Health and safety information

Emergency contacts

  • UC SECURITY 92111 or 0800 823 637
  • NZ Emergency Services (Fire/Police/Ambulance) 111

The School'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 Earth & Environment, 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 Safety Officer Matt Cockcroft (114 Ernest Rutherford), or Technical Service Manager Rob Spiers (109A Ernest Rutherford).

Access to research facilities in Earth & Environment 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 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 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 for feedback, sign-off and approval.  It is important that this 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  Once completed these are then presented to

  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 Trip Health & safety Registration and Catering Payments web form (tab below).  This information is stored on a secure server and collated by Sacha Baldwin 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 School. Talk to Cathy/Sarah in the first instance for out of cell coverage communication options. 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 school’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 Safety Officer some days before the field trip start date.  The SO/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.


Staff and students in Waterways should complete the relevant Field Activity Form before commencing field work.

The School of Earth & Environment has vehicles (van and 4-wheel drive) 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 your needs with your supervisor and relevant technical staff.

  1. Bookings must made in advance, at which time you will be expected to read and sign-off the School of Earth & Environment 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 vehicle types are also available from the University of Canterbury Vehicle Pool, for which you will be required to read and sign-off on the University of Canterbury Vehicle Use and Fleet Management Policy.  Mileage charges for use of these vehicles are also incurred, and you will need to ensure you have funds available to cover those costs. Keys may be picked up from the Facilities Management reception desk, where 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 School and UC regulation, 4-wheel driving is defined as using a vehicle capable of going off ‘gazetted roads’ (i.e. roads included in the national network).  If the 4-wheel drive vehicle is to be used for this 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.  The College of Science organises such courses when the numbers requiring training warrant, and clearly that may require significant forward planning to ensure completion of the course and the projected field work coincide.

SEE Field Trip Catering and Health & Safety Registration form

Information submitted on this form is held in a secure setting and deleted at the conclusion of each UC calendar year.

Please submit in the FIRST WEEK of semester.

Need more information?

Matt Cockcroft

Geophysical & Environmental Geology Technician
Safety Officer
Ernest Rutherford 114
Internal Phone: 95901

Chris Grimshaw

Sedimentology & Palaeontology
Health & Safety Representative
Ernest Rutherford 264
Internal Phone: 92054

Justin Harrison

Safety Officer
Ernest Rutherford 161
Internal Phone: 95606

Suellen Knopick

Safety Officer
Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management
Julius von Haast Level 7
Internal Phone: 95834