The link below leads to formal guidance published by the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association on the safe planning and management of fieldwork.
Heads of School have overall responsibility for health and safety in their Schools and must make such arrangements as may be required to ensure that risk assessments are made for fieldwork and that a safe system of work has been established for all staff and students. The UCEA document provides a useful framework that may be followed to achieve these objectives.
Definition of Fieldwork
For the purpose of the UCEA document, fieldwork is defined as any practical work carried out by staff or students of the University for the purpose of teaching and/or research in places which are not under University control, but where the University is responsible for the safety of its staff and/or students and others exposed to their activities.
This definition will therefore include activities as diverse as archaeological digs, social survey interviews and scuba diving (note that the University has additional procedures for this) as well as the well recognised survey / collection work carried out by geologists and biologists. Voluntary and leisure activities are excluded.
UCEA guidance on Health and Safety in Fieldwork