For miners, life has always been hard. Roof collapse, exploding gases and heavy machinery, running out of control in confined spaces, are just a few of the risks which accompany the process of extracting coal. By the middle of the 19th Century the need for government regulation of this dangerous industry was recognised. Despite increasing awareness of safety issues, new developments in mining technology brought with them new hazards. 1972 was the first year recorded in Scotland without a fatality in coal mining.