engine.
1893July1412.15pmPentlandEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdAlexanderKentMiner30Falls of roof & sides7thFall of roof 
1893July3111amBentLanarkBent Colliery CoThomasBurnsMiner59Falls of roof & sides4thFall of stone 
1893August810.30amDonibristleFifeDonibristle Colliery CoRobertPrydeMiner20Falls of roof & sides4thFall of coal 
1893August9NoonBlackhill No 9MaryhillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoJohnTaylorPony driver14Above ground5thPony ran away with a hutch of ashes, and he fell, being run over

From Main body of report: A pony having run away with a hutch of ashes, the driver fell and was run over.
1893August151pmDenendFifeDenend Coal CoJamesSheddenMiner29Falls of roof & sides
(reported in 1894)
8thFall of stone; back injured

From Main body of report: This accident happened on the 15th August 1893, but the injured man lingered until the 5th July 1894, when he died from blood poisoning. His spine was injured by the accident, and he was never able to resume work. He was for some time an inmate of the Royal Infirmary and the Longmore Institution, Edinburgh; he returned to Fife in April, and was so far recovered as to be able to go about, nut was still attended by the doctor, who stated in a letter, in answer to an inquiry made by me through the Procurator Fiscal, "There is no doubt that he died from the effects of the injury received at Denend." The cause of the accident was a fall of stone from the roof at the face of a longwall working in a seam about 3 feet thick. When I inquired into the accident I found that inspection of the workings in terms of General Rule 4 had not been fully carried out, and a prosecution was instituted, resulting in the under-manager and fireman being fined 30s., and 5s. Respectively.
1893 Accidents reported in 1894 Report
1893August168pmHattonrigg No 3BellshillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoEdwardFeeFireman60Explosions of firedamp2ndExplosion of firedamp while inspecting with an open light

From Main body of report: The other fatal explosion of firedamp happened in Hattonrig Colliery to a fireman, who previous to entering some old workings with two men to lift rails, lighted his safety lamp to make an inspection. As if to make sure of detecting firedamp if there was any, he took his naked light along with him. Unfortunately he did find firedamp, which is, no respecter of persons when a naked light comes in contact with it, and he paid for his folly with his life.
1893August189amGlenclelland No 1MotherwellKerr & MitchellWm.McIverMiner41Falls of roof & sides3rdFall of coal and shale from working face 
1893August216.30pmClydeLanarkWilsons & Clyde Coal CoJohnMcDowallRoadsman27Falls of roof & sides3rdFall of stoneNewspaper report - Hamilton pages
1893August221pmCleland No 40HolytownRavenshall Coal CoJamesSmallDrawer28Miscellaneous underground7thKicked by a pony 
1893August222pmNorth Motherwell No 1MotherwellMerry & CunninghameRobertPatersonPony driver35Miscellaneous underground7thRun over by a hutch after falling in front of it 
1893August224pmEast Parkhead No 2BellshillWilsons & Clyde Coal CoPat.O'DonnelSinker45In shafts6thExplosion of dynamite, supposed to have been caused by a drill striking an unexploded shot

From Main body of report: The sixth fatal shaft accident was evidently caused by an unexploded dynamite charge being drilled into in a sinking pit at East Parkhead Colliery. In this case it appears that the sinkers were intending to make use of part of an old shot-hole, and two of them were about to drill it deeper with a jumper. The deceased held the jumper, while the other struck it with the hammer, when a violent explosion took place, killing one and injuring the other. So far as I could learn, no one knew that any previous shots, several of which were fired at once, had failed to go off.
1893August256.30pmShields No 1MotherwellJas. Wood LtdAdamDewarWaggoner18Above ground12thRun over by a waggon after spragging it

From Main body of report: A waggoner, after putting a sprag in a wheel of a waggon at rest, was knocked in front of the wheels by the sprag, when another waggon struck the waggon at rest and set it in motion.
1893September127.15amAlloaClackmannanAlloa Coal CoThomasAdamsonViewer59Falls of roof & sides3rdFall of stone 
1893September152.30pmCarberryEdinburghDeans & MooreJamesKingMiner36Falls of roof & sides8thFall of head coal 
1893October32pmPoltonEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdCharlesOrmanMiner37Falls of roof & sides8thFall of roof 
1893October6  BellsdykeLanarkBellsdyke Coal CoRobertPatersonCashier49Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Jumped down pit. Suicide 
1893October77.30amDaldowieMount VernonDunn BrothersRobt.MillerStorekeeper35Above ground2ndCrushed by a tank, which fell while being disloaded

