This film is part of Free

Safety Loops No. 12

Coalminers Beware! Short sharp safety messages that hit the spot.

1970 11 mins


Miners Beware! "If something goes wrong you may spend the rest of your life crippled". This deadpan advice typifies the tone of the 100-plus short safety items made by the National Coal Board Film Unit on 16mm black-and-white film stock, for running on back-projected loops in colliery canteens. Clear and austere, they reach us today as eerie communiqués from a vanished underground world.

This 'loop' compiles five such items, dealing respectively with shotfiring precautions, equipment care, risk-taking generally, materials care and careful loading practice. Look out for a realistically gruesome-looking injury, presumably papier-mâché and gushing ketchup... No doubt the repetition of these images became annoying to their original viewers - but what incisively economical filmmaking this is! Every shot counts and every shot is made to count.