Miners lives / Working conditions
Working conditions in the coal mining industry with its inherent dangers were at their worst during the 19th century. Increased demands for coal led to massive expansion and a search for richer coal seams. Bigger, deeper pits brought new hazards to the miner who risked life and limb everyday whilst working in confined spaces breathing in stale air and coal dust. These conditions shortened miners lives by 10 years below the national average.
Whilst technical changes and new safety measures were undertaken, the working conditions were gradually improved towards the 20th century. Many collieries gradually had their own medical centres, pit head baths and canteens for miners.Click the image or highlighted words to see a larger version of the photograph and its description. It may take a while to download.