Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. OZONISH. He inspects them.

Senator Williams. How big is your mine, and how long does it take an inspector to inspect a mine!

Mr. Ozonish. Three or four weeks.
Senator WILLIAMS. Really?

Mr. Ozonish. Well, we have a big mine, a very big mine. We employ over 500 men there.

Senator WILLIAMS. That is how long an inspection takes?
Mr. OZONISH. Yes, sir.

Senator WILLIAMS. I am glad I asked the question. I didn't realize that.

Mr. Ozonish. To do a good job. It would take him maybe 4 weeks to do a good job.

Senator WILLIAMS. Is that right?
Mr. Ozonish. That is a big problem.

Senator WILLIAMS. Now there are other inspections that are for a specific purpose ?

Mr. Ozonish. That is right.

Senator WILLIAMS. The extra hazardous mine, extra hazardous in terms of gas, there really is supposed to be a check there every few days but that is a test to check the gas in the atmosphere of the mine, right?

Mr. Ozonish. In near the working conditions, working face where the accumulation of gas is usually found.

Senator WILLIAMS. So that could be done rapidly, it does not take much time to check the gas?

Mr. Ozonish. Well, I would say it would take you cannot do that in any say 15 or 20 minutes now. You can do that.

Senator WILLIAMS. Check it over the period of a shift or what? Mr. OZONISH. I would say you could do it, yes.

Now the new law requires that you must make an inspection every 5 days where you have accumulation of over 100,000 cubic feet of gas for å 24-hour period. That is one thing we should have at our mine. That is, we have never had that since this new law came into effect.

Senator WILLIAMS. That is what I was trying to get at. That inspection check that is supposed to take place every 5 days, how long does it take?

Mr. OZONISH. It takes at least a week.
Senator WILLIAMS. But it is supposed to be done every 5 days.
Mr. OZONISH. Yes. You could not do it.
Senator WILLIAMS. Now wait a minute.

Mr. Ozonish. This is not something you go in here and inspect, this mine is scattered all over the area. It is a big area.

Senator Williams. What we are saying then is that one inspector ought to be living there at your mine.

Mr. FEDER. Kept there all the time.
Mr. PRICE. Kept there all the time.

Mr. OZONISH. That, Senator Williams, is at our mine. Robena is a bigger mine.

Senator WILLIAMS. We know that under the law that we enacted it calls for a lot of inspections, a lot more inspections than were required before that law.

Mr. OZONISH. Yes. Senator WILLIAMS. Now they tell us that the Bureau does not have enough inspectors to inspect up to the demands of the law. How long

would it take to train men to become inspectors? Do they have to go to college 4 years to do this?

Mr. OZONISH. No. You have men that will go to take the examinations for inspectors who if they qualify, which most of them we had out of this last exam did, I think 300 passed the test and we have not heard that any of them had been put on since then.

Senator WILLIAMS. I see. There is not a shortage of men who are capable of doing the job of an inspector?

Mr. OZONISH. No.
Senator WILLIAMS. Not a shortage of men?

Mr. OZONISH. No. There are qualified men that could be put into the Federal inspector job right today if they would put them in.

Senator WILLIAMS. You say when there was an examination 300 qualified.

Mr. OZONISH. Yes.
Senator WILLIAMS. Who have not been called.
Mr. Ozonish. That is right.
Senator WILLIAMS. When was that examination?

Mr. OZONISH. Oh, it has been 3 months ago. I talked to a Federal inspector out at our plant, Rudolph Havanic, I think.

Senator WILLIAMS. Zavora?

Mr. Ozonish. No; he is the one that told me out of the test that was taken 300 passed.

Senator WILLIAMS. Where do they take this test?

Mr. Ozonish. Different places; Greensburg, Uniontown, probably Washington.

Senator WILLIAMS. I think that will be one of the first things when we get back to Washington later this afternoon we will put in a letter. Who is the acting head of this Bureau of Mines, by the way?

Mr. FEDER. Earl Hayes.
Mr. Ozonish. This Lucas is supposed to be appointed and I was into
Mr. Feder's office about a week ago on this situation. We feel that Lucas
is not a qualified man to be appointed on that job.

Senator WilliaJS. What do you folks know about Lucas?
Mr. Ozonish. What we know about Lucas is only what we read.
Senator WILLIAMS. In the United Mine Workers Journal?

