We in the AFMS have been blessed by a SAFETY MANUAL that has stood the test of time for over 30 years, because it was so well written. But like all time tested documents, it needs to be brought into the twenty first century by revision of existing chapters with new data and procedures, and the addition of some new chapters that deal with items touched upon in many of the different chapters, but that should also be considered in their own right, like hand and power tools. I have accepted the task of chairing an AFMS SAFETY MANUAL COMMITTEE, that includes the Safety Chairpersons of the other Federations, to investigate a Safety Manual Revision. Some discussion in the past on revising the manual, or even having a manual, considered the liability the AFMS could shoulder if some one was hurt, and it was suggested that maybe it would be wise to use a national Safety manual such as the Red Cross's. A preliminary investigation of some of the National Safety Manuals finds a lot of very good information, but many of the things we do as rock hounds are not included, and much is unrelated to our hobby. In order to provide proper training in field trip, shop, and rock show safety, we must have a manual tailored to our field of interest, one with which we can train our new members and reeducate our established members in safety, in order to keep us all healthy and injury free.
In the past 30 years, a great many excellent safety articles have been published in the various Club and Federation Newsletters, many of the more recent of which are now available on the AFMS web site. In addition to reviewing these articles and National Safety Manuals and web sites for appropriate data to add to the AFMS Safety Manual, it is also important to obtain input from the members of the Clubs on things that they would like to see added to or improved in the Manual. The more input, the better the final product, and the better we can all do to keep our members healthy and safe. Please solicit input from your members, field trip chairmen, shop instructors, and others who provide safety training in your club, and forward to your Federation Safety Chairperson, for consideration. Some suggestions already submitted are to make the Manual loose leaf and 8-1/2X11" to make changes easier and have small pocket versions with only the appropriate sections for field trips or shop safety, etc.. How about adding some of those great cartoons that have appeared in the Newsletters over the years to spice up the Manual? Add safe practice lists as an appendix that can be laminated and placed in the shops? Perhaps the addition of lesson plans for the instructors would be helpful? What are your thoughts?
Have a safe and wonderful holiday and New Years Season.
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