The first mines in the Hunter Valley were dangerous; infamous for their poor working conditions.

Mining Disasters 

The unsafe work environment of early coal mines caused many disasters. Underground mines had problems with roof collapses, explosions, fires and the release of poisonous gas. There were very few emergency or safety procedures in place to handle these disasters. 

The miners that died were often their families only source of income. Before government welfare, communities had to rally together to raise money to support the families of the miners killed in such disasters. Disasters also put many out of work by shutting down mines, which led to the economic distress of entire communities. 

Over the years, the disasters drew attention to the need for more industrial regulations and safety measures to keep miners safe. The danger of underground mining also led to the development new, safer mining techniques, such as open-cut. Today, safety is a top priority at Hunter Valley mines.  

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