Story: Workplace safety and accident compensation

Miners’ memorial cards

These beautiful embossed cards recall the 34 miners who lost their lives in the Kaitangata coal mine in Otago in 1879. They were killed when a dangerous gas called firedamp exploded, a common risk in early underground mines. As one of these cards shows, the miners were aged as young as 14.

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: S09-517c; S09-517d; S09-517e; S09-517b

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Hazel Armstrong, 'Workplace safety and accident compensation - Working in the 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/23267/miners-memorial-cards (accessed 22 August 2019)

Story by Hazel Armstrong, published 11 Mar 2010, reviewed & revised 18 Apr 2016