Hull Geological Society

Members' info
Local Geology
Next Meeting
Contact us

Safety Policy.

The risks involved in geological fieldwork are slightly greater than those involved in rambling.

Members attending field meetings will be given verbal safety instructions at the start of the field trip.

Members and guests attend meetings and accept lifts at their own risk. Members and guests under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult, who will be responsible for their safety and behaviour.

Clothing: must be suitable for the conditions. Water proofs, sensible footwear: wellingtons recommended for work in areas of wet sand, mud or clay; non-slip footwear for slippery rocks; walking boots for long distances.

Protective clothing: Hard hats must be worn in quarries and near cliffs. Safety Spectacles must be worn when hammering.

Behaviour: Members should follow the safety instructions of the leader and behave in a responsible manner. They should not use a hammer if someone else is standing nearby. They should not hammer or collect samples under an overhang. Members should only collect rocks in an ethical way, with considerations of the status of the site (SSSI or RIGS) and its use by others. Hammering and collecting are banned at some sites. They should not wander away from the main group or leave the field trip without informing the leader. Members with a disability shou ld discuss any possible risks with the leader before the field trip begins. Members with first aid experience are asked to volunteer their help to the leader. The leader/Society reserves the right to ask people not to take part in the field trip if they are not appropriately dressed or behave in an irresponsible manner.

Insurance: members are advised to take out their own accident insurance.

Specific risks:

Coastal exposures - fieldwork should always start on a falling tide and the leader should be aware of local conditions and ensure that there is adequate time to return safely before the next high tide.

Cliffs and disused quarries - At all times hard hats must be worn if working in the proximity of sea cliffs or quarry faces. Before approaching cliffs or faces first inspect their condition from a safe distance. Look for evidence of recent cliff falls and evidence of fractures that could become unstable. Pay attention to previous weather conditions particularly if rain has followed dry periods. Under these conditions water penetrating cracks and fissures can cause abrupt cliff falls. After undertaking an inspection of the cliff always minimise the time spent working on cliff exposures and be aware of any signs that the cliff may be unstable.

Working quarries - Hard hats must be worn at all times in all working quarries. The owner may insist that people wear safety glasses, high visibility waistcoats or safety footwear - these instructions must be followed. Any instructions given by the site foreman must be followed. There may be the n= eed to meet additional safety requirements required by the site owner(s). The party should be aware of areas in which diggers and lorries are working, areas of soft ground or lagoons, areas of loose or recently blasted rock, and times of rock blasting. Members should keep away from and not interfere with any machinery and vehicles in the quarry. There may be an age restriction and/or limit to the number of people attending placed on visits to working quarries by the owner.

Duties of the leader of the field meeting:

The leader should obtain permission to visit private property, if applicable, along with any safety instructions relevant to the site. The leader should ensure that there is adequate time for the visit to be carried out safely, paying particular attention to predicted times of the tide and sunset. The leader should decide what activities are to be carried out, whether hammering and collecting is permitted and what safety equipment is needed when planning the field meeting. The leader should make a description of hazards and terrain, amount of walking, gradients involved, safety equipment requirements, etc. available to the Secretary of the Society for publication in the Programme.

The leader should remind members and guests attending the trip about the safety requirements at the start of the meeting. The leader has the right to ask people not to take part in the meeting if they are not properly dressed for the conditions, behave in an irresponsible way or might pose a risk to the party as a whole.

Generic Risk Assessments for our meetings are available on the Society’s website; the organiser or leader should submit a specific Risk Assessment if the hazards are not covered by the Generic Risk Assessments.


First adopted January 2000 and last amended in March 2018.

Copyright - Hull Geological Society 2020

Registered Educational Charity No. 229147