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. Fieldwork is now defined as any work carried out by staff or students for the purposes of teaching, research or any other activities while representing the institution off site.
There is specific guidance on the safe planning and management and risk assessment of fieldwork provided by the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) in conjunction with the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA).
The UCEA / USHA guidance document provides a useful overall framework that may be followed to achieve these objectives and this is supported by detailed practical guidance and forms which are provided in the fieldwork toolkit.Fieldwork has a broad definition including activities as diverse as archaeological digs, social survey interviews and scuba diving (note that the University has additional procedures for this) as well as interview, survey and sample collection work carried out by staff and students in many disciplines. Attendance at conferences and meetings is within scope of the guidance although, in most cases, only normal arrangements for routine busniess travel will be required. Meetings in more hazardous parts of the world may demand more rigorous consideration of potential risks and the arrangements needed to deal with these sorts of activities.
See also our Travel safety and overseas work webpage.
You will also need to follow the important guidance on travel on the Insurance and Risk website.