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Mr. KELLEY. Metal!
Mr. Symons. Metal tamping bars. In many instances explosives were stored in rooms within 3 feet of the track.
Mr. KELLEY. Black powder?
Mr. Symons. Black powder. In some cases there was as much as a 3 weeks' supply of powder in one place. In one place two holes were lighted with squibs at the same time.
Under ventilation, there were more than 50 men employed on one continuous air current.
Mr. KELLEY. What does the State law require on that?
In one, two, three, four, five, and seven entries, the ventilation was insufficient, less than 6,000 cubic feet a minute.
In many of the places, in many of the butt entries, especially on the return side of the butt entry, there was no perceptible movement of air in the faces.
In two locations the entry had been driven more than 100 feet beyond the length of the last crosscut.
In three locations, two or more crosscuts just outside the face were left open, which meant there was no movement of air in the faces.
In two locations rooms were being driven in beyond the last crosscut of entry.
In two locations only single doors were used to direct the air current on main haulageways. It was the general practice when the motormen went through these doors, especially through doors on rooms, to leave the doors open while he gathered the coal.
Mr. KELLEY. Until he came back?
Brattice was not generally used. Preshift examinations were not made. There were excessive accumulations of coal dust along the haulage entrance. Most of the working places were dry and the mine had never been rock-dusted.
Mr. KELLEY. The mine is not a wet mine at all, or any section of it? Mr. SYMONS. One section was wet; the rest of it was dry.
Mr. KELLEY. Is coal dust present in sufficient quantities, do you think, in the mine to propagate an explosion?
Mr. SYMONS. Coal dust, you say?
Mr. Symons. Certainly. Most of the working places were dry, and there was no provision to allay the dust at its source.
The back entries were dry and dusty. They had never been rockdusted. There was an excessive accumulation of coal and rock along the main haulageway that made haulage hazardous.
The general clearance throughout the mine was obstructed with loose rock, dirt, and posts.
Mr. KELLEY. What clearance does the Ohio State mine law require?
Mr. SYMONS. I think 24 inches. I am not sure, but I think that 24 inches is the State law.
The provision of the Federal Mine Safety Code is at least 24 inches of clearance, to be kept free above obstruction.
The main haulage locomotives were not kept under control when hauling trips down grade.
You are asking for the most hazardous conditions, are you not? Mr. KELLEY. Yes.
Mr. Symons. Employees were hauled regularly in cars connected to loaded trips, and as many as 12 men were observed riding in open cars in this manner-behind upwards of 30 cars of coal.
Man-trips were overloaded."
In many places power wires were nailed to the posts. Cut-out switches were not provided on the main haulage entry, and the active workings were about 3 miles from the surface.
The trolley wire was within 5 feet of the track throughout the mine, and it was not guarded.
Storage battery locomotives were used for gathering coal from the room, and they had no brakes. They had to plug the motor to stop the trip.
With the exception of small pyrene fire extinguishers there was no fire-fighting equipment underground.' Fire-fighting extinguishers were in two of the substations.
Mr. KELLEY. Is the mine emitting explosive gas? Mr. SYMONS. During this inspection we collected three air samples. Two of them contained one-tenth of 1 percent, which was a potential hazard.
Mr. KELLEY. Were the same conditions that you are outlining in this report prevalent in the previous report?
Mr. SYMONS. Yes.
Mr. KELLEY. Have there been any improvements since you first inspected it?
Mr. SYMONS. Very few.
Mr. SYMONS. In July 1947. It was first inspected under the Federal inspection in 1943.
Mr. McCONNELL. There has been very little change since that time? Mr. SYMONS. That is right. Mr. KELLEY. Have they ever had an explosion in the mine! Mr. SYMONS. There has never been an explosion in that mine. Mr. KELLEY. Not even a local one that you know of? Mr. SYMONS. Not that I know of. Mr. KELLEY. It would be hard to have a local explosion in a mine like that.
Mr. SYMONS. It could be local and we would not know anything about it.
The escape ways at three points were obstructed.
Mr. SYMONS. There were 65 violations in the most recent report. I covered what I considered the most hazardous.
Mr. KELLEY. Hazard involving imminent danger. Would you say that an explosion was likely to occur at any time?
Mr. SYMONS. I would.
Mr. KELLEY. Have you stated that fact in any of your reports-an explosion was likely to occur at any time?
Mr. SYMONs. I think about 2 years ago I made a statement to the extent that we considered black powder hazardous, and it was a factor toward an explosion. I think all these other violations as recited speak for themselves.
Mr. BAILEY. How often do you make inspections?
Mr. SYMONS. I inspected that mine in June. It was inspected by three other of our men in March. The mine was inspected as of June of this year, March of this year, August 1948, September 1948, July 1947, March of 1946, June of 1945, May of 1944, and July of 1942.
Mr. BAILEY. Is that in keeping with your practice in inspecting mines, or have you had a suspicion that would lead you to inspect this more often than other operations?
Mr. Symons. In the most recent instance we inspected it oftener because we were conscious of the imminent dangers in that mine.
