Scottish Mining Website

Fatal Accidents in Mines in Scotland 1895

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 details
YearMonthDayTimeHour of ShiftName of CollieryType of mine (if stated)Where situatedOwner or CompanyFirst NameSurnameOccupationAgeCategoryCause of accident and remarks
1894September197.30am2ndSheardaleCoalClackmannanRobert McAllister & SonsMalcolmCondieWaggon shifter20On surfaceCrushed by wagons

From Main body of report:
Deceased and some others had pushed forward a loaded truck, which buffered against and set in motion another truck which stood upon the table of a weighing machine. Deceased and one or two others followed the latter to keep it in motion. It was stopped by a piece of wood which lay across the rail, and recoiled, when deceased's right arm was caught between the buffers of the two trucks and broken at two places above the elbow. This accident happened on the 19th September 1894, it was reported as a non-fatal accident and investigated. Death ensued after the investigation but was not intimated to me as it should have been, and I was not aware of the fatal termination in time to include it in the list of fatal accidents for 1894.
1894December259.30am3rdDalziel No 2 PitCoalLanarkWishaw Coal CoCharlesMcKeanBogie-man24Miscellaneous accidents undergroundRun over by a bogie on a haulage road while he was in front of it (This accident happened the previous year, but death did not result until some time after)  
1895January83pm8thCadder No 16 PitCoal and ironstoneLanarkCarron CoJohnMcAndrewWaggon trimmer17Accidents above groundKnocked in front of the wheels of a waggon which he was illegally spragging  
1895January99am2ndCadzowCoalLanarkCadzow Coal Co LtdDavidIronsMiner24Falls in MineFall of head coal  
1895January123.30pm10thShawfieldCoalLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdJohnSmithMiner40Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by rope of hutches

From Main body of report:
This accident occurred on a dook road in the Splint coal seam. The road dipped 1 in 7.3 on an average, and was 530 yards in length. The system of haulage was by a single rope, the empty rake of tubs taking down the rope. The deceased was employed as a miner, and when work was over for the day he and his son were proceeding up the dook on their way home; a loaded rake passed them, and deceased attempted to get on to it for the purpose of riding to the top; he got on the coupling-chain between two tubs, his hand slipped, and his body came in contact with & prop with such force that it was knocked out. The injuries received were such that he succumbed to them seven hours later. The rake consisted of eight tubs, and the speed was about three miles an hour. Deceased had not received permission to ride on the rake.
1895January131.30pm5thGarliston, Garnqueen PitFireclayLanarkPeter HurllRobertDochertyJoiner26Shaft AccidentsWhile putting up erections at the pitmouth he fell off a ladder down the shaft  
1895January141.20pm7thElginCoalFifeThos. Spowart & Co LtdRobertMorrisonMiner25Falls in MineFall of coal  
1895January142.30pm9thFairhillCoalLanarkArchibald RussellPatrickKyleMiner16Falls in MineFall of coal  
1895January1512.30pm7thBalquhatstoneCoalStirlingJohn Nimmo & SonThomasFotheringhamBottomer67In shaftsStruck by cage or material falling down shaft

From Main body of report:
Deceased was bottomer at a mid-working, where one side of the shaft was fenced by a malleable-iron gate sliding vertically on guide rods, and raised by means of a lever to which it was attached by a chain which passed over a pulley. Something having gone wrong with the chain at the pulley, deceased leant over the gate to put it right, and appeared to have been struck by the descending cage. He received a severe scalp wound, from the effects of which he died on 5th November.
1895January2212.30pm6thCobbinshawOil shaleEdinburghCaledonian Mineral Oil Co LtdManusWardMiner30Falls in MineFall of oil shale  
1895January268.55am3rdNewbattleCoalEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdAlexanderLivingstoneLabourer50On surfaceFell off plank

From Main body of report:
Deceased was employed as a labourer on the surface, and his duties were to riddle and then wheel ground blaes in a barrow to waggons, a distance of 7 yards from the pan. While tipping a barrow load of the blaes from a plank placed across a waggon, he overbalanced himself and fell to the ground a distance of 7 feet, injuring his head and spine, to which injuries he succumbed three days later.
1895January316.30am7thParkhead No 17 PitCoalLanarkGlasgow Iron & Steel Co LtdWilliamWilsonPony driver16Miscellaneous accidents undergroundCaught by runaway hutches on a dook, caused by a hook breaking  
1895February410am4thLevenCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdArchibaldSimpsonLabourer55On surfaceScalded in brine tank

From Main body of report:
Deceased was scalded by falling into a tank containing brine, and heated by steam to a temperature of 205° F. The tank is situated near the Leven Colliery, and is used for the purpose of impregnating mining timber with salt, so as to preserve it from decay. Deceased was employed in connexion with this operation, and while removing timber from the tank he slipped in and was scalded about the legs. He removed the timber by striking a pick into it and then hauling it out by means of the pick handle, and it was when striking at a log that he fell in. He died 15 days after the accident.
1895February98.45am2ndCastlecaryLimestoneDumbartonCastlecary Fire-clay CoWilliamFergusonMiner29Falls of roofFall of roof at working face  
1895February910am5thEast PleanCoalStirlingMerryton Coal CoJamesNewlandsMiner44Falls of sideFall of coal and stone.  
1895February106pm12thDonibristleCoalFifeDonibristle Colliery CoJamesBowmanPump attendant66In shaftsRope broke

From Main body of report: Deceased was employed underground in charge of a pumping-engine. The night-shift engineman descended the shaft to relieve him at 6pm, and on reaching the pit bottom informed him that he fancied he had smelt something burning as he passed an old working about 30 fathoms from the pit bottom. Deceased immediately ascended upon the same cage, but failed to detect any indication of fire. He informed the winding engineman about it, and asked to be lowered slowly that he might make a more careful examination. He was being lowered upon the same cage, when it stuck in the shaft and dropped away, breaking the rope 32 1/2 fathoms above the cage. Deceased fell with the cage into the sump, and was killed instantaneously.
Newspaper report - Beath accidents
1895February113.45pm10thBlair No 7 PitCoalAyrWilliam Baird & Co LtdWilliamJohnstoneCoal washer attendant14Accidents above groundCaught by the spur wheels of unfenced machinery  
1895February136.30am7thBothwell Park No 1 PitCoalLanarkWilliam Baird & Co LtdThomasHillTrap-door keeper78Miscellaneous accidents undergroundWhen opening a door on a dook, he was knocked down by a “race” of hutches  
1895February169.30am4thBogCoalLanarkHamilton McCulloch & CoDavidWoodDriver15Miscellaneous undergroundRun over by hutch

From Main body of report:
Deceased was driving a pony which was drawing three loaded hutches on a road dipping about 1 in 30, and he was found dead with one of the wheels of the first hutch pressing against his neck. There was no evidence to show how the accident was caused. There was nothing unusual about the road. An endless rope used for haulage purposes was moving along the centre of the road.
Newspaper report - Dalserf pages
1895February186.30am1stTannochside No 1 PitCoalLanarkCalderbank Coal & Steel Co LtdWilliamBryce, sen.Miner45Shaft AccidentsFall of stone from side of shaft while they were descending in the cage It had evidently been loosened by the frost. Other two persons were injured

From Main body of report:One miner was killed and two others injured by a stone falling from the side of the shaft, and crashing through the cover of the cage in which they were being lowered, and this had apparently been loosened by the previous intense frost. When the downcast shaft is not lined throughout, the exposed strata has a tendency to become loose after severe frost. New shafts are now mostly lined from top to bottom, irrespective of the kind of strata passed through, and this practice is greatly to be commended.
Newspaper report - Bothwell pages
1895February197am1stLevenCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdJohnDevineMiner's assistant14Falls in MineFall of roof coal  
1895February192.30am5thMuiredgeCoalFifeBowman & CoJamesHartMiner29Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895February1910.30am5thBonnybridgeFireclayStirlingBonnybridge Silica & Fireclay CoRobertPatonMiner27Falls in MineFall of fireclay  
1895February198.10am2ndBalbardieCoalLinlithgowHenry Walker & CameronRichardBiswickBoiler fireman35On surface Boiler explosion

