Glamorgan’s Blood: Health and Welfare Records in the Coal Industry Collections – Medical examinations of Injured Workmen

The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and as such one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.

Medical examinations of Injured Workmen

Alongside the general accident and compensation registers, there are a small number of volumes recording medical examinations of injured workmen. The image below is from a volume recording Medical Examinations of Injured Workmen and dates from Nov 1924-Nov 1943 (D1400/1/1/11).

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Entries within these volumes typically give the name of person injured, address, date of accident and medical fee. They do not always specify what the nature of the injuries that they are examining, but the volumes do serve as a record of the procedures that the colliery companies went through when dealing with injured workmen.

Please note that access to material under 100 years old may be restricted.

Glamorgan’s Blood: Health and Welfare Records in the Coal Industry Collections Injury Reports, Cwm Colliery

The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and as such one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.

Injury Reports, Cwm Colliery

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An injury report from Cwm Colliery, Jan 1961-Mar 1962 (DNCB/8/3/1)

Collieries were dangerous places to work and accidents were all too frequent above and below ground. Records within the National Coal Board collection show the procedures for reporting and recording accidents and injuries. A set of injury reports from Cwm Colliery, dating Jan 1961-Mar 1962, show that all levels of injury were recorded, however minor. These forms were filled in by the nursing sister or medical room attendant and were produced in duplicate for those who lost time at work through injury. With a full box of reports for just a single year in one colliery, you really do get a snapshot of the frequency of accidents in the mines and the dangers of working in the mining industry.

Please note that access to material less than 100 years old may be restricted.

Glamorgan’s Blood: Health and Welfare Records in the Coal Industry Collections – Fatal Accident Reports

The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and as such one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.

Fatal Accident Reports

In terms of fatalities in the mining industry, it is often large disasters that we hear most about, those tragedies that took the most lives are shocking and would have devastated the local communities. However, we must remember that many fatalities also occurred during day to day work in the mine. All too often, accident books have entries written in red ink to denote when an accident had resulted in a fatality. Post-1947, we hold a series of 113 files of Fatal Accident Reports and Inquest Files from collieries across south Wales, including Glamorgan, Carmarthenshire and Gwent.

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Surface reconstruction of haulage chain accident, [c1950] (DNCB/14/2/24/3)

Investigating the causes and circumstances of an accident may have also included a reconstruction of the scene. The National Coal Board photographic collection includes images that depict these reconstructions.

Please note that access to material less than 100 years old may be restricted.

Glamorgan’s Blood: Health and Welfare Records in the Coal Industry Collections – Pneumoconiosis Registers

The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and as such one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.

Pneumoconiosis Registers

Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis was discovered in the late 1930s, and by the 1940s the Welsh valleys had the worst dust problem in the UK.

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‘Pneumoconiosis, The Deadly Dust’, Miners’ Gala, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (DNCB/14/1/42)

Three pneumoconiosis registers within the collection, dating from 1945-1953, contain information on compensation received by individuals suffering from the lung condition. These registers show the compensation schemes that individual pre-vesting colliery companies, and then the NCB, operated for workers suffering from dust related lung conditions.

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Pneumoconiosis Register (DNCB/3/5/3)

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Pneumoconiosis Register (DNCB/3/5/3)

Files within the NCB Legal Department records (ref.: DNCB/4/2) demonstrate scientific research undertaken by the NCB’s Area Chief Scientist in preparation for legal proceedings relating to pneumoconiosis claims in the 1970s.

The Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners’ Association Records (ref.: DNCB/15/1) include 20 reports of the General Research Committee and The Coal Dust Research Committee dating from 1941-1946.

Please note that access to material less than 100 years old may be restricted.

Glamorgan’s Blood: Health and Welfare Records in the Coal Industry Collections – Accident and Compensation Registers

The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and, as such, one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.

Accident and compensation registers

The dangers of working in the coal industry are no more apparent than in the contents of the accident and compensation registers within the National Coal Board and pre-vesting date colliery collections.

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Accident and Compensation Register, Western Pit, 1902-1904 (D1400/1/1/1)

The above image is an example of an accident and compensation register from the Ocean Coal Company Ltd Records (ref.: D1400). This volume from Western Colliery dates from 1902-1904 and a typical entry records name, occupation, age, address, cause of injury, and amount of compensation paid. In the entry shown on this page, John Clark, a doorboy, aged 14, suffered an injury when a pit horse suddenly moved, pulling an empty coal dram over his foot. Door boys or doorkeepers were commonly young children. John Clark here was 14, but in the early half of the 19th century there were instances of children as young as 6 in this role. Their job was to open and close ‘air doors’ to allow air flow around the mine. Fatalities in this job were all too frequent as it was easy for doorkeepers to slip and fall under heavy drams. With this in mind, it appears that in this case, John Clark had a lucky escape with just an injured foot!

With many of these volumes going into detail about how accidents occurred, the injuries people sustained and the compensation they received, these volumes can be used for a variety of research topics concerning the health and working conditions of those working in the mining industry. Colliery accident and compensation registers within the scope of the project date from 1902-1951. Please note that access to material less than 100 years old may be restricted.