Health and safety information

Emergency contacts

  • UC SECURITY 6111 or 0800 823 637
  • NZ Emergency Services (Fire/Police/Ambulance) 111

The Department's Health and Safety policy meets our legal responsibilities as stated in UC Health and Safety policy documents and national Employment and Health and Safety regulations/laws. We are developing an environment in which our staff and students are informed, aware of their obligations and, willing to contribute to our stated goal of continually improving with respect to our performance regarding Health and Safety issues. All new and current staff, researchers and postgraduate students are required to undertake the College of Science's Health & Safety induction process. 

Induction process

All new staff, postgraduate students and visitors to Geological Sciences, must complete a formal induction process before other formalities and access to other privileges (e.g. key, computing, library) will be initiated. This induction ‘into the building’ will be completed by either the relevant academic host, the Department Safety Officer Matt Cockcroft (Room 816 Rutherford Building), or Technical Service Manager Rob Spiers (Room 814 Rutherford Building).

Access to research facilities in Geological Sciences will not be granted until an additional specific induction into that facility is completed with the respective Laboratory Manager.

We encourage all our staff/students and visitors to actively participate in and contribute to the goals stated in our Health and Safety manual and 2016 Health and Safety Plan (see. ‘Safety’ on the ‘K’-drive). Get better at what we do is our aim, your contribution to achieving that end will be appreciated.

Definitions and documents

Any teaching, learning or research activity carried out off-campus is defined in the UC Regulations as a ‘Field Activity’.  As a result, any such activity must be planned and managed in a way that risk is minimised and that in the event of an emergency, appropriate and rapid responses are initiated as quickly as possible.  To that end UC have a set of field-work related documents, the completion of which is mandatory.

The person who is organising and running the field trip is the ‘Field Activity Leader’ and is responsible for ensuring the correct H&S Hazard Management process is followed. The Field Activity Leader is responsible for completing the appropriate H&S documentation:

Individual Activity

Group Activity

Up-to-date documentation and guidelines are available from the main UC Health & Safety Toolkit

  1. This documentation is then submitted to either your Supervisor, Department Safety Officer (Matt Cockcroft - 816 Rutherford Building) or the Head of Department for sign-off and filing.  It is important that this all happens well in advance of the proposed field activity dates.
  2. The Field Activity Leader may nominate another suitably qualified person to assist in both the planning and running of the trip.  Such a person becomes the ‘Deputy Activity Leader’. Both the FIELD ACTIVITY LEADER and the DEPUTY ACTIVITY LEADER will have to complete Activity Leader: Health Declaration and Consent forms.  Once completed these are then presented to Rebekah Hunt (310 Rutherford Building) for filing.
  3. The remaining members of the field party are PARTICIPANTSThe Field Activity Leader(s) must collect relevant personal detail from each participant and this data will be used to inform both the logistics of the trip and inevitable ‘What If’ scenarios.  Use the Field Activity Participant Declaration & Consent form.  In the case of undergraduate, and 400-level students, this information is gathered and collated by Rebekah (310 Rutherford Building) and will be made available to the Field Activity Leader(s) on request.

    "The detail presented on the consent forms and undergraduate/400 medical/dietary notifications lists is both personal and private. The Field Activity Leader(s) are legally bound to respect the sensitive nature of that information, that said, transference of that detail occurs on a ‘need-to-know’ basis (e.g. cooks must be made aware of special dietary requirements, demonstrators need to know about medications/allergies amongst members of their group)."

  4. With respect to the ‘Field Activity Details’ on Page 1 of the FAP, it is important to realise that information may be pivotal with respect to an appropriate and rapid response should assistance from external emergency services be required.

    a)  Provide a daily schedule of activities; start time, where, who is involved and finish time. If the party is to be broken into groups we need to know how they will be deployed, how will they communicate (with the Field Activity Leader(s) especially?

    b) Where multiple vehicles are involved, where will they be located?  If they are to follow different routes arriving at different destinations to begin the field work, that should also be documented.

    c) A detailed map is very useful and Grid References in the ‘Map Reference’ cell is also advised.

    d)  It is important that the Field Activity Leader(s) establish and adhere to a system of communication between themselves and the Department. Talk to Cathy/Sarah in the first instance. We need to know when the activities have ended for the day when there is a change of plan and, when there is a problem.  Clearly, the ease with which those messages can be sent/received is very much determined by geography and there are a number of options available to ensure coverage is maximised.
  5. Additional information/advice relating to fieldwork can also be found in the department’s HEALTH AND SAFETY HANDBOOK (See below p.44-50). 
  6. For those filling out a FAP for the first time, it is important that the first draft of the plan is submitted to the Department Safety Officer some days before the field trip start date.  The DSO/HOD will only sign the document off when he/she is satisfied that the appropriate information is provided and that the risk assessment/management part of the document has been dealt with fully and appropriately.  Once that sign-off has the occurred, the document becomes ‘ACTIVE’ and the fieldwork may commence.

The Department of Geological Sciences has a Toyota HiAce and a Nissan Navara that may be available for field work. Postgraduates undertaking thesis-related field work can expect to pay mileage charges. It is important that you discuss this with your supervisor and the technical staff.

  1. Bookings can be made with Cathy/Sarah (Room 108A), at that time you will be expected to read and sign-off the Department of Geological Sciences rules for vehicle use. You will also need to present and have held a full NZ Drivers Licence for 3 years (it must have no endorsements) or, an International Driver’s Licence (which with respect UC vehicle use will be recognised as valid for 1 year after the date of issue).
  2. A number of different types of vehicle are available from the University of Canterbury Vehicle Pool.  Bookings can be made either through Sacha or Cathy/Sarah and again you will be required to read and sign the University of Canterbury Vehicle Use Policy Document.  Mileage charges for use of these vehicles are also incurred, as a result you will need to ensure you have funds available to cover those costs. Keys may be picked up from the Facilities Management reception desk, you will be required to present a valid driver’s licence and your Canterbury Card before the keys will be issued.
  3. With respect to both Department and UC regulation, four-wheel driving is defined as using a vehicle capable of same off ‘gazetted roads’ (those roads included in the national network).  If the 4-wheel drive vehicle is to be used for purpose, you will be required to have either completed or complete a nationally recognised 4-wheel driving course before you will be given approval to go off-road.  Departments in the College of Science organise such courses when staff/students numbers requiring training warrant, clearly that may require significant forward planning to ensure completion of the course and the projected field work coincide.

Need more information?

Matt Cockcroft

Geomorphology Technician
Departmental Safety Officer
von Haast 103
Internal Phone: 95901

Chris Grimshaw

Technician
Sedimentology & Palaeontology
Departmental Health & Safety Representative
Von Haast 219A
Internal Phone: 92054