From Main body of report:
This was a boiler explosion causing the loss of two lives, one a fireman employed by the owners of the colliery and the other a tramp, who happened to be in one of the fireholes at the time. A second fireman was injured but not seriously. The explosion caused much damage to property about the colliery and was the subject of a Formal Investigation by two commissioners appointed by the Board of Trade, whose report dated the 22nd April, has been published. I visited the colliery on the day of the explosion and then, and subsequently made examination into the matter, also attending the Formal Investigation. I do not propose giving all the details which are recorded in the Board of Trade Report but will only notice some features of the accident. Six egg-ended boilers comprised the range and were of the usual construction, and had the usual fittings and were flash flued. They were all connected. No. 1 boiler played no part in the explosion. No. 2 boiler was displaced and thrown over No. 1; its chimney end was found nearest the fire-holes; it lay on its side over No. 1. It had been raised from its place and turned over on its longitudinal axis and moved to one side. There was a fracture extending into two plates of the second ring from the chimney end at the bottom of this boiler and directly under the feed pipe; this fracture crossed a longitudinal seam, it was about 4 feet long and was evidently caused by pressure from within, as the edges of the fractured plates projected outwards. No. 3 boiler was fractured right round the second seam from the chimney end an$ the two parts projected some distance. No. 4 boiler was similarly fractured round the third seam and the two parts blown either way. Nos. 5 and 6 boilers played no part in the explosion. The boilers were supported by rackets and brick pillars. There was no evidence of (1) want of water, (2) overpressure, (3) thinning of plates. Two theories to account for the explosion were placed before the Court:— (1.) The theory of the Board of Trade Inspectors that No. 2 boiler had given way at the plates already described and allowed water, to rush, out with great force and destroy the brick supports of No 3 boiler casing it and No 4 boiler to explode. (2.) The theory of Mr. Munro, engineer of the Scottish Boiler Insurance Company, that there had been a latent flaw in No. 3 boiler at the point where the fracture occurred and that this boiler exploded first. The commissioners rejected both these theories and concluded that No. 3 boiler exploded owing to its brick supports becoming wasted. I incline to the view taken by the Board of Trade inspectors with some modification. The position of No. 2 boiler after the explosion considered in conjunction with the position of the fracture of the plates on its underside is worth consideration. It appears to me more probable that this fracture preceded the explosion than was caused by it. If it preceded the explosion it appears possible that a sudden rush of heated water into a hot flue might develop a momentary pressure sufficient to lift this boiler and cause it to assume the position in which it was found. The sudden strain put upon the adjoining No. 3 boiler caused it to give way, and in turn No. 4 gave way. The commissioners attached a small degree of blame to the colliery owners; they state: “We are not satisfied that sufficient precautions were taken by the owners to secure that the boilers were kept in good and proper working order.” It was proved that the requirements of the Coal Mines Acts and Special Rules founded thereon with regard to steam boilers were carried out, and in addition a mechanical engineer was employed by the owners to look after the machinery although he had no special charge of the boilers. The exploded boilers were also insured and inspected by a boiler insurance company. This finding indicated that the commissioners were not satisfied with an amount of supervision such as holds good with regard to nearly all the colliery boilers in the district.
RobertStricklandNot employed50Deaths not classified under Coal Mines Regulations Act - Was close at hand when two steam boilers exploded
1895February207am1stBowhill No 2 PitIronstoneAyrDalmellington Iron Co LtdWilliamGavinOverman41Miscellaneous accidents undergroundCaught on a self-acting incline by runaway hutches  
1895February2610am4thBlantyre No 1 PitCoalLanarkWilliam Dixon LtdThomasBeveridgeBrusher53Falls of roofFall of roof at miner's working face Newspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1895March16.30pm11thGilmilnscroft No 2 PitCoalAyrGauchalland Coal CoRobertSmithJoiner37Shaft AccidentsWhile repairing the shaft he stepped on a bunton which gave way, and he fell to the bottom  
1895March52.30pm8thDalbeathCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdCharlesHarrowerMiner25Miscellaneous undergroundExplosion of a shot

From Main body of report:
Deceased and his brother were engaged in sinking a shallow pit from a coal seam to a stone mine below; in the pit, which was only about 3 1/2 feet deep they bored two holes and charged them with blasting gelatine; both holes were ready to fire at once, and the brothers each lit the fuze of a shot and retired with a miner, who was working the coal near the pit, to a place of safety ; one shot exploded, and after waiting about 1 1/2 minutes, deceased, unknown to his brother and the miner, returned to the pit and was either in it or getting into it when the second shot exploded, inflicting such injuries on him as caused his death three days after. Deceased apparently thought that (1) both shots had-gone off simultaneously, or (2) one had missed fire; in either case he made too hurried a return. The practice of lighting two shots together is often attended with accident.
1895March137pm1stQuarterCoalLanarkColin Dunlop & CoRobertMcMillanScreenman19On surfaceCaught by screening belt

From Main body of report:
Deceased was employed as night-shift screenman. He had been on the pithead scaffold speaking to the pitheadman, and when returning to his screen, instead of descending by a trap stair provided for the purpose, he slid down the upper screen, and was carried forward by the picking-table. As he passed over its end, he placed his right heel upon the upper edge of the dumb-plate, when it was caught by one of the plates of the picking-table, and his leg was drawn through a space 2 1/2 inches in width. He sustained compound fractures above the ankle and above the knee, and his leg was severely lacerated. He succumbed two days afterwards.
1895March1811am5thGilmilnscroft No 3 PitCoalAyrGauchalland Coal CoJohnGrantMiner22Falls of sideFall of coal while “stooping”  
1895March187am1stClydeCoalLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdPatrickGannenMiner26In shaftsFell from cage

From Main body of report:
This accident occurred in one of the few circular shafts in the district. Deceased fell down the shaft from the cage from an upper to a lower seam. The shaft is 11 feet in diameter and passes through the Main coal at 126 fathoms, and the Splint coal at 139 fathoms; two cages traverse it, one running to the Main coal only and the other to the Splint; the drum of the winding-engine is of two diameters to suit the respective depths. The Splint coal cage was not used for raising mineral from the Main coal, and when this cage was at that seam there was an open space between each end of the cage and the circle of the shaft. Although the Splint coal cage was not used for raising mineral from the Main coal seam, it was occasionally used by the officials when they required to descend from the upper to the lower seam, and it was an occasion of this kind that led to the accident. Deceased and three other persons got on to the cage to descend to the Splint coal, and they had reason to believe that the first stop would be at that seam, as four persons was the maximum number allowed on the cage by the special rules, and therefore no person could have got on to it at the Main coal. An oversman, however, wished to descend from the Main to the Splint coal, and while the cages were running in the shaft he instructed the bottomer at the Main coal to signal to the engineman to stop the cage at that seam, the bottomer did so, and in order to warn any persons who might be on the cage, he leant forward as the cage approached and cried to them to keep on; some of the men on the cage heard this warning, but deceased, who was on the side of the cage opposite to the bottomer, apparently had not heard it, and probably thought he had reached the Splint coal when the cage stopped and seems to have stepped off the cage and fallen down the shaft through the space already described. The Main coal was lit by four hanging safety-lamps and the bottomer there had also a safety-lamp in his hand. Deceased had only worked in the Splint coal,for two or three days before the accident. A blind pit close at hand provided with ladders afforded a means of reaching the Splint coal from the Main coal. The practice of stopping a descending cage of men at an upper seam where the shaft is open is a dangerous one and has been discontinued in this case.
1895March19    Earnock  LanarkJohn Watson LtdAndrewLewesRailway guard35Deaths not classified under Coal Mines Regulations ActCrushed by wagons. Employed by Caledonian Railway Co.

From Main body of report:
A mineral guard employed by the Caledonian Railway Company was injured while shunting wagons on the sidings of Earnock Colliery, and subsequently died. I had some doubt as to whether or not this case should be classed as a mining accident, as deceased was at the time of the accident engaged in work at the colliery, but on inquiry I found that the accident had been reported by the railway company as a railway accident, and will appear in the Board of Trade returns as such.
1895March2110pm4thNewton No 2 PitCoalLanarkJames Dunlop & Co LtdAlexanderBellBrusher22Miscellaneous accidents undergroundExplosion of compressed gunpowder while putting it into a shot-hole Newspaper report??
1895March222.15pm8thShottsCoalLanarkShotts Iron CoJamesKennedyMiner40Miscellaneous undergroundExplosion of a shot

