Off-site travel / Fieldwork

The risk management and notification process required for Off-site travel / Fieldwork activities are described in broad terms in HS917 Fieldwork Procedure.

Important: The School of BEES uses SafeSys for the creation and approval of ALL Risk Management Forms and Safe Work Procedures.  For "higher than low" risk Off-site travel / Fieldwork then a SafeSys "Activity" is used to assemble RMF's, SWP's, and other relevant documents, in one place and under one document number.

 Table 1: List of Off-site travel /Fieldwork planning documents 

Document or Process

Location or method

Document Type

HS917 Fieldwork Procedure

UNSW Procedure

HS406 Fieldwork Guideline

UNSW Guideline

HS009 Fieldwork Participant Form

UNSW Form (all higher than low fieldwork participants)

HS010 Volunteer Approval Request Form

UNSW Form (volunteers only)

Off-site travel /Fieldwork Approval


SafeSys Activity

Off-site travel /Fieldwork Notification

Email (replaces TR1)


Risk Management


SafeSys Risk Management Form

Safe Work Procedure


SafeSys Safe Work Procedure

 HS009 Fieldwork Participant Form:  Off-site travellers/ Fieldworkers use HS009 to communicate current contact and relevant medical information to the fieldwork leader.   HS009 sets out the first aid response plan for any known conditions. A HS009 is not required for low risk fieldwork (see HS917 section 3.4).  Staff, students, collaborators, and volunteers intending to participate in higher than low risk fieldwork must complete, and maintain the currency of the information in, a participant form.  The HS009 is forwarded by the participant to the Fieldwork Leader, or their delegate, to assist with planning and emergency managment. This form is not held by the School.  

HS010 Volunteer Approval Request Form: Where volunteers are involved in off-site travel / fieldwork they must be approved by the supervisor and registered with the School using the HS010 form. 

Emergency plan & communication: See Sections 305 of the HS917 Fieldwork Procedure

Off-site travellers / fieldworkers must have an emergency plan that includes reliable method/s of communication with emergency services whilst in the field. The School has two satellite phones and some portable VHF radios - to book contact the Health and Safety Manager.  Research groups that conduct remote area fieldwork have additional communication devices, such as satellite phones, SpotTrackers,  and Personal Locator Beacons. 

Vehicles: See Section 4 of the HS406 Fieldwork Guideline.

All drivers must have a current licence for the type of vehicle being driven. Four wheel drive training is recommended for all drivers of such vehicles, especially for off-road use.  Staff members who drive buses (> 12 seat) on a field trip must use National Driver Work Diaries (ie light and medium rigid vehicles), and must adhere to mandatory driving hours restrictions.

Medical conditions and Health (including First Aid): See Section 4 of the HS406 Fieldwork Guideline.

Appropriate first aid kits, as determined during the risk management process, are to be taken on field trips.  The School provides several types, which may be borrowed from the School of BEES First Aid Officers or the Health and Safety Manager. The number of participants determines the number of trained first aiders who should be present on a field trip or excursion. On any trip this number should be at least two.

Boating and Diving: See the Boating and Diving pages.  

Electrical Safety:  See section 7.3 of the HS406 Fieldwork Guideline.

All portable electrical equipment to be used in the field must comply with HS418 Portable electrical equipment inspection, testing, and tagging guideline.   Field equipment used in a hostile environment must incorporate a residual current device or be plugged into a circuit which is protected by an RCD.   The School Technical staff can do testing and tagging - please arrange this with theTechnical Services Manager well in advance of commencing fieldwork.