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Index / Health & Safety - Mining, Environmental, Cyber

5/13/2017 by mdc
George H. Davis opines that the most important responsibilities in any job is the constant, unrelenting pursuit of a safe-work environment by all employees. This is especially true for geologists, as it reflects upon our professionalism and commitment to the workplace and the work we do. Safe-work conditions lead to increased work productivity by reducing the incidence of lost-time accidents and improving employee morale, which may lead to decreased insurance rates. The most important result of all ... each and every employee returns home safely at the end of the day to families and children.

Ethical behavior on the part of the geologist demands that safety be considered as an important element of each and every job. Safety needs vary by profession, but for geologists there is a wide range of subfields requiring separate considerations for all of the potential hazards present and how to mitigate those hazards. Work practices may change to address hazards and decrease their incidence. Some conditions by their very nature may not change (for instance, the propensity for loose rock to fall from a quarry wall or roll down a slope). When these events occur they are unexpected, and only through diligent preparation and study may unexpected hazards be sufficiently understood to prevent injury or fatality. For instance, if a contractor removes the toe of a slope in a slide-prone area, that contractor is increasing the likelihood of a future mass movement, and may also be increasing the potential amount of damage that can occur.

It is the responsibility of the geologist to seek and promote best? (but safe) practices for damage prevention and minimize loss wherever possible. Invisible unexpected hazards are the most difficult to prevent, though it is possible in almost all cases to prevent them from occurring. One subset of engineering geology where those incidents are present is in the field of infrastructure geology.

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