Field research safety

The ASU Environmental Health and Safety Field Research Safety Manual provides guidelines, policies, requirements and resources for ASU personnel to conduct field research safely and successfully.

The FRSM helps ASU personnel minimize the risk of conducting field research in local, regional, national or international locations. Field sites may include the following areas or other field stations where resources, including emergency assistance, may be limited:

  • Coastlines.
  • Construction areas.
  • Excavations.
  • Mines.
  • Natural reserves.
  • Public lands or parks.
  • Waterways.
  • Wilderness locations.

The principal investigator and supervisory personnel should supplement instructions and guidance from the FRSM about specific practices and procedures unique to fieldwork. EHS wrote the FRSM with the Institutional Biosafety Committee and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Refer to the EHS training webpage for field research safety training. 

Field Research Safety Manual

Refer to the following resources for more information on field research safety:

The Field Research Safety Manual collaborates with Environmental Health and Safety, the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance, Risk Management, the Office of General Counsel — Title IX, and the Global Education Office

Forms and references

Field research sites are an extension of ASU campuses. Employees and researchers must follow all university Staff Personnel Manual policies and procedures in all ASU-affiliated field research sites, including local, state, national or international locations.

ASU personnel and students participating in field research must follow all ASU policies, procedures and safe work practices outlined in the ASU Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and the ASU Student Code of Conduct, including:

Talk to your supervisor, contact EHS at 480-965-1823 or ASU Employee Health at 602-496-1917 for specific information on fieldwork hazards and precautions.

Hazard assessments

ASU personnel must complete a field hazard assessment for each field site. To conduct this assessment, research the environmental hazards that may be present in a field location, including:

  • Biological hazards.
  • Chemical hazards.
  • Cultural or practice-related hazards.
  • Physical hazards.
  • Social hazards.
  • Unforeseen hazards.

Complete a Field Research Safety Plan with a hazard assessment specific to the field site location. This record will list all the identified risks associated with the field site and the measures ASU personnel took to reduce risk.