Free Essay

Centralia Mines

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kareentompkins
Words 1062
Pages 5
THE BLAST IN CENTRALIA NO. 5 (Assignment #1)
By Kareen Tompkins; July 2013
Class: PAD 500 (STRAYER UNIVERSITY)
(MODERN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION)
Dr. Shelley Taylor

In 1947, One hundred eleven men were killed in an explosion that took place at the Centralia No. 5 mines located in the state of Illinois. The explosion was caused by highly explosive coal dust that was ignited by an explosive charge.
During that time, Driscoll Scanlan was one of l6 Illinois state mine inspectors, appointed by Governor Green. He was given the responsibility of policing the mines as well as the operators. Additionally, it was his duty to make sure that the company was in compliance with state mining laws and followed all safety regulations. Mr. Scanlan had a reputation of being stubborn, righteous; was considered to have fierce integrity and took his job very seriously. He considered the Centralia No. 5 Mine to be the worst in his district. He reported numerous safety code violations, both minor and major and made several recommendations to assist the company with solving the problem.
Mr. Scanlan did report this problem to Robert Medill, Illinois Director of the Department of mines and minerals. At the time, believing he could get the company to clean up the mine, he informed the Director that he talked the officers of the local union out of bringing charges against the mine manager, Mr. Brown and not have his certificate canceled. Mr. Scanlan should have let the union continue with their initial plan of filing charges and having the mine manager’s certificate revoked. The fact is, this lack of compliance with safety regulations and intermittent responses to these violations while blatantly ignoring any recommendations made by the inspector was very serious. It showed that the company had the least bit of interest in complying with any regulations. Mr. Scanlan should have filed charges himself, given the history of interactions with this company.
Mr. Scanlan had written to many reports for so long about the potential disaster at the mine that Robert Medill, On March 7, 1945 provided to him copies of all communications with William P. Young, centralia’s mine operating Vice President. Mr. young asked the director for time to comply because there was a shortage of men which would mean that production would suffer. The Director requested that inspector Scanlan suggest to the mine committee to be patient with the company in complying with cleaning up the coal dust particles deposits throughout the mines, which he did. I believe this was an error on the part of the inspector. Mr. Scanlan was obviously following his bosses’ request, but he knew that the mine company was not working with him in any way. He should have denied this request and explained to the director that this was going on for to long; to prove he was serious about his position of concern for the workers safety.
The following year, sometime in April, inspector Scanlan conducted his regular inspection and again found conditions in the mine to be dangerous, this time he noted it was even worse. He should have immediately shut down the mine, instead he gave the superintendent a choice of spending 3 days per week cleaning up or shutting down the mine completely. When a company has repeatedly ignored state safety violation codes, the only answer in my view is to shut the mine down. The fact is, the company’s credit has been destroyed and when dealing with people’s lives, you must do what it takes to protect them. In a desperate attempt to try and resolve the problems, Mr. Scanlan could also have gotten in touch with the governor or even the state mining board to ask for help. He could have written them to inform them and express to them how urgent this problem was and how desperately it needed attention.
Mr. Scanlan had an obligation, a duty to protect the workers from unhealthy environment and hazardous conditions. This is precisely the reason why the legislature enacts laws for the country and its citizens; that is to prevent disasters like this one and others. If we were not able to set rules and regulations, it would be the nature of the ones with more power, money and influence to take advantage; to rule, take over and do as they please. The United States legislative branch devises these laws and sets up boards with members to implement these policies. They are responsible to make sure that these procedures are being followed. In the case where companies are not complying with these regulations they should suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, in this case, there were no consequences to these violations. Mr. Scanlan’s position should have been in my view to shut down and continue to make his complaint to the Governor and the state mining board. During that period, there was a war going on and the mines were very political. This is a case where public administration should have been separated from the lawmakers, for if that were the case, people would have actually done their job and probably would have been held responsible for their actions. We could have actually hired qualified people and would understand the severity of the problem.
In 1951, in West Frankfort Illinois, another mine explosion occurred where one hundred nineteen workers died. Consequently, after that explosion took place, there were several others following that but the number of death did considerably fall. The problem with devising these laws aimed at preventing and protecting workers is that it takes time to cover all the possibilities that could take place. Through these disasters, we have learned how better we can implement and enforce these laws and come up with a reasonable penalty so that people are more inclined to comply. It is unfortunate, nevertheless true; from the past we have made a better future and we continue to do so.