From Main body of report: While unloading a heavy oil tank from a railway waggon, a store keeper was killed by the tank falling upon him
1893October1010amTannochside No 1UddingstonCalderbank Steel & Coal CoJohnGrahamMiner33Falls of roof & sides4thFall of roof at working faceNewspaper report- Bothwell pages
1893October1011pmBlackhill No 9MaryhillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoHenryDochertyMiner57Falls of roof & sides1stFall of roof on haulage road while repairing it 
1893October136.30amThankertonHolytownJohn McAndrew & CoRobert YoungO'BrienLocomotive assistant--Above ground1stRun over by waggons. Supposed to have fallen while jumping on front buffer

From Main body of report: A locomotive assistant was supposed to have fallen while attempting to jump on the buffer of a waggon, and was run over
1893October1510.30pmKinneilLinlithgowKinneil Coal & Coke CoJamesRobertsonDrawer20Miscellaneous underground1stCrushed by hutches

From Main body of report: The accident took place on a dook which extends for about 57 fathoms from the pit bottom. The gradient varies between one in three and one in six, and the tubs are drawn up in sets of two by an open ended rope worked by an engine on the pithead. A wire is stretched along the centre of the dook by means of which signals can be made from any part of it to the pit bottom, and the bottomer there repeats any signals received to the engineman at the pithead. Deceased was employed by his stepfather, and had only commenced to work in the dook on the night on which the accident occurred. He was instructed by the fireman to travel up and down the dock with each set of tubs, in order that if they left the rails he could at once signal to the bottomer and have the engine stopped. When coming up in front of his first loaded set his head came in contact with a low crown which knocked off and extinguished his lamp. He tried to catch the signal wire to stop the set but tripped and fell in front of it, and was severely crushed between the tubs and the side of the dook. He died on the same day. The practice of travelling upon an engine plane having such a gradient while the tubs are in motion is an exceedingly dangerous one. The attention of the owners was called to it, and they agreed that it should be discontinued forthwith.
1893October15  CowdenbeathFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co LtdRobertDawsonMiner32Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Jumped down pit. Suicide 
1893October161.45pmGlenbuck, Galawhistle PitMuirkirkCairntable Gas Coal CoWm.BertramMiner29Falls of roof & sides7thFall of coal 
1893October1611.30amElphingstoneHaddingtonR & J DurieAndrewNelsonMiner43Falls of roof & sides6thFall of coal 
1893October16NoonAllantonLanarkMorningside Coal CoPatrickDonahayMiner60Falls of roof & sides6thFall of roof 
1893October1710.45amWoodendLinlithgowColtness Iron Co LtdHenryBlackMiner32Falls of roof & sides4thFall of coal 
1893October212.40pmSeafieldLinlithgowPumpherston Oil Co LtdJohnShawRoadsman47Miscellaneous underground9thCrushed by carriage

From Main body of report: This accident was caused by the descending empty carriage on an incline, from the surface, dipping from one in one and a half to one in three, striking deceased while he was ascending on foot. The carriage ran on rails laid to a gauge of 3 feet 6 inches; it held three hutches, and weighed about 30 cwt. The incline was not used as a travelling way, all persons traversing it on the carriage. A companion incline was used as a travelling way, which deceased should have used, but it appeared that he did not expect the carriage to descend below a bench to which he was proceeding and from which he intended to ride to the surface on the carriage. The carriage called at several benches, and on the occasion of the accident the engineman was in doubt where it was next required, and he allowed it to run past the bench deceased was climbing to.
1893October2412.5pmCowdenbeathFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co LtdWilliamMacintyreLoco shunter22Above ground7thRun over by waggon

From Main body of report: Deceased was employed as a locomotive shunter. The locomotive engine pushed ten empty waggons and nine waggons loaded with dross, into a spare lye. where the loaded waggons were to remain; they were uncoupled by deceased, and the empty waggons were drawn away by the engine. The loaded waggons commenced to move in the same direction, and to stop them deceased inserted a sprag in one of the wheels, and was attempting to put a prop into another wheel. He did not insert the prop sufficiently far and it swung round and threw him under the moving waggons.
1893November3  NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJohnLoweSinker30Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Stone fell from side of shaft. Died 24 days afterwards from pneumonia

From Main body of report: The death of a sinker from lung disease following a slight accident received while at work and from which he had apparently recovered.
1893November41.40pmGartnessLanarkGartness Coal CoRobertColliganRailway guard30Above ground9thCrushed by waggons

From Main body of report: Deceased was crushed between the buffers of an empty and loaded waggon, which along with others were being moved on the colliery sidings by a locomotive engine. He had uncoupled the two waggons between which he was crushed, and had given a signal by waving his arm, which was understood to mean "back slowly," he then attempted to pass between the waggons, which were slightly apart, and was caught while doing so. It appeared to me that there had been some misunderstanding of the signal given, and that deceased had not expected the waggons to collide. Deceased was employed by the North British Railway Company, on whose system the colliery is situated, and who not only led the coal but worked the traffic about the screens and on the colliery sidings by a staff specially appointed for that purpose, acting, in fact, as contractors for doing work which otherwise would have been performed by the colliery owners.
1893November611.30amGilmertonEdinburghGilmerton Gas Coal Co LtdRobertCrookstonDrawer17Miscellaneous underground6thFell down incline

