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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Book 6
1992 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10  

1992 - Page 7

Rationalisation Of Conveyors

Shirebrook (North Derbyshire) belt conveyors stretched for 41 miles underground due to faces being spread in all directions. A policy change reduced the number of working faces from 5 to 3 and in doing so reduced the conveyor belt length to 3 km, just under 2 miles. The pit produced 1.4m tonnes last year despite the seam only being 1.1m thick. A Micro Vax, an electronic device registers any holdups etc by the control room staff entering the data as it happens and not waiting till the shift end. A black spot was the vibrating feeders on the 800 tonnes bunker that became clogged as the run of mine material solidified. This needed to be cleared on a regular basis and the belts were stood for 20 minutes. The problem was solved by installing two conventional 2 speed AFCs.

Deputys Reference Book

In August 1992 a Deputys Reference Book pocket book was issued in the Nottinghamshire Group.

It had about 45 pages: The alphabetical index was as follows -

  • Accidents pages 9, 26
  • Cementitious Materials p 19
  • Consulting and Discussion p 8
  • Conciliation p 11
  • Communications p 17
  • Contents p 6
  • Contractors p 18
  • Contraband p 18
  • Codes and Rules (Books) p 41
  • Deployment of Men p 9
  • Dust Control p 15
  • Dangerous Occurrences p 9, 27
  • Emergency Situation p 11
  • Fire Fighting p 16
  • First Aid p 18
  • Human Factors p 19
  • Inspections p 8
  • Instructions p 31
  • Information Handbooks p 43
  • Legislation p 7
  • Lifting Equipment p 12
  • Means of Egress p 11
  • Major Injuries p 26
  • Manual Handling (Kinetics) p 12
  • Machinery p 17
  • Materials Supply p 18
  • Miscellaneous Publications p 44
  • Noise p 10
  • Nomogram (Stone Dust Barriers) p 21,22
  • Nottinghamshire Group Instructions p 34
  • Pipeline Colour Coding p 19
  • Production Instructions p 32
  • Prescription p 40
  • Support p 14
  • Shotfiring p 14
  • Stone dusting p 15
  • Stone dust Barriers p 23,24,25
  • Transport p 16
  • Ventilation p 12
  • Water Barrier p 15


  • District Examination Reference
  • Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences
  • Production Instructions
  • Operations Instructions
  • Nottinghamshire Group Instructions
  • Prescription for Reduction of Mine Accidents
  • Codes and Rules (Books)
  • Notes for Guidance (Books)
  • Information Handbooks
  • Miscellaneous Publications
  • Nottinghamshire Group Safety Procedure Booklets.

Remember Legislation:

  • Mines and Quarries Act 1954
  • Law Relating to Safety and Health in Mines and Quarries, Part 2, Section A, Band C
  • Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985
  • The Noise at Work Regulations 1989
  • * The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988
  • The Use of Electricity in Mines Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • The Mines (Safety of Exit) Regulations 1988
  • * The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987.
  • * Remember when in charge of the mine be aware of surface situations and involvement.

Remember Instructions:

  • Production Instructions
  • Operations Instructions
  • Nottinghamshire Group Instructions
  • * Colliery Manager’s Instructions, Codes of Practice, Methods of Work and Rules
  • Codes and Rules (Books)
  • Notes of Guidance (Books)
  • Nottinghamshire Group Safety Procedure Booklets
  • * Remember when in charge of the mine be aware of surface situations and involvement
  • British CoalProduction Instructions: 39.

British Coal Operations Instructions: a similar number.

This information is a lot to digest as can be seen. A Deputy is one of the Under-officials at a mine. Imagine the amount of other information to be remembered and signed for those higher up the scale - Overmen, Undermanagers, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Surveyors, Deputy Managers and Managers etc. HSE Mines Inspectors oversee the carrying out of such Rules and Regulations that have grown and grown and grown over the years.

How any coal is produced is a miracle, if everything is done exactly to the ‘book’! Of course most of the legislation is common sense and needs to be followed. Think back to day one of mining when there was no legislation at all, however there would still have been some rules to follow like in every other job. These would have been laid down by the owner to the workers - start work on time and do the required hours, get the coal (correct size) and at the rate agreed!

I remember when I passed my Deputy’s Certificate examination at Bentinck in 1964 the examiner, Edward Arthur Hopkins Manager (5684) for Swanwick colliery told me after listening to my many remarks regarding the state of the 2nd Waterloo seam district and the various things that were ‘out of order’ or ‘contravening regulations’ and certain other things ‘that he hadn’t seen on his pre visit’ that although I had passed with flying colourshe would not set me on at his pit as I would follow the rules and regulations so precisely that ‘there would be no coal turned’!

North Sea Drilling Rig Used

Technology adapted from North Sea gas and oil rigs was used for the first time to plug a ventilation shaft at a closed pit. Water was filling old workings in the South Kirkby colliery in Yorkshire and forcing methane out and up the shaft. A 12” (0.30m) borehole was drilled and nitrogen pumped in then a well head was mounted over the borehole before sealing the hole with a steel bung and special grouting. I can imagine this problem escalating over the years as the pits fill with water forcing gas to find a way out which could be through subsidence cracks.


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