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Physical Danger

A geologist could have a relatively safe day going into the office, or a hazardous day sidestepping rattlesnakes in the desert. There’s also a lot in-between.

Geologists take field trips to certain locations to conduct research, collect data or inspect sites. Dangerous situations include sudden geyser eruptions, earthquakes, cliffs, falling stalactites, waterfalls, flashfloods, quicksand, avalanche, landslides, wild animals, sunstroke and skin stuck on vinyl seats.

Even corporate jobs can be dangerous. One of the first prosecutions under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act involved a geologist. A junior geologist for Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings died when the sides of a pit caved in while he was taking soil samples. The director was charged with gross negligence, which led to the prosecution. The lesson of the story? When going to collect soil samples, always bring a spotter.

Travel is also physically dangerous, especially if you go to unstable parts of the world. Bandits killed a geologist who was traveling through Ethiopia for work. Oil companies are interested in Ethiopia’s natural resources. Rebels and bandits are not interested in oil companies. In fact, groups like the Ogaden National Liberation Front warn gas and oil firms away from Ethiopia.

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