From Main body of report: This accident occurred in a place 10 feet wide, being driven over an upthrow dyke for a connection between two pits. Deceased bored a hole slanting upwards in the roof to a depth of 2 feet 9 inches, and inserted a charge of two 1/2-pound cartridges of gunpowder. Owing to the upward direction of the hole a piece of clay was placed in front of it and the needle was inserted, and both clay and gunpowder were pushed home with the stemmer. When the stemmer was withdrawn part of the clay adhered to it, and some of the gunpowder ran out of the hole on to the borings made by the drill. Deceased's lamp was not burning well and he took his picker to trim it, and while doing so a spark fell on the gunpowder lying on the borings causing it to ignite, and the flame in turn ignited the charge in the hole causing an explosion whereby part of the roof was blown down, and he was struck and injured so badly that he died three hours later. Had the deceased carried out the New Special Rule which makes it imperative on the person charging a shot to have his naked light "in such a position that it could not ignite the explosive," the accident would not have happened.
Newspaper report
1895March256.30am1stFairlie, Windyedge PitCoalAyrW C S CuninghameJohnMcGheeBottomer35Shaft AccidentsWhile either stepping through the cage seat, or doing something in it, the cage was lowered upon him

From Main body of report:
Scarcely a year passes in which there are not one or more lives lost by the cage coming down upon persons who have entered or have been crossing the cage-seat, and last year a bottomer, who for some unexplained reason had gone into the cage-seat, lost his life in this manner. There was no passage round the shaft in this case. Such a passage should always be provided, so as to do away with the necessity for workmen when passing from one side of the shaft to the other having to through the cage-seat. Another bottomer was injured by the cage coming down upon him in a similar manner.
Newspaper Report
1895March298am1stDalziel No 1 PitCoalLanarkWishaw Coal CoPatrickMcGinlayMiner40Falls of sideFall of coal Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1895April12pm8thMachanCoalLanarkHowie & TrainJamesFairserviceEngineman27On surfaceBy machinery

From Main body of report:
Deceased was employed as an engineman, and had charge of a winding and haulage engine, both in the same house. The haulage engine was of the horizontal type with a cylinder 9 inches diameter and geared 53 to 1. It was used for hauling coal up a dook in the Virtuewell coal; the speed of the empty rake in descending the dook was regulated by a brake on the drum. This brake consisted of a strap of hoop iron 3 inches broad which pressed on almost the whole surface of the brake flange. Deceased had set the haulage engine in motion to draw a rake up the dook. Shortly after an unusual noise was heard proceeding from the engine-house and on entering it deceased was found among the gearing terribly injured, and expired as he was released. The haulage engine was still in motion; the rope had broken away front the rake and been wound up the shaft, and the noise that had been heard was caused by the chain at its extremity striking the engine-house as it revolved. It is supposed that the brake gave way while the engine was in motion, and the handle striking deceased on the head .threw him in among the wheels, but how this happened there was no evidence to show. The tensile strain to break the strap and handle was great, as the part broken showed a ragged surface indicating a tear, and there did not appear to be any defect in the material. There was an iron fence round the engine and this was broken down.
1895April31.20pm8thBellfieldCoalLanarkWilliam Barr & SonsRobert M.LeggateManager28On surfaceCrushed by dynamo

From Main body of report:
This accident was of a sad nature. A box containing a large dynamo for electric machinery and weighing about 4 1/2 tons, was being removed from a waggon by means of a screw jack, which raised the box and pushed it along horizontally on a prepared track. Deceased, the manager of the colliery, was superintending the work and went under the box to work the screw jack. As soon as the box was raised a short distance, it canted and one end fell on him and crushed him so severely that he died three hours after. The screw-jack although acting on the centre of the box was not acting on the centre of gravity and as soon as it was raised off the planks at one end it fell over sideways.
1895April66.30am1stSeafieldOil shaleLinlithgowPumpherston Oil Co LtdJohnFowlerDrawer21Explosions of fire damp or coal dustIgnition of fire-damp by naked light

From Main body of report:
This explosion of fire-damp occurred in a heading rising 1 in 4 in the Fells oil shale seam. The heading was being driven in a piece of solid shale lying between a downthrow dyke and a stooped waste. The section was worked with naked lights. Deceased was just starting work when his lamp ignited gas in the heading. The amount of ventilation and means of conducting it to the face were not altogether satisfactory, but had a proper supervision been exercised by the firemen probably the accident would not have happened. The person who was working in the heading during the shift before the accident, complained to the fireman of that shift that the air was not good, but the fireman did not take the trouble to examine it, as he should have done when making the second inspection, in terms of General Rule 4. The fireman, whose duty it was to examine the heading before the succeeding shift commenced, stated he did so and found it clear of gas, but he did not chalk the face, and there was consequently no evidence that he had examined it. When I inspected the place after the accident I found the heading clear of gas, but there was gas in a hole in the roof, in a place between it and the dyke, and this was probably the source of the gas that exploded. Both firemen were proceeded against and fined.
Newspaper report _ Lothian pages
1895April811am5thHeatheryknoweCoalLanarkFerrier & StrainDuncanHoodMiner60Falls of sideFall of fireclay from working face, owing to want of sprags  
1895April82pm8thBanknock, Livingstone PitCoalStirlingJohn Young & CoWilliamAndersonMiner40Falls of roofFall of coal and roof at working face Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1895April8    Vogrie  EdinburghVogrie Colliery CoName unknown---Not employed--Deaths not classified under Coal Mines Regulations ActFell down shaft. Supposed to be a case of suicide

From Main body of report:
The body of a man whose name I could not ascertain was found in the shaft of Vogrie Colliery : how he got there there was no evidence to show, it appeared probable that he had committed suicide. The shaft top was properly fenced.
1895April91pm7thHallhill No 1 PitCoalLanarkWilliam Baird & Co LtdRobertLeishmanDrawer33Falls of roofFall of roof on drawing road Newspaper Report - Old Monkland pages
1895April112pm9thHopetounOil shaleLinlithgowYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdHughBorthwickDriver34Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by runaway hutches

From Main body of report:
Deceased was employed as a driver, and met his death by being crushed against a stoop by some runaway tubs, which had become detached from a rake which was being drawn up a dook extending from the surface. The system of haulage was the ordinary dook rope. Work was over for the day, and deceased brought his horse to No. 17 level, and, tying it to a crown, commenced to wash its feet with water coming from the level. While thus engaged a rake, consisting of 13 loaded tubs, was being drawn to the surface, and when it was some short distance above where deceased was engaged the coupling between the eleventh and twelfth tubs came out, and two tubs ran back. Deceased appears to have heard the tubs coming, and he ran behind some empty tubs in the lye. Unfortunately the points at No. 17 level were standing open, and the runaway tubs entered the level and collided with the empty tubs, and crushed him against the stoop side. He died three hours after from his injuries. The couplings in use were of the rams-horn pattern, and they are generally considered safe. It is probable that in coupling the tubs the coupling was twisted, and a jerk while the rake was ascending the incline caused it to slacken, untwist, and become detached. There have been instances of similar couplings unhooking, notably in my predecessor's time, at Burntisland Mine, whereby a fatality occurred.
Newspaper report - Lothians pages
1895April1212.45pm7thWhitehill No 1 PitCoalAyrWilliam Baird & Co LtdPeterRaffertySinker24Shaft AccidentsWhile engaged lowering sinking pumps, he was standing on a wooden “kirn” which was being hoisted. The kirn broke away, and he fell with it down the shaft  
1895April1311am5thLanemark Afton PitCoalAyrLanemark Coal CoJohnGrahamRepairer55Falls of roofFall of roof on a road while he was repairing it  
1895April261pm7thQuarter No 1 PitCoalStirlingWilliam Baird & Co LtdJohnMcGovernMiner30Explosions of fire damp or coal dustExplosion of coal dust, or of firedamp and coal dust. The cause has not been definitively ascertained