References:
Public Administration, concepts and cases, 2010 Custom Edition by Richard J. Stillman II
Illinois Mine War: Centralia Mine Disaster; Minewar.blogspot.com/2009/04/Centralia-mine-disaster.html, posted by make better media

Pulic Sector Safety Professionals: Focused on Activity or Results? by Fred Fanning, CSP, M.Ed., M.A,

Centralia Number5-Case Study Number1-USMRA. dom www.usmra.com/.../disasters/Best-of-the-Best_Newsletter_Article.pdf MSHA fact sheet 95-8_Historical data on Mine Disasters in the United States…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Blast in Centralia

...case study by Martin, The Blast in Centralia No. 5, in Stillman, PA, Chapter 1, write a 3-4  page paper in which you: 1. Identify and explain four (4) logistical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed. 2. Analyze and discuss Scanlan’s motivation toward the Constitution (the law), bureaucracy (as a public administrator responsible to the public), and obligation. 3. Take a position on two (2) possible paths of action for Scanlan and defend your choices. 4. Research and cite at least four (4) peer-reviewed academic sources. Your assignment must: 1. Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions. 2. Include a cover page containing the tile of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length. The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are: 3. Analyze the changing nature and responsibilities for managing public and nonprofit organizations. 4. Use technology and information resources to research issues in modern public administration. 5. Write clearly and concisely about modern public administration using proper writing mechanics. Centralia Mine No. 5 exploded on March......

Words: 535 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Blast of Centralia No 5

...The Blast in Centralia No.5 highlights multiple failures in Public Administration, on March 25, 1947; a deadly coal mine explosion rocked the calm, peaceful town of Centralia, IL. During World War II, this mine provided coal to the war effort. A charge ignited built-up coal dust and caused the explosion. This explosion should have come to a surprise, many public sector safety professionals from state and federal agencies knew of the hazards as a result of inspections, union complaints and letters to state officials. The same safety professionals had notified various officials of mine safety agencies and the mine company of the hazards on more than one occasion. Officers of the mine’s union had also pressed for the hazards to be corrected. Failure to take action to stop the hazards resulted in the loss of 111 hard-working men who had spent much of their lives mining coal. Four Logistical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed are corruption, communication, time and responsibility. Inspector Scanlan worked during a period where corruption was as the norm. People in position of leadership in government were easily bought by business trying to push their agenda. The mine owners made friends in the government by putting money in the pockets of those in leadership positions. Some inspector’s would even party with the mine owners. Inspector Scanlan also experienced difficulties with communicating with those who were in a position to regulate the mining industry. Inspector......

Words: 938 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Centralia Explosion No.5

...Based on the case study by Martin, The Blast in Centralia No. 5, in Stillman, PA, Chapter 1, write a 3-4 page paper in which you: 1. Identify and explain four (4) logistical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed. * Scanlan reported those findings of a possible explosion to other professionals but all failed to follow safety procedures and allowed the men to continue with the job. Instead of listening to Robert Medill the director of the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals, Scanlan should have directly reported his findings to the Governor of Illinois, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, and the State Mine Board to ensure safety measures and further investigations were established. * Also, Scanlan had the power to shut down the mining operation but chose to be bullied by Robert Medill. The coal mine should have been closed down until every safety hazard was properly handled. (Garvey, G., 1997) Scanlan was granted the power to have the coal mine closed down. He should have used his authority to make sure the coal mine was safe and secure for its workers. * Scanlan also could have encouraged the miners to construct a peaceful protest to improve their work conditions. (Garvey, G., 1997) If the workers would refuse to come to work because of the threat on their lives due to the harsh work conditions, authority would have no other choice but to fix the problems in order to get the miners to come back to work. * Although scanlan order the miner to work four days...

