Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lackawanna Coal Mine

Sunday May 17
We have 22 participants on the tour.  Our trainees are from CUNY School of Public Health (IH), NJIT (Occ Safety Engineering), Rutgers (Occ Med), Mount Sinai (Occ Med), and NYU (Ergonomics). We also have three trainees from the University of Cincinnati ERC.

Our first stop was at the Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton, PA.  This is the 5th time that we've been here, and I always learn something new.  The tour is a public tour that anyone can go on, but you really get a good experience of what it is like to be in  coal mine.  We start with our desent into the mine, 300 feet below the surface.  At times they turn the lights off, so we can experience what it is like for miners working in the dark.  We also experienced how workers had to manuever their bodies to work in "monkey veins", areas of the mine that are less than two feet high.  Workers crawled on their stomach to reach areas of coal that needed to be mined.  We also learned about the labor issues, with children as young as nine years old working in the mine.  As we all know, there are many safety and health issues experienced by workers. This tour provided a glimpse into the life of the miners, and provided our trainees an opporutnity to experience what it might be like to work in the mine.

1 comment:

Jeff Huth said...

This has started off to be an eye opening tour. One hopes that the risks of the past are not continuing in other less developed countries today. The picture with the donkey depicts the 12 hour work day of a child working in the coal mine in the early 20th century. Although the donkeys look tame, they frequently injured workers, sometimes fatally.