Coal-face work is well known to be arduous and dangerous; it is performed in an unnatural environment even where conditions are good. Few men can continue this work until the age of retirement. They usually seek alternative employment either outside the industry or within the other major occupational groups at a colliery. The latter comprise the surface workers and those employed underground other than at the coal-face. This paper is concerned with those who stay within the industry. From a study of 73 workers who left the coal-face at two collieries, it indicates (1) the extent to which migration to alternative employment occurs each year, and (2) the resultant distribution of ex coal-face workers among these other occupational groups. The length of effective working life of the coal-miner on the coal-face, the reasons which precipitate his leaving it, and the type of work which he is able to do are also described. This information is of economic importance but it is mainly of value in assessing the effects of coal-face work upon the health of the coal-miner.
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