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Industrial Machinery and Equipment > Helmets

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Pit helmet used at Cooranbong Colliery, 1989

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Because of the age of the Museum's collection some objects in the Museum's collection have not yet been digitised. Some images are not available for Copyright reasons. Some images are not available for cultural or privacy reasons.

Object statement
Helmet, 'Tuffmaster III', used at Cooranbong Colliery, plastic/ leather, Protector Safety, Australia, 1989
Compared to other jobs, mining is one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia. Mine safety is consequently a major concern for workers, unions, employers and governments.

Risks in underground coal mining include roof or wall collapse (what miners call a 'fall of ground'), the build up of toxic gases, or explosive concentrations of coal dust. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, miners have worn or carried equipment to protect them from, or alert them to, these dangers.

In 1999 the Cooranbong Colliery donated to the museum a full set of underground coal mine official's personal equipment as an example of the gear worn by each of its managers and undermanagers. Cooranbong Colliery, located at Dora Creek, New South Wales, is owned by Powercoal Pty. Ltd. It supplies coal to the nearby Eraring power station.

The set of equipment donated includes protective gear such as boots, a helmet with a lamp, and a self-rescuer (which provides breathable air in an emergency) that are worn or carried by all underground. It also includes gas monitoring equipment that is additional gear carried by coal mine officials to help them assess hazards and maintain a safe workplace underground.

Helmets protect the wearer from bumping their head on the roof or from small falls of stone or coal. Helmets also hold the lamp that is the miner's light source. Miners call them a 'helmet' or a 'pit helmet'.

Most Australian coal miners wear helmets similar to this one donated to the Powerhouse Museum by Cooranbong Colliery. Mine helmets resemble helmets worn on building sites, but have some special modifications. This helmet has a metal clip at the front to hold the miner's lamp, and a leather and press-stud clasp near the back to guide the cord that supplies electricity to the lamp from a battery carried on the miner's belt. This helmet also has a sticker with the number '1' on it. It signifies that this helmet had been used by a mines rescue team. Numbers are used to designate each team member and allow the team leader to communicate with them. The helmet also has two Cooranbong Colliery stickers on it. Stickers like these are a valued part of mining culture, and are exchanged by miners across the world.
Designed to Australian Standard.

The helmet was manufactured by Protector Safety of Guilford, NSW, Australia.

The helmet is marked with a date of manufacture: 9/89. It was in use at the Cooranbong Colliery until 1999.
The helmet was used by a mines rescue team at the Cooranbong Colliery, NSW, Australia.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Helmet, 'Tuffmaster III', used at Cooranbong Colliery, NSW, plastic/leather, Protector Safety, Australia, 1989.

Miners call this a 'helmet' or a 'pit helmet'. Helmets protect the wearer from bumping their head on the roof or from small falls of stone or coal. Helmets also hold the lamp that is the miner's light source. This helmet has a metal clip at the front to hold the lamp, and a leather and press-stud clasp to guide the cord that supplies electricity to the lamp from a battery carried on the miner's belt.

This helmet has a sticker with the number '1' on it. John Turner, Acting manager at the Cooranbong Colliery, has informed us in correspondence dated 6 July 2000 that this helmet had been used by a mines rescue team: 'The numbers are used to designate each team member to allow the team leader to communicate with them'.

The helmet also has two Cooranbong Colliery stickers on it. Stickers like these are a valued part of mining culture, and are exchanged by miners across the world.
Made: 1989
2000/113/1
Production date
1989

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of Cooranbong Colliery - Powercoal Pty. Ltd., 2000
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/8130
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/8130 |title=Pit helmet used at Cooranbong Colliery |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=28 August 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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