Man´s Sad Death. Killed By Over-Loaded Wagon. Safety Suggested.

September 1907

Mexborough & Swinton Times, September 23rd 1907

Mexborough Man´s Sad Death.
Killed By Coal From An Over-Loaded Wagon.

Precautions For Safety Suggested.

The District Coroner, Mr. D. Wightman, conducted an inquiry at the Primitive Methodist Lecture Hall, Mexborough, on Monday afternoon, into the circumstances attending the death of Frank George Kipling, aged twenty nine, a pit-labourer, residing at 5 New Street, Mexborough, who died on Friday night as the result of an injury received while following his employment at Denaby Main Colliery on the previous Monday.

Edith Kipling, wife of the deceased, stated that her husband had worked as a labourer on the pit-top at Denaby Main Colliery for about twelve months, before which he was a farm labourer. Deceased came home the previous Monday afternoon, and complained of his head hurting him. He said a lump of coal had fallen from a wagon on to his head. He had a wound about an inch and a half long at the back of his head, and he went to see Dr. Huey the same day. The doctor sent the deceased home for witness to bathe the wound, telling him he was to return at six o´clock in the evening to have it dressed. When her husband returned home again he said she was to cut the hair off the wound. She did so, and bathed the wound, and put some powder on it that the doctor had supplied. The doctor did not see her husband again until the following Thursday morning, when she fetched him because her husband´s head was bad. She did not call the doctor in before Thursday because she did not think it was necessary.

Dr. Dunlop, assistant to Dr. Huey came, and both doctors attended deceased up to his death.

Alfred Moore, labourer, working with the deceased at the time the accident occurred, said deceased was lowering a wagon of coal down an incline by means of the side-brake, and a lump of coal, weighing about a stone, fell from the top of the wagon on to his head. Deceased said the blow had hurt his head, and he showed the witness the wound that it had made. Deceased went to the offices to have his head bathed, but he declined witness´s assistance. The wagon was not coupled to any other wagon or engine.

Mr. Walker, the Inspector of Mines : Did it tip up against another wagon ?

Witness : Yes, a bit lower down.

Was this when the piece of coal came off ? Yes sir.

The Coroner : Whose fault was it that it tipped up against another wagon ?

Witness : It was nobody´s fault. He added that the wagon did not get the master of the deceased, as he had perfect control over it.

Mr. Walker : Whose duty is it to see wagons were properly trimmed, and that pieces of coal are not hanging over ?

Witness : That is about the first time we have seen any coal drop off like that. – Answering further questions put by Mr. Walker, witness said he had seen several pieces of coal fall from the wagons. – Questioned as to whose duty it was to see if any pieces of coal hung over the wagons, witness said it was no one´s special duty to do so, but if anyone saw a piece overhanging he attended to it.

Another witness was called, and Mr. Walker observed that it was the duty of the men who were lowering those wagons to see pieces of coal were not likely to fall off before the wagons were started, or there should be some one told off to attend specially to that kind of thing.

The Coroner said he quite agreed with him, and thought everything should be done to prevent accidents of a similar kind occurring in the future. Whether that fatality would lead to any extra precautions being taken for safety, he did not know.

Mr. Walker intimated that the manager had already promised him he would do something to prevent similar accidents in the future.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”