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Mr. WIER. Are you appointed by the Governor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. No. An Ohio mine inspector first must have 5 years' experience as a miner.
Mr. WIER. I am not interested in that.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Then, he has to have a first-class mine foreman's certificate and pass an examination of a mine-examining board.
Mr. WIER. Is he selected by you?
Mr. WILLIAMS. He is selected from the elegible list which is sent to me by the board.
Mr. WIER. By the board?
Mr. WIER. By the mine-examining board. That is what I am trying to find out, the political significance of the Mine Bureau in Ohio.
Being in this business a long time, would you say that, even with your new statute, which has been recently passed, that Ohio's law enforcement compares favorably with Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, and Kentucky, or would you say that you are not up to their standards?
Mr. WILLIAMS. That we are not up to their standards?
Mr. WIER. Would you say that you are not up their standards, or up to their standards Mr. WILLIAMS. I would say that we are. Mr. WIER. You would say that you are up to their standards? Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes. Mr. WIER. On enforcement and legal process? Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir, talking about conditions in the mines.
Mr. WIER. You do lack enforcement such as other States have in the case of mines?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I do not know how.
Mr. WIER. Does not Pennsylvania have the right to close a mine, does not the State mire department have the right to close a mine?
Mr. KELLEY. I cannot hear you.
Mr. WIER, I say, does not the Pennsylvania State mine law permit by statute the closing of a mine that fails to live up to the provisions of the safety code?
Mr. KELLEY. I have known of mine inspectors to close sections down immediately when they visited them.
Mr. WIER. That is not material either, but I just wondered whether your enforcement powers in your State were in fact ever as broad as in the other States.
Mr. CONEYBEER. I think that they are.
Mr. WIER. And you think you have just as good laws as any of the other mining States?
Mr. CONEYBEER. I do.
Mr. WIER. It has been admitted, and you partly admitted it, and it is one of the things that rather alarms me, and the gentleman who represents this particular mine that is under discussion here on several occasions said today that it is a question of finance in keeping the mine
in what I would say is a fearful condition. You say also here that you cannot put too much pressure on these mines because of the competition and the cost of keeping these mines up to as close to 100 percent safe as possible because of the competition with oil. Does that enter the question of the enforcement of the law?
Mr. WILLIAMS. No.
Mr. WIER. It does in the case we have here. This gentleman said that the cost of putting in what he thought were legitimate safety measures, in his mind, would ruin him.
Mr. WILLIAMS. My meaning was as to those who advocate the driving of additional placements other than the normal methods of operating the mine. Mines operate on a two-entry system up to eight entries. That is what I was speaking about, to see if we could by some sort of power, say, to the coal operator in eastern Ohio, you have to open up those entries, and by the same token, you must keep them open, and if we discover that those things would cost a lot, we had better have two in place than five or six that you cannot go through. That is what I mean.
Mr. WIER. Then your Department, and I assume it is you, your de. partment, I hope, keeps in mind at all times that human life is the thing that you are organized to protect, and not the question of cost saving
Mr. WILLIAMS. That is right. We do not look at the cost. It is a matter of getting safety.
Mr. WIER. That has been developed here two or three times that money expended in safety is going to ruin the mine.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I know.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I did it in the way I have again explained it. I mean where you try to put in an additional shaft or drive a lot of entries that you do not need.
Mr. WIER. Do you ever have any interference in your department from the Mine Operators' Association in the State of Ohio?
Mr. WILLIAMS. No, sir.
Mr. WIER. They are quite active in your State legislature on this question of law?
Mr. WILLIAMS. That is right. I can say this to you: The Coal Operators' Association has a safety committee, and the president of the Coal Operators' Association urges that we see to it that these laws are enforced and, if they are not enforced, to notify them. That is the situation in Ohio.
Mr. WER. Then I come to one more point, and then I am through. I have been sitting here since 10 o'clock listening to the various witnesses who have been here, and I have come to this conclusion: That there is quite a variance or difference between the Ohio administration of mine safety and the Federal Department of Mine Safety in what constitutes safety. I think they testified this morning that under their administration they have to notify the mine bureau of each State when they go in and make an inspection, notify them in respect to the condition of the mines they inspect. Is that correct?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I understand they do.
Mr. WIER. I heard them say that when they go into the States-say, of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, or any other State to make mine inspections—that they notify the department of mines in that State of what they find, and they make a report.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I get a report.
Mr. WIER. So, you get these reports as they testified this year and last year?
Mr. WILLIAMS. That is right.
Mr. WILLIAMS. First, I carefully read them and notify the mine inspector to go into the matter of the violations of the State law, which may not apply. To give you an illustration of that, if we say, for instance, that there was not 24 inches clearance, well, our law says 14 inches. That law, of course, I will be frank to say, as to preventing men from being injured, does not mean anything.
Mr. WIER. That covers that phase of it.
Now, I come to this point that I think is important, at least I would expect it to be important. I do not think that there should be any difference in the position of men whose job it is to protect human life in trying to find mutual grounds to work upon. Do you reply to those reports, or is it not customary for you to reply to the reports citing the conditions ?
Mr. WILLIAMS. It is not customary for me to reply to the office of the Federal Bureau of Mines, unless there would be some special particular reason to do so, because we have that different set-up. However, they submit there what is known as their preliminary report to the miners. They, in turn, broadcast that out and send it to the Governor's office, and he sends it to me, and I spend a considerable part of my time answering that correspondence and getting it to the people it applies to.
