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Health

Accidents

RisksAssociated Control Measures
Risk of injury
  • Ensure that one of the fieldwork team is trained in First Aid.
  • Carry a First Aid kit
  • Medical Supplies or treatment - be aware of where these can be bought or received if there is an accident
  • Have plans of action and be aware of where help can be sought should an accident occur in a remote location.
  • Remember that it is essential to fill out an accident report and return it to the Departmental Safety Officer on return. It may help to make notes as soon after the incident as is possible.

 

Medical Conditions and Fitness

RisksAssociated Control Measures
Risk of illness whilst in the field
  • Ensure any necessary medication is carried at all times
  • Ensure someone else is aware of medical conditions and will recognise signs and symptoms. They should also be informed of the location of medication.
  • Diabetics should ensure sufficient food is carried in case there is a delay in returning.
  • Medical Supplies or treatment - be aware of where these can be bought or received if a medical condition or illness arises
Risks of Dental problems - it is often difficult to get dental treatment in remote locations!
  • Ensure that a full dental check up is received before departure
  • Be aware of where Dental treatment can be received
  • Carry emergency dental treatment as First Aid.
Fatigue leading to lack of concentration, accidents and risk of injury
  • Do not try to do too much in one day, especially if the work is to be followed by a long drive home
  • Be aware that working at high altitude can quickly lead to fatigue due to reduced oxygen intake.
  • Lack of sleep can lead to accidents - ensure sufficient rest is taken.
Lack of Physical Fitness - leading to risk of personal injury/illness
  • Know your limitations - do not be forced to over-stretch your limit.
  • Do not be afraid to tell someone if you feel unwell or cannot carry on with a task.
  • Plan your work within your limits.
  • If you feel unwell - stop.

 

Allergies

RisksAssociated Control Measures
Anaphylactic Shock - severe cases of allergic reaction can result in breathing difficulties
  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Be cautious of the first signs of allergic reaction and DO NOT ignore them.
Some plant material may cause allergic reactions - Allergic reactions can cause discomfort and in severe cases anaphylactic shock.
  • If aware of an allergy, carry any necessary medication. Be aware that some forms of anti-histamine can cause drowsiness. If affected do not continue with fieldwork.
  • Be cautious of the first signs of allergic reaction and DO NOT ignore them.
Insect Bites and stings
  • If aware of an allergy, carry any necessary medication. Be aware that some forms of anti-histamine can cause drowsiness. If affected do not continue with fieldwork.
  • Be cautious of the first signs of allergic reaction and DO NOT ignore them.

 

Food and Drink

RisksAssociated Control Measures
Lack of food and Drink - various risks including dehydration, fatigue, fainting etc.
  • Do not forget to stop for food breaks
  • Drink plenty of fluids, particularly in hot weather.
  • Always carry plenty of water.
  • Carry food supplies with you if working in remote areas. 
  • Breakfast is particularly important before a day in the field.
Alcohol - Risks of dehydration; inability to work efficiently due to hangover; in cold weather, alcohol consumption can lead to hypothermia
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on the evening before going into the field.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol during fieldwork
  • Be aware that alcohol can impair judgement and will remain in the system for several hours after consumption.
Miscellaneous Risks -Food poisoning, dehydration, allergies
  • In remote/overseas locations - Be wary of accepting ice in drinks.
  • In remote/overseas locations be careful of eating food prepared by other people - particularly meats or fish and salads.
  • Try not to drink contaminated water
  • Caffeinated drinks (coffee,Cola etc.) can enhance dehydration - avoid drinking them in hot weather
  • Be cautious of the first signs of allergic reaction and DO NOT ignore them.