Mexborough and Swinton Times September 14, 1928
Jerked To Roof.
Goldthorpe Boy Killed by Haulage Rope.
An inquest on Frank Nelson, aged 14 ½ of 20, Welfare View, Goldthorpe, assistant haulage hand at the Barnburgh. Main Colliery, was held at the Buxton Arms, Goldthorpe, on Saturday by Mr. Frank Allen and a jury.
Nelson was killed on Thursday ,morning in the pit by a run of tubs, and a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned, the jury, on the suggestion of the Coroner, adding a rider to the effect that when tubs were being lowered down gradients there should be an experienced hand in charge of the tubs and of the engine.
The brother of the deceased, Reginald Nelson, gave evidence of identification, and said that his brother had been employed at the pit for four or five months.
Harold Daker, of 21, Princess Road, Goldthorpe, a haulage hand, said he was working with Nelson on the morning shift. Witness was looking after the haulage engine, and Nelson left him after bringing a run of tubs to his level, and there was another run to lower. Deceased left witness and went down the incline. Witness saw nothing and heard nothing unusual until shortly afterwards, when he heard a rope tighten. He called Nelson, and looking down the slope saw deceased’s lamp on the ground. He found him lying on the track on his left side, unconscious. Witness felt at his heart, which was still beating, and then went for the corporal.
James Redfern, the corporal, of Goldthorpe, said it was Nelson’s duty to assist with the hauling. Witness fastened a rope from his engine to a run of empties, which were to be lowered down a gradient that commenced at 1 in 25 and later was 1 in 6. He allowed some slack on the rope, but could not say how much. Tubs would not move off on their own on the gradient, and it was his custom to couple the rope to the engine, give the tubs a starting push, and then go back to the engine and regulate their lowering by the compression of the engine and with the use of the brake. Witness was at the engine when he felt a sudden tug at the rope and the drum revolved. He had not given Nelson instructions to move the tubs, and did not know that he was near them. Being surprised at the movement, witness applied the brake. It was his opinion that Nelson had started the tubs from the rear, and was following them down when the sudden tightening of the rope threw him upwards to the roof, where his head caught a knot in a wooden support. Nelson under a support in which was a bloodstained knot.
Mr. H. S. Scott, H.M. Inspector of Mines, suggested that it was dangerous to allow slack rope in the lowering of tubs and to have only one person to start the tubs and attend to the engine.
Mr. T. L. Soar, manager said they always had to contend with pit practice, and rules were not always adhered to.
The Coroner said no one was to blame for the accident, but he would suggest that in future the tubs and the engine be attended by responsible persons. If Nelson had not started the tubs the accident would not have happened. Redfern did not know why the tubs had started, and was entitled to stop them.
Nelson, being a willing hand, had been desirous of helping, and had started the tubs, not knowing the dangers of a “kicking” rope. The men were waiting for the empty tubs, and Nelson and Redfern were trying to do their best for the pit. If slack was allowed on the ropes, it should be a very limited amount.