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First national mine-safety demonstration, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 30 and 31, 1911.

Wilson-HM; Fay-AH
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Bulletin 44, 1912 Jan; :1-75
The national mine-safety demonstration at Pittsburgh, Pa., was projected and undertaken in the hope that it would aid the increase of safety in the mining industry. That the national mine-safety demonstration was warranted and has served a useful purpose was evidenced by the attendance, not only at the public demonstration in Forbes Field, but also at the more special exhibit of the work of the Bureau of Mines at the arsenal grounds and at the experimental mine. Nearly 2,000 persons witnessed the demonstrations and exhibits of the Bureau of Mines at the arsenal grounds on the morning of October 30, 1911. The spectators were all mine operators, miners, or persons interested in mining, and represented operations in all parts of the United States. Nearly 1,200 of these persons visited the Bureau's experimental mine at Bruceton to witness the explosion of coal dust. Had the weather, which was exceptionally inclement, been more favorable, there would doubtless have been a much larger attendance. At the public demonstration in Forbes Field, which was witnessed by President Taft, from 12,000 to 15,000 persons, chiefly mining men, were present and attested their interest and enthusiasm in the mine-safety exhibits by remaining throughout the proceedings, regardless of the rain which fell all the morning. Since this demonstration, the organization of first-aid corps and of rescue corps has been undertaken at mines where there had previously been no such organizations. The Bureau has received letters of commendation attesting the value of the demonstration in drawing attention to the dangers and to possible means of greater safety in mining. Many of these letters have urged that the results of the demonstration be published for the guidance and instruction of those, who were present. In response to these requests the following account of the mine-safety demonstration has been prepared. In its preparation various division and section chiefs of the Bureau of Mines have cooperated. The authors acknowledge the assistance they have received from those section chiefs and other members of the Bureau who contributed detailed descriptions of apparatus exhibited at the demonstration or of investigations represented. In lending its support to public demonstrations of first-aid and rescue work the Bureau of Mines has in view the encouragement of methods and appliances best adapted to preventing accidents and to increasing safety in mines. Prompt treatment of injuries by persons skilled in first-aid methods reduces the miner's loss of time by about 90 per cent. There is a corresponding saving in wages to the worker and a reduction of damages or compensation charges to the operator. Where mine operators take an interest in and encourage first-aid work a better feeling develops between the worker and his employer, resulting in improved hospital and sanitary arrangements, improved living and housing conditions, and the general advancement of the mining industry. Experience indicates that the best results are effected by training in first-aid work at least one mine worker in every ten. This precaution insures the presence near the place of accident of enough first-aid men to give prompt treatment. Public exhibits and contests stimulate the interest of miners in organizing a first-aid corps and keep them prepared to render the most effective service. Such exhibits and contests have for several years been held annually by the various coal companies and groups of coal companies in the anthracite region, and within the last year they have been held by the employees in various other coal-mining sections. The national mine-safety demonstration was conceived as a means of further stimulating such interest and as an object lesson to those who had not adopted first-aid instruction or instruction in the use of artificial breathing devices and life-saving apparatus. Those who attended the demonstration will understand that the Bureau of Mines is prepared to render to States or to mining companies such advice or assistance as may be necessary to establish local life-saving, fire-fighting, and first-aid corps. This bulletin is published as a further means to this end, in order that those concerned who did not attend the demonstration may have their attention attracted to the Bureau and its purpose. Mine owners, mine operators, inspectors, and miners are invited to call freely upon the Bureau for advice and suggestion as to mine-safety. It is the hope of the Bureau that in the course of time each coal-mining State may have one or more mine-safety cars or stations which, after the manner of those provided by the State of Illinois, will become local centers for rescue operations and for the instruction.
Mining-industry; Miners; Mine-workers; Explosions; Explosion-prevention; Coal-mining; Coal-dust; Coal-miners; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Mine-rescue; Mine-disasters; Self-contained-self-rescuers; Self-contained-breathing-apparatus
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Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Bulletin 44
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division