Field Research Safety FAQ

Why should I have a Field Research Safety Plan? 

  • Principal Investigators (PIs), laboratory managers, and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their employees and students have the training and supplies needed to perform their work and studies safely.
  • Filling out the field research safety plan prompts one to think through the potential risks of a trip and share that information with the entire team before departing to avoid any surprises. Although some risks may not be clear or predictable at the planning stage, and new risks may arise while in the field, you can dramatically reduce negative outcomes with thoughtful advance planning.
  • Depending on the nature of your work, there may be additional requirements for special training, safety equipment, and other preparations. Developing, reviewing, and submitting your Field Research Safety Plan to EHS is a good way to find out what you may need.

Who needs a Field Research Safety Plan (FRSP)? 

The need for an FRSP and for safety training depends upon the research that you will be conducting and on its location, each situation is unique and evaluated on a case-to-case basis. Any field work that involves running into one or more of the hazards listed on the Potential Hazards section of the FRSP will require a safety plan submission. (e.g, use of hazardous materials, diving operations, etc.).

How do I develop a Field Research Safety Plan (FRSP)? 

  • Start the safety plan early in your field work planning process. You will need sufficient time to gather information, identify the training and controls needed, complete training, and obtain safety equipment.
  • We recommend using the Field Research Safety Plan Template. Which is both available in Word and PDF format. Feel free to expand or delete sections as necessary. Once you have your draft ready, please email us at [email protected]
  • A sample of a completed template, along with the proposed evacuation plan, is available for review.

Do I need a satellite phone?

  • Anyone planning field research in remote locations where cell phone coverage is not available is strongly encouraged to have a satellite phone or an equivalent communication device. EHS can loan Garmin InReach satellite communication devices upon request once the Field Research Safety Plan is submitted and reviewed.

How can I request a satellite communication device?

  • EHS can loan Garmin InReach satellite communication devices (subject to availability) upon request.
  • A Field Research Safety Plan has to be on file before the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department can loan any equipment.
  • Once this has been completed, fill and submit the Field Research Safety Equipment Request form. A member of the EHS team will follow up with your submission and give you further instructions.

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