Archive for January, 2014

Mine fatalities

As we ended our recent visit to Michigan I was looking through a book called “Some fatal Accidents in the Atlantic, Baltic, Champion, Trimountian and Winona Cooper Mines” by Clarence J. Monette.

The book is a list of annual Mine Inspector’s Reports that provided a brief description of each “important” fatal accident from 1889 to 1914. The Introduction also notes that thousands of less than fatal injuries were ignored by the inspector.

In this time the company was not held responsible for providing a safe work environment.  A mine is a dangerous workplace and it was not possible to change this fact. Companies were responsible for the safety of the tools and equipment, workers responsible to look after themselves.  If blame was to be assigned it was the victim who was blamed.  The workers were negligent, careless and they paid the price.  Each worker had a heavy burden place on them by the companies and the employer did not … a timid worker that complained.  Workers were accused of being too confident or brave because they acted foolhardy and careless.

A worker may have been scolded for not working safely, but ultimately their safety was their own responsibility.  Training was done by mentorship where the newbies learned how to do their job “safely” from the more experiences workers.  I a worker did not follow safe work practices and died or he died because of a co-workers actions it was not the company’s fault.

In a 1891 report the inspector wrote “Reviewing the fatal accidents one cannot fail to note that many of them are due to carelessness or lack of thought at the time of occurrence.” In this year lives lost to accidents was about 3.6 per thousands in Houghton County. MI.

In this time a worker death was unfortunate, however it did not create any outcry from the public. Fatal mine accidents usually caused one or two workers at a time. A fatality at a mine had little or no meaning to the workers of other mines.  Mining communities were defined and divided by the different ethnic groups of their population.  Mourning for the dead was limited the ethnic groups the worker belonged to. Wives of the killed workers were given $50.00 for the funeral and was allowed to live in the company housing until they re-married.

Recurring causes of fatal accidents include falling down skip shafts or being struck by falling debris – most often rocks.

It was a somber look at workplace injuries in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  A time where worker safety was considered the sole responsibility of the worker.

The start of WCB – Workers’ compensation was Canada’s first social program to be introduced as it was favored by both workers’ groups and employers hoping to avoid lawsuits.  The system in one where injured workers were to be compensated for workplace injuries, but in turn they have to give up their right to sue their employers. Ontario was first to introduce the legislation in 1915, Manitoba in 1916,  British Columbia in 1917, and Alberta in 1918. Federally regulated workplaces must follow the federal legislation.  For workplaces not federally regulated workplace safety remains a provincial responsibility and thus the rules vary from province to province.

In the United States, the first statewide worker’s compensation law was passed in Maryland in 1902, and the first law covering federal employees was passed in 1906, Michigan in 1912.  By 1949, all states had enacted some kind of workers’ compensation regime. Such schemes were originally known as “workman’s compensation,” but today, most jurisdictions have adopted the term “workers’ compensation” as a gender-neutral alternative.

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STROKE – Remember STR

Identify Stroke Symptoms & Save A Life

STROKE: Remember The First Three Letters… S.T.R.

stroke symptoms 

(Thank you for this story which was emailed to me by my mother): During a barbeque, a friend stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine when they offered to call paramedics. She said that she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital. At 6:00pm , Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the barbeque.

Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today.

Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. Sometimes they go blind.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.  


A stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: 

S * Ask the individual to SMILE . 
* Ask the person to TALK. Ask them to speak a simple sentence such as “It’s a nice day today”.
* Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS

NOTE : Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call  911 (in the USA)  immediately!!and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this article copies it and sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

Taken from

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