Mr. Ozonish. And the United Mine Workers Journal, we don't approve of that because Boyle is going along with the appointment.

Senator Williams. Where have you read otherwise ? Isn't that the most reliable source of information, the miners' own journal?

Mr. Ozonish. We don't feel that way. The journal hasn't given us the honest writing or opinion of anything. This man Lucas was appointed once before, or I think his name was put in for this job once before and he was turned down because he was favored too much for the company. We feel that we don't approve of Lucas' name being on there for that job, he is not qualified.

Naturally he is an educated man but he has only had 5 years' experience in the coal mines. A man with 5 years' experience in the coal mine being made the head of the Bureau of Inspection, we feel that he is not the qualified man. There are other qualified men who have 15 or 20 years in a coal mine who are more qualified than he is.

That is the feeling throughout this district. I would say Mr. Bishop here, his local doesn't approve of his nomination for that job.

a

47-135 0-71-3

We went into your office a week or so ago on that situation; whether you heard it I don't know. Mr. Feder was there, we talked to him.

I think there are other men here who would say they don't approve of Lucas' name being in there as head of the Bureau.

STATEMENT OF DAVID PRICE, SAFETY COMMITTEEMAN, GATE

WAY COAL CO., CLARKSVILLE, PA.

Mr. Price. My name is Davy Price, safety committee from Gateway Coal Co. I have been 28 years on the safety committee.

This new law here, what we have here in effect is a lot of things that I see in this law here that I think to myself is not helping us any.

The first thing I am going to talk about, I am going to let the Senator know about these spot checks. I am not in favor of these spot checks. We just had a Federal inspector here spot check inside the mine and that was the Gateway Mine. I think he had eight or nine violations. I made the comment in our local union that this section should have been shut down or all these violations corrected.

Now this man goes out of the section and what they do, Senator, they generally come back in say maybe 3 or 4 weeks but we don't get anything that was corrected, how many was corrected. I don't think Tommy got anything. That is the problem on our safety committee, that these things are not corrected.

Now I am going to tell you something. These Federal inspectors are good fellows but their hands are tied. The law has them tied up, their hands are tied. There is going to have to be something done. I think I will say this. Mostly what this was for is for the safety.

Senator WILLIAMS. You will have to clarify your statement that the law ties them up. I don't understand that.

Mr. Price. Well, the injunction ties them up.
Senator WILLIAMS. Oh.
Mr. Price. The injunction ties them up, that is what ties them up.

Senator WILLIAMS. Not the coal mine health and safety law but the court injunction on enforcing the law?

Mr. Price. On enforcing the law.
Senator WILLIAMS. I see.
Mr. PRICE. And this is the thing that is tying them up.
Senator WILLIAMS. I get it.
Mr. Price. So we have a big mine up here.
Senator Williams. Which is your mine again?
Mr. Price. Gateway Coal Co.
Senator WILLIAMS. Same as Mr. Ozonish?
Mr. PRICE. Yes.

For a man to make a spot inspection up here, I will say when these inspectors make the run I don't think they are doing the job that I think they are capable of doing. I mean as a safety committee when we go around and make our inspections we have more on the paper than what they have on the paper.

Senator WILLIAMs. Let me see. I will just put this in and then I will keep quiet for a while. As you talk if you can tell us what is required under the law that you think is not being done under the law in the safety and health areas, we would appreciate it.

Mr. Price. Well, I am going to tell you something. Most of these inspectors when they go on they don't do like we do. When we go in a section we shut a section down and we make the inspection. We inspect the machinery, the electrical part, the buggies and everything. If something is bad on a buggy, we inspect it. If the lights are bad on the electric equipment, why we check that. If the dust place is not watered down, we check that.

When these inspectors make their report it seems to me that mostly what they are looking for is production men. I tell you, we have a fellow here that could tell you a lot of things because I am on the other end of the nine. Most of these inspectors, of course, tighten up their belts since this new law come in, but before—I tell you the truth—they were not doing anything. They were not putting the pressure on the men.

Say if a man got caught not testing for gas, there was no pressure put on the man. I mean as a Safety Committee we had to put pressure on the others. Not testing for gas, that was to save human lives. I think you understand that. The man was not testing for gas. A lot of these fellows don't know when they were supposed to, and this law you have here every 20 minutes you are supposed to test for gas. Before it was every half hour.