Words: 407 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Centralia Mines

...The Centralia Mine No. Disaster The Centralia Coal Mine located in Centralia, Illinois became the site of one of the worst disasters in history. March 25, 1947 at a proximally 3:26 p.m. there was an explosion that became noticeable to the assistant mining superintendent when the fan circuit to the mine blew in the power plant in which he was located. Following protocol he alerted the district inspector and the main office called the state, who Intel communicated with other rescue agencies for help. Being one of the of the mines that provided coal for the war it would seem to appear that there could have been political involvement as to the ignoring of the safety warnings given by Mr. Scanlan. Though Mr. Scanlan was appointed by then Governor Green, and hired by Robert Medill the director of the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals. Scanlan growing up working the mines came highly recommended. Being appointed to the territory that covers Centralia 5, upon first inspection Mr. Scanlan recommended that the mine be closed, as to repair violation and make the mines a bit more safe. Mr. Scanlan sent these reports to the head office of Mines and Bell and Zoller Coal Mine Company. This continued for five years of having his reports ignored. Was the excuse that before Scanlan was hired the mine had a passing record? But if one examined the length of time that this mine had been work the buildup on the roads should have been an acknowlgement of the conditions. After his......

Words: 1462 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Centralia No. 5

...Assignment # 1 Centralia No. 5 Strayer University Modern Public Administration PAD 500 Professor: Dr. July 22,2013 I found this case study to be very interesting, especially following the recent fatal building collapse in Philadelphia. From February 7, 1942 to the deaths of 111 miners on March 25, 1947, Centralia Number 5 was a disaster waiting to happen. So many things could have been done that were not. Scanlan's first report on February 7, 1942 was a premonition of the disaster to come. Scanlan as an inspector should have and could have done more to prevent this tragedy. Unnecessary life was lost. I whole hearty think that someone in an authority position could have stopped this disaster. One of these people was Driscoll O. Scanlan, a mining inspector for the State of Illinois. Even though Scanlan did document the appalling mining conditions nothing of significance was done. There were several points along this path of misfortune where someone could have done something to prevent this tragedy. Despite the fact he held meetings with personnel like representatives from the union and state officials, there was so much more that he should have done. As a public administrator Scanlan could have employed the following alternative strategies. Scanlan had inspected several mines during his tenure. He proclaimed Centralia Number 5 was the most dangerous mine he has ever inspected. As a public administrator, this should have been an indication that......

Words: 1257 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Chile Mine

...Family/Friends: This letter is to inform family and friends on the undetermined cause of what has happened at the gold and coppers mine here in Chile. It is to our understanding that there have been thirty-three Chilean men trapped in the mine. Through a small bore hole messages have been sent to proper authorities that all men are still alive. With our modern day technology a video recorder was placed down a hole to witness that they were all in good health. One main concern that many individuals have asked, has been about the air supply. We would like to also inform everyone that through well-constructed observation, and also the Chilean mine workers, that the ventilation are still in working order which provides a fresh air supply to the men. Water supply is also available through storage tanks. We are working at the best of our abilities to resolve this situation, and deeply apologize for this unknown accident at this time. It would be best to address them in person. Internal News: Late breaking news has been announced near a northern city in Copia, Chile. Thirty three Chilean men have been trapped in an underground mine about twenty –three hundred feet below the surface. It is not clear on the cause of this incident at the time, but stay tuned to your local new channel for all information regarding to this undetermined incident. If you’re not near a television then you can locate all matters regarding the Chilean men and current information also via the internet......

Words: 265 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Mines

...MINES INTRODUCTION Globalization is an idea whose time has come. From obscure origins in French and American writings in the 1960s, the concept of globalization finds expression today in all the world’s major languages ( Stiglitz, 2002).Yet, it lacks precise definition. Indeed, globalization is in danger of becoming, if it has not already become,the cliché of our times: the big idea which encompasses everything from global financial markets to theInternet but which delivers little substantive insight into the contemporary human condition.Clichés, nevertheless, often capture elements of the lived experience of an epoch. In this respect,globalization reflects a widespread perception that the world is rapidly being moulded into a shared socialspace by economic and technological forces and that development in one region of the world can haveprofound consequences for the life chances of individuals or communities on the other side of the globe. Formany, globalization is also associated with a sense of political fatalism and chronic insecurity in that thesheer scale of contemporary social and economic change appears to outstrip the capacity of nationalgovernments or citizens to control, contest or resist that change. The limits to national politics, in otherwords, are forcefully suggested by globalization.Although the popular rhetoric of globalization may capture aspects of the contemporary zeitgeist, there is aburgeoning academic debate as to whether globalization, as......

Words: 506 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Mine

...In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort? In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you...

