Fieldwork operations manual

Macquarie University Faculty of Science and Engineering conducts fieldwork which can be highly diverse in nature. Fieldwork can take place in unfamiliar, hazardous and remote surroundings which often isolate participants from ready access to emergency services. Tasks and activities undertaken during fieldwork can involve a potentially high level of risk to the health and safety of the participant.

The fieldwork location is recognised as a workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW). Macquarie University recognises its responsibility as a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) under this Act. Accordingly,staff, students, visiting researchers and volunteers are required to meet their legal obligations for work health and safety during fieldwork planning and participation.

It is the responsibility of all employees, students, volunteers and visiting researchers undertaking the fieldwork to adhere to the policies, codes and rules set out by the University. Any person found in breach of these requirements will be disciplined according to the appropriate Macquarie University policy.

The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that it is understood that when fieldwork is undertaken:

  • All field based work is being reported to the university (MQ organised or otherwise)
  • Potential and existing hazards are identified and reported;
  • Identified risks are controlled, as far as is reasonably practicable
  • All required information is presented as a trip plan before the trip takes place for review and approval through the online Field Friendly system.

Where this manual does not state specific procedures it is expected that the relevant fieldwork manager (Terrestrial Fieldwork Manager (TFM) or the Marine Fieldwork Manager (MFM)) or any other relevant fieldwork supervisor be consulted for clarification.

The following guidelines outline the minimum requirements for any person organising, conducting or participating in a field trip whether for undergraduate or post graduate teaching coursework or staff or student research. The guidelines apply to all fieldwork EXCEPT SNORKELLING, BOATING OR DIVING ACTIVITIES conducted by MQU staff and students.

For snorkelling, boating or diving operations please refer questions to or the Diving and Boating Safety Advisory group wiki.

Safe conduct of fieldwork during periods of high fire risk

During periods of high fire risk it is important to take extra precautions.  The Guideline linked below outlines the requirements.

Guideline Safe conduct of fieldwork during periods of high fire risk

Links to Fire and Rescue Services and Park alerts by state

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