Environmental Health and Safety

Safety Guidelines for Field Researchers

Fieldwork is an important part of teaching and research at The University of Texas at Austin. Since fieldwork activities take you off campus, this guide is intended to help you plan and prepare for health and safety problems you might encounter in the field. Safety Guidelines for Field Researchers (PDF) is organized into several distinct sections. The first section covers “general guidelines” to assist you before you leave, while you are doing fieldwork and with emergency medical care. Sections III, IV and V address specific hazards that you may encounter in the field. By looking at these hazards, you can assess the risk associated with your fieldwork and develop a brief, practical “Safety Plan”. Physical and environmental hazards are listed with the cause, symptoms and prevention measures. Animal-related hazards include a listing of “what to do if encountered” as well as preventive measures. Finally specific diseases that present a hazard are listed with exposure routes, symptoms and preventive measures. The last section of this guide provides you with resources both on campus and outside the university.