From Main body of report:
The first fatal explosion happened on 26th April, in Quarter Colliery, Denny, owned by Messrs. William Baird & Co. By it 13 persons lost their lives, being the greatest number of lives lost in the district by a single accident since the explosion in Barrwood Colliery, Kilsyth, in 1878, when 17 lives were lost. The Secretary of State, by virtue of powers conferred upon him by section 45 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, directed a formal investigation of the accident to be made, and appointed Mr. Charles J. Guthrie, advocate, and myself for this purpose. The investigation was held accordingly in the Sheriff Courthouse, Stirling, on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of June. The report based upon the investigation has since been published, and it is therefore unnecessary here to enter into the details of the explosion. Direct evidence as to its origin was not available on account of all the persons employed in the pan of the workings where it took place having lost their lives,'while the most careful inspection afterwards brought to light no indirect evidence which could explain with anything like certainty the origin of the disaster. As the result of arbitration safety lamps were introduced into this mine six years ago, but an examination of the clothing of the deceased men proved that a naked light illegally exposed probably was the origin of the explosion, seeing that on most of the bodies either matches, pipes, or appliances for opening safety lamps were found. Gunpowder for blasting was permitted, and as several of the working places were dry and dusty I am of opinion that if a shot had been fired at the time in one of these working places it might have originated the explosion, but as there was no evidence of such a shot having been fired, I do not think shot-firing had anything to do with it. Whatever was its origin, in my opinion there can be no doubt that the extent and disastrous effects of this explosion were principally due to fine dry coal dust which lay in the workings traversed by the flame.
See Main site for full report
JohnBusbieHaulage contractor39
1895April27Noon1stBredisholm No 1 PitCoalLanarkGlasgow Iron & Steel Co LtdRobertPatersonFireman52Falls of roofFall of roof on a haulage road while he was redding a previous fall Newspaper Report - Old Monkland pages
1895April3011am5thMuircockhallCoalFifeHenry Ness & CoJohnOswaldMiner49Falls in MineFall of coal Newspaper Report - Fife pages
1895May103pm8thMilnwoodCoalLanarkColtness Iron CoPatrickNackettLabourer60Accidents above groundRun over by the Caledonian Railway Company's locomotive on the siding  
1895May109.30pm6thBalbardieCoalLinlithgowHenry Walker & CameronWilliamAitkenMiner40Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895May157.10am1stWellsgreenCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdWilliamCombMiner49Falls in MineFall of coal  
1895May176.15pm1stPollock Lochinch PitCoalRenfrewWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdWilliamMuirBrusher38Miscellaneous accidents undergroundExplosion of blasting powder. Cause not ascertained, but it is supposed that a spark from a lamp fell into an open cannister. Other 6 men were injured

From Main body of report:
These brushers with several others had gone down the shaft to commence work, taking with them about 21 lbs. of gunpowder in six canisters, and were congregated about the tool-house near the pit bottom when, in some unexplained way, the contents of four of the canisters, amounting to some 14 lbs., exploded. It is conjectured that one of the canisters had been opened, and that a spark from a lamp or a pipe fell into it.
1895May2010am5thDunnikierCoalFifeWalter Herd & SonsJohnSinclairMiner32Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Fife pages
1895May227am1stAuchenharvie No 1 PitCoalAyrGlengarnock Iron & Steel Co LtdJohnSproullDrawer17Miscellaneous accidents undergroundRun over by a hutch on a heading. Supposed to have been drawing in front of it  
1895May251.5am1stNeilslandCoalLanarkJohn Watson LtdGeorgeLynessSinker30In shaftsPlank fell in shaft

From Main body of report:
This accident was caused by a rope which was being wound up the shaft with no burden attached, and provided with an appliance known as " sinker's grip," dislodging a plank from the side of the pit. The sinker's grip was attached to the rope so as to afford the sinkers standing on the rim of the kettle something to hold on by better than grasping the chain.
Fig. 1 shows the appliance which was altered to Fig. 2 after the accident. The pit was 74 fathoms deep, and the plank which was 7 ft. 4 in. by 9 in. by 3 in., was nailed to the side of the shaft at a point 27 fathoms from the surface. The plank supported a pipe. It would appear that the rope while being wound up the shaft had been swinging, and the upper surface of the grip caught the under surface of the plank tearing it from its place, the plank fell to the bottom and injured one of the sinkers so severely as to cause his death about three weeks after the accident.
1895May2511.30am5thHamilton Palace No 2 PitCoalLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdJamesWilsonshaftsman58Shaft AccidentsWhile ascending on the top of a water chest on the cage, he put his out his foot to close a valve, when he was caught between the chest and the buntons  
1895May2810am3rdBardykesCoalLanarkMerry & Cunninghame LtdGeorgePateWashing machine foreman59Accidents above groundSmothered in a dross-hopper, by a rush of dross coming away upon him

From Main body of report:
The foreman of a coal-washing machine lost his life in a large dross hopper, three sides of which lined with sheet iron sloped to the outlet hole in the bottom. The dross sometimes adhered to the sides and did not run freely, and deceased had gone to the bottom of the hopper with a shovel, and began to clear away the dross. This relieved the body of dross lying above him, which came down with a rush and suffocated him.
1895May3011.30pm3rdRoman CampOil shaleLinlithgowBroxburn Oil Co LtdArchibaldFinlaysonShale inspector40On surfaceFell in shale wagon

From Main body of report:
Deceased was setting some pieces of shale in a truck which was nearly full, when a loaded tub was, brought forward to be tipped. The runner shouted to the men in the truck to "look up.'' Decease called to him to hold on, and at the same, time tried to leap towards the end of the truck to get out of the way. Probably owing to his being hurried,.he slipped and fell backwards upon an angular piece of shale, which fractured his spine. He died three days afterwards.
1895May313.20pm1stKinneddarCoalFifeFifeshire Main Colliers LtdFrankSharpMiner52Miscellaneous undergroundUnderground fireFrom Main body of report: This accident, which caused the loss of nine lives, has, as already stated, been reported on, and a brief account only will now be given. The wooden lining and other timber in an upcast shaft was set on fire by an open fire, kindled for the first time on the day of the accident, and used in conjunction with an ordinary covered cube or furnace, and a fire lamp for causing ventilation. The woodwork in the shaft burned fiercely, and flames soon reached the surface. While passages leading to the upcast shaft were being closed by the building of dams a large fall of surface clay, relieved by the burning out of the barring, fell down the shaft and drove hot air, smoke, and possibly flame, over the persons engaged, and seven of them were so badly burned that they died in the course of a few hours. Two other persons who were not burned crawled out to the downcast shaft in the smoke, and in some way not ascertained fell down that shaft to a lower seam. See Main site
10thAlexanderSharpMiner42Miscellaneous underground
9thAlexanderThomsonFireman31Miscellaneous underground
ThomasSharpMiner23Miscellaneous underground
ThomasHunterMiner41Miscellaneous underground
GeorgeBellMiner28Miscellaneous underground
GeorgeRamageMiner31Miscellaneous underground
WilliamMcKennaMiner42Miscellaneous underground
JohnHunterMiner28Miscellaneous underground
1895June68am2ndClydeCoalLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdThomasSimpsonMiner27Falls in MineFall of coal Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1895June710.30am5thMauricewoodIronstoneEdinburghShotts Iron CoJohnLaneMiner69Miscellaneous undergroundSuffocated

From Main body of report:
Deceased was driving a road through a barrier of ironstone which separated two sections of longwall workings, and which was about 90 feet in width. The road was about 4 feet in width by about 3 feet in height, but as part of the debris was spread along it to save drawing it to the surface, the average clear height was reduced to about 1 foot 6 inches. At the date of the accident the road had been driven for a distance of about 60 feat. No provision was made for taking in air from the longwall face. Deceased commenced work shortly after 6 am. At 9.15 am he fired a shot and retired to the longwall face, where he took breakfast. It is not known when he returned to the working face, but at 10.15am a miner who was working down from the other side of the barrier to meet him heard him chap on the strata, and make a pre-arranged signal that he was leaving off work for the day. About two hours afterwards the fireman visited the place. About half-way in the narrow drift he found a lamp burning, on passing which his own lamp was at once extinguished. He took up the spare lamp, which contained some paraffin oil, proceeded inwards, and found deceased lying about 12 feet from the face. He was quite dead, and his lamp, which lay beside him, had been extinguished. Death had apparently been due to asphyxia.
1895June188.15am3rdTownhillCoalFifeTownhill Coal CoWilliamAndersonMiner53Falls in MineFall of coal Newspaper Report - Fife pages
1895June198.30am3rdCowdenbeathCoalFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co LtdWilliamBeveridgeReddsman58Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Beath accidents
1895June1910.10am3rdLoanheadCoal and ironstoneEdinburghShotts Iron CoEdwardMurphyChar filler39On surfaceStruck by sprag

From Main body of report:
Deceased was shifting a truck which had been loaded with ironstone. He ran an empty truck against it to set it in motion and then running after the loaded one, he attempted to insert a snibble in the right leading wheel. The point of the snibble was caught by a spoke of the wheel, and twisted against the. wheel guard ; the outer end of the snibble was jerked violently backwards, striking deceased and knocking him in front of the rear wheel which passed over both of his legs nearly severing them from his body. He died about 15 minutes afterwards.
1895June225.25am1stFallahillCoalLinlithgowPeter ThorntonJohnRamsayDrawer16In shaftsFell from cage

