Guidelines for health, safety and environment at fieldwork and research cruises

Approved by the University Director 02.03.2009

1. Objective

The objective of these guidelines is to ensure that fieldwork and research cruises[1] are conducted in accordance with sound health, safety and environment principles.

2. Basis

The guidelines form part of the University of Bergen’s (UiB) Regulations (Part 3. Human Resources and HSE) and are based on the Norwegian Regulations relating to Systematic Health, Environmental and Safety Activities in Enterprises (Internal Control Regulations) (1).

3. Scope and area of application

The guidelines cover aspects relating to health, safety and environment (HSE) and apply to staff and students at UiB who, in connection with fieldwork and research cruises, take part in academic activities outside the ordinary place of work/study. Separate guidelines will apply to UiB students on exchange programmes abroad (2).

The guidelines apply both to the HSE aspects of the employee’s obligatory fieldwork and research cruise under the ‘Agreement concerning fieldwork for employees of the University of Bergen’ (NO) (3) and to HSE aspects of fieldwork and research cruises that is not obligatory and that take place in connection with the employee’s own research.

Where employees with different employers or students from different educational institutions participate in joint fieldwork or research cruises, it must be decided prior to the fieldwork or research cruise which employer/institution has the overall HSE responsibility. As a minimum, UiB staff and students shall comply with UiB’s Guidelines for health, safety and environment at fieldwork and research cruises

4. Definitions

  • Line Manager: Head of department, or equivalent with overall responsibility at the unit (department, centre, section, division).
  • Academic Leader (Faglig leder): Person appointed to be in charge of the organisation, execution and follow-up of fieldwork or research cruise.
  • Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader: Person appointed to be in charge of the execution of the fieldwork or research cruise when Academic Leader is not present.
  • Fieldwork: Collection/processing of information in connection with research, investigations for administrative agencies, development work, excursions and curricular tasks outside the ordinary place of work/study.
  • Research cruise: Vessel-based collection/processing of information in connection with research, investigations for administrative agencies, development work, excursions and curricular tasks.
  • Curricular field courses and excursions: Organised instruction where groups of students carry out specific tasks in a specified area outside the ordinary place of work/study.
  • Inspection: Mandatory inspection or control outside the ordinary place of work/study that is not directly associated with the person’s own research or the curriculum.
  • Assignment: Project involving fieldwork or research cruise commissioned and fully financed by an external client.

5. Responsibility

Line Manager is responsible that the guidelines are made known and followed within the unit. The Line Manager is responsible for appointing an Academic Leader for each fieldwork and research cruise. A Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader may also be appointed, if required. The Line Manager shall ensure in advance that the Academic Leader and, if applicable, the Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader have the qualifications necessary to lead the fieldwork and research cruise in accordance with sound health, safety and environment principles.

Academic Leader is responsible that a risk assessment is carried out, that appropriate training, safety equipment and emergency responses are organised, and ensure proper execution and follow-up of the fieldwork or research cruise.

When the Academic Leader is not present during the fieldwork or research cruise, the responsibility for proper execution is delegated to the Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader.

Where fieldwork is carried out by a single student alone, the student him/herself will take on the functions of the Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader.

The individual participant shall follow the safety routines and local adjustments required to carry out the fieldwork or research cruise in accordance with sound health, safety and environment principles. The individual participant has an independent responsibility to assess the safety of the activity, to make necessary adjustments and, if necessary, to stop the activity for safety reasons. The individual participant has an obligation to inform the Academic Leader or the Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader of health-related and other factors that may have significance for safety in connection with fieldwork and research cruise.

The unit’s elected Safety Delegate (verneombud) is also Safety Delegate for the participants in fieldwork and research cruises if not an on-site Safety Delegate has been elected. Where there are more than 10 participants for more than a week, or when special risk factors so dictate, the Line Manager shall consider the need for and, if applicable, ensure that an on-site Safety Delegate is elected

6. Fieldwork and research cruises

6.1 Preparations

HSE responsibility for each fieldwork or research cruise shall be defined by Line Manager. Academic Leader shall identify in advance what is academic activity and what is leisure activity.

