A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 1.—In Coal and Shale Mines

051.—Subordinate Superintending Staff (including Inspectors, Contractors and Foremen)

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agent, underground
mining captain (slang), underground captain (slang), underground manager; an agent (050) q.v. whose duties are confined to underground workings and who acts under instructions of agent or general manager (050) q.v.
captain, underground; mining captain
slang terms, (i) see agent, underground;
(ii) see deputy.
chief dresser ; foreman dresser
in charge of dressing floor labourers (056) q.v.
(i) contracts for getting of ore in specified section at agreed rate per ton; employs and pays own assistants;
(ii) contracts to keep in repair certain lengths of underground roads.
deputy, face deputy ; examiner, foreman, mining captain (slang), shift boss, underground captain (slang)
is employed in stratified iron ore mine and has specific duties under Coal Mines Act; is responsible for safety and output of men working in his district; visits each working place at least once a day, tests ventilation, takes readings of thermometer and barometer, sees that all manholes are kept clear, that all drop holes and other dangerous places are fenced, and that all ladders and stages are in proper order, etc.; keeps record of his observations in hook, and reports verbally to manager or, in manager's absence, to official in charge of mine, e.g., overman; in Cleveland also sets necessary roof supports; cf. back-bye deputy.
deputy, back-bye
is responsible for upkeep and safety of roads between working face and shaft or entrance level; puts in roof supports and does necessary timbering work, or supervises work of timberman (054) q.v.
doggy, dog whipper (slang)
is in charge of underground haulage; cf. haulage foreman.
engine wright
a foreman q.v. who is responsible under engineer (050) q.v. for all mechanical plant in use in and about mine; examines and tests periodically boilers, chains, pumps, winding machinery, engines, etc.; is assisted by various inspectors, e.g., chain inspector, pump inspector q.v.
see deputy.
legal title of a deputy q.v. who holds certificate to fire shots; cf. shot firer.
foreman ; master
(i) directs and superintends a set of workpeople, under general instructions of underground captain q.v.;
(ii) in some districts, see deputy;
(iii) in tin mines, is usually employed above ground unless specifically designated as underground foreman.
foreman dresser
see chief dresser.
foreman, surface; yard foreman
has charge of men and boys working at mine heap or brow; supervises tipping of ore, coupling and uncoupling of trucks; keeps time records of workers.
gaffer, ganger
see overman.
a shift boss q.v. employed, under direction of manager (050) q.v., to examine working of mineral and ensure that proper pains are taken to obtain best possible output from any working; also ensures straight driving or holing of place, and sets compass marks for purpose; in some districts work is done by deputy q.v.
inspector, chain; rope inspector
assists engine wright q.v. by making periodical examinations of chains and ropes on haulage system; taps chains by hand with hammer to see whether links are sound.
inspector, heap
see keeker.
inspector, ore
examines deposits, bed, lodes or veins of ore, ascertains probable mineral content and decides on most profitable method of working.
inspector, pump
examines pumping-machinery and reports as to maintenance and repairs to engine wright q.v.
keeker ; heap inspector
supervises screen men (056) and pickers (056) q.v. employed on the screens and picking belts; is responsible for the stone being sent out from the mine in a clean state; cf. keeker (041).
manager, underground
see agent, underground.
see foreman ; sometimes used in sense of manager (050) q.v.
overman, mining overman ; gaffer, ganger, shift boss
supervises working of large section of mine under direction of manager or under-manager (050) q.v.; acts as intermediate official between under-manager (050) and face deputy q.v. and is in charge in absence of under-manager; is responsible for the safety and output of district or districts; makes daily report in prescribed form.
overman, back
an overman q.v. in charge of back or afternoon shift.
overman, deputy
a deputy q.v. who is responsible direct to the undermanager (050).
overman, fore ; underlooker (Midlands)
an overman q.v. in charge of mine during fore or morning shift in absence of under-manager (050) q.v.; is superior to back overman q.v.
shift boss
(i) see overman;
(ii) see deputy.
in Midlands, see fore overman.
is responsible for the inspection and maintenance of return airways from the last working place to the upcast shaft; has a gang of men working under him to build stoppings and doors necessary for ventilation, and to keep roofs, sides, etc., in repair.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.