From Main body of report:
Deceased and three others were descending the shaft to commence their shift at a landing or mid-working situated at a depth of about 30 fathoms. When the cage stopped at the landing two of the men stepped off; as the third was following them the cage began to ascend slowly, and as deceased was stepping off, it tilted him forward upon the plates, his legs swung past the cage bottom, and he fell to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of about 43 fathoms, and was killed instantaneously. The shaft was one of two which were situated about 40 yards apart. One was a pumping pit, and was used only by the officials, and when required. The winding pit was fitted with coupled horizontal engines having 18 in. cylinders and 10 ft. drams. Only one rope and cage were in use; consequently the load was unbalanced. There were no shuts at the mid-working. The signalling apparatus appeared to be in perfect order, and the shaft was fenced at the mid-working by a gate, sliding vertically, and connected by a wire to an indicator in the engine house. While the cage containing the four men was being lowered, a messenger entered the engine-house, to inform the engineman that the overman, who was attending to the pumps in the pumping shaft, was signalling to be drawn up. He waited until the engineman had set the cage at the landing, then delivered his message, and was told by the engineman that he could not leave his engine until the cage had been signalled away by the bottomer. While he was speaking the bell rang one stroke. He then raised the cage about half way to pit mouth, shut off steam, pinned down his brake, and went over to the pumping pit to draw the overman. As he was leaving the winding engine-house the bell rang two strokes, and immediately afterwards some one was heard shouting up the shaft that a man had fallen down. The bottomer, fireman, and the three men who had left the cage agreed that no one at the landing had touched the signal lever prior to the accident, and from their positions relative to it, it appeared to be highly improbable that they could have done so. The bottomer and fireman saw the cage beginning to rise before deceased had left it, and on seeing him fall the fireman sprang to the lever and signalled one stroke to stop the cage. As it appeared to continue its ascent, he then signalled two strokes, and shortly afterwards shouted to inform the pitheadman of the accident. Several persons on pithead distinctly heard the signal bell strike one, and shortly afterwards strike two; but no one heard it strike one twice as they must have done had it been first rung inadvertently, and then rung by the fireman to stop the cage. The accident may have been caused by the engineman having checked the engines with steam during the descent of the unbalanced cage, and having unconsciously reversed the engines and eased the brake while listening to the message from the pumping pit. The elastic force of the steam shut in the cylinders might be sufficient to move the pistons a few inches as the cage was relieved of its load; and the single stroke of the bell which the engineman took to be the bottomer's signal to raise the cage, was probably the fireman's signal to stop it. Assuming, however, that this was the cause of the accident, the engineman appeared to have contravened Additional Special Rule No. 2 in respect that be moved the cage from the mid-working while the gate fencing the shaft was open. He was tried for this contravention and on pleading guilty was admonished.
1895June2511am6thNewton No 2 PitCoalLanarkJames Dunlop & Co LtdPatrickMcKirdyPithead labourer18Shaft AccidentsWhile stepping off the cage, it was started by the engineman, who did not observe him, and he was caught by the “policeman”  
1895June256.15pm2ndBentCoalLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdJohnCampbellRoadsman60Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895June266.40am1stThankerton No 7 PitCoalLanarkJohn McAndrew & CoJohnBalfourMiner28Falls of sideFall of coal Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1895June289.15am3rdSheardaleCoalLanarkRobert McAllister & SonsThomasPenmanMiner61Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895July13.30pm10thRiddochhillCoalLinlithgowGavin Paul & SonsWilliamSmithBrusher29Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895July53pm9thReddingCoalStirlingJames Nimmo & Co LtdJohnHighetForeman joiner71On surfaceRun over by wagon

From Main body of report:
Deceased and several other man had been unloading three "swivel" wagons which had been run up to the pit with some timber. When the last of the beams had been taken off, deceased, who stood in the centre wagon immediately behind the swivel bars, called to the others to knock out the trig and let the wagons away. On this being done, the three wagons ran down the branch for a distance of 105 yards when they collided with two trucks which stood there. Deceased, who had laid hold of a pin 1 foot 10 inches in height and resting in a socket in the swivel bar, was jerked violently forward, lifting the pin out of its socket and falling between the first and second swivel wagons. The wheels passed over his right arm and leg nearly severing them from his body. He died about three hours afterwards.
Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1895July69am2ndKaimesCoalAyrWilliam Baird & CoJamesTorbitMiner47Falls of sideFall of coal Newspaper Report - Muirkirk pages
1895July108pm3rdStonelaw No 3 PitCoalLanarkFarme Coal CoQuintinLowrieEngineman19Miscellaneous accidents undergroundSupposed to have been suffocated by the exhaust fumes from an oil-engine

From Main body of report: One unusual accident, which ended fatally, was caused by the fumes from the exhaust of a Priestman's oil engine placed below ground. The deceased had been employed storing debris in an old road along which the 3-inch exhaust pipe from the engine was carried. It seems that while alone he was taking a loaded hutch into this road, when it went off the rails and broke a joint of the exhaust pipe, thus permitting the fumes to escape, and he was apparently overcome while endeavouring to put the hutch on the rails again. At the public inquiry the jury in their verdict stated that death was caused by a strain while endeavouring to put the hutch on the rails, but no evidence in proof of this conjecture was adduced. The medical evidence supported the opinion that death was caused by suffocation from the fumes, and I attribute the accident to this cause.
Newspaper report - Lanarkshire pages
1895July222.15am3rdBatonCoalLanarkMorningside Coal CoAndrewBruntonMiner43Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Shotts pages
1895July242.30pm9thLevenCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdRobertWallaceLabourer50On surfaceCrushed by capstan

From Main body of report:
Deceased, a day or two before the accident was placed in charge of a capstan used for bringing forward loaded wagons of dross to a coal washing machine. He was instructed how to proceed. The capstan was connected with the machinery which worked the washer and made about 50 revolutions per minute. A hemp rope was passed round it twice, one end was provided with a hook which was hooked on to the wagon and the other end was free, the person in charge by pulling at the free end caused the rope to grip the capstan and so moved the wagon. It appeared that deceased stood in a wrong position and by some means the rope which had passed round the capstan became entangled in the rope that was passing round it and deceased was drawn in and carried round. The engine working the whole plant was stopped and deceased extricated. It was suggested at the public inquiry that a clutch should be provided so that the person in charge of the capstan could stop it revolving without the washery engine having to be stopped which was some little distance away.
1895July263pm9thOrchardLimestoneRenfrewRobert Borland junWilliamReynoldsMiner25Metalliferous MinesSuffocated by fumes from the ventilating furnace

From Main body of report: The fatal accident happened in a limestone pit worked with one shaft 36 feet deep, and having a ventilating furnace at the bottom. Four miners were employed on the day of the accident, and it appears that after one of them had put fresh coal on the fire at 2 p.m. and returned to his work, either the furnace set fire to the timbering in close proximity, and this by being burnt allowed the roof to fall, or a fall of roof took place and caused the timbering to be set on fire. The consequence was that both the timbering and strata took fire, and, the ventilation being deranged, the smoke made its way to the working places. Being thus alarmed, the miners hurried out to the shaft which three of them managed to reach, but the fourth was overcome by the fumes on the way out, and it was the following day ere the ventilation was sufficiently restored to enable his body to be reached.
 Newspaper report
1895July299.30am4thDumbreck No 2 PitCoalStirlingWilliam Baird & Co LtdPaulBlackPillarman50Falls of roofFall of roof at working face while he was putting up a pillar Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1895July308.30pm3rdRedburn No 1 PitCoalAyrWilliam Baird & Co LtdAlexanderBennetBrusher52Falls of roofFall of roof at brushing face.  
1895July309am3rdDouglas Park No 1 PitCoalLanarkWilsons & Clyde Coal Co LtdMichaelMcGovernMiner45Falls of sideFall of coal while “stooping”  
1895July305.30pm9thStraitonOil shaleEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdJamesPennycookContractor drawer45Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed on rake of hutches

From Main body of report: This accident occurred on an incline in the Broxburn oil shale seam. The incline dips from the surface with an average gradient of 1 in 2. It was 440 yards in length, and was used principally for pumping purposes, and as an outlet for the adjoining winding incline situated 30 yards away. Deceased was employed as a contractor for drawing the shale in a section of the mine. At stopping time it was found that some time would elapse, owing to a slight accident in the winding incline, before the carriages arrived to raise the workmen to the surface, and deceased with some others went to the pumping incline. About 70 yards up the incline was a rake, consisting of a bogie and two tubs, one tub being partly filled with debris and one empty. Deceased and four others reached the rake just as it moved away, and they got on to it, deceased being in the partly filled tub. All went well until a part of the roadway was reached where the timbering was low, when deceased was caught and crushed between the roof and the tub so severely that he died shortly after. It was against the Special Rules to ride on the rake, and in this case deceased and the other persons were remonstrated with by a pumpman who had leave to use the incline, but they persisted. There was a signal wire to the surface, but it was difficult to work, and the pumpman was not able to stop the rake by means of it.
Newspaper report - Lothians pages
1895July313.30pm9thGlengyron No 1 PitCoalAyrWilliam Baird & Co LtdCharlesYoungRoadsman51Miscellaneous accidents undergroundWhile disconnecting a pony's tail-chain from a hutch, he fell and was run over by it  
1895July      Kirkwood      Thomas MartinInglis    Not listed  Yes
1895August17.15pm3rdBarncluithCoalLanarkArchibald RussellHenryBurnsMiner27Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895August23pm9thAuchenharvie No 4 PitCoalAyrGlengarnock Iron & Steel Co LtdJohnGlauchanMiner35Miscellaneous accidents undergroundOutburst of water from old workings See main site
JohnMcGheeCousie attendant14
1895August61pm6thLimeriggCoalStirlingJohn Nimmo & SonHenryScobbieMiner17Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report
1895August7    Rosie  FifeBowman & CoThomasLogieAssistant bottomer21Deaths not classified under Coal Mines Regulations ActRun over by locomotive  
1895August71.15pm7thKeltyCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdJohnSneddonWheeler14Miscellaneous undergroundChain broke