Words: 638 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Garzweiler Mine

...mine3161 GaRZweiler Open Pit Mine Rhineland, Germany Nicholas Duim 20781646 * Executive Summary The Garzweiler mine is located within the Rhineland basin west of Cologne, Germany. The largest single lignite or brown coal deposit in Europe is found in Rhineland which covers an area of around 2,500 km2. Since lignite is the youngest variety of all coals, forming in the early to middle Miocene age about 15Ma. Several coal seams are formed and join up in the center of the Rhenish basin to form one main seam which reaches a maximum thickness of about 100m. Mining operations are carried out by RWE Power, one of Germanys biggest power producers and extraction of energy materials with an about 30% share in electricity generation is no. 1 in Germany and no. 3 in Europe with a 9% share. Lignite extraction by RWE Power AG totals 100 million tonnes a year with 90% of this output goes into power generation in the RWE Power’s power plants. The rest is upgraded to make briquettes, pulverized lignite, fluidized bed lignite and coke. Garzweiler I mining operations have been continued westward since 2006 on into Garzweiler II measuring 48km² that contains 1.3 billion tonnes of lignite accounting for 40% of the Rhineland brown coal to be mined out by 2044. The mine is a large scale open pit that uses the strip mine to continuously mine out lignite. Mining activities start with the stripping of overburden and this is followed by mining the uppermost flat-laying lignite seams, then......

Words: 4896 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Centralia No. 5

...Centralia No. 5 Dapheny Wells Dr. Angelique Goliday Modern Public Administration April 20, 2012 Centralia No. 5 March 25, 1947 is the date that marks a very significant incident in the state of Illinois . It was a devastating day for Centralia . (Stillman, 2010) 111 Coal miners woke up to attend their job at the coal mine just as any usual day. (Stillman, 2010) They had no idea they would never return home to their families. March 25, 1947 is the day 111 coal miners were killed during their routine daily duties at the Centralia Coal Mine. (Stillman, 2010) A massive explosion changed the city of Centralia forever. The cause of the massive explosion is due to a build up of coal dust. (Stillman, 2010) The explosion was 100% preventable if necessary actions were taken into affect. The conditions of the coal mine was deadly. There were reports of miners coughing up clumps of coal dust. There were also reports that cakes of coal dust were plastered to the walls of the mines. (Stillman, 2010) Identify and Explain Four Logistical Alternatives Scanlan Could Have Addressed. Governor Dwight Green appointed both Robert Medill and Driscoll Scanlan in the same year. Scanlan was recommended to Green by his state representative. There were several reports from Scanlan that the Centralia Mine No. 5 as highly explosive. ( U.S. Mine Rescue Association, 2012) The reason the mine was highly explosive is because of the coal dust buildup. Two year......

Words: 1717 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Centralia Pad 500

...I. Identify and explain four (4) logistical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed. The Centralia, Illinois 1947 disaster changed the way safety procedures, laws and regulations were enforced. According to Fanning, F. (2007) “many public sector safety professionals from state and federal agencies knew of the hazards as a result of inspections, union complaints and letters to state officials” (www.usmra.com/repository/best-of-the-best_newsletter_article). At the time Scanlan, the inspector of the district concluded on the numerous hazards surrounding the mine. Scanlan reported those findings of a possible explosion to other professionals but all failed to follow safety procedures and allowed the men to continue with the job. Instead of listening to Robert Medill the director of the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals, Scanlan should have directly reported his findings to the Governor of Illinois, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, and the State Mine Board to ensure safety measures and further investigations were established (www.usmra.com/repository/best-of-the-best_newsletter_article). Also, Scanlan had the power to shut down the mining operation but chose to be bullied by Robert Medill. All inspectors and professionals handling the case were aware of coal dust buildup and the necessity to clean it to prevent any explosions (www.usmra.com/repository/best-of-the-best_newsletter_article). II. Analyze and discuss Scanlan’s motivation toward the Constitution (the law),......

