Hellraisers Journal: Pennsylvania Report Shows Grim Record of Death on the Job for Anthracite Coal Miners

Pray for the dead and fight
like hell for the living.
-Mother Jones

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Hellraisers Journal, Friday December 29, 1916
Anthracite Coalfields, Pennsylvania – 333 Miners Killed in 9 Months

From the December 28th edition of the Northwest Worker:

333 MINERS MEET DEATH
IN 9 MONTHS
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PENNSYLVANIA REPORT SHOWS THAT
THE WAGE AVERAGE OF VICTIMS
WAS ONLY $13.80 A WEEK.
—–

PN Miners Killed on Job, Mt Carmel Item, Jan 11, 1916

HARRISBURG, Pa.-working for an average weekly wage of only $13.80, 333 anthracite coal miners in this State were killed and 6,958 disabled for periods greater than two weeks during the first nine months of 1916. These are official figures of the State Department of Labor and Industry.

There were 233 married men among those killed, and they left 481 fatherless children behind. If it were not for the workmen’s compensation act these men’s families would be left to starve, for, in the vast majority of cases, the miners had not been able to save a cent of their wages. As it is 181 of the fatal cases have been adjusted, the payments to be about $2,505 for each man killed, or a total of $453,499.80 for all cases.

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[Photograph added.]

From Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg Telegraph of December 9, 1916:

COMPENSATION HELPS THE MINERS

Results of First Eight Months Shows
What It Meant in Hard Coal Field

PN Miners Killed on Job, Pittsburgh Press, Aug 9, 1916

State official figures show that during the first eight months of the operation of Pennsylvania’s workmen’s compensation law that 7,291 compensation cases occurred in the anthracite coal field of Pennsylvania. Of this number of claims 333 were fatalities, while 6,968 persons were more or less seriously injured, being incapacitated for fourteen days or more.

The average weekly wage of the 333 men killed was $13.80, a total of $238,960.80. As 233 of those killed were married and 100 single it is figured out that in 181 cases already adjusted it will take $453,499.08 to pay the compensation claims or an average of $2,505.51 for each man killed. The men killed left 481 children.

The figures were completed for Commissioner of Labor and Industry John Price Jackson from reports filed for the period between January 1 and September 1 and form the first complete statistics of the kind for the State.

Eighty-seven Americans were included in the death list, more than of any other nationality. Seventy-four Poles, included in the fatality list, left 144 children while the 87 Americans killed left 96 children. The nationalities of the other men killed are: Lithuanians, 43; Russians, 33; Slavish, 21; Italians, 32; Austrians, 18; Germans, 6; Welsh, 7; Irish, 4; Hungarians, 3; Greeks, 2; Scotch, 2; English, 1.

———-

[Photograph added.]

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SOURCES

Northwest Worker
(Everett, Washington)
-Dec 28, 1916
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085770/1916-12-28/ed-1/seq-1/

Harrisburg Telegraph
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
-Dec 9, 1916
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038411/1916-12-09/ed-1/seq-11/

IMAGES
PN Miners Killed on Job, Mt Carmel Item, Jan 11, 1916
https://www.newspapers.com/image/75938654/
PN Miners Killed on Job, Pittsburgh Press, Aug 9, 1916
https://www.newspapers.com/image/143987736/

See also:

Monthly Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Department of
Labor and Industry, Volume 4, Issue 7

Pennsylvania. Dept. of Labor and Industry, 1918
https://books.google.com/books?id=SDUgAAAAYAAJ
1916: Death and Injury on the Job in Pennsylvania
https://books.google.com/books/reader?id=SDUgAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&source=gbs_atb&pg=GBS.PA9

MORE THAN 2,500 WORKERS WERE KILLED AND 250,000
OTHERS INJURED IN PENNSYLVANIA INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS
DURING 1916, ACCORDING TO REPORTS MADE TO THE BUREAU
OF STATISTICS AND INFORMATION.
—–

Eight deaths daily was the approximate average toll of industrial accidents in Pennsylvania during 1916. This daily average is exclusive of Sundays and holidays. Reports made to the Bureau of Statistics and Information, up to January 1, show that the total of killed and injured workers, for the year, in Pennsylvania will exceed the staggering number of 250,000. Of that number of workers more than 2,500 died from their injuries.

The records for the year show that, on an average, approximately 215 industrial workers were killed every month as a result of industrial accidents in the State and 20,000 others were injured.

The greatest number of fatal accidents occurred during the month of October when 287 workers were killed. Commissioner Jackson has issued the following statement appealing to both employers and employes for the inauguration of a new era of safety in 1917:-

The Department of Labor and Industry, during the coming year, will continue, with renewed efforts, its work to reduce the hazards to life and health in industry.

Employers can aid greatly in this work by promptly installing safeguards at danger points, by giving assistance in the organization of safety committees in the shops and by establishing safety departments in the larger plants. Employers can also aid by promoting Americanization of non-English speaking workmen so that accidents may not result from inability of foreign workers to understand orders given in English.

Employes are urged to be most cautious and careful in their work, to guard against any careless movement that might cause injury to themselves or fellow-workers. Employes are also urged to use every safety appliance provided by the employers especially goggles. Employes can also aid in reducing the tremendous casualty toll by giving thought and attention to the formation of safety committees in every shop to co-operate with the management in advancing safe practices.

The accident toll for 1916, by months, as compiled from reports, received up to January 1, 1917, is as follows:

Pennsylvania Death and Injury on the Job for 1916

PAYMENTS AGGREGATING $4,224,875.43 WILL BE MADE TO
INJURED WORKERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS FOR INDUSTRIAL
ACCIDENTS IN 1916, ACCORDING TO RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF
WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMPILED JANUARY 1, 1917.

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WE NEVER FORGET

Dream of a Miners Child – Johnson Mountain Boys