Mr. WIER. Whom does it apply to?
Mr. WILLIAMS. It applies to the deputy mine inspector, and it is important that he gets it in his hands.
Mr. WIER. Let me ask you this, then, right briefly, and I think this is very important, because if you are going to have conflicts here and divergent views in this matter of protection of human life, it is not going to operate successfully, when you receive a report from the Federal Department of Mines through the Governor; and, after you have made observations on that and compared it with your own State mine inspectors' observations, would it not be natural for you to acknowledge that letter and have carefully noted your observations on that report? It might be true that you should report to them that there are certain things in your report over which you have no jurisdiction, but I think there ought to be a mutuality of understanding of what you mean in order that you might call it to their attention, and they might call it to your attention. They come in here with all of these charges, 65 of them, what they term dangerous conditions, and you come in with 5, and I believe you say you have not the authority to remedy the things that they classify as dangerous conditions. Is that correct?
Mr. Williams. That is right, but we are willing to put this cooperation business to work.
Mr. WIER. I do not think we would have a situation like this if
Mr. WILLIAMS. No; I suppose not.
Mr. McCONNELL. What safety recommendations have been made to John M. Hirst & Co. during the past 5 years by the Division of Mines of Ohio?
Mr. WILLIAMS. You better direct that question to the inspector.
Mr. CONEYBEER. I cannot enumerate every one of them, I do not suppose, over a period of time. Almost every inspection is standard, such as clean the haulage roads. When I speak of that, I mean every place the car runs.
About a year ago, I would say, I do not know exactly just to be positive, I recommend that they put down a new shaft for ventilation because of the fact that they were getting a long way from the other shaft, because we think the supply of air in the mine through the present fan, if they continue on, will not be sufficient ventilation to split and ventilate both sides of the mine, as it should be ventilated. They have offset the main entry about 2,000 feet, I would say, approximately 2,000 feet, and are starting south again off of that, and also north. We had picked out a spot to locate this new shaft in, so that we can supply air there again and use the present fan for returning on the west side of the mine. That will still be in operation when the east side starts on the new section.
Of course, I have ordered them to keep their powder in a powder box, and keep it 5 feet away from the track as the law requires, and to keep all power wires insulated, and keep power wires away from any combustible material. They are just general violations; some of them are technical, and some of them are law.
Mr. KELLEY. Well, they have not done that, because the Federal inspectors testified that they have wires tied on nails.
Mr. CONEYBEER. That is the human element again. One fellow will get a bagful of insulators and start out to put them up, and if you are not there standing right on top of him, before he gets it done, he has it nailed up on a post, and, gentlemen, you cannot control them.
Mr. McCONNELL. You are implying, then, that they have not conformed to your recommendations.
Mr. CONEYBEER. No; not 100 percent.
Mr. CONEYBEER. There has never been anything done that I thought was imminent danger that I took men out for. I have stopped them from working where they have gone ahead of ventilation. I told them I would not allow any men to work there before the break-through; that they had to put a brattice cloth up there to conduct air to the faces.
Mr. McCONNELL. Do you keep the reports and recommendations in your office?
Mr. CONEYBEER. Yes, sir.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to have those recommendations for the past 5 years included in this record.
Mr. KELLEY. Without objection, we will have them put in the record.
Mr. CONEYBEER. I do not know whether I can read mine that far back or not. Mine are carbons.
Mr. KELLEY. For 5 years?
Mr. McCONNELL. Yes; I want to see what recommendations they have made, and I want to find out how well they have been complied with by this company.
Mr. KELLEY. Do you keep those records in your office ?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I say I could supply what records we have. want a copy of the analysis of the dust?
Mr. MCCONNELL. I want the recommendations that have been made by this inspector, by this inspector of this mine, the recommendations he made to improve conditions over the last 5 years.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I understand. (Mr. Williams subsequently supplied the following information :)
STATE OF OHIO
DIVISION OF MINES
Traveling ways and escapement ways: Good condition. To repair lining in air shaft.
Haulage ways, refuge holes, drainage, haulage hazards: To clean loose coal on main motor road. To clean around butt entry switches.
Electricity, wiring, inside machinery, etc. : 250 volts d e.
Timber *mbering, general roof condition: Ex. timber on the ground. Room timberi good condition. Roof condition, fair,
Expa ves: Handled according to law.
Ventilation, ventilating appliances, doors, break-throughs, stoppings, and brattices: Fan, good condition.
Gas, oil or gas wells, dust, etc.: Mine shown on map; mine is damp.
Ventilation measurements: Number of face entries working: 3; number of butt entries working: 6; cubic feet of air per minute at point of first distribution: 39,600.
No. of men Last X-cut: 12 E.; E. 5,700 feet
18 Last X-cut: 13 E.; E. 8,240 feet.
18 Last X-cut: 14 E.; E. 4,260 feet-
19 Last X-cut: Main face: E. 14,620 feet
3 Last X-cut:7 W.; E. 5,040 feet-
18 Last X-cut: 8 W.; E. 5,220 feet
19 Last X-cut: 9-W.; E. 7,685 feet
19 D. J. CONEYBEER, Deputy Mine Inspector.