I think the inspectors when they put pressure on the fellows, this would cut down the explosions. The main thing was to keep the canvas up. This was another thing we had trouble with.

Senator WILLIAMS. What do you mean? The brattice?

Mr. Price. The canvas keeps the air going over so you have 4,000 cubic feet of air going over the machine and the air is coming back down the canvas. Sometimes when you go in there the canvas is not properly put up. Well, you have a boss in a section in there and the man goes in there and they say they don't care. Just like I say here, we need an inspector at the mine every day, we are going to have to have him there every day. I think this is the sole purpose. The other fellows on the safety committee should help us, and I think, Senator Williams, you are here to help us.

Senator WILLIAMS. Exactly right.

Mr. Price. This is the thing here. We have a dust problem in here, float dust. We have that trouble on the belts.

Senator WILLIAMS. Now let me ask you this. Now to make all these requirements, to have everything in that mine meet the requirements of law, does your mine need a great new big machine or is it using the equipment you have and just making sure it is in proper repair and making sure the hoses and the nozzles are working on the sprays and the brattices are lined up—in other words, making sure what you got is working right? Is that right?

Mr. PRICE. This is something that should be established, for the brattices to be put up right.

Senator WILLIAMS. Is there anything here, any reason why the company has to go out and buy a lot of new machinery in your opinion?

Mr. PRICE. Well, they got a new machine coming in there right now that is going to cost them $5 million and I think our Safety Committee is worried about the machine. Long wall. We are worried about that machine on the dust problem.

а

in every

Senator WILLIAMS. I wondered whether the reason why this law might not be fully honored is because they do not have the proper machinery, and you are telling me the machinery is all right, that it is just making sure that what you have got in the mine is working right. Is that what you are telling me? Mr. PRICE. Yes. Senator WILLIAMS. Is that what you are saying? Mr. OZONISH. Yes. Senator Williams. Now what is this about the long wall?

Mr. Ozonish. Our company has even driven a section especially made for this new machine that is going to be operating in our mine. Now this new machine is called the long wall and it is supposed to come from Germany. This new machine has a lot of noise in it and it brings hazard with it. It has a power capacity I think which we have in our mine today, 7,200 volts. This machine is going to create a lot of dust, which I say

mine

you have got. We have never seen this machine work. Senator Williams. You never saw the machine work!

Mr. Ozonish. No, it is just in the process of coming in there. They are supposed to install this machine in September.

Senator Williams. How are you so certain that there are so many problems with this machine if you have never seen the machine work ?

Mr. Ozonish. We have talked to other people in different sections of the country where they have this machine and they state to us that it is an enormous machine and the one thing you are going to have is that continuous noise which is going to affect your ears, your hearing. They say the dust is very bad.

Senator Williams. Mr. Ozonish, where do they have that machine in this country, do you know?

Mr. OZONISH. I think they have one I can't exactly tell you. I think they have three in this whole United States, three or four.

Mr. PRICE. It was in Germany.
Senator Williams. Now I am going to become a witness.

I have watched this machine work for a full day in Czechoslovakia, if it is the same thing. The long wall is the process in mining. As a matter of fact, the wall they were mining that I observed—and as I say I spent a day watching this—was 500 yards long. That machine made that long haul twice a day down the 500 yards of wall. Now it is noisy, you are right, but I will tell you this: The roof is 100 percent safer.

Mr. PRICE. They have a lot of jacks.
Senator Williams. It is the hydraulic jacks.
Mr. PRICE. What about the conditions?

Senator WILLIAMS. I will tell you why I think the conditions are better. You have that long, long wall and you have got air coming along that wall. You think you are in a high wind and that means the gas it just going down and around and out and there is no gas problem. Mr. OZONISI. Isn't it creating different hazards though? Senator WILLIAMS. The sound, you are right. Mr. Ozonisu. The blowing of the air is hazardous for your health. Mr. PRICE. And ears. Senator Williams. The blowing of the air is to take the gas away. Mr. Ozonish. That is right.

Senator WILLIAMS. You don't have these traps. You don't have the brattice bit, you don't need that.

« PreviousContinue »