Words: 661 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Centrailia Mine

...questions to be raised and fingers to be pointed. This most certainly holds true for the catastrophic explosion of Centralia Mine No. 5 on the afternoon of March 25, 1947, and the violent and untimely deaths of the 111 Centralia Coal Company miners. While many played a role in the unfolding of this tragic disaster, focus is repeatedly brought back to Driscoll Scanlan, an Illinois mine state inspector. Were there other courses of action he could have pursued in the management and security of the mine, and what were the driving factors behind Scanlan’s decision concerning the law he was sworn to uphold and the interest of public good? Those are questions that if answered could help to uncover how this tragedy could have been prevented. For a city of such humble beginnings, established by the railroad via a land grant in 1853, no one could have guessed that Centralia, Illinois, would face such devastation and tragedy less than a century later (Hartley and Kenney, 2006). The city of Centralia—throughout most of its history, experienced slow economic growth, progressed steadily and changed gradually, which provided a stable environment for the community and its growth. As any typical Midwestern town did, Centralia saw many highs and lows within the city’s primary business and industry. Those highs and lows of the coal mining, farming and railroad business helped Centralia become a balanced yet prosperous town and with the exception of the short lived oil boom during the......

Words: 1276 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Centralia No. 5

...of an operationally successful organization. This brings us Centralia No. 5 and its operational shortcomings. Driscoll Scanlan will be our main focus as we examine: (a) other logistical alternatives that could have been addressed; (b) analyze his motivation toward the Constitution, bureaucracy, and obligation; and (c) other possible modes of actions that could have taken place to prevent such a disaster. Logistical Alternatives Scanlan was a man of relentless integrity, but, with all of his efforts he failed in an administrative sense to prevent such a terrible disaster from occurring. We examine what could have been done, and take a closer look into what other alternative logistically he could have taken. Mine fires are an insidious, persistent, and often nearly invisible threat to local health and to the natural and built environment (Ohlson, 2010). In the mining process , workers operate in the semi-enclosed space in several hundred meters underground faced with high temperatures, humidity, noise, dust, harmful gases such as harsh natural environment, the operating environment is poor, work hours are long, lighting is poor, which are extreme likely to make workers mood swings produce operational errors and leard to accidents (WU You-jun, 2010). As an inspector Scanlan understood not only what problems persisted but he also understood what steps to take to rectify issues that ultimately engulfed Centralia No. 5. We start by proposing a plan that Scanlan could......

Words: 1240 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

The Blast in Centralia

...Blast in Centralia [Author] [Instructor] [Course] [Date] Blast in Centralia No. 5 Question1: Identify and explain four (4) logical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed. Driscoll O. Scanlan, a state inspector of the coal mines at Centralia No. 5, did not consider the use of logistical substitutes in order to protect the misfortunate workers. As a state appointed official and the representative to the public, Scanlan should have utilized his positional powers in the manner that could produce results(Fanning, 2007). He was active in reporting his findings and presenting his recommendations every three months to the concerned Department of Mines and Minerals. Since a long period of three years, his reports were given no significance and did not materialize any action. Scanlan, being legally responsible for the safety of the miners, should not have permitted the Mines and Mineral Board to ignore his message for a period of three years. In order to produce results and make sure that Mines and Minerals Board take any action against the hazardous conditions at Centralia, Scanlan should have been practical and more aggressive in his actions. For instance, he should have provided a copy of his findings, along with the copy of the state law to Superintendent Norman and state a dead line for the due cleanup of the mines at Centralia or otherwise the mines would be closed. Also,Scanlan should have also been practical and instead of generating reports,......

Words: 928 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Mine.

...departmental exams, I answer a lot of mock questionnaires in high hopes of correctly attacking how the exams were fashioned. In other words, it is building strategy over defeat. Is nursing your first choice? Why? Answer: No. Political Science was at the top of my choices, Nursing came second. But after overthinking and analysing things, and with the influence of my parents, I took the latter. Personally, I have thought of being practical, that is, landing myself in a job with good pay after taking and passing the exam. On the exam, what area do you think you’re strong and weak? Answer: Strengths: Community Health Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing & Psychiatric Nursing • Basically, CHN is a favourite of mine. Having been exposed in the community, the illnesses that are rampant and how the people cope, I find it very interesting. • Medical-Surgical Nursing too, is of high regard. Just knowing the different kinds of diseases, pathophysiology and the nursing care rendered, the subject becomes very overwhelming, and at the same time augments my learning in the process. • Psychiatric Nursing is precious because the subject is very complex. I deem to see how human beings are dynamic and complicated altogether. Although this subject is quite unfathomable, especially that it concerns the brain, as a human, it sparks incredible fascination. Weaknesses: Fundamentals of Nursing, Maternal & Child Nursing, Nursing......

Words: 606 - Pages: 3