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Every catastrophe in industry lends added force to the contention that the welfare of the employed population would be vastly improved if means and personnel were available to apply existing knowledge about prevention of accidents and disease. Mining is classed as a dangerous trade, yet much is known about the causes and prevention of dangerous exposures and much can be done to reduce the hazardous nature of this occupation. The United States Bureau of Mines investigated a recent disastrous explosion near Beckley, W. Va., and showed again that every coal mine is potentially a hazard for gas. Although the mine in question had been in operation for forty years without a report of the existence of gas, dangerous concentrations were discovered in the subsequent inquiry. The official report states that smoking was not prohibited and that probably all employees carried matches, contrary to all existing safety recommendations. It
Current Comment. JAMA. 1941;116(13):1394. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820130056020