A keeker was someone who inspected the hewers - the men who extracted the coal - and an onsetter
was the man stationed at the bottom of the mineshaft to hook and unhook tubs of coal.
The Mining Regulations Commission stated that "no person other than a white man shall conduct blasting operations" and went on to propose the restriction of the jobs of banksmen, onsetters
, shiftbosses, surface foremen and mine overseers to whites.
16) The selection on employment may be particularly important for early onsetters
, who are more likely to receive disability benefits.