Safety in the mines

Photo of a man-cage used for transporting miners

The man-cage at the Wentworth Mine which conveyed the men to the underground workings c1891.
Image courtesy The Lucknow Goldfield by LF Harper

Safety has long been an issue in mining. Although the Lucknow mines were renowned for their good safety record, mine manager Henry Newman enforced very strict, but sensible rules to safeguard the workers.

Timber bracing used in early underground mines

Modern technologies for timbers and bracing walls and ceilings within mine tunnels reduced the number of fatalities, but accidents occurred.
Image courtesy The Lucknow Goldfield by LF Harper

Life for miners was fraught with many dangers: poor explosives, poor ventilation, dust and hard physical work. Rock falls or falls down shafts ended some miners’ lives.

In the 1900 annual report, it was stated that:

‘The Lucknow mines have employed a large number of persons during the last thirty years, and up to the time Mr HW Newman gave up the management to the Wentworth, which post he held for about twenty years, there were no fatal accidents.’

When the Wentworth Company took charge, there was one fatality in 1892; four in 1893; three in 1894; and one in 1896.



Posted on by Filed under Miners Stories, Wentworth Main Mine.