Quarry Accidents in the United States During the Calendar Year 1938 Page: 2
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2 QUARRY ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1938
On the basis of kind of stone produced, all classes of operations
reported reductions in employment in 1938 from 1937. All groups
except marble quarries reported fewer accidents in 1938, as might be
expected from the smaller volume of employment. However, not all
groups had lower accident-frequency rates per million man-hours of
employment or exposure to occupational hazards. Lower and more
favorable rates were reported for cement, granite, lime, sandstone,
and trap rock; higher rates were shown for limestone, marble, and
The outstanding cause of fatal accidents among the quarry workers
was falls or slides of rock or overburden; other important causes were
explosives, machinery, haulage, and falls of persons. Nonfatal
injuries to the same class of employees were due largely to handling
materials, flying objects, and falls of persons. Fatal accidents to men
employed at plants outside the quarries were caused mainly by
machinery and falls of persons and nonfatal injuries chiefly by han-
,dling materials, machinery, and flying objects.
Five lives were lost in a single accident at a quarry at Asheville,
N. C., on August 31, which was caused by an explosion of dynamite.
As the Bureau of Mines does not ask quarrying companies to fur-
nish a separate report or full particulars regarding each accident,
it is impracticable to state definitely the number of days of disability
that resulted from accidents in the entire industry. However, the
number may be estimated by using information obtained from indi-
vidual reports of accidents at certain quarries that are enrolled in
yearly safety contests, conducted by the Bureau, known as the
National Safety Competition. These reports covered 681 tempo-
rary injuries during the past 3 years (1936-38) and showed an average
of 31 days of disability per injury. The same reports covered 41 cases
of permanent partial disability, averaging 990 days of disability per
injury when each injury was weighted according to the standard
scale of time charges based upon the type of injury and part of the
body injured. These averages, together with a uniform charge of
6,000 days of disability for each death and permanent total dis-
ability, when applied to the 82 deaths, 5 permanent total disabilities,
153 permanent partial disabilities, and 4,869 temporary lost-time
injuries in the quarrying and related industries of the United States
in 1938 indicate a total of approximately 824,000 days of disability.
As the total working time for all reporting companies was 133,766,000
man-hours, the total days of disability represented an average of 6.16
days per thousand man-hours of employment or exposure to risk.
This accident-severity rate compares with rates of 5.36 for 1937 and
6.36 for 1936, computed in the same way and based upon the same
average number of days of disability per accident as that used for
Pennsylvania was by far the leading quarry State in 1938, having
about one-sixth of the total number of employees in all States com-
bined. Other leading States, each having 3,000 or more employees
engaged in quarrying or related work, were Ohio, New York, Illinois,
Indiana, California, Missouri, and Michigan. When arranged ac-
cording to their fatality rates per million man-hours of exposure, the
leading States in which quarrying is an important industry (see table
1) were Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. No fatal acci-
dents occurred in these States in 1938 according to reports furnished
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Adams, William W. & Wrenn, Virginia E. Quarry Accidents in the United States During the Calendar Year 1938, report, 1940; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12592/m1/4/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.