Masters Theses


"The mining industry has long been criticised severely because of its high rate of accident occurrence. Statistics, which, however, are not strictly comparable show that the accident-frequency rate in all mining is currently about three times and the accident severity rate is about seven times as great as the average for general industrial work in the United States. Figures such as these are by no means comforting to mining men. They constitute a challenge to the industry that cannot be ignored.

It must be remembered that any type of mining is more hazardous than most or the other major occupations. The greater number of workers are generally employed underground and are subject to such risks as falls of ground, use of explosives, haulage or transportation difficulties, poor lighting, handling moving machinery in cramped places, and often inadequate ventilation with explosive gases and dusts present. It can readily be realized that the tasks that must be performed in most industries must likewise be performed in mining under these, as well as other adverse conditions. The natural result is that mine accidents are more frequent and generally more severe than in other industries. This does not, by any means, present an excuse for the high rate of accident occurrence in the mining industry. It should be kept in mind, however, that very little can be gained by contrasting the accident rates of mining with such an industry as manufacturing since the hazards involved are not comparable.

For purposes of this paper the mining industry may be divided into three major classifications, namely; coal mining, metal and nonmetallic mining, and quarrying.

Metal and nonmetallic-mineral mines, except in a few instances, have little in common with coal mines insofar as mining methods and actual conditions inside the mine are concerned. Generally speaking, coal mines have two hazards that rarely exist in metal and nonmetallic mineral mines. These are methane gas and coal dust, both of which are explosive. Explosive gas and explosive dust have been found to exist in isolated instances in non-coal mines and have resulted in major disasters, but such cases are rare.

However, as both coal and noncoal mines have many hazards in common such as falls of rock or roof, haulage, electricity, explosives and others, this paper will be devoted to a general discussion of the problem of safety and health in mining. From time to time, reference will be made to one or the other of the classifications or the industry.

This paper describes the hazards to health and safety and the problem of accident prevention that exists in the mining industry. The principal causes of accidents, and the preventative action that can be taken to prevent recurrence of these accidents are presented.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a source of information on the principles or mine safety, as applied to the chief causes of mine accidents, which must be practiced in the day-to-day operation of the mining industry.

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that safety in mining, or in any industry, cannot be attained unless all concerned are safety conscious"--Introduction, pages 1-3.


Forrester, James Donald, 1906-1979


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mining Engineering


John Philip Lacke, son of John Paul Lacke


Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy

Publication Date



viii, 167 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 165-166).


© 1950 John P. Lacke, Jr., All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Mine safety -- United States
Coal mines and mining -- United States -- Safety measures
Coal mines and mining -- Risk assessment -- United States

Thesis Number

T 928

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