May 16, 2012

How (Not) to Break a Rock

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

A few commenters here and over at Dana Hunter’s blogs En Tequila Es Verdad and Rosetta Stones have been critical of my recent lack of safety when breaking rocks at the lakeside geologist lair.

I can only respond by saying that I am guilty as charged. However, while I won’t name names, I’m sure I’m not the only geologist who is guilty of being less-than-safe when rock breaking. Sometimes, it’s just too tempting to break those rocks… and you rush into breaking them without thinking of all the appropriate safety precautions. I’m extremely diligent when it comes to lab safety. I really should be more diligent when it comes to field safety.

Here’s a few rock-breaking safety reminders:

-Wear long pants. Jeans or other thick pants are excellent.

-Wear closed-toed shoes. Boots are probably best

-Wear eye protection. Safety glasses or safety sunglasses are essential. One commenter pointed out that regular old sunglasses could shatter. I personally plan to invest in a pair of safety sunglasses very soon.

-Use a rock hammer, whenever possible, especially for those particularly hard rocks. Avoid hammers that could shatter.


Okay, now who else has been a little bit lax when it comes to rock-breaking safety? Worn just regular sunglasses instead of safety sunglasses? Broken rocks in sandals? Please fess up (anonymously, if need be) so that I feel better. And so that we can all pledge to be a little bit more safe when it comes to the good science of rock breaking.