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inspector located in every mine with power to shut that mine down if he found any hazard or unsafe condition, you would still have accidents. Take the case where a man is working under a piece of slate and where the man himself should have put a timber up and failed to do so, you would have an accident. Remember, gentlemen, a mine is not like this room; it does not remain stationary. You can look over this room and visualize the hazards, and perhaps there are not any. But conditions are continually changing in the mines. The mine officials cannot be at all of the working faces every minute of the day. They do make their visits frequently in the best mines, and in Pennsylvania we require three inspections by certified officials every day, one by the fire boss, one by an assistant foreman after the men are at work, and one by the fire boss after they are at work.
Mr. KELLEY. That is every shift, not every day?
Now, conditions do not remain just the way they are found on inspection. Many of these accidents that happen to a man in a mine even did not have the hazard exist 1 hour before it happened. For instance, the mine foreman may find a place properly timbered and ready to cut; but when the coal is blasted, in blasting that coal, there is a new condition created. The entire complexion of the working place is changed within an hour. A man goes in there to load coal. He knows the system of timbering that is required, and he knows when he gets room to do it he must put a timber up. But a piece of rock may fall on him before he can get the timber up. That is the condition. It is not like a factory where you place your machinery and equipment in position and it does not change. The coal mine is changing every day and every minute in the day.
There is another thing we have to consider. When we go into a coal mine, we are disturbing Nature. When you disturb Nature, you are creating a condition in which old Mother Nature is not going to give up the black diamonds without a struggle. When we leave the ground and go up into the air, we defy the law of gravity, and we have to pay for that by all of the airplane wrecks and the people who have been killed in them. That same thing applies to the coal mines; you are disturbing Nature.
I do not say we have reached the irreducible minimum in accidents. They are on the downward trend, and I can assure you we are going to have continually better records.
Coal mining has reached the stage where it is highly mechanized and is big business. Load trips, hauled by large electric locomotives, travel over railways at high speed. In many cases rails are equal in weight to those over which railroad trains are hauled. Many wrecks on the railroad outside are caused by the breaking of a rail and no persons are held responsible. This same thing can happen in a coal mine, and to blame the mine official or the coal operator for the breaking of the rail which causes a wreck in a coal mine is the height of ignorance.
I am sure accidents will continue to be reduced in the coal mines of this country, even if the Federal Inspection Code were repealed. However, somewhere along the line there is an irreducible minimum below which we cannot go; and, as I say, we have not yet reached that goal.
Gentlemen, I have a statement here I would like to read some excerpts from. This statement was made by Mr. Daniel Harrington in his radio interrogation on June 5 of this year. Every person in the United States who knows anything about the subject will admit that Mr. Dan Harrington was an outstanding proponent of safety. Here is what he said as he was being interviewed:
Question. The question that you have raised in my mind is: What is the biggest hazard in coal mining?
Answer. Mr. Warner, the real answer is the coal miner's frequent failure to protect himself. It is his own carelessness. In the record books it is listed as falls of roof and coal, which usually account for 50 to 55 percent of all coalmining deaths, one or two at a time. Next come haulage accidents, with about 18 percent. Explosions now account for only 5 to 10 percent.
Question. What do you mean when you say carelessness is the worst hazard?
Answer. Well, take roof falls. Most of them are due to the lack of judgment for sheer laziness of the ham himself in placing or failure to place roof props as the coal is removed. Carelessness also figures in the haulage accidents, just as it does in our highway accidents.
Question. Now, is anything being done about this, and about other kinds of carelessness?
Answer. Definitely. The countermeasure is education. Coal-mining companies and the Bureau of Mines collaborate in giving what might be termed college courses in mining safety to supervisors and officials, and more elementary courşes to the men. Further, the Bureau has for years given first-aid courses. The unions also have an educational program. The objective is to educate every man and every official in every mine on the fundamentals of safe mining, so that he will know the way to do his job safely; be able to spot dangers; and perhaps, most important, make him want to do his job the safe, careful way.
Question. Do you think enforcement legislation would slow up that program? Answer. I know it would. If Congress wants faster progress in mine safety, then let it do something it has consistently refused to do. Let it give the Bureau of Mines adequate personnel and facilities to learn more and to teach more. The record is eloquent evidence that education can work miracles. Laws are not the
Why, the coal industry has gone far beyond the requirements of what laws there are. Today, Mr. Warner, 90 percent of our coal mines ordinarily do not have a single fatal accident in the course of a year. That does not mean the ultimate has been reached by any means, but the foundation has been firmly packed for continuing the downward trend of mine accidents.
