In developing this procedure the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
Field Trip Procedure
The procedures sets out the University's processes for field trips.
To be read in conjunction with the Field Trip Policy.
Faculty deans and heads of research centres will ensure that staff organising field trips have received training to help them to understand their legal obligations and to be able to assess any likely risks and to develop strategies for their control.
Staff responsible for organising field trips must prepare a risk management strategy. For short excursions in the ACT urban area, the risk management strategy should include the itinerary and a risk assessment and measures for controlling any identified risks. For field trips in rural and remote areas, the risk management strategy will need to be more comprehensive and should include:
In developing the risk management strategy, field trip staff should take into account:
legal requirements relating to vehicles used
availability of maps, GPS devices and satellite phones
relevant licences, permits and permissions to enter private property
personal protective equipment
weather forecasts and conditions
precautions to ensure the health and safety of participants engaging in medium to high risk activities
whether any students are under the age of 18 years of age
The risk management strategy should take into account the likelihood of accidents, injury or other damage and their possible consequences as well as proposed corrective actions to reduce the risk. Risk management strategies should include strategies to deal with emergencies as well as normal operations.
Field trip leaders must provide all students, fellow staff, and any volunteers participating in the field trip with written details sufficiently in advance of the field trip to enable them to be properly prepared. The information included will be dependent upon the nature of the field trip; however, the following should be considered for inclusion in the written information to participants:
the nature of any hazards likely to be encountered;
details of any appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment and materials needed;
whether any visitor inductions will be required, and the need to follow directives arising from such inductions;
whether any vaccinations are recommended;
expectations about appropriate behaviour, including advice about relevant University rules and policies;
policy on alcohol consumption for the duration of the field trip; and
details of any catering arrangements and food hygiene. Note: Students should be asked to identify any food allergies and care should be taken to ensure that those foods are avoided.
Field trip leaders must ensure that all field trip participants have been instructed in the use of any specialist equipment they will be required to use during the field trip.
Prior to departure, field trip leaders must complete University travel request forms for approval regardless of whether any claim is to be made for travel allowance or reimbursement of expenses. The University travel form must be accompanied by a list of all persons (staff and students) travelling on the field trip.
Field trip leaders must provide to the relevant faculty office, a list of all participants which includes the contact details of their next of kin.
Field trip leaders must seek approval for any proposed solo work in the field in accordance with the Field Trip Policy.
Field trip leaders will submit risk management plans to the faculty dean (or nominee) or head of research centre (or nominee) for approval at least two weeks in advance of the field trip.
Where possible, contact should be made at agreed intervals with University staff on campus with protocols in the event that contact is not made. Ideally there should be daily communication. Staff leading field trips in remote areas will need to consider whether they need to use satellite communication systems such as the SPOT GPS Device and to ensure that they have been trained in their use. A back-up plan should be in place in case of satellite communication system failure. In some cases it may be necessary to establish alternative communication arrangements with regular contact people such as the local police station or national park ranger.
Leaders of field trips to remote areas must prepare an emergency response and communication plan as part of their risk management strategy. Details will depend upon the nature and location of the field trip but as a minimum the plan should include:
emergency response procedures for incidents that have a high likelihood of occurring;
emergency contact details both on-campus and in remote areas;
more than one on-campus contact person should be identified;
procedures for communicating including frequency of contact between the home base and field teams and the field trip leader and the University and triggers for concern such as failure to meet a daily call-in commitment;
clear lines of responsibility when the group is divided into more than one team; and
protocols for reporting over-due or missing participants and for raising the alarm in emergencies.
Leaders of international field trips should contact the University’s overseas assistance provider, International SOS, for emergency assistance. A card listing country contact numbers is available at: International SOS Member Site - Home Page and should be carried on all international field trips.
At least one of the participants in remote area field trips must be qualified in first aid. In determining the number of first aid officers required, field trip leaders will consider the risk proposed by the specific circumstances. Occupational Health and Safety regulations recommend the following ratios:
Low Risk Workplaces
one first-aider for 10 to 50 workers
and two first aiders for 51 to 100 workers
an additional first aider for every additional 50 workers
High Risk Workplaces
One first aider for up to 25 workers
Two first aiders for 26 to 50 workers
An additional first aider for every additional 50 workers
If snakes have been identified as a risk in the particular location, field trip leaders should ensure that a sufficient number of field trip participants have been trained in how to apply a compression bandage to themselves or others in the event of snake bite.
The University’s Health and Safety Office will provide advice on first aid kits. Faculty first aid officers are responsible for maintaining the kits. In the event of a medical emergency or major trauma, first aid officers should manage the immediate needs of the patient and arrange for prompt evacuation to medical care.
Field trip leaders must report all accidents, necessitating the rendering of first aid, all near miss incidents, and incidents resulting in loss or damage to University property. Incidents requiring emergency response or police intervention must be reported to the faculty dean or head of research centre, preferably within 12 hours. Workplaces must report 'notifiable incidents' to WorkSafe ACT. In the case of the fieldtrip incident being a ‘notifiable incident’ the Health and Safety Office, faculty dean or head of research centre, should be notified immediately. Faculty deans or heads of research centers must report the matter to the Health and Safety Office for their onward reporting to Worksafe ACT. Serious incidents involving students should be reported to the Dean of Students in accordance with the University’s Critical Student Incident Management policy and procedures. For all instances involving injury or illness a University Accident/Incident Report form must be completed and forwarded to the Health and Safety Office in accordance with: Accident / Incident / Near Miss / Hazard Reporting Procedure : Health and Safety : University of Canberra All accidents and incidents must be investigated and deans and heads of research centres need to review the field trip’s risk management strategy. See Section C for a summary of reporting requirements.
