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veterans of many years experience in industrial safety work, also administered coal-mine inspection, explosives control, and mineralproduction security activities within their respective districts.
During the fiscal year 1945, the Bureau's safety engineers and instructors trained more than 18,000 employees of mining and allied industries in first-aid and mine rescue procedures, increasing to more than 1,600,000 the total number of persons given these courses since the establishment of the Bureau in 1910. These men also assisted in conducting 22 first-aid contests in five States. About 1,200 workers and officials in the mineral industries completed Bureau courses in accident prevention, and approximately the same number received partial training.
In this safety-education program, the Bureau utilized extensively motion pictures, slides, demonstrations, and similar visual educational methods. Sound motion pictures were exhibited 231 times at safety meetings, and Bureau representatives attended and addressed 494 safety meetings in 29 States.
At virtually all major mine disasters occurring during the year, Bureau personnel assisted in the rescue and recovery operations which usually are arduous and dangerous in character. The aid thus rendered often enabled the mines concerned to resume production at relatively earlier dates. In all, Bureau engineers investigated 31 mine explosions in 31 States, 52 mine fires in 20 States, and 132 miscellaneous accidents in 30 States.
Following investigations in which 1,327 explosion tests were made, the Bureau gave its official sanction and approval to 26 units of electrical equipment designed for safe operation in gassy mines. Special investigations were continued on the design of safety equipment for naval use.
Had such services as first-aid and mine rescue instruction, accidentprevention training, accident investigation, disaster recovery work, equipment tests, and safety research been available from private sources, it is estimated that they would have cost the mineral industries considerably more than $1,000,000 during the year. Such services could not be provided, however, by any means other than a similar national organization.
Coal-Mine Inspection In the fiscal year 1945, Bureau of Mines representatives made 3,163 inspections and reports on coal mines producing approximately 91 percent of the Nation's total annual output. The reports on these safety surveys, most of which were reinspections, demonstrated an increasing acceptance of the Federal safety recommendations by the coal-mining industry, for hundreds of proposed improvements had been made in the mines since the previous inspections.
Virtually all of the mines in the United States employing 25 or more men now have been inspected at least once, and many have been examined several times. Greater attention was given last year to mines employing fewer than 25 men, more than 100 such mines being inspected. In accordance with an order from the Secretary of the Interior on July 1, 1944, the Bureau of Mines assumed responsibility for safety inspections of mining operations on the public domain, Indian lands, and other Government-lease operations formerly inspected by the Geological Survey. Many of these are small mines which ordinarily would not be inspected by the Bureau.
Federal coal-mine inspection has a definite dollar value to the industry, for accident reductions actually attained resulted in a money saving to the industry, considerably in excess of the hypothetical cost estimates.
Fatal and nonfatal accidents in the Nation's coal mines were reduced approximately 11 percent in 1944 as compared with 1943. On the usual basis for computing direct and indirect accident costs, this reduction represents a saving of upward of $6,000,000 to the industry, Unquestionably the mines of the country are in a much safer condition today than they were before the advent of the Federal inspection program, and this program has been a large factor in bringing this condition about. The program also has influenced some States to modify their mining laws to parallel in part the Bureau's inspection standards.
Antisabotage When activities under the mineral-production security program of the Bureau of Mines were ended officially on June 30, 1945, the World War II record of the Nation's mineral industries remained unblemished by a single known case of sabotage. In the absence of any subversive acts-and even a few might have seriously crippled the war programit obviously is difficult to assess the extent to which the Bureau's activities are responsible for their prevention, but is believed to be appreciable. Cooperating closely with the Internal Security Division of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, the Bureau's engineers made surveys during the year at 36 facilities not formerly inspected, thus increasing to 2,911 the total number of mines, mills, smelters, and refineries inspected during the life of this program. Recurring inspections made at intervals of 90 days at the more important facilities totaled 395 for the year, or a total of 1,598 reinspections during the past 3 years.
Security. inspections at coal mines were discontinued at the end of June 1944, permitting the reduction of field engineers engaged in this work to 16. The defeat of Germany made further curtailments possible, and the working agreement between the Bureau of Mines and the War Department was terminated in May 1945.
Explosives Regulation At the direction of the Congress, the Bureau of Mines maintained close surveillance over the millions of pounds of nonmilitary explosives used during the year by American industries to make certain that none fell into subversive hands.
The Federal Explosives Act was administered through an organization of some 3,900 cooperating licensing agents serving without pay, at least 1 being designated in nearly every county of the United States for the convenience of applicants. In the fiscal year 1945, approximately 90,000 licenses were issued to individuals and firms requiring explosives, which increased the total number of licenses approved during the war to about 760,000, including reissuances.
Since the work was undertaken, the Bureau has found it necessary to revoke only 56 licenses, indicating that compliance has been obtained with a minimum of interference with business and industry. Most of the violations resulted from ignorance of the Federal requirements, and 14 of the revoked licenses have been restored upon request and assurances by the licensees that they would in the future comply with the act and regulations.
