FLAX MILL ACCIDENT.
THE INQUEST. Oα Satnrdav morning, at 10.30., an inquea* was opened at the residence of the late Mr William Verrall, before C. Whitefoord. Esq., Coroner, and a jury of sixl including Messrs J. Fulton (Fore! man), A. Y. Hay, J. Johnston, A. Templer. E. Butcher, and T. Boyd, to make an investigation into the cause of death of William Verrall, who, on the 22nd met with an accident at Mr Chas* Chinnery's flax work, by which his left arm was torn away by a scutching machine. The jury being,sworn, The Coroner said the jury had met to consider a very painful case. The facts, as reported, were that the deceased was at his usual work on the 22nd, attending to the scutching machine when his hand and arm were drawn in, were severely crushed, amputation was resorted to, ana every care given the sufferer, bub he had died from the effects of the injuries received. It would be for the jury to pay especial attention to the man's employment and whether the machine at which he was engaged was a safe one and sufficiently protected to guard against accident. In order that the jury should have the matter fully before them, he suggested that they might now view the remains of the unfortunate man, and then adjourn till some date next week, when Mr Croll, the Inspector of Machinery, should be summoned to attend. The jurr could then, with the Inspector, visit the mill and examine the machine.
This course the jury were unanimous Iα agreeing to. Mr Jonbston, one of the jurors, stated he understood that since the accident in question an improvement had been effected in the opening in the scutch wherein the flax fibre wae inserted, which reduced the width of the opening, and by means of a lip increased security was given, greatly reducing the risk of accident. The object of the improvement was to completely prevent the hand of the person Iα charge being drawn into the machinery. After a former accident to a man named Neuble (who had been disarmed in a similar Way to Verrall), the Inspector of Machinery had informed htm (Mr Johnston) that this particular scutching machine was as safe to work at as other mills of a like kind in the colony, and he (Mr Johnston) believed that the two accidents named were the only ones which had happened in connection with the flax industry. The Coroner remarked that if persons were liable to injury in this way, it was time to endeavor to bring about a remedy, hence the necessity for making a careful enquiry into the matter, in order, if possible, to save other unfortunate workmen from the danger of having their arms scutched off. If an alteration had beea made in Mr Chinuery's scutching machine, it might be part of their duty to ascertain whether the machine could not have been fitted with this protection before Verrall'a accident, especially after Neuble had lout his arm.
The jury having viewed the body, it wu decided that the inquest stand adjourned till 3 p.m. on Monday, the jury to previously visit Mr Chinnery's mill.
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Press, Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7380, 5 August 1889
FLAX MILL ACCIDENT. Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7380, 5 August 1889
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