Health and Safety Back to home page
The July 2010 issue of 'Treasure Hunting' magazine contains an article entitled "Safety First - How boring is that?" Well, boring it may be, but if we wish to continue our enjoyment of metal detecting the issues in this article have to be taken seriously. This page on 'health and safety' covers some of the points mentioned and some that are not. Some are common sense, some can easily be overlooked. Take a look, especially if you are new to metal detecting.
Lyme disease :- The August 2007 issue of 'Treasure Hunting' ( page 26 ) mentions lyme disease under the heading 'Menace in the undergrowth'. What is it? Well click here and find out.
Take care when digging :- Wear gloves, - the thicker the better. Common sense will tell you the likelihood of encountering a sharp object. Beware of the corrosion product of metals, particularly the white powdery oxide frequently found on lead. Click here for examples of the sort of objects often encountered.
Weever Fish :- We are mostly aware of the dangers and risks of detecting on the beach, but don't forget the Weever Fish (or Weever). This fish has poisonous spines along its back and lies half buried in the sand at low tide. Step on one of these with bare feet and you will not be a happy bunny. Medical attention is advisable! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/weever or 'Beware of the Weeverfish!' at http://www.glaucus.org.uk/weever2.htm or search for "weever fish" in Google and read on.
Microbes in the soil :- What
do we find in the soil? Hookworms, Anthrax, Tetanus, Histopiasmosis,
Legionnaires Disease, Leptospirosis (Weil's Disease), Meningitis, Mucormycosis, Nocardiosis,
and Allergic Fungal Sinusitis (AFS ). These are Fungal and Bacterial
diseases that can be picked up through the soil. Some can cause very serious
illness. To minimise the risk, any scratches sores or open wounds should
be covered before going detecting. A waterproof plaster is probably all
that is required. If you get a cut or scratch while you are detecting,
wash the area thoroughly ( use an antiseptic on the area if you have one (
TCP ) and cover the cut/abrasion with a waterproof plaster/bandage. Wash
your hands thoroughly before handling food! Also, if I may
take the liberty of quoting from a discussion on
metaldetectingforum.co.uk, - "If you feel unwell a
day or so after a dig (i.e. heavy flu like symptoms), got to your doctors
and tell them that you have been digging on open farmland. It is probably
nothing to worry about, but may mean that a few extra tests are done."