From Main body of report: Deceased drew coal from the face of a level in the Peacock Tail Seam to the brake incline, a distance of about 200 yards. The level was 40 yards from the bottom of the incline, which was very steep, from 60 degrees to 70 degrees. The incline was worked by a carriage and back balance in connexion with a drum at the top of the incline. At the entrance to the levels the signal lever was so arranged that when lowered it extended across the level and acted as a fence; each lever was connected with a separate hammer fixed near the drum. It appeared that the levers were not used either for signalling or as a fence; the signalling was done by cries from the levels to the brakesman. Deceased left the face of the level, pushing a loaded hutch. He ran it into the incline and fell with it. The hutch fell on to the carriage, which was at rest a few feet from the bottom of the incline, but deceased fell to the bottom into a small sump about four feet deep and filled with water, where he lay for 15 minutes. A boy near the foot of the incline heard the fall and raised the alarm, but not much attention was paid to it, and as he could not see deceased it was not then known that anything serious had occurred. On deceased being extricated from the sump he was dead. He was much injured by the fall, but, probably, the immediate cause of death was drowning.
1893November136amCowdenbeathFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co LtdWilliamSwintonMiner28Explosions of firedamp1stExplosion of firedamp

From Main body of report: The explosion took place at the top of a self-acting incline in the Five Feet Seam of No. 7 Pit, Cowdenbeath Colliery: the seam has an inclination of 1 in 2 1/2, and is worked long-wall. Gas had been seen in the section occasionally during nine months previous to the accident and was seen by the fireman when making his inspection on the day of the accident before the entry of the workmen ; the place in which the injured man worked, which was the highest level, was found clear of gas but the heading or place above the wheel contained gas, and as the fireman allowed deceased and another miner to proceed to their work with naked lights they ignited this gas when engaged near the wheel preparing for the running of hutches. The fireman stated he had forgotten that the miners would require to approach the place where the gas lay. He was charged before the Sheriff with a breach of Special Rule 38, which provides for the examination by the fireman of working places, and the course to be pursued in the event of gas being found, he pled guilty and was fined 2l. on agreeing to subscribe 3l. to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The accident took place on the 13th November, and deceased was removed, on serious symptoms appearing, to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, on the 29th November, where he died a day or two after admission. It is not improbable that had he been taken to the infirmary at once he would have recovered.
1893November1410amRiggLanarkFerrier & StrainThomasJellyBottomer68Miscellaneous underground4thWandered into old road

From Main body of report: This was a singular case, and perhaps should not have been classed as an accident. Deceased was employed as bottomer at a shaft. He was an aged and not a healthy man. He left his post at the shaft bottom about 9 a.m. on the 14th November, and it was understood by persons there that he had gone to a small ventilating furnace at the bottom of another shaft, about 100 yards away, to warm himself. There was another shaft still further away, fitted with ladders to the surface, and the road to this shaft coincided for a considerable part of the distance with the road to the furnace. He did not return to his work, and search was instituted the same day and on several succeeding days, but he could not be found, and it was supposed he had climbed the ladder shaft to the surface. Search and inquiry made on the surface led to no result, and search was recommenced underground, and, eventually, on the 2nd December, his body was found about 90 yards from the furnace in the return air way, or rather in a confined road next the rib side adjacent to the return air way. A post-mortem examination was made and his heart was found to be diseased. The probable explanation seemed to be that he had lost his way and, in his confusion, he had crawled to the point where he was found and died from heart disease.
1893November171amCallendarStirlingCallendar Coal CoJamesGardnerMiner & drawer45Falls of roof & sides7thFall of coal 
1893November2112.30pmStonelaw No 3RutherglenThe Farme Coal CoJas.SamsonMiner36Falls of roof & sides7thFall of roof at working face 
1893November217.30amHill of BeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdJohnNicolBrusher35Falls of roof & sides2ndFall of stoneNewspaper report - Beath accidents
1893November22  DalbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdDavidFowlerStone picker15Deaths not comprised under Mines Act  Tub fell from hoist. Not employed at the time 
1893November279.30amNorth GreengairsLanarkSamuel Ritchie & CoRobertLoveSinker44In shafts2ndFell down pit

