The University undertakes a wide variety of authorised fieldwork as part of teaching, research and experiential programs. This fieldwork varies in nature and duration, incorporates travel to and from destinations off campus or overseas and often is undertaken in rural or remote areas. Study tours are considered as fieldwork.

The University has a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of staff, students, volunteers and other third parties who may be affected by the University's fieldwork. In order to achieve this, the application of a systematic approach to the planning, risk management, endorsement and conduct of fieldwork is fundamental to adequately controlling the variety of hazards associated with field activities.

Fieldwork is likely to expose those involved to not only the hazards of the specific task they undertake, but also potentially to a wider range of hazardous situations. Areas undertaking fieldwork should identify foreseeable hazards in their local Hazard Register, and where appropriate, undertake formal and endorsed risk assessments.

Risk management

Risk control strategies must be considered at the planning stage and prior to commencing field trips to eliminate or minimise harm. Some examples include:

1. Working outdoors in the natural elements

  • Access weather forecasts and assess likely impact upon your activity
  • Plan to have the appropriate clothing and equipment for working outdoors
  • Be prepared to vary programs according to weather conditions

2. Manual tasks, including increased likelihood of trips and falls

  • Be competent in the tasks you will perform
  • Be aware of the nature of the terrain you are going to operate in

3. Interaction with flora and fauna

  • Identify the potential for this in your work location
  • Ability to manage personal allergies that may arise
  • Check if appropriate first aid requirements are available

4. Being in, on or near water

  • Conduct a risk assessment to determine level of risk
  • Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment is available and used

5. Driving long distances

  • Appropriate license and competence – consider driver training – and fatigue avoidance strategies

6. Being in remote, unfamiliar or foreign environments

  • Gain prior knowledge on your fieldwork location
  • Carry appropriate food, clothing and equipment

7. Emergency response and communication

  • Nominate a contact person who knows your plan
  • Advise relevant university and other authorities of your intentions
  • Establish a communications plan and carry appropriate communication devices

Please note: The following forms are updated frequently. Please access the forms from this page and do not store a local copy to avoid using outdated forms.





Internal and external driving courses are available. See the Risk Specific Training page for details on an internal 'Driver Safety' course and external 'Safe Driving Course'.