Profile: Italian-born Roy Lazzarotto came to Canada as a young visitor in 1949, supporting himself as a coal miner. He married and decided to remain in Canada, choosing mining in the Crowsnest Pass as his lifetime work. Always focused on union activism to improve safety in the coal mines, he presents details here on what measures are needed to make a mine safe and what circumstances lead to coal mining deaths. The causes of the infamous Hillcrest mining disaster of 1914 are included in that discussion. Lazzarotto describes the role of union pit committees in obtaining and then enforcing safety measures. He also explains why so many coal miners die relatively young of black lung disease.
Keywords: Bellevue; Black Lung Disease; Coal mining; Crowsnest Pass; Hillcrest disaster; Immigration from Italy; Occupational Health and Safety; Pit committees in coal mines;Self-rescue; United Mineworkers of America
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See also: Coal Mining