Voice text from The Balance Sheet a sound-sculpture installation at the exhibition The Past is our Future; The Future is our Past.
A black flag was flown for every mortality in the mines and a red flag for a union member. They are animated by two large fans with an industrial sound signature that competes with a soundscape composed of brass band renditions of The Red Flag and the Internationale recorded with the Barrier Industrial Unions Brass Band. Four blokes chat casually about the many ways that their comrades perished set against a blackboard showing up to date mineral spot prices.
He suffered from – lead poisoning
He finally got – dust on the lungs.
He was caught in a – rock fall.
Oh, dear a terrible way to go – he fell down an ore heap.
One moment you’re here, the next you’re gone – he just slipped off a ladderway.
One moment you’re here, the next you’re gone – flying down a shaft.
Somehow he fell off the ore pass.
This poor devil fell from the stope.
He slipped and fell from the winze.
Unfortunately, he fell from the rise.
He died after falling from the pass.
Just imagine – he fell off the ground.
He slipped and fell from a brace.
The silly bugger fell off a ladder.
He Tripped and fell from some scaffolding.
That bloke slipped and fell from the railway track.
He fell from the bulk.
Unfortunately, he fell out of the cage.
This bloke fell into an open cut, and that was it.
Imagine the terror of falling into the crushing chamber.
He Fell into an Ore bin and never came out.
Unfortunately, he fell into a pit and that was that.
Poor sod, tripped and fell down the quarry.
The guy was hit by a fall of timber – stone dead.
A fall of stone did for him – a quick way to go mind you.
Imagine being killed by a falling plum-bob – such a stupid way to go.
This poor soul fell from an overhead tramway.
He passed after falling in the millhouse.
Silly bugger fell off his bicycle.
He fell off a rail truck and died of his injuries.
This one fell off some staging.
The poor bugger was entangled in a falling rope – carried him away.
He was knocked by a skip and that was it.
A Premature explosion took him.
It would have been quick – he was hit by an explosion of shot.
It was a faulty fuse line – killed him in an instant.
A big explosion – then a rockfall and that was the end of him.
He was taken out by flying rock from a quarry blast.
He was wounded in an explosion and the Scepticaema set in.
He was killed by a blast from a borehole.
Explosion and Shock – that’s what did for that one.
A Compressor exploded and finished him off.
He strained himself and died of Peritonitis.
He just got crushed between two trucks.
He finally got crushed in a shaft.
He was crushed by a big crane.
Awful but fast – crushed by an ore truck
I suppose he was just looking the wrong way and was crushed by a wagon.
Poor fellah, he was crushed by falling timber.
It would have been quick, you know being crushed by a rail truck.
What a way to go, crushed under stone poor soul.
He was crushed by the cage.
This poor soul was crushed by a skip.
A Tipping truck crushed that bloke.
Crushed between two trolleys.
Crushed instantly by a load of falling timber.
It was the Loader that got him – crushed him flat.
Looked the wrong way and bang, crushed by a truck.
A carriage hit him and crushed him in an instant.
Crushed to death by a scraper.
The fellow was caught and crushed by a chute door.
Crushed by a bogger.
A Dray ran him over and crushed him, just like that.
Crushed flat by a Road Roller poor man.
Somehow he was asphyxiated.
Scalded to death – horrible.
The poor devil was hit by an ore drill.
He was suffocated by fumes.
Buried alive and suffocated by earth.
Smothered by mullock and suffocated.
He was smothered by tailings.
Awful way to go smothered by skimps.
In the end, he was smothered in the slimes bin.
He was smothered by slimes.
He was buried alive in a sand bin.
Poor him, he was smothered in the sand winze.
Poor bloke was smothered in concentrates – wouldn’t last more than a couple of minutes.
That fella was smothered by gas, how do you call it – asphyxiated.
You wouldn’t think really, being drowned underground.
The poor soul was caught in machinery.
He was caught in some belting and died instantly.
Carried away by the conveyor belt – no escape.
The bloke was run over by an ore truck.
He was run down by a wagon.
A rail truck run him over, it happened in a flash.
He was struck by a pole.
Kibble struck him – and that was it.
He was hit by belting – which killed him on the spot.
This bloke was struck by Iron sheeting – decapitated I think.
Another bloke was struck by a heavy pipe.
A railroad car was his end.
He was hit hard by a rail loco – he didn’t stand a chance.
Bang – falling machinery and his time was up.
He was hit by a vehicle – just like a road accident.
The poor bugger was struck by a counterweight
He was struck on the head by an iron bar.
An Air blast got him – you wouldn’t think air could kill you!
A stope collapse and he was gone.
A stope collapse with a Rockfall – and that was it.
Awful way to go – entombed by a rock fall.
He was badly burnt – never recovered.
Poor soul, he was overcome by gas
It was the smoke that did for him – just smoke.
Mullock burst into the ladderway and he was gone.
They say it was an accident in the mill.
His heart just gave out.
They say it was a heart attack on the job.
It was put down to heart disease – poor bloke.
I don’t know why but he left the cage prematurely and that was it.
Scepticaema – is not a good way to go.
He just cut his lip – but it turned into Scepticaema.
The Septicaemia set in after he crushed his foot.
Poor bloke – electrocuted himself.
And he was electrocuted in the pump house – quick at least.
Poor fella – drilled into hole and – boom!
He made a mistake – drilled into a misfired hole and that was it for him!
He was killed travelling in a cage – horrible!
Killed in tube mill – I can’t imagine it!
It was the Pneumonia that got him in the end!
I think it was called – Pneumoconiosis – he couldn’t breathe in the end.
It was a strain with Internal Injuries that finished him off.
Oh, they put it down to natural causes.
He died in the change-house – just dropped dead!
The poor bloke was jammed between a couple of trucks.
It was a foot injury, but then the Tetanus set in.
Imagine a little finger injury and suddenly Tetanus.
A motor vehicle accident – silly way to go!
He was smothered by toxic fumes.
It would have been quick – he was – dragged from the cage.
They said that he sustained a head injury in the cage.
He died at died at the crib.