The United States Bureau of Mines has given up almost entirely the education of the miner. They did an excellent job and they were proud of it. They trained first-aid men all over the Nation, hundreds and thousands of them. I have heard Mr. Forbes say that a trained firstaid man is better than one untrained and better able to take care of himself. They have given up that educational part of the program and taken on the inspection part of the program.
When you get technicians, scientists, and engineers trained in research work and then give them police powers, you are taking away from them the incentive they had to do research work and giving them a job they are not competent to do.
Mr. KELLEY. You said it has given up the first-aid work and taken on the other?
Mr. MAIZE. Yes. Mr. KELLEY. You mean that was done deliberately by the Bureau of Mines or was it through failure to appropriate money to carry on the first-aid work?
Mr. MAIZE. They appropriated enough to carry on inspection work; why should they not leave inspection work alone and carry on their educational program?
Mr. KELLEY. Why could they not have done both; why neglect one for the other
Mr. MAIZE. That is what they did.
To blame all the accidents on the certified mine officials is unfair and cowardly. The men who work in the mines, namely, the miners, are human beings and fellow workmen of the mine officials, and I am certain these officials would much prefer going through the year without having an accident while the mine workers are under their jurisdiction.
No sane mine official wants to have killed a mine worker he has charge of.
The coal companies, of course, must extract the coal if they expect to operate the mines, pay the mine workers their wages, and remain in business. For each man who is killed in their mines it costs them on an average of $7,000. Is it not, then, pure logic to deduce that any coal company would rather save a workman's life and the $7,000 that his death would cost them!
Mr. KELLEY. What is the figure !
Mr. KELLEY. I am wondering how you arrive at the $7,000. Would that be increased premiums due to the accident? That is the only way it would cost them more that I can think of.
Mr. Marze. If they are carrying their own insurance, then it costs them that much money. If they are insured by a regular insurance company, then the premium goes up according to the rating.
Mr. KELLEY. The death of a man in a mine might cause increased production costs for a day or two also.
Mr. Maize. That is another factor. They do not want to kill men.
The mine inspectors for the Pennsylvania Department of Mines do not measure their success in the number of tons of coal mined and the cost of mining it. They measure their success by the reduction in accidents in their districts. Each one of the State mine inspectors is very proud if he can go through the entire year without a fatal accident in his district. In 1948 there were 27 inspection districts, and effective January 1949 this number was increased to 30 in the bituminous division of Pennsylvania. Of these 27 districts 19 produced over 1,000,000 tons of coal per fatal accident, a record never equaled in the United States, and 1 district employing more than 4,000 men produced 4,394,805 tons of coal without a single loss of life. So, to make the charge that the State department of mines, the mine officials, and the coal operators are responsible for every injúry and death which occurs in the coal mines is unjust, unfair, and far from the actual fact. Such statements could only be made by those who are in ignorance of the conditions involved in the mining of coal.
Now, I wish you gentlemen would turn to the statement prepared by the Department of Mines of Pennsylvania showing the record of 427 companies in the anthracite division and 1,314 companies in the bituminous division which mined, respectively, 17,314,091 tons of coal and 66,829,974 tons of coal without a fatal accident in 1948. In the anthracite division there were 18,462 employees in these companies, and in the bituminous division there were 53,422 employees, and in neither division was there any fatality.
I have here an award made to the Pennsylvania Department of Mines by the United States Bureau of Mines, which reads:
Pennsylvania Department of Mines, anthracite division, Harrisburg, Pa., certificate of honor for achieving during the year 1948 the lowest fatality record, 0.87, in the history of coal mining in the United States. Three hundred and fiftythree companies worked 28,000,000 man-hours without a fatality and contributed greatly to this achievement. This record is the result of cooperation between management, labor, and inspection forces.
That shows what we have done in Pennsylvania.
Now, on the next sheet we have a tabulation showing each inspection district in Pennsylvania, with the name of the inspector, the number of mines he closed, the parts of mines closed, the number of men affected, the number of officials prosecuted, the number of miners prosecuted, commissions served on by him in his district, and commissions served on by him in districts other than his own. That is for the bituminous mine inspectors during the year 1948, and on the next sheet we have the same record for the anthracite division.
