Danger, Death and Disaster: In the Crowsnest Pass Mines by Karen Buckley

By Karen Buckley

The Crowsnest go is legendary for the tragic rock slide at Frank in 1903, yet virtually as recognized are the various coal-mining tragedies that the sector within the early 20th century. With the invention of a wealthy coal deposit within the zone, the realm underwent an fiscal increase & a spike in inhabitants that continues to be evidenced at the present time. regrettably, with this kind of mining, in rugged & usually risky stipulations, comes the specter of catastrophe & sometimes dying. This ebook examines rigorously a number of the calamities that experience the world & considers the impression at the population & sufferers of those various tragedies. utilizing unique resource fabric akin to grave markers, folks songs & oral histories, the writer portrays vividly the mental & sociological positive factors of either the person & collective responses to demise & chance, giving the reader a special photo of mining groups that's as precise this present day because it was once a century in the past.

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Extra info for Danger, Death and Disaster: In the Crowsnest Pass Mines 1902-1928

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97 Other miners took living through a near miss or witnessing a fatality as a cue not to redefine their own behaviour, but rather to quit the mines entirely. 99 However, negative reinforcement could only go so far to influence men: “... ”100 Unsafe behaviour in miners could also have been a learned response from messages sent directly or indirectly by management. The pressure for production might lead management to praise or reward miners despite unsafe behaviour: There exists a conflict of values when an employee values praise over performing their work safely.

146 Erwin Spievak mined in Michel for forty-five years: “... mining coal as a contract miner was good work. ”147 Despite all the hardships, men took satisfaction in their work because of their skill. ”148 Many of the miners in the Crowsnest Pass were either new immigrants or the first-generation descendents of European immigrants. Their work values were heavily based on a sense of realism in that their lives were preoccupied by survival strategies and family welfare. ” The immigrants derived “a system of meaning – a source of satisfaction” from their work in the mines.

At the inquest into a 1915 Coal Creek explosion, David Shanks the fireboss testified: Q – Do you consider that your practice of discipline as mining boss was according to good mining practice? 103 Shanks believed, from the information he had received, that any safety measures or instructions he had given to the miners were in full accordance with those of management. The Bellevue mine provided another example. Management painted a “Safety First” sign on the concrete buttress facing the miners as they headed into the mine every morning.

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