From Main body of report: This accident took place in an old shaft which was being re-opened. A lift of pipes had been put in, and the crane rope had been left attached to the uppermost pipe about three feet below the pitmouth. Deceased and another sinker had subsequently been engaged in repairing the midwall, and had come up for breakfast, leaving the scaffold on which they had been working hanging on the engine rope, a few feet below the pitmouth. The engineman then pinned down the lever of the brake upon his winding drum, threw the drum out of gear and set the engine running to fill up the boilers. Deceased having finished breakfast, wished to use the crane rope for some purpose, and without informing the engine-man of his intention, leaped down upon the scaffold in order that he might reach and disengage the crane sling. The consequent jerk on the winding rope caused the brake to slip, and the scaffold dropped smartly for a few feet. The underground fireman was in the engine-house at the time; he threw his weight upon the brake lever and at once stopped the drum. Owing to its sudden stoppage, or to a corner of the scaffold having caught on a bunton, it tilted, deceased slipped off, and fell a distance of about 13 fathoms into the water which was standing in the shaft. He is believed to have struck some floating timbers which caused a fracture of his left thigh and a flesh wound on his right leg. He died the following day.
1893December57.20amAbercorn No 2PaisleyMerry & CunninghamePeterMcConnelBottomer57In shafts2ndFell from mid working

From Main body of report: The third accident by falling from a mid-working took place at Abercorn No. 2 Pit, and befel the bottomer who expected one cage to be sent up to him from the low bottom, but as the engineman was at the time lowering men to the bottom in the other cage, the ascending cage did not stop at the mid-working. The bottomer evidently thought that the ascending cage had stopped, and he pushed a loaded hutch into the shaft, fell after it, and was killed.
1893December61.30pmNiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdWilliamKingDrawer16Miscellaneous underground8thFell down brake incline

From Main body of report: This accident took place in a brake incline which is about 40 fathoms in length, and has an inclination varying between 65 degrees at the top of the incline and 97 degrees near its foot. The loaded tubs are placed, one at a time, upon a carriage which runs on one side of the incline, and are lowered to the horse road at its foot; the weight of the loaded carriage raising a back balance which runs on the other side of the incline, and which in descending again raises the carriage bearing an empty tub. Owing to the varying inclination the loaded carriage occasionally stops, especially if the tub upon it has not been sufficiently loaded. Deceased had come outbye with a loaded tub, which when placed upon the carriage, proved to be too light to take it down. The brakesman and a drawer, observing this, stepped out upon the incline, and, by pulling down the rope, kept the carriage in motion for a distance of about 13 1/2 fathoms. They then shouted for further assistance, and deceased, knowing that his tub was on the carriage, ran forward to assist. On reaching the incline he tripped or slipped over the bench, and fell headlong down upon the carriage, breaking his neck. The entrance to the incline was fenced by a horizontal bar, as is usual at the colliery, but when going out on the incline the brakesman had pinned up this bar in order that it might not impede his return to the brake lever when the carriage began to move away again. The brakesmen and drawers are forbidden to go upon the incline under any circumstances. A strict compliance with this regulation would prevent many accidents in these edge workings.
1893December811pmLathallanFifeThomas Brown & SonsJohnSimpsonRoadsman50Falls of roof & sides1stFall of stone 
1893December115pmAuldhouseburn, Bankhead PitMuirkirkCairntable Gas Coal CoRichd.MurrayMiner25Falls of roof & sides1stFall of coal 
1893December1912.30pmKeltyFifeFife Coal Co LtdJohnPenmanMiner23Falls of roof & sides6thFall of roof 
1893December211.30pmInglistonEdinburghYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdPatrickClarkeLabourer50Above ground7thCrushed by waggons

From Main body of report: This accident took place at the end of a siding at the junction of the owner's branch railway with the main line, at a distance of about two miles from the pit. Deceased and some other labourers were sent to do some work near the junction, and had ridden down on the top of some waggons loaded with oil shale. As the waggons were being shunted back into the siding the men proceeded to get down, but the guard warned them to remain seated until the waggons had stopped. Deceased, who was on the second waggon, however, got over its front end and stood upon the buffer. The leading wheels of the front waggon dropped over the ends of the rails, the rear buffers were tilted up and overrode that on which deceased stood, severely crushing his right leg below the knee. He died on same day from shock and loss of blood.
1893December253.45pmGoatfootGalstonBrand & CoJohnHastingsChainrunner19Miscellaneous underground10thKicked by a pony 
1893December301pmCowdenbeathFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co LtdMary AnnHunterPithead runner18Above ground7thCaught by cage

From Main body of report: This was the only fatal accident to a woman about the mines in the district, and was caused by deceased, who was a pithead worker, attempting to remove a piece of coal from the bottom deck of a double-decked cage, after a signal had been given to the engineman to place the top deck level with the pithead. She was crushed between the cage and plates.


Last Updated 18th May 2012