Now, I would like you to turn to the next sheet, where it shows production, employees, fatalities in the bituminous region for the period from 1913 to 1948. You will notice under "Fatalities" that in 1913 we list 611 men in the mines of Pennsylvania. That is not the worse record we had. We had a record in 1908 in which 807 men lost their lives.
The record gradually comes down until 1931, when it was down to 207 men, the lowest since 1913, when there were 611. In 1932 we lost 155; in 1933, 135; in 1934, 156; in 1935, 161; in 1936, 190; in 1937, 186; in 1938, 119; 1939, 120; and in 1940, 188.
Mr. WERDEL. In all of those years was the number of miners en. gaged in mining about the same?
Mr. Maize. They ranged between 133,000 to 117,000. The fatalities per 1,000,000 man-hours employed is a much more striking figure and easier to analyze. You will notice up until 1930 we had about two and a half as an average per thousand men employed. In 1931 it was 1.74, and you will notice the record goes down to 1.60 in 1940. The important point I want to call attention to is the fact that from 1932 to 1940 the record came down. The lowest record we had was 1.03 in 1938—no, 1.02 in 1939.
Now, remember, gentlemen, this record was accomplished without the help of the Federal Bureau of Mine inspection. At that time they were doing a lot of educational work, and when they came into the picture with their inspections in 1941 or 1942, the record nowhere equaled the records of 1938 and 1939. So you can draw your own conclusions from that.
Mr. BAILEY. Conditions, of course, would be different during the war period when the coal production was much larger.
Mr. MAIZE. We are talking about the number of men killed per thousand men employed. The lowest record we have after the Bureau of Mines came in was last year, when it was 1.04, while the record before that was down to 1.02.
Mr. BAILEY. I did not know they had ever come into the picture except in an advisory capacity.
Mr. MAIZE. They claimed credit for reducing accidents. The mine workers and operators were supposed to accept their code. It is part of a contract. So they came into the picture, but of course we enforce the law.
I was general superintendent of a mine for 30 years, a rather gassy mine, and never in all that time did I lose a man by explosion. I have been secretary of mines since 1940, and during that time of 9 years there has been only one major explosion in the bituminous mines of Pennsylvania, where we lost seven men. I am not claiming credit for it, but it does show a record. We prosecuted in that case and the men pleaded guilty.
Mr. PERKINS. That is fine, and apparently the condition in Pennsylvania is far different from the condition in any other place.
Mr. KELLEY. I would dispute that, if the gentleman will yield. The older mines in Pennsylvania are a little more hazardous.
Mr. PERKINS. But even assuming it is better, should we, on the basis of your statement, Mr. Maize, refuse better conditions to other States?
Mr. MAIZE. I think on the basis of the statement made by Mr. Harrington which I have read, you should refuse to give Federal inspectors police powers.
Mr. KELLEY. I had a great deal of respect for Dr. Harrington in his connection with the Bureau of Mines for the period of time I knew him. Maybe if he were still in the Bureau of Mines, however, he would not have made that statement.
Mr. MAIZE. Maybe he would not.
Gentlemen, I have a few extemporaneous remarks and then will close. I want to say we have no fight with the Bureau of Mines as long as they continue with their educational program. We do object to their exercising police powers in the State of Pennsylvania.
Mr. BAILEY. I want to say, Mr. Maize, I have thoroughly enjoyed your presentation because you are so frank.
Mr. MAIZE. Thank you. I also want to say the United States Bureau of Mines has the finest research men, engineers, and technicians in the world. When the Bureau of Mines was organized, mine safety was at its lowest ebb in history. Accident rates were the highest in the history of Pennsylvania. "As I said before, in 1907 we lost 807 men in 1 year, while in 1948 we only lost 114. Of course, that is too many, but it does show a vast improvement.
When the Bureau of Mines came into the picture, explosions were almost a monthly occurrence. They diligently went into this question of stopping explosions and assisting the operators and advising the miners how to get around these explosions which were taking such a terrible toll. I was superintendent of the coal mines at that time and I attended as many as three mine disasters in a month and helped to get the men out. At that time we were not using rock dust; we were using all of these things which the Bureau of Mines taught us were dangerous, and as a result we have brought our accident record down.
Mr. KELLEY. You used open lights, too?
Mr. KELLEY. How many States of the Union have a mining law as restrictive as ours in Pennsylvania and administered as well; are there any?
Mr. BAILEY. I would be interested in the answer to that same question to see how West Virginia stacks up.