From Main body of report:
Deceased was hanger-on at the foot of a "cut chain" brae 32 yards in length, and having an inclination of 1 in 3 1/2. He had hung on and sent away an empty tub, and appeared to have been standing upon the plates at the brae foot when the chain broke at a splicing or "clasp" link, and the empty tub ran back and struck him, killing him on the spot. The clasp link was not found after the accident, but was stated to have consisted of two malleable iron side plates, each 3/4 inch by 1/4 inch, connected to each other by a f-inch rivet at each end. As required by Special Rule 81, deceased should have stood "clear of hutches in motion so as to avoid danger from breakages or runaways."
Newspaper report - Beath accidents
1895August146.15am1stStraitonOil shaleEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdRobertStenhouseMiner23Explosions of fire damp or coal dustIgnition of fire-damp by naked lightFrom Main body of report: This accident took place at the face of an upset in a section of the Dunnet oil shale seam. The seam gives off gas, generally in small quantities. The section was originally formed into stoops, and these having become crushed, the shale was being worked away by the longwall method. Deceased went to his work as usual with his open lamp on his cap, and on reaching the face gas was ignited by it, and an explosion resulted. He succumbed to his injuries within two days of the accident. The accumulation of gas appeared to have been small, as the explosion was slight. The miners working 20 yards away heard no report, nor were their lights extinguished. The roof had fallen along the left side of the place some days prior to the accident. A small quantity of gas was seen in the place three weeks before the accident, but was not seen again until five days after. On that day Mr. M'Laren, one of the Inspectors assisting in the district, discovered gas near where it was supposed deceased had kindled it. The fireman's date was found on the face opposite the road, or spout head, showing he had been in the place, but whether he examined the fallen side along the face was not very clear. The means of ventilating the left side of the place where the roof was fallen, and where probably the gas accumulated, was not satisfactory, as the air-current, after passing along the right side of the place, went down the spout. It transpired that the fireman, when examining the place before the entry of the miners, as required by General Rule 4, did so more than two hours before the commencement of the shift, which is the time fixed by Special Rule 9 within which the examination must be made.  
1895August177.30am3rdSalineCoalFifeSaline Valley Coal CoHughKerrLabourer78On surfaceCrushed by truck

From Main body of report:
Deceased was employed as a general labourer, but, when the accident took place, was assisting at the screen. A truck having been loaded, he called up to the pitheadman to get it shifted. The latter being engaged unloading the cage could not come at the moment, and rather than wait for him, deceased proceeded to shift the truck himself. While doing so he was caught and crushed between the axle box of the truck and a side stay which supported the trimming shed, sustaining injuries which resulted fatally two days afterwards.
1895August194.15pm10thCampsie, Boydsburn MineCoal and limestoneStirlingBaird BrothersJohnWatsonMiner23Miscellaneous accidents undergroundWhile firing a shot, he ignited the straw instead of the match, and the shot went off before he could escape  
1895August196am8thSkellytonCoalLanarkHamilton Colliery CoJamesStewartRoadsman36In shaftsCaught by cage

From Main body of report:
This accident was caused by deceased being crushed between an ascending cage and the side of a rectangular shaft. Two cages traversed the shaft which was 38 yards deep to the Splint coal, and 84 yards deep to the Virtuewell coal. Both cages ran to the latter seam but only the rise cage was used from the Splint, which was a mid-working. There was a separate signal from both seams to the surface, but only one return signal which sounded in the shaft between the seams. Deceased was employed as a roadsman, and he and others were engaged in repairing the workings of the Virtuewell seam during the night shift. There was no bottomer employed during the night shift. It appeared that when a shift was over it was the custom of the engineman to signal four to the bottom. Deceased and others came to the Virtuewell bottom on the completion of their shift and were waiting to ascend. The engineman signalled four to the bottom and soon after, as some of the day shift miners wished to descend to the Splint coal, he lowered the rise cage, which was then at the surface, to that seam. In the meantime deceased, with a view to ascend on the other cage, was removing au empty hutch from it, and while doing so the cage moved away, and he was jammed between it and the shaft side, and raised a considerable distance in that position and killed. As there was no bottomer at the Virtuewell, and as the engineman had no means of knowing that anyone was at the bottom in that seam, he considered he was justified in raising the cage as he did, and that the deceased man, before attempting to remove the empty hutch from the cage, should have signalled to the surface for the engineman to let the cage stand. The Special Rules Nos 17 and 60 place upon the pitheadman and bottomer the duty of seeing that only an empty cage, or a cage having persons on it, traverses the shaft against the other cage when carrying persons. In this case persons were lowered to the Splint coal by the engineman against a cage which would have contained an empty hutch had deceased not pushed it off. According to one of the additional special rules established in 1893, the signal 4, which was used here by the engineman to signify that the shift was over, has an entirely different meaning in cases where mid-workings exist, and, in fact, means that the gate at the mid-working is open. There was only one return signal for two bottoms; this is not a safe practice, and does not appear to be in accordance with the requirements of General Rule 25.
Newspaper report - Dalserf pages
1895August308.30am3rdBredisholm No 3 PitCoalLanarkGlasgow Iron & Steel Co LtdJamesSempleBogie runner14Falls of roofThe hutches he was conveying along a haulage road left the rails, knocked out a prop, and the roof fell on him Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1895August319.30am4thLanemark No 2 PitCoalAyrLanemark Coal CoJohnSmithMiner14Falls of roofFall of roof near working face  
1895September15pm2ndNeilslandCoalLanarkJohn Watson LtdJohnMooneySinker26In shaftsFell into shaft from surface

From Main body of report:
A pit in the course of sinking had reached a depth of 40 fathoms. While sinking was going on the water collecting in the bottom was sent up in the sinking kettles, but at the end of the week when sinking was suspended it collected and rose to a depth of about 3 fathoms. An engineman and deceased, who acted as pitheadman, came to work on the Sunday afternoon to remove this water by means of an iron water barrel raised by the sinking engine so as to allow the sinkers to resume work in the bottom at 10 pm. The barrel had a capacity of 205 gallons, and it weighed 7 or 8 cwt., it and the bow were so connected that when it was filled with water and free to move it tipped up and emptied itself resuming its normal position in relation to the bow when empty. A catch secured the barrel to the bow while running in the shaft. The water was emptied into a channel at the pithead, and in order to prevent the barrel completely reversing itself and so allowing the water to flow into the pit a hook attached to a rope fixed to the pithead frame was placed m an eye-bolt riveted to the rim of the barrel and which prevented it falling over more than necessary. The modus operandi was as follows :—The engineman raised the barrel into position and the deceased, standing on the strike tree, placed the hook in the eye-bolt and removed the catch, the engineman then raised the barrel a short distance, it fell over until arrested by the rope, and emptied itself and resumed an upright position, deceased then fixed the catch and removed the hook from the eye-bolt. It was stated by the officials that while the barrel was emptying itself deceased should have stepped back off the strike-tree both for safety and to prevent water splashing over him. He did not retire, but remained in the one position during the whole operation. The accident was caused by the eye-bolt breaking while the barrel was being tipped; it would seem that deceased had his hand on the barrel and when it moved further than usual owing to the rope not arresting it, he had fallen into the shaft. There was a flaw in the eye-bolt which caused it to give way; the break would probably take place when the rope to which the hook was attached became taut when there would be some shock. It was stated that deceased was the worse of drink, but this, the Sheriff held, was not proved at the inquiry.
Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1895September2    Herdhill  LanarkColtness Iron Co LtdJosephMcFarlaneMiner45Deaths not classified under Coal Mines Regulations ActSudden death  
1895September512.30am3rdBridgenessCoalLinlithgowBridgeness Coal CoHenryDowdieContractor47Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895September68.30am2ndBellfieldCoalLanarkWilliam Barr & SonsRobertWilsonMiner39Falls in MineFall of coal  
1895September117am1stOakbankOil shaleEdinburghOakbank Oil Co LtdAlexanderWilliamsonPithead foreman55On surfaceRope broke