Risk assessment

Academic Leader shall ensure that risk factors associated with fieldwork and research cruise are mapped by means of a risk assessment. Activities that may involve risk of human injury and/or environmental damage should be identified:

  • On the way to and from the fieldwork and research cruise
  • During the fieldwork and research cruise
  • In connection with the completion of the fieldwork and research cruise

Academic Leader is advised to involve all participants in this work.

When the risk factors have been determined, the Academic Leader shall draw up local precautionary procedures for the fieldwork or research cruise and ensure that steps are taken to reduce the risk factors.

Training

Academic Leader is responsible for ensuring that participants in fieldwork and research cruise receive the training shown to be necessary by the risk assessment.

Emergency response

Academic Leader and all participants must fill in Field Cards. Together they provide a complete overview of all participants in the fieldwork and research cruises. The overview must be received by the Line Manager before the fieldwork and research cruise starts. Field Card information concerning students must also be registered in FellesStudentsystem (FS).

Academic Leader shall ensure that a local emergency response plan is drawn up and a plan for communication with their own unit at UiB.

Insurance

The rules and guidelines from the competent ministry applying at any time indicate whether and to what extent participants in fieldwork and on research cruises are insured.

6.2. Execution

Academic Leader possibly Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader shall ensure that:

  • Notification to their own unit at UiB as soon as possible in the event that one of the following occurs during fieldwork or research cruise:
    • Changes to the list of participants
    • Changes to the itinerary
    • Events relating to the country or the site that may affect the participants’ safety or other factors that entail adjusting the procedures and emergency response plans that have been drawn up.

These changes shall be made known to the participants in the fieldwork or research cruise.

  • If any HSE non-conformities should occur, all necessary steps to limit the damage shall be taken. HSE non-conformities must be reported to own unit at UiB as soon as possible.
  • If necessary, the ‘Emergency response plan for UiB’ (4) shall be implemented.

Academic Leader possibly or Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader shall keep an internal control book/a log of the fieldwork or research cruise and keep the Line Manager informed of all important matters.

Academic Leader possibly Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader has the authority to issue warnings and dismiss participants who do not observe the safety rules. This must also be recorded in the internal control book/log.

Academic Leader possibly Fieldwork/Research Cruise Leader shall be accessible for his/her own unit at UiB during the fieldwork or research cruise.

6.3. Finishing process and evaluation

On the conclusion of fieldwork or research cruise, the Academic Leader shall report to his/her own unit at UiB. The Line Manager shall ensure that the Field Cards are shredded.

HSE non-conformities that have been reported, or that are reported after the conclusion of the fieldwork or research cruise, shall be followed up by the Line Manager. Medical personnel will be involved if needed. If a fieldwork or research cruise has resulted in dramatic events, further follow-up may be necessary.

Evaluation of the fieldwork or research cruise shall form an integral part of the unit’s local HSE work. The internal control book/log is an important tool in this respect.

7. References

  1. Regulations relating to Systematic Health, Environmental and Safety Activities in Enterprises (Internal Control Regulations)
  2. Emergency responses plan for UiB students abroad (NO)
  3. Agreement about fieldwork for employees at the University of Bergen
  4. Emergency response plan for UiB (NO)

For further references to current laws, regulations, guidelines and aids, see the HSE portal/Fieldwork and research cruises.

Drawn up by: The Health, Safety and Environment Section, Division of Human Resources

Replaces: ”Generell sikkerhetsinstruks for feltarbeid m.m.” of 1 March 1995.

1. The term ‘fieldwork and research cruises’ is used in these guidelines as a collective term for fieldwork, research cruises, field courses, excursions, inspections and assignments (see 4. Definitions).

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Thursday 29 September 2016 1:21:07 pm Minor changes in text and updating url Olaug Eiksund
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