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Fieldwork Safety

Students on fieldtrip to Lyons Farm

For a number of academic disciplines, fieldwork is an essential part of their core teaching, learning and research functions. The University requires that fieldwork is undertaken in a safe and responsible manner. All fieldwork must be properly managed and coordinated in such a way as to meet the best interests of the University while protecting the safety of staff members, students and the wider community.

As with other work areas, a fieldwork risk assessment must be completed in advance of undertaking any fieldwork. To aid fieldworkers the University SIRC Office has prepared a (opens in a new window)UCD Fieldwork Risk Assessment Template which allows fieldworkers to identify the hazards associated with their fieldwork and to put in place control measures to reduce the risk from those hazards. A number of fieldwork risk assessments have also been completed by our office which may be tailored to suit your own fieldwork activity. 

To assist in completing this risk assessment, fieldworkers should refer to the ‌(opens in a new window)UCD Fieldwork Safety Guidelines‌ which gives practical advice on the planning and execution of ‘traditional’ fieldwork activities such as those undertaken in archaeology; botany, zoology, geology, etc. 

There are insurance considerations when planning any fieldwork either in Ireland or abroad. All fieldworkers must ensure that insurance is in place in advance of undertaking their fieldwork. See Fieldwork Insurance for further details. 

The extent of cover provided for equipment used on fieldwork is subject to policy terms and conditions. It should be noted that as a rule equipment left unattended and unsecured in the field is not insured. This includes equipment located outside of a vehicle or premises and which is not under the direct control or supervision of a UCD staff member or student.

There are additional considerations that may impact on the cover available such as:

  • Is the equipment rented / borrowed?

  • How is the equipment being transported?

  • Where is it going?

  • What is the value of the equipment?

  • Is there a rental agreement in place, etc.?

To ascertain the extent of equipment cover available to persons using equipment valued at greater than €5000 on fieldwork, please contact the (opens in a new window)UCD SIRC Office with details of the equipment and the fieldwork risk assessment. 

For researchers undertaking marine fieldwork involving offshore, inshore or on chartered vessels, please contact the (opens in a new window)UCD SIRC Office prior to starting marine fieldwork. Due to the nature of this fieldwork, there are insurance limitations and health and safety considerations which should be discussed further with the UCD SIRC Office. 

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Contact UCD SIRC Office

University SIRC Office, Roebuck Castle, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8771 | E: sirc@ucd.ie