Martin opens his case study with very descriptive and resume details about the events that lead up to the explosion. Martin states: “One hundred and eleven men were killed in that explosion. Killed needlessly, for almost everybody concerned had known for months, even years, that the mine was dangerous. Yet nobody had done anything effective about It” (Stimulant 31). Initially, the thought and Idea that a community would allow such a horrific event to occur that could have been prevented is terrifying and somewhat startling.
Martin uses his case study to explore various questions regarding this mine disaster as well as the aground and other potential issues surrounding the explosion. Purpose The overall goal of this case study is to place an emphasis on how dependent modern day society is on public administration to handle chaotic or unexpected situations. In exploring various aspects of this catastrophe, Martin explores the following: (1). A coal company sensitive only to profit incentives. (2). State regulatory agencies inadequately enforcing mine safety legislation. 3). Federal officials and mine unions complacent about a growing problem. (4). The miners incapable of retention themselves against the impending disaster. Ultimately, “Modern society depends on the proper functioning of unseen administrative arrangements— for safeguarding our environment; for protecting the purity of our food; for transporting us safely by road, rail, or air; for sending us our mall; or negotiating an arms limitations agreement at some distant diplomatic conference. All of us Like miners In Centralia No. , rely throughout our lives on the immovable juggernaut of impersonal administrative systems” (Stimulant 30). It seems that most people as a whole have absent maidenly become too dependent on something as abstract and complicated as public administration. It seems to be public administration and its official’s responsibility to handle any concern in the community as well as make everything flow smoothly. To the Letter of the Law Drills O. Scandal, a dedicated mine inspector, strove to enforce mining laws “to the letter of the law’ because he deeply desired to protect miners and took his responsibility and Job deeply.
In a sense, Scandal’s motivation toward the Constitution (the law), bureaucracy (as a public administrator responsible to the public), and obligation all played a key factor In his attitude and efforts that he made towards Inspecting mines, The Stimulant text states the following In regards to Scandal: “Other inspectors, arriving to inspect a mine would go into the office and mine he talked with the miners, not the bosses” (Stimulant 32). The text goes on to state many other comparisons between Scandal and the other mine inspectors. Scandal’s actions and efforts showed that he truly had a passion for his Job and a genuine concern for the miners.
For all of these reasons and many more, Scandal mined a different perspective as well as insight than the other inspectors which ultimately led him to deem the Centralia No. 5 mine the worst in the district. This realization pushed him to take action. Scandal’s Actions Scandal was very persistent in his attempts to bring attention to the troublesome areas in the Centralia No. 5. Mine. Letter after letter he provided a detailed description of issues, potential recommendations, and concerns that he had about the condition of the mine. Those concerns included the following: (1).
The amount of dust (2). The overall cleanliness of the mine. I am for the efforts and attempts that Scandal made. Over a period of thirteen years, Scandal took the appropriate steps towards potentially preventing the disaster that occurred in the Centralia No. 5. Mine. Scandal reached out to the Department of Mines, Minerals at Springfield company, directors of various departments, Governor Green, presidents in numerous agencies, superintendents, attended meetings, and made many other actions that could have benefited the miners and the overall condition of the mine.
Alternative Actions Scandal could have done the following after he saw that effort was not being made to aid the miners or the mine: (1) Dust the mine himself (2) Sprinkle the roads himself (3) Threaten to shut down the mine (4) Actually close down the mine. All of these potential options were possible; however, these actions would have been very time consuming and tedious. Overall, Scandal did all that he could do to prevent the disaster in the mine. By law, a mine inspector could shut down a mine.
Scandal informed the miners of their potential dangers as well as gave certain commendations and reported his findings to the appropriate actors. As a last resort, Scandal could have closed down the mine or went to and relied on an inspector or supervisor above him to take further action. Responsibility According to an article entitled: Can Government Regulate Safety? The Coal Mine Example, “the Federal government has been directly involved in coal mining safety for over 35 years, operating under three major pieces of legislation enacted in 1941, 1952, and 1969.
In fact, the 1941 and 1969 regulations significantly reduced the fatality rate in coal mining” (Lewis-Beck and Alfred 1). Mark Aldrich, professor of economics at Smith College, stated the following in his article entitled: The Needless Peril of the Coal Mine: The Bureau of Mines and the Campaign against Coal Mine Explosions, 1910-1940, “The bureau continued the safety investigations begun by the SIS’S which focused largely on the prevention of explosions and their con- sequences.
In addition to certifying and championing the use of permissible mine equipment, it also launched a first-aid and mine rescue campaign. But its most important work was its investigation of the causes of coal dust explosions and its aiming to spread rock-dusting technology. This choice of safety priorities resulted in part from the bureau’s bureaucratic structure and scientific and technological orientation. No group within the bureau was charged with setting priorities, and above” (Aldrich 542).
Conclusion If the appropriate actions were taken when Scandal first made recommendations about the mine, the mine disaster could have been prevented. Ultimately, it is not one person or agency’s full responsibility to prevent disasters such as this one; it is a joint effort among workers, the community, legislation, inspectors, and many more to ensure that working conditions are safe and not a potential hazard to society as a whole.