Most of us know that when we are outdoors, exposure to the mix of heat, humidity, and sun can lead to serious heat-related illnesses. But several other problems can occur from trips and falls, cuts from sharp objects to insect bites and stings. However, some of the other hazards that we should seek to mitigate include:
TICKS AND LYME DISEASE One of the toughest challenges metal detectorists face other than finding good locations is while in the field avoiding ticks and tick bites. Not only are they parasites, but ticks potentially carry diseases that can have lifelong effects.
Ticks and Lyme Disease – A Guide for Preventing Lyme Disease
POISON IVY Learn what Poison Ivy plants look like. It’s found throughout the United States except Alaska, Hawaii. Can grow as a vine or small shrub trailing along the ground or climbing on low plants, trees, and poles. Wash your digging tools and gloves regularly. If you think you may be detecting nearby poison ivy, wear long sleeves, long pants tucked into boots, and impermeable gloves.
LIGHTENING It's better to be safe than sorry. If you know there is a storm coming, or if it is currently storming outside, postpone your metal detecting adventure for another day. Isolated thunderstorms happen quite often during the summer months, but they can also pop up at any other time of the year as well. If you plan to metal detect in An open field, beach or an area with no trees, wind and lightning pose a much higher safety risk than if you're hunting in forested areas. The best policy is to be prepared for any type of sudden weather changes.
Lightening Safety Outdoors
LEAD FISHING WEIGHTS As a beach and water metal detectorist, you will be exposed to lead when you find lead fishing weights also known as sinkers. Handling them improperly can result in elevated lead levels. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling lead sinkers. The absorption of lead into your body will affect your health.
Why Metal Detectorists Need to Be Cautious Handling Lead and How Lead Exposure Harms You
SNAKES The biggest danger of detecting in the woods is being attacked by animals. While one does not need to worry about lions or tigers, the biggest threat posed to detectorists in the woods is by snakes. Snakes are common in the woods and unless you really know your snakes, there is no way of determining whether it is a venomous or a non-venomous snake.
Snakes in New York State
SHARPS: Are needles (medical or drug-use) something you've come across in your detecting, especially washed up on beaches? I'd also worry a little about it when searching around old or abandoned homesites or woods where they have been used as a hangout.
Unfortunately, you may also encounter needles as you dig or right on the surface. Your gloves should protect you from that danger as well. Avoid touching anything that could be connected to drug use, including small plastic bottles and hoses. Now a days with Fentanyl you really must be extra careful of what you touch.
My guess is broken glass and sharp metal edges are more common occurrences for all. I see guys on YouTube scraping away with their bare fingers or with thin latex gloves and think yikes!
I have found tons of nails, glass, can slaw, and other sharp items like fishing hooks & razor blades. You’ll also need some good gloves. Metal objects can be sharp, so get a pair that are either dipped in latex or polyurethane coated.
If you find a needle and want to dispose of it use a sharps container, if not available use a sturdy plastic container. Bring the container to the sharp when placing in container.
NY hospitals and nursing homes are required by law to act as collection centers. You should contact the hospital or nursing home first for specific drop-off days and times. Many local pharmacies and healthcare providers who provide sharps also participate in the voluntary sharps collection program.
As a Detectorist you should have a current Tetanus Vaccination. A tetanus shot is a vaccine. It prevents a life-threatening bacterial infection called tetanus (lockjaw). This infection affects your nervous system. There’s no cure for tetanus. The Clostridium tetani bacteria causes tetanus. These bacteria live in soil, dirt, and feces (poop). They get into your skin through a cut or scratch, leading to infection. Adults need a tetanus shot (tetanus booster) every 10 years.