Accident at Denaby Main – Boys Fatal Oversight – Swinton Miner’s Death

March 1917

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 31, 1917

Swinton Miner’s Death
Accident at Denaby Main
Boys Fatal Oversight

An inquest was held on Wednesday at the Fullerton hospital, Denaby Main, into the death of Ruben Isaac Goldspink (46), miner, 89 Queen St, Swinton, who died on Monday at the Fullerton hospital.

Annie Goldspink, the widow, said deceased went to work on March 17 in the morning shift at the Denaby Colliery, and was quite well. She next heard that he was injured, and had been taken to the hospital. She saw him in the hospital several times before he died.

Herbert hoaxes, pony driver of six Cliff View, Conisbrough, said he was working on March 17 in 210 heading, west district, Deep pit, Denaby Main. The accident happened shortly after noon. He took two empty tubs down the heading for the filler to turn off for him to get his full tubs out. He went to the bottom of the heading and brought two full tubs and started up the heading.

He had been ordered to work that place with a drag. The drag was just below the empty tubs, and he did not put it on the full tubs before starting; he admitted he ought to have done. He went about 12 yards uphill and then stopped to wait the removal of the empty tubs. Just as he was going to put the drag on the chain came off the draw hook, and the full tubs ran back.

Deceased was working a coal cutting machine at the bottom. Witness shouted, but deceased could not hear owing to the noise of the machine. The tubs ran into deceased. There was not a stop block at the bottom then, but one had been fixed since. Witness had been driving about a month and that heading he had always used a drag before.

Mr Danby (HM Inspector): How long have you worked in the pit altogether? – Three months.

Who told you to seek drag? – The corporal.

When did he tell you to use it? – As soon as I got the tubs out of the working stop

Albert Smeaton, filler, Park Road, Mexborough said at the time of the accident he was 15 yards up the heading going to turn empties over. He corroborated the last witnesses evidence. He had always seen the lad use a drag before. He had been in the heading three months. This was an oversight on the lad’s part.

Nurse Stead, of the Fullerton hospital, said deceased was omitted on March 17th suffering from a compound fracture of the left side. He was attended by Dr Huey. Septic poisoning set in, and he died last Monday.

The Coroner said he was very sorry for the lad, for no doubt the accident was caused by an oversight on his part; but it was not the case of wilful disobedience. He thought they would have to consider a long time before they censored the lad, who had honestly admitted he had done wrong. He suggested they should take a lenient view of the case. The lad, according to reports, had been a good lad, and this would teach him to exercise more care in future.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”

Mr H W Smith (manager of the mine) expressed sympathy with the widow, and said the accident served to show that the rules were made for the safety of the workers and not for the management to display officiousness. When men deliberately broke the rules they were placing their own lives in danger.

Mr D Sharatt (Y.M.A) also expressed sympathy with the widow, and said the miners officials did all they could to enjoin strict obedience to rules.