Vehicles should be appropriate to the nature of the field trip. They should be well maintained and suitable equipped.
For field trips to remote locations, drivers should be trained in how to operate the vehicle in the expected field conditions, including basic vehicle maintenance and the use of recovery equipment, if supplied.
Rest breaks should be taken every two hours and drivers should drive for a maximum of 12 hours in any 24 hour period.
Staff and students participating in field trip activities officially organised and approved by the University are generally covered by the University’s insurance and protection arrangements.
All insurance or protection arrangements are subject to certain exclusions, terms, conditions and limitations. Student’s Personal Accident Insurance has limitations on claims relating to medical expenses, no cover is provided where the expense can be claimed under Medicare or the individual’s private health insurance fund. If in doubt about insurance coverage check with the Insurance Office.
Field trip leaders must notify the University’s insurance office at least 7 working days prior to any field trips involving travel in helicopters or chartered aircraft to allow for any necessary additional insurance cover to be arranged.
Where possible, University vehicles or hire vehicles should be used for field trip activities. If a private vehicle is used it must be registered and have comprehensive insurance that covers the use of the vehicle for business travel. The driver must hold an appropriate and valid licence. The University’s Motor Vehicle Insurance does not cover damage to private vehicles being used for field trip activities. The owner of the vehicle will be responsible for any vehicle insurance claim including the payment of any excess. Any passenger personal injury claims should be lodged under the vehicle owner’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. University staff members undertaking their employment duties are covered under Workers Compensation.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Dean or head of research centre
Deans and heads are broadly responsible for the management of the health, safety and welfare of staff and students in their respective faculty or research centre, and are required to ensure safe systems of work are in place both on and off campus.
Deans and heads are responsible for:
Providing sufficient resources for necessary equipment and training for staff and students.
Ensuring processes are in place to enable approval of field trip risk management strategies prior to the field trip being undertaken.
Reviewing travel risk assessments and approving requests for travel only where the risk level is acceptable; where the implementation of risk controls can reduce the risk to an acceptable level; or where cost of the lost opportunity outweighs the assessed risk.
Approving requests for solo work only where the risk of working alone is balanced by appropriate (documented) communication, security, and emergency response procedures.
Reviewing risk management strategies following reports of any accidents or incidents.
Field trip leader
Prepare field trip risk management strategy.
Seek the dean’s or head of research centre’s written approval for the field trip.
Induct students and staff prior to field trip.
Ensure the required number of participants in remote area field activities have first aid qualifications.
Ensure that first aid equipment is carried which meets the specific needs of personnel and the location, and sufficient people are qualified/experienced in the use of the first aid equipment and where necessary that all participants have been trained to treat snake bites.
Develop an emergency response and communication plan if the field trip is to a remote location.
Ensure participants have been trained to use any necessary equipment.
Make any necessary accommodations to ensure students with disabilities can participate.
Provide a list of all participants and their contact details to the relevant faculty office.
Check that vehicles and equipment to be used on the field trip are in good condition.
Check that all drivers have appropriate licences.
Ensure that all incidents and accidents are reported and the appropriate forms lodged with the Health and Safety Office.
Field trip staff
Staff members participating in field trips should be aware of their obligations to comply with University policies and procedures.
Field trip staff should take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of students, staff, and themselves.
Field trip staff should take all reasonable steps to protect University property, and to report loss or damage as soon as practicable.
Manager, Health and Safety
Provide access to training for staff organising field activities to help them to understand their legal responsibilities.
Provide advice regarding first aid equipment needed for field activities in remote locations.
Investigate reports of any accidents or incidents involving illness or injury and provide advice to faculty deans and heads of research centres.
Report ‘notifiable incidents’ to WorkSafe ACT.
Dean of Students
Receive and follow-up on any reports of serious incidents and accidents involving students.
Faculty first aid officers
Maintain first aid kits.
Comply with the Student Conduct Rules 2009 at all times.
Follow University policy, procedures, and instructions given by UC staff and/or emergency personnel.
Attend inductions prior to the field trip and read written details.
Ensure that they have appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment.
Ensure that they have any necessary vaccinations.
Notify the field trip leader of any pre-existing condition that may require management or treatment during the field trip or that may impact on their ability to participate in all proposed activities.
Comply with the alcohol consumption policy for the field trip.
Follow the University’s Tobacco on Campus Policy.
Follow field trip leaders instruction at all times.
Take responsibility for their personal safety.
Report any incidents and /or accidents to the field trip leader and complete appropriate forms for lodgement with the Health and Safety Office.
Implementation and Reporting:
A ‘notifiable incident’ which includes:
the death of a person
a serious injury or illness of a person
a 'dangerous incident' which includes any incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person's health or safety.
Report to faculty dean or head of research centre
Report to Dean of Students if a student is involved