From Main body of report:
A wooden slide about 30 feet long and weighing about 2 3/4 cwt was being raised by means of a hemp rope passing over a block fixed to the pithead frame. Four men, including deceased, were pulling at the rope attached to one end of the slide, the other end resting on the pithead scaffold. The slide came in contact with the underside of a cross-beam, the rope broke, the slide fell on to the pithead and struck deceased on the head inflicting injuries that caused his death two days later. The manager of the mine could give no history of the rope beyond that it had been in use for some time. The rope was of hemp and was hawser laid, it was 1 inch in diameter; the breaking strain when new would be 85 cwt., the proof strain, 34 cwt., and the safe working load, 8 cwt. It was in fairly good condition but somewhat worn. It was stated by a practical rope maker at the inquiry that it was a tarred rope, and that the tar burns the hemp in the course of time, and that three years would be a fair lifetime for such a rope. The pulley on the block over which the rope passed had a piece broken off exposing rugged edges, but not, I think, likely to cut the rope. It appeared that the rope had deteriorated in quality and was not safe to use.
1895September1312pm7thTrabbochCoalAyrWilliam Black & SonsMatthewMcLachlanMiner32Miscellaneous accidents undergroundWhile illegally drawing in front of a hutch, he fell, and was run over by it  
1895September1311.45am5thLongriggendCoalLanarkJames Nimmo & Co LtdWilliamO'HareMiner27Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895September162.10pm8thNethercroy No 1 PitCoalDumbartonCarron CoRobertHendersonLabourer46Accidents above groundDrowned in a settling pond containing 9 inches of water, while in a fit  
1895September259.40am2ndBarrCoalAyrBarr Coal CoPeterStewartBottomer64Shaft AccidentsHe pushed a hutch into the open shaft at a mid-working, and fell after it

From Main body of report:
A bottomer fell along with a loaded hutch from a mid-working and received fatal injuries. He was alone at the time, and had opened the gate fencing the shaft when the cage was at the surface, and while the engineman was attending to the boilers. From the fact that he was found in the pit bottom along with a full hutch it is evident that he was under the impression that the cage had been at the mid-working. Accidents of this description, at one time of frequent occurrence, ought not to happen now if the recently established special rules are properly observed. The shaft at a mid-working, ought also to be always well lighted.
1895September259.30am3rdKeltyCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdJamesForresterDriver14Miscellaneous undergroundChain broke

From Main body of report:
This accident occurred in the same pit, and was very similar to No. 46.[August 7] Deceased, who was a horsedriver, had gone inbye with a set of empty tubs, and stood at the foot of a cut chain brae waiting for a tub to complete the loaded set. The brae was about 50 yards in length, and had an inclination of about 1 in 3. The chain broke at a clasp link, exactly similar to that described in connexion with No. 46, one end of one of the rivets having in this instance been pulled through the hole in the side plate. The empty tub ran back and struck deceased, inflicting injuries which resulted in his death a fortnight afterwards. The only witness of the accident was the hanger-on, who appeared to have contravened Special Rule 81, in respect that he failed to prevent deceased from approaching the brae while the hutches were in motion. Clasp links are used in these chains for the insertion of the " cut links" and their attachments, and also on account of the frequent extensions of the braes necessitating the lengthening of the chains. The form above described does not appear to be the best which can be adopted. The holes in the side plates being simply punched, have more or less of a taper; and the rivetting being done underground may sometimes be imperfect. If rivetted too tightly, the link becomes too rigid to run easily round the pulleys, and as their heads become worn by rubbing along the rough pavement, the rivets bend and are pulled through.: The owners have since adopted an improved form.
1895September2612.30pm7thWoodhall No 1 PitCoalLanarkBarr & HigginsWilliamMcCutcheonMiner37Falls of sideFall of coal Newspaper report- Bothwell pages
1895September289.15am3rdTeassesLimestoneFifeA WhittakerRobertForrestFiller56Metalliferous MinesFall of limestone

From Main body of report:
The seam of limestone in which this accident occurred is about 11 feet in thickness, and is divided into plies of from 2 to 3 feet. The partings between these plies are rough and somewhat irregular, but the backs or joints by which the limestone is intersected are more or less regular, nearly vertical, and frequently coated with clay. The two lower plies of limestone had been taken out in a place 15 feet in width. A shearing shot had been fired, which brought down a portion of the third ply, and shook the limestone adjoining it. Some effort had been made to pinch down the loosened limestone, but as this failed, the miner was about to drill a shot-hole in it. Deceased went under the nose to pick up a piece of limestone, when a block measuring 5 feet 2 inches by 2 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 3 inches suddenly fell upon him crushing him so severely that he died some hours afterwards.
1895October48.30am3rdDalmenyOil shaleLinlithgowDalmeny Oil Co LtdRobertAitkenMiner44Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895October58.20am3rdLongriggendCoalLanarkJames Nimmo & Co LtdJohnKaneBottomer55In shaftsCrushed by cage

From Main body of report:
Deceased, a bottomer, was found under one of the cages that traversed the shaft, but how he got there there was no evidence to show. Some little time before the accident he had crossed the shaft from the side where he was usually stationed and gone some distance from it. He was returning to his work when he met with the accident. There was a "bout-gate" or road from one side of the shaft to the other, but as this road was low I think deceased purposed crossing the shaft, and was either in the act of doing so when the cage descended on him or, what I think more, probable, was waiting for the cage to descend so that he might cross through it, and had moved too far forward and was struck by it. While deceased was away from his post a roadsman attended to the shaft who stated he got on to the the cage to ascend to the surface when he saw deceased returning; if deceased saw the roadsman ascending he must have known the cages were running. In addition the pumps were connected with the winding engine, and the noise they made could be heard by deceased and apprise him that the cages were running. An empty hutch was in the cage that struck deceased, and as persons were ascending on the other cage this was a breach of a special rule on the part of the pitheadman.
Newspaper report
1895October79am3rdSouth CraigendsCoalStirlingJohn Logan & SonsMatthewNeilSinker25In shaftsChain broke

From Main body of report:
This accident, involving the death of two sinkers and injury to a third, was caused by the breaking of a chain, resulting in the fall of a kettle full of stone which was being raised by winding engine in a pit in the process of sinking to a deeper seam. The chain had been taken from the cage which had been removed from the shaft in order to allow the rope to which it had been attached to be used in the sinking. The chain was made up of a large link at each end, and 29 smaller links of 5/8-inch iron; the first of these small links, that nearest the rope, broke. When on the cage this link had been nearest the cage. According to Molesworth's Pocket Book of Engineering Formulae the working load of such a chain is 2.78 tons, the load on it at the time of the accident was about 15cwt. But the link that broke was considerably worn ; when on the cage it and the links next it had been subject to extra wear, as when the cage rested on the bottom or on the shuts at the surface and the rope was slackened, these links fell on to the top of the cage and this with any movement caused by the twisting of the rope subjected them to extra wear. In order to make use of the cage in one division of the shaft between the upper seam and the surface while the other rope was used for sinking, an extra chain was made use of below the chain that broke. This practice appeared not to be in accordance with General Rule 28 of the Coal Mines Act, which limits the use of chains in such a case to “the short coupling-chain attached to the cage or tub.” Proper inspection and reporting on the ropes and chains as required by General Rule 5 was not carried out, and the jury added a rider to this effect to their verdict.
Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1895October75am5thSundrumCoalAyrDalmellington Iron Co LtdSamuelMcFadzeanMiner26Miscellaneous accidents undergroundWhile illegally drawing in front of a hutch, he fell, and was run over by it  
1895October912 noon6thPrestongrangeCoalHaddingtonSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel CoRichardMackieBanksman18On surfaceCrushed by truck

From Main body of report:
Deceased was bringing forward an empty truck to place it under a screen on a temporary siding which had a gradient varying between 1 in 19 and 1 in 38. He stood upon the handle of the break lever which was at front end of the truck. On approaching the screen, he was caught by a strut which supported an over-hanging portion of the pithead scaffold and crushed so severely that he died about two hours afterwards.
 Newspaper report
1895October1012.30pm6thLawCoalLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdJamesForrestMiner26Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report
1895October111.30pm7thLoanheadCoal and ironstoneEdinburghShotts Iron CoAbrahamPrydeMiner21Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report
1895October113pm9thCadzowCoalLanarkCadzow Coal Co LtdAndrewMaxwellBogie-man22Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1895October149am3rdHamilton PalaceCoalLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdElizabethFindlayStone picker30Accidents above groundFell through a temporary opening in a screen scaffold, upon a revolving shaft, and thence to the ground