Mr. Bailey. Did you get any requests from the company for an inspection, or did you initiate the inspection on your own?
Mr. SYMONS. We initiated the inspection on our own.
Mr. BAILEY. What about the State Bureau of Mines of Ohio? Did they make any inspections of this mine?
Mr. Symons. I understand they do, but I could not make a statement in that regard.
Mr. BAILEY. To what extent do you get cooperation from the State bureau of mines? I understand that a copy of your inspection report goes to the Ohio Bureau of Mines, as well as to the company; is that right? Mr. SYMONS. That is right. Mr. BAILEY. Do you know of any action taken by the State bureau? Mr. Symons. The repeated violations seem to speak for themselves.
Mr. BAILEY. You would not have access to any action that the bureau would take? They do not tell the Federal Bureau of any action they take?
Mr. SYMONS. That is right.
Mr. SYMons. They have.
Mr. Symons. I understand that 145 men have about $900 apiece in the mine.
Mr. WIER. Men who work there, or outside ?
Mr. SYMONS. Men who work there. All I know is information that I received.
Mr. WIER. How many men did you say are employed there?
Mr. SYMONS. At the time of the last inspection there were 149 men employed.
Mr. WIER. And there are 145 men who are so-called shareholders?
Mr. Symons. It may be those other fur are shareholders. I would not know that.
Mr. WIER. What do these men do? Do these men elect their officials?
Mr. SYMONS. I understand there is a policy committee of five men reelected every
years, one man a year, so that one man's term runs out every year,
Mr. WIER. When you make an inspection of this kind, either before the inspection or after you make it, do you notify the management that you are going to make it, or that you have made it?
Mr. Symons. We notify the management at the time we come to the property to make the inspection.
Mr. WIER. Do you give them a copy of what your findings are?
Mr. SYMONS. The impression I have received most recently is that the immediate management's hands are tied by the attitude of the policy committee at the mine.
Mr. Wier. Then I am assuming there is a lack of management there, from your statement.
Mr. Symons. Well, yes.
Mr. WIER. Does Onio have a compulsory closing of dangerous mines; mines that have a dangerous condition?
Mr. SYMONS. I would not know that.
Mr. SYMONS. I understand that the State inspectors have police authority.
Mr. WIER. At least you ought to have that knowledge, the knowledge of the laws of the States where you are working.
Mr. SYMONS. We do have a working knowledge of it; yes.
Would it be a fair thing to say that the mine that you have singled out at this time is probably the worst example in Ohio, or do you have some comparable to it?
Mr. SYMONS. I would say that it is the worst.
Mr. McCONNELL. What reaction has been shown by the State authorities?
Mr. Symons. To this particular condition?
Mr. Symons. The State authorities have accepted copies of our reports, but there has been no action taken.
Mr. McCONNELL. Have they acknowledged them, or made any statement ?
Mr. SYMONS. Not that I know of.
Mr. MECHLING. They have not, nor have they acknowledged letters written in connection with the hazards at this mine.
Mr. McCONNELL. That is all.
Mr. Smith. Do you have any other cooperative mines that you inspect?
Mr. Symons. I know of one particularly. There are others. I cannot mention them offhand.
Mr. SMITH. Are they in Ohio?
Mr. Symons. No. The one that I am thinking about is in Tuscarawas County outside of Tuscarawa.
Mr. Smith. You say that the policy committee is the one that determines whether they shall
Mr. SYMONS. Correct conditions.
Mr. Symons. They have a superintendent and president, and a man as an assistant mine foreman.
Mr. SMITH. But the policy committee is the one that has to be consulted with regard to any corrective measures?
Mr. SYMONS. That is what I am told by the management at the mine.
Mr. SMITH. That is all. Mr. WERDEL. Your job is mine inspector? Mr. SYMONS. Coal-mine inspector. Mr. WERDEL. How long have you been with the Federal Bureau of Mines?
Mr. SYMONS. Since November 1, 1945.
Mr. WERDEL. Then you know that copies of your report of investigations made were sent to the Bureau of mines of Ohio?
Mr. SYMONS. Yes.
Mr. WERDEL. And, as I understand, you do not know what action, if any, they took?
Mr. SYMONS. It is evident there was very little action taken because we find the same violations when we make each succeeding inspection. Other than that we do not know.
Mr. WERDEL. Except for the surmise you make, you do not know from your own knowledge whether or not they took any action?
Mr. Symons. That is right. Mr. WERDEL. The violations that you have designated are violations of the Federal Mine Safety Code.
Mr. SYMONS. That is right.
Mr. WERDEL. Which are regulations prepared by the Bureau of Mines?
Mr. SYMONS. That is right.
Mr. WERDEL. Now, do you know whether or not any objection was ever made by any labor organization as to the condition of the mine?
Mr. SYMONS. There is no labor organization there outside of the cooperative organization.
Mr. WERDEL. Do you know whether there was any attempt to organize them?
Mr. SYMONS. That I would not know.
Mr. WERDEL. You say that there was one-tenth of 1 percent in two samples of air taken off the face of the vein.
Mr. Symons. That is right, during this most recent inspection.