During the year, Bureau investigators inspected or reinspected more than 16,000 explosives magazines and submitted reports on each to the Washington office. In consequence, more than 7,500 letters of instruction or recommendation on safe practices were transmitted to licensees, and the replies indicated that 5,188 explosives magazines were improved to comply with minimum standards of construction and locking to minimize thefts.
Explosives control funds were reduced substantially at the end of the war, and early termination of this work was anticipated.
Health Work Two broad objectives in the Bureau's over-all program-accident prevention and better working conditions in the mineral industrieswere furthered materially by the analysis of numerous gas and dust samples, improvement of procedures for determining atmospheric contaminants, inspections of unhygienic conditions with recommendations for control measures, approval testing of respiratory protective devices, and determination of toxic gases produced by decomposition of cable insulation and plastic materials used in electrical equipment.
Approximately 19,000 samples of gas and dust were analyzed, guiding Bureau technicians in preparing recommendations to curb explosion and health hazards in mines, aiding in the control and extinguishment of mine fires, and determining places in mines where dangerous quantities of methane were being released, where ventilation was inadequate, and where injurious concentrations of harmful gases and dusts were present. The results also were helpful in evaluating hazards
associated with noxious gases in tunnels and military establishments, exhaust gases from Diesel locomotives, and rock-dusting materials.
Owing to the importance of the analyses of gas and dust samples in evaluating hazardous conditions, studies were continued to improve the various analytical procedures used for determining atmospheric contaminants. Definite advances were made in methods for collecting and indicating the concentration of dust and other injurious contaminants in the air.
Dust studies were made in more than 50 anthracite and bituminouscoal mines, and encouraging results have been obtained in the control of coal dust through better utilization of water to allay it and more efficient ventilation to dilute it to concentrations that are not harmful. Direct assistance was given in numerous instances in the installation of control measures, and indirect assistance was given by training mine personnel in dust collection and analysis techniques and by providing information on the effects and control of harmful substances. Inspections were made of change houses at both anthracite and bituminous-coal mines, and information will be published on the construction and operation of best types.
Approval testing of respirators was continued, and information on their proper use and maintenance was disseminated. A new approval schedule for nonemergency gas respirators was issued.
Observations were continued on the use of Diesel locomotives, tests being made in tunnels and roundhouses.
Confidential studies were conducted for the Navy Department's Bureau of Ships on the performance of various gas-indicating instruments and on the nature of the gaseous decomposition products of electric cable insulation and of thermosetting synthetic resins. This information will be of value in combating hazards in the mineral industries when these materials receive industrial application.
ECONOMICS OF MINERAL INDUSTRIES The reduced military requirements for many metals and minerals and the gradual relaxation of restrictions on civilian uses subsequent to victory in Europe brought about various revisions in the economics and statistics services of the Bureau of Mines at the close of the fiscal year. These services which had provided invaluable information on production, stocks, distribution, and consumption of minerals for the guidance of industry and Government during the war were modified to meet the needs of the reconversion period. A host of new problems demanding immediate attention required a slight expansion of this fact-finding program.
The War had clearly demonstrated the need for importation of minerals not available in adequate quantities from domestic sources, impelling the Bureau to give more consideration to foreign supply
and to the conservational aspects of mineral utilization. In additia the disposition of immense quantities of scrap metal, the need for national stock piles of strategic and critical materials, and similar controversial but vital problems arose. The Bureau of Mines immediately began the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of the up-to-date, accurate information necessary for a solution of these problems.
In mobilizing for effective action, the Bureau did not overlook other postwar problems of mineral supply and development. Marketing studies and other types of economic analysis as well as basic factfinding are required by industry to meet reconversion questions and by Government to determine sound policies for utilization of surplus war plants, to appraise postwar prospects for employment in the mineral industries, and to plan for the wide use of mineral resources in river-valley projects. The mounting costs of mineral production require careful study of the effects of taxation, transportation, wages. and other cost factors on the conservational use of mineral resources Although the Bureau was insufficiently staffed for work of this kind. the program was initiated pending the anticipated granting of increased appropriations by the Congress for these studies.
Metals During the fiscal year '1945, the peak was passed in the wartime effort to obtain a balance between mineral supplies and requirements Plans for a smooth and orderly transition from war to peacetime activities in the metal industry began to take shape in a period which began shortly after the successful Allied landing on the Normandy coast.
Originally organized to meet growing industrial and governmental needs for factual information on the status of nearly all metals, the metal-reporting service of the Bureau of Mines was broadened during the early phases of the war to provide more frequently and in greater detail the basic data required by war agencies to direct and control distribution for military and essential civilian products. Now, in addition to the extensive series of confidential and published reports, numerous special studies were made for use in stock-pile planning, surplus industrial property disposal, standard commodity classification, and other programs of various agencies.
Victories in the military campaigns permitted a broad relaxation of censorship rules at about midyear. In view of the great number of requests for economic and statistical data which were received, indicating a growing conciousness by industry of the need for authoritative, factual information for guidance in the reconversion and postwar period, the Bureau made preparations to revise various metal canvasses which it has regularly conducted so as to include the