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ern region, which includes the fields of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma; and the southwestern region, which includes the coal fields of Texas. The Michigan fields are designated as the northern region of the interior province. (4) The northern, or Great Plains, province, which includes the lignite areas of North and South Dakota and the bituminous and subbituminous areas of northeastern Wyoming and northern and eastern Montana. (5) The Rocky Mountain province, which includes the coal fields of the portions of Montana and Wyoming which are in the mountainous districts of those States, and all the coal fields of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. (6) The Pacific coast province, which includes alí of the coal fields in California, Oregon, and Washington.
The estimated area, together with the number of persons employed, the annual production, and the estimated available coal supply, are given in the following table, which has also been abstracted from the report referred to:
AREA OF COAL FIELDS, ESTIMATED AVAILABLE SUPPLY OF COAL, NUMBER
OF EMPLOYEES, AND PRODUCTION IN 1908.
455 1,750 17,000 10,270 4,400
167 8, 430
109,629,000,000 85,249,000,000 7,816,000,000 e 22, 408,000,000 149, 285,000,000 67, 703,000,000 25,530,000,000
117, 179, 527
165, 961 47, 407
6,079 €6, 208
56, 861 9 16,996 11,812
670 19, 197
216, 499, 163
6,500 6,400 35,600
537,179,500,000 11,976,500,000 43,911,000,000 36, 126,000,000 238, 960,000,000 318,997,000,000
12,314,890 nr 5, 800, 120 47,659, 690
65, 774, 700
a Included in bituminous.
Included in Appalachian region.
by state inspector of mines,
AREA OF COAL FIELDS, ESTIMATED AVAILABLE SUPPLY OF COAL, NUMBER OF
EMPLOYEES, AND PRODUCTION IN 1908–Concluded.
Production number available supply (short tons). of ema (short tons).
3, 100 Arkansas.
10, 200 Total........
54,244 Rocky Mountain and northern, or Great Plains, provinces: Arizona.
30 North Dakota..
31, 240 Montana.
34,067 South Dakota.
13, 130 Colorado
10, 105 New Mexico.
124, 671 Pacific coast province and Alaska: Washington...
230 Calilornia and Alaska. Total..
1,830 Total production, including colliery consumption. * 310, 296
19,931,000,000 3,024, 943
a Including anthracite. Not including 192,510 square miles of which little is known, but which may contain workable coal.
THE FATAL-ACCIDENT RATE.
The present article gives, in as full detail as the data available in the official reports of the state mine inspectors and amplified by correspondence permit, the elements of fatal coal-mining casualties in North America during the 20-year period ending with 1908. In the aggregate the investigation deals with 9,422,902 persons employed in coal mining exposed to risk of death one year, or an annual average of 471,145 employees for the 20-year period. Among this number there occurred, as far as officially reported, 29,293 fatal accidents, or an average of 1,465 per annum, resulting in a fatality rate of 3.11 per 1,000. If the decade ending with 1906 is separately considered, it appears that the average fatality rate was 3.13 per 1,000, which compares with the corresponding rates for the principal coal-mining countries of the world, as follows:
COMPARISON OF FATAL-ACCIDENT RATES IN COAL-MINING COUNTRIES FOR
THE PERIOD 1897 TO 1906.
According to this comparison, which, of course, is subject to the criticism of possible defects in the statistical information, the risk of fatal accident in the coal mines of North America is decidedly more serious than in any other important coal field of the world. Considering the constant growth of the mining industry on this continent, an increase measured by an enhanced output in the United States alone, from 253,741,192 tons in 1899 to 415,842,698 tons in 1908,() or 64 per cent, the excess in the mining fatality rate is plainly a matter of most serious national concern.(0)
As shown in the following table, the accident rate for the North American coal mines has gradually increased from an average of 2.66 per 1,000 during the first 5 years of the 20-year period to 3.58 per 1,000 during the last.
a Mineral Resources of the United States, 1908, Pt. II, p. 25. U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, 1909.
For an extended discussion of the comparative fatality rate in American and foreign coal mines, see the Engineering and Mining Journal, December 19, 1908, which contains in detail the fatality rates for all of the principal coalproducing countries of the world. It is shown that the fatality rate in the fiveyear period ending with 1901, as compared with the five years ending with 1906, decreased in the coal mines of the United Kingdom from 1.31 to 1.28, in Prussia from 2.41 to 1.91, and in Belgium from 1.12 to 1.00 per 1,000 men employed. In contrast, the corresponding rates for the United States increased from 2.91 to 3.31.
SUMMARY OF THE FATAL ACCIDENTS IN THE COAL MINES OF NORTH AMERICA,
1889 TO 1908.
The fluctuations in the rates from year to year are shown to have been considerable. The maximum was attained in 1907, when the rate reached 4.15 per 1,000, against a minimum of 2.32 in 1897. Rates above the average for the whole period prevailed during each of the last 9 years. During the first 11 years the rate never attained to 3 per 1,000 per annum; during the last 9 years it has never fallen below this point. There is no parallel for this anomaly in the coal-mining history of any other country in the world. In occasional years the rate, because of a particularly disastrous accident, has been excessive in other lands, but in none of the principal coal-producing countries of the world does the fatality rate tend persistently upward, and in not one does the rate persistently exceed 3 per 1,000 per annum. Whatever may be the cause of this condition in American coal mining, the fact can not be controverted that by every test of statistical analysis the fatality rate in the North American coal fields is decidedly above the corresponding average for the other principal coalproducing countries of the world. ()
The true elements of risk in coal mining in North America are not, however, fully disclosed by the returns for the coal field as a whole. When the facts are considered by particular coal areas, still more startling contrasts are brought to light. In view of the consid
a For an instructive comparison of the fatal-accident rates in the United States and Belgium during a period of years, indicating the upward tendency of the accident rate in the United States and the downward tendency of the rate in Belgium, see Engineering and Mining Journal, September 10, 1910.
erable employment of negro labor in southern coal-mining areas, which may possibly have a bearing upon the fatality rate, it has seemed advisable for the present purpose to subdivide the Appalachian coal fields into north and south. Nova Scotia also has been considered separately from the remainder of the eastern area, on account of possible material differences in the physical character of the coal seams, etc. To avoid too many subdivisions it has seemed unnecessary to consider the anthracite regions separately from the bituminous of Pennsylvania, but the facts are given in full detail in Table XXIV of the appendix.
In brief, the average fatality rates of the different coal areas of North America as arranged for the present purpose have been as follows:
FATAL-ACCIDENT RATE IN COAL MINES OF NORTH AMERICA, BY GEOGRAPH
ICAL SECTIONS FOR THE PERIOD 1889 TO 1908.
Against an average fatality rate of 3.11 per 1,000 for the entire coal field of North America, it is here shown that the rate varied between 2.25 as a minimum for the east central coal fields (western Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana) and 7 per 1,000 for the far western coal area (Washington and British Columbia). The returns are not entirely complete for some of the smaller mining States for the earlier years, when no trustworthy records were kept, probably on account of very limited production. The next two tables will show the fatality rate in detail for each of the eight coal fields and for each of the 20 years ending with 1908 except for the States for which complete returns are not available. Additional details of the number employed and the number of deaths each year are given in full in Table XXIV of the appendix.
62717° --No. 90-10