Rock breaking

Photo Album  Puzzle Photo

Many quarries operate without machinery. They employ people to do the work instead. The quarry workers chisel out large slabs from the rock surface. Then they break this down into smaller slabs with sledgehammers. Finally they use hammers to smash it into gravel to be used on roads and in construction.

The smaller rocks need to be smashed 
				into gravel
The smaller rocks need to be smashed into gravel

Children often work alongside their parents. Together they can break two units of rock – about a tractor-load of stone chips – in a day. They get paid 150 rupees for doing this.

Adults and older children do the more skilled work of breaking off large chunks of rock with chisels and sledgehammers. The workers buy their own tools. They need about 12 different types of chisels which must be sharpened every evening ready to use again the next day.

Younger children use the smaller hammers to break the rocks down into stones. They shovel the stones into a metal tray to carry on their head. There’s no shade in the quarry so they work all day in the hot sun. Nobody has any protective gear – no shoes, gloves or eye protection. Carrying heavy loads is not healthy for children who are still growing.