Safety Information - Field Work Resources


Welcome to the School’s starting point for staff and students embarking on field work in the School of Biological Sciences.

In this section you will find information and links on the following matters:

  • What to do prior to commencing field work
  • Field work procedures and safety guidelines
  • Area specific hazards
  • Volunteer registration policy and register
  • Using school vehicles
  • General information on how to complete tasks in the school; eg how do I order items? How do I get assistance with my computer?
  • A toolkit with downloadable documents on risk assessments, field work policies and examples of completed risk assessments

Getting Started

New Fieldwork Safety Standards outline the University’s minimum performance requirements for fieldwork safety and provide practical guidance to assist faculties, schools and individual research groups to meet the required performance standards.

To the right of this page is a link to Fieldwork Safety Tools. These consist of:

  • Fieldwork Safety Plan template – Mandatory planning and approval tool for all fieldwork activities.
  • Fieldwork disclosure and acknowledgement form - A compulsory form all participants complete and sign (or if under 18 years old signed by parent/guardian) to attend a fieldtrip. Here you acknowledge University expectations, self-disclose any relevant medical conditions and inform us of who is best to contact on your behalf in an emergency. This form is confidential.
  • Emergency Response Plan template – for communicating vital emergency procedures and contact numbers that all participants need to be aware of on the fieldtrip
  • Fieldwork briefing template – a template to assist in communicating relevant pre-fieldwork information to participants including;key objectives, key personnel, physical requirements, potential hazards, and our code of conduct.
  • Fieldwork itinerary template – A tool to plan and record the fieldwork schedule and work locations. School emergency contacts will also use this to provide assistance if needed.
  • Participant list template – Used to record attendance by a large group of participants on an undergraduate trips. A copy to be sent to Safety Officer and School Administrative Manager.
  • Fieldwork Project Plan template – Only used for research projects involving multiple different fieldtrips to simplify the approval process by only requiring the HOS or Supervisor to sign off on the project plan rather than each individual instance of fieldwork.

Fieldwork Approval

The University Standards set minimum performance expectations which require a Head of School to approve activities which meet the ‘high risk’ criteria (with the exception of diving operation approvals, which are delegated to the Dive Safety Officer - Ross Coleman) or involve undergraduates. A flowchart showing the approval process can be found here.

Principally this is to assist heads to have better visibility of high risk activities happening in their area (instead of only potentially only hearing about them if something goes wrong). High risk fieldtrips or those involving undergraduate’s carry significant risk in terms of School/Organisational reputation and have potential for financial damage in addition to the human cost if something does go wrong, and the planning is construed as ‘negligent’ by the regulator or general community.


Before any volunteers start work in your area you will need to ensure that they are registered with the School and that they have read and abide by the School’s Volunteer Policy which can be downloaded here.