From Main body of report:
A woman was killed by falling from the pithead upon a revolving shaft, and thence to the ground through a temporary opening in the scaffold, having gone close to the opening contrary to orders.
Newspaper report - Bothwellhaugh pages
1895October188.40am2ndPortland No 8 PitCoalAyrWilliam Baird & Co LtdWilliamInnesWaggon shunter60Accidents above groundWhile pinching forward a waggon, he was overtaken by another, and crushed between them Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1895October222pm8thEarnockCoalLanarkJohn Watson LtdAbrahamMcManusMiner21Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1895October229pm7thBothwell Castle No 3 PitCoalLanarkWilliam Baird & Co LtdDavidLowrieSinker35Shaft AccidentsThe sinking kettle while ascending caught the mid-wall, the bow broke, and it fell to the bottomFrom Main body of report: Two sinkers in a sinking shaft lost their lives by the sinking "kettle" falling from a height of 180 fathoms. The shaft is 24 ft long by 7 ft. wide, separated into three divisions by two rows of buntons, 7 in. by 6 in., fixed 4 ft. apart between centres. The middle or winding division is 7 ft. 7 in. by 7 ft, in area, having the buntons on one side only covered by wrought lining which formed the mid-wall. When hanging perpendicular in the shaft, the '' kettle " was 20 in. clear of the buntons. It appears that the eight sinkers in the pit, which at the time of the accident was 210 fathoms deep, were preparing to fire shots, and sent up the "kettle" containing their tools to the pithead. When about 30 fathoms from the surface it caught the buntons or mid-wall, and the jerk broke the bow. This released the kettle which in its fall broke and precipitated to the bottom several of the buntons. Two long jumpers, which were too long to go inside the lip of the "kettle," were said to have been securely lashed by a cord to the centre of the bow, but whether these became detached on the way up and their points caught the timbering, or whether the lip of the kettle first got caught beneath a bunton, could not be definitely determined. At the Inquiry, the sinkers who escaped stated that the "kettle" was properly steadied before being despatched to the surface, but I am inclined to believe that such was not the case, and that the oscillation caused either the lip of the kettle or the point of a jumper to catch one of the unprotected buntons. The kettle would then rebound and catch on the mid-wall side, getting there the wrench which broke the bow. The sinkers in this same pit had a narrow escape a few weeks previous to the accident, when the engineman overwound the "kettle" to the pulley wheel, and being broken, it fell to the bottom where the men were at work. Newspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1895October2411.30am5thWhistleberryCoalLanarkArchibald RussellDennisWardLabourer23Accidents above groundWhile a branch railway was being made, a runaway waggon ran into the waggons which were being emptied by the deceased and others. Other 4 men were injured  
1895October253.30am6thLevenCoalFifeFife Coal Co LtdRobertDowMiner's assistant16Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895 October28            GeorgeHunter        Died from injuries received in 1892 - see under 24 May 1892 Newspaper report - Beath accidents
1895October299am3rdBlantyre No 1 PitCoalLanarkWilliam Dixon LtdRobertDixonMiner41Falls of roofFall of roof at working face  
1895November29.45am5thCarmyle No 1 PitCoalLanarkJames Dunlop & Co LtdPeterMcCourtMiner50Falls of roofFall of roof in working face  
1895November410.15am4thBarnsmuirCoalStirlingBarnsmuir Coal CoHenryYeardleyMiner14Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Stirling pages
1895November510pm2ndTannochside No 2 PitCoalLanarkCalderbank Steel & Coal Co LtdMichaelDoranBrusher25Explosions of fire damp or coal dustExplosion of fire damp. The cause was not ascertained, but it is supposed he must have exposed a naked light instead of using his safety lamp.

From Main body of report:
The second fatal explosion happened in No. 2 Pit, Tannochside, where safety lamps were in use. The deceased, a contractor brusher, was alone at the time, having for some unknown purpose gone into the working place of a miner where his duty did not require him to be. His statement after the accident was to the effect that while he was at the coal face the roof gave way and fell upon his safety-lamp and broke the glass, when the explosion took place. Another brusher who was working not far off stated at the inquiry that, on entering the place shortly after, he found the Marsant safety-lamp lying extinguished on its side about 3 feet clear of the fall and having the glass cracked. On the other hand, the sworn evidence of the fireman was to the effect that when he met the deceased and the other brusher both of their lamps were burning, although the glass of the lamp of the former was cracked. It is obvious that if the lamp of the deceased was afterwards found burning, it must either have been illegally lighted after the explosion or the statement that it was found lying on its side extinguished was untrue. I am inclined to believe that the deceased must have been illegally exposing a naked light of some kind, and that it came in contact with an accumulation of gas.
1895November610.15pm5thKenmuirhill No 2 PitCoalLanarkDunn BrothersJohnMuirEngineman36Shaft AccidentsFell down the shaft from the surface, having apparently supposed that a scaffold which had been previously been across it was still there.  
1895November91pm7thBanknock, Gladstone PitCoalStirlingJohn Young & CoWilliamJarvieDrawer15Falls of roofFall of roof at working face  
1895November127am1stClydeCoalLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdWilliamAllanDriver15Miscellaneous undergroundKicked by horse

From Main body of report:
This accident was of a simple nature. The boy was a driver between an inside lye in the Main coal, and the main lye at the bottom of a haulage dook. On the morning of the accident, while behind some horses attempting to drive them through water lying in the main lye, he struck the last horse with a whip, which caused it to kick out and he was struck on the face. He succumbed to the injury two days later. The water had accumulated in the lye through a pump being off for repairs.
1895November138.45am3rdDevonCoalClackmannanAlloa Coal CoJohnHunterMiner23Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895November158.50am3rdHamilton PalaceCoalLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdJamesWilsonMiner28Falls of roofFall of roof at working face Newspaper report - Bothwellhaugh pages
1895November228.30am3rdStraitonOil shaleEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdGeorgeForsythMiner40Falls in MineFall of oil shale  
1895November287.30am1stTreesCoalLinlithgowJames Wood LtdMungoBrownMiner32Falls in MineFall of coal and ironstone  
1895December29.30am4thClydeCoalLanarkWilson's & Clyde Coal Co LtdJohnBeattieMiner20Falls in MineFall of stone Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1895December911am4thLinriggCoalLanarkLinrigg Coal Co LtdThomasHughesGum-runner65On surfaceCrushed by truck

From Main body of report:
This accident was caused by deceased, who was supposed to have been cleaning a drain crossing a line of rails, being crushed between an empty wagon and a wagon partly loaded with peas; these wagons collided owing to the empty wagon being sent forward by some wagons loaded with dross striking it. The persons lowering the dross wagons were unaware of deceased's position, and it appeared that deceased should not have been where he was.
1895December1012.30pm6thCraighead No 2 PitCoalLanarkWilliam Baird & Co LtdDavidHarperChain runner18Miscellaneous accidents undergroundWhile opening a door on a dook, he was crushed against it by a “race” of hutches of which he had charge.  
1895December107.30am1stSouth BroadriggCoalLinlithgowJohn Nimmo & SonWilliamMcAlpineDrawer19Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895December2310.30am4thBridgenessCoalLinlithgowBridgeness Coal CoJohnSneddonMiner34Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895December24    West Longrigg  LanarkJames GemmellAndrewStevensonDrawer25Deaths not classified under Coal Mines Regulations ActSudden death  
1895December2810am4thHaywoodCoalLanarkHaywood Gas Coal CoJohnFinlayMiner23Falls in MineFall of stone  
1895December3010am4thArnistonCoalEdinburghArniston Coal Co LtdWilliamNisbetFireman55Miscellaneous undergroundRunaway hutch

From Main body of report:
Deceased was assisting another man to repair a broken electric cable, on a dook which had a dip of about 1 in 6. About 50 yards further up the dook, four men, under the direction of the manager, were bringing down a tub containing about 3 cwts. of coal and having a broken drawbar, with the intention of turning it aside at an old road end. The tub was not snibbled, and the men allowed it to overpower them, and to get away. They shouted to warn deceased, who ran towards a manhole about 5 yards above him, but was struck by the tub and killed on the spot. His neighbour reached a manhole 10 feet below where they were at work, and escaped.

Last Updated 28th May 2012