Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society, FOMS


1. INSURANCE COVERAGE. The Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society (FOMS) maintains liability insurance coverage for its members under a policy sponsored by the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies (EFMLS). Non-FOMS members who are guests at any collecting event sponsored by the FOMS must be able to demonstrate that they are covered by club-sponsored EFMLS liability insurance or its equivalent.
A. Events are restricted to FOMS members unless otherwise advertised.
B. Participating organizations in FOMS-hosted collecting events must provide proof of liability insurance coverage in advance.
C. All participants in FOMS-hosted collecting events must be able to present proof of membership in a covered organization in order to be admitted.
NOTE: the FOMS maintains lists of current members and of organizations covered by EFMLS liability insurance. An EFMLS membership card alone is not sufficient.

2. WAIVERS OF LIABILITY. It is the responsibility of all FOMS members and authorized guests to sign Waiver of Liability statements before entering a collecting area. The privilege of collecting is dependent on fulfilling this requirement. All persons entering the collecting area must personally sign such a release or releases, absolving the property owner, the FOMS, and its officers of any responsibility for injury, loss of life, and property damage or loss.

3. POSTED TIMES. Collecting begins no sooner than, and lasts no later than, advertised collecting times. The FOMS Field Trip Coordinator and/or his/her designated representative(s) are the only FOMS officials who may designate a variation of the advertised collecting hours.

4. ELIGIBILITY. Children under 13 years of age are ineligible for collecting events unless otherwise authorized by the FOMS official in charge. Persons who appear intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or whose judgment or physical ability to collect appears to be impaired, are also ineligible to collect.

5. COLLECTING AREA LIMITS. Collecting is restricted to areas within boundaries. Areas which are off-limits to collecting may be indicated by signs, fences, ropes, etc., or the instructions of the FOMS safety staff. Collecting is strictly prohibited within 30 feet of a vertical or overhanging rock wall; in areas above mine entrances; within three feet of a cliff edge, ledge, or quarry bench; and on an incline either above or below a collector who is already in position.
Vehicles are restricted to authorized parking areas; exception may be made only by the FOMS official in charge.

6. CLOTHING. Proper footgear, headgear, gloves, and safety goggles or safety glasses are not only a good idea but mandatory! Your health is more important than any mineral specimen. Rugged boots or shoes, preferably with steel safety toes, should be worn. Collectors wearing sneakers, sandals, or other flimsy footgear will be denied access to the collecting area. Hard hats should be worn on all collecting trips, and MUST be worn on all trips to operating quarries or on other field trips so designated. Gloves should be worn to protect the hands when breaking or handling rock. Safety goggles or glasses (with shatterproof lenses) should always be worn when breaking rock, or when other collectors nearby are doing so.

7. TOOLS. Proper tools should be used. Choose substantial rock or masons’ crack hammers, sledge hammers, and cold chisels for breaking rock. Common carpenters’ hammers, wood chisels, screwdrivers and the like are unacceptable since they can break or chip when used on rock. Mushroom heads on chisels should be ground away to prevent flying metal chips.

8. OTHER PRECAUTIONS. Field collecting is a privilege, not an excuse to abandon common sense. Use caution when reaching between rocks and into crevices - snakes hide there! Familiarize yourself with poison ivy - the itch won’t quit. When ascending or descending a rock pile, be extra careful; such rocks are often loose. Don’t rely on grabbing small rock for climbing leverage. Use the buddy system, and never collect alone; always remain within shouting distance of another collector. Carry a first aid kit. In hot weather, bring sun-blocker and carry a supply of drinking water plus salt tablets. If a hard hat is not required, wear a hat which provides protection from the sun. Walk carefully when ascending or descending; in particular, climb out of deep quarries slowly. And....don’t throw anything, particularly rocks!

9. RESPECT FOR PROPERTY. Watch those cigarettes and matches in wooded or grassy areas. DO NOT LITTER! Carry all your trash out with you. Don’t break glass bottles, as they can cause flats on quarry vehicles. Don’t leave metal tools behind, as they can cause severe damage to rock-crushers. Above all, do not touch, deface, damage, or vandalize quarry equipment; this can not only terminate field trip privileges for the FOMS but also lead to lawsuits.

10. COMPLIANCE AND PENALTIES. FOMS safety staff members wear fluorescent green-yellow armbands, and have discretion to warn violators or expel them from the collecting area. Failure to observe FOMS safety rules and regulations and failure to obey the instructions of an FOMS safety staff member are alike considered violations of FOMS protocols and are grounds for immediate eviction from FOMS events. Repeat violators will be barred from future field trips.

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Collecting under FOMS auspices is not a right but a privilege. Some field trip areas are open to collecting only because of the FOMS’s excellent safety record, and injury or property damage on a field trip could lead to permanent canceling of that trip. When you collect, please watch out not only for yourself but also for your fellow collectors AND the FOMS; you are also protecting the collecting privileges of future generations of collectors.