7. Obligations and legal responsibilities
The following points are designed to provide guidelines to fieldwork teams while operating in the field.
- All fieldwork participants have a responsibility for their own health and safety, as well as for the health and safety of other personnel working within the same environment;
- Reporting unsafe practices or equipment is the responsibility of every team member as part of their duty of care;
- Fieldwork can be a hazardous activity; however education, training and team cooperation will reduce the risks. This manual is to be used as an operations manual for risk management. If all procedures are followed, risks to health and safety will be significantly reduced;
- Individuals or groups participating in fieldwork under the auspices of Macquarie University must operate within these procedures, and comply with all University policies, procedures as well as appropriate regulations, standards and legislation;
- It should be noted that individuals or groups who fail to follow safe fieldwork practices as outlined by this manual, or as directed by the relevant fieldwork manager or their delegate, may be found legally responsible and liable for their actions or inactions, as well as face internal disciplinary procedures;
- Fieldwork team leaders are responsible for the safety of the entire field team during the period in which that field team is under their control, however risk assessment and management is the responsibility of all team members. In the event that weather conditions, environmental factors, equipment or personnel are considered by any member of the team to create or contribute to an unsafe working situation, then the fieldwork must not continue until the situation is corrected to the satisfaction of the entire team;
- All tasks undertaken must be within the experience and training of the personnel concerned, and the capacity of the equipment available.
- Any accidents, incidents or near misses must be reported within 24 hours or at the first possible opportunity to the relevant fieldwork manager and the field trip leader's supervisor followed by completing an online incident report.