JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY

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					JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF TROPICAL BIOLOGY

TERRESTRIAL FIELD SAFETY HANDBOOK

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EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
EMERGENCY ......................................................................................................... 000 Qld Emergency Services Rescue Unit (Emergency Calls Only) .... (07) 4725 1066 Royal Flying Doctor Service (24 Hour Medical Enquiries) ................ (07) 4743 2802 Royal Flying Doctor Service (Emergency Patient Transfers) ........... (07) 4725 5827 Poisons Information Centre (Australia Wide) ............................................... 13 1126

OTHER USEFUL CONTACT INFORMATION
Qld Emergency Services Rescue Unit (General Enquiries) .............. (07) 47757711 Biological Sciences Safety Officer, Sue Reilly................................. (07) 47814181 JCU Gatehouse (24 hours) ............................................................... (07) 4781 5555 RACQ Road Service (24 hour roadside service for JCU vehicles) ........ 1800 648 058 RACQ Recorded road Conditions (24 hours) ................................... (07) 4775 3600 Tropical Cyclone Warnings .................................................................. 1300 659 212 Weather Information (Recorded Information, Townsville region) ....................... 1196 Bureau of Meteorology homepage ..................................... http://www.bom.gov.au CB Radio Emergency Channels:- 27mHz ................................................Channel 9 UHF ................................................... Channel 5 Trucks ...............................................Channel 40

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INTRODUCTION
The environments available for teaching and research work in Northern Queensland are diverse and magnificent. However, they can present many types of hazards, especially to the unwary. It is essential that all field workers (staff, students, volunteers, etc) are properly prepared for their trip, and comply with University requirements. Safety of the field party should be the primary concern of all persons participating in field trips. In particular it is the group leader’s responsibility to ensure that all proper procedures are followed in the planning and execution of a field trip, and in dealing with any incidents that threaten health and safety on the trip. This guide will assist group leaders and all field workers to follow procedures, and I urge you to read it and comply with it. It refers readers to additional material that you may need to consult. Additional queries relating to health and safety should be directed to the Biological Sciences Safety Officer, (Mrs Sue Reilly, extension 4181) or to the JCU Workplace Health and Safety Officer, Mr Leigh Winsor (extension 5418).

Professor R G Pearson Head of School School of Tropical Biology

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CONTENTS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Definition of terms ........................................................................................... 5 Statement of Responsibilities .......................................................................... 5 Supervision – Who is in Charge? .................................................................... 6 Student Accident Insurance - Are you covered?.............................................. 8 Volunteers ....................................................................................................... 8 Administrative Arrangements .......................................................................... 8

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL
Field Work Activities ...................................................................................... 11 Fauna and Flora ............................................................................................ 12 Camp site and Camp Requisites ................................................................... 16 Swimming and Bathing.................................................................................. 16 Health............................................................................................................ 17 Transport....................................................................................................... 17 Limits on Driving and Work Time .................................................................. 19 Bush Etiquette ............................................................................................... 19 Climate and Weather .................................................................................... 20 Navigation ..................................................................................................... 22 Traverses on Foot ......................................................................................... 22 Firearms ........................................................................................................ 23 Other Hazards ............................................................................................... 24

APPENDICES
Appendix 1 Field Trip Operational Details form ............................................. 25 Appendix 2 Hazard Identification and Risk Control form................................ 31 Appendix 3 Acknowledgement of Field Trip Induction form ........................... 34 Appendix 4 First Aid Kit Contents – Small Sized Workplace ......................... 35 Appendix 5 First Aid/Major Trauma Kit Contents – Remote Locations .......... 37 Appendix 6 First Aid Treatment for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke .......... 38 Appendix 7 Basic First Aid for Bites and Stings ............................................. 40 Appendix 8 What to Do When Lost ............................................................... 44 Appendix 9 Checklist of Vehicle Spare Parts – Remote Area Field Trip ........ 45 Appendix 10 List of Relevant Forms and Contacts ........................................ 47 Appendix 11 Bibliography and Useful Sources of Information ....................... 48 Appendix 12 Field Work – Essential Induction Elements ............................... 49 4

GENERAL INFORMATION

DEFINITION OF TERMS
Field activities and field work are defined as any work, studies or research approved by the Head of School or nominated deputy on behalf of James Cook University (JCU) and conducted by staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students at various field sites which may be on-campus, or at off-campus urban, rural (terrestrial), freshwater or marine locations. Remote field work is defined as any work carried out at any non-permanently staffed University site and which entails:  working at a non-urban site off-campus where it takes more than half an hour to get medical aid to an injured or ill person.  off-road in areas where very little traffic is likely or where topographic features would make it difficult to summon or receive help. Off-road is any location other than a major or minor formed road. The Officer-in-charge (OIC) is that person authorised by the Head of School to lead the field work. The OIC has the authority to cancel, postpone or modify the planned schedule at any time during the field trip. Authorised officers are those persons nominated by the Head of School and listed on the Field Trip Operational Details form (Appendix 1). A qualified first aider is a person holding a current Senior First Aid Certificate. Participants are all persons undertaking all or any part of the field activities, and includes JCU employees, whether being paid or not, students and volunteers.

STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES
The Head of School must give final approval of all field activities. The School Safety Officer must assess the Field Trip Operational Details. The Officer-in-charge is responsible for the health and safety of all attending persons for the duration of the field activity. Authorised officers shall initiate search and rescue procedures in the event that the field party fails to return by the agreed time which is indicated on the Field Trip Operational Details form. They shall undertake the actions agreed to should the field party fail to make a scheduled contact. (See Communications Section.) All persons participating in field activities have an obligation - a duty of care - to work safely in the field, taking care to protect their own health and safety and that of fellow workers and students. All participants should: 5

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understand the JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety. understand the relevant statutory requirements within the Workplace Health and Safety Act and all associated regulations and codes of practice. understand and meet all legal requirements and safety guidelines associated with any licensing requirements (e.g. motor vehicles, firearms). understand and comply with the conditions imposed in permits issued by the relevant authorities (e.g. Dept. of Environment, Dept. of Natural Resources). obtain permission to traverse and access private and public lands and respect the wishes of landholders.

All field activity participants shall be given a safety induction (Appendix 12) to the field trip by the Officer-in-charge, and shall be made fully aware of the possible hazards, and hazard control measures associated with the activities and location. Field workers should familiarize themselves with this handbook, the reference literature cited, and, in the case of undergraduate field trips, the information provided at lectures and in the course field trip manual. Persons who deliberately expose themselves or others to risk by non-compliance with the JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety or the agreed School rules are to be counselled and if necessary excluded from field work.

SUPERVISION - WHO IS IN CHARGE?
The Officer-in-charge has full authority to influence or direct the actions of students, employees and volunteers involved in any field activities. Any participants disregarding directives from the Officer-in-charge may be requested to return to the University hence terminating his/her field activity.

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Field activities involving postgraduate and honours students

All postgraduate field activities must be logged and approved by the student’s supervisor and the Head of School.

NEVER WORK ALONE !
The minimum working party should be two (2), preferably three (3) persons. This is so that if an accident occurs, one person is available to attend the victim while another person is available to notify emergency services. (See JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety, Section 7.1 for more information including dealing with exceptional circumstances.)

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Field activities involving undergraduate students

All undergraduate students participating in field activities must:

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be accompanied by at least one member of staff, except in the case of on-campus field work which has an appropriately low risk assessment. See JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety, Section 7.1(d) for recommended staff-to-student ratios. always adhere stringently to any directives or instructions given by the Officer-incharge or other staff members acting for the Officer-in-charge. carefully adhere to all University safety policies, guidelines and procedures. be provided with a safety induction to the trip and must acknowledge the induction by completing the Acknowledgement of Field Trip Induction form.

Keeping the field party intact
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The Officer-in-charge is responsible for ensuring that no participant is left behind in the field at any time. Undergraduate field trips usually involve a large group travelling in a number of vehicles. Once at the field station, this may split up into smaller groups travelling in different directions, with the groups rotating through a range of activities and staff. To avoid the possibility of a participant becoming separated from the field party, the Officer-in-charge must ensure appropriate procedures are in place. These should at least include: During the trip to and from the field station:

  

a roll-call before the trip departs, so that an accurate list of all participants exists. This must include staff and volunteers. drivers being responsible for knowing how many passengers they have, then carrying out head counts before resuming the trip after stops along the way.

passengers not swapping vehicles along the way without telling the respective drivers. And while based at the field station:

 

lists of names of participants in each group.

head counts before groups go out to study sites, and before leaving the sites to return to camp. Particular circumstances may necessitate further measures such as sign-out/sign-in sheets.

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Free time and individual activities

On some undergraduate field trips, students are granted free time for sight seeing and individual activities. This should be subject to the following conditions:

   

no participant is to leave the field station or study site unaccompanied. the proposed activity must be discussed with the Officer-in-charge. written information including the names of the personnel going, time of departure, expected time of return, destination and intended route must be left in a designated place e.g. on a notice board. if not following a defined road or track, the procedures laid out for “Traverses on Foot” should be applied.

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Student Accident Insurance – Are you covered?
Yes. All members of the Student Union are covered for University related accidents by an insurance policy subscribed to by the Union. For more information (including exclusions), obtain a copy of the “Student Accident Insurance Scheme” available from Welfare Services, Student Union, James Cook University. NOTE: YOU ARE NOT COVERED FOR ILLNESS You need to ensure you have your own medical and ambulance cover and carry adequate supplies of medication, including treatments for known allergies, spare puffers etc. Participants should be reasonably fit and have no existing uncontrolled medical condition which might give rise to a life-threatening situation in the field. The Officer-in-charge should be made aware of any medical condition which may require special consideration in planning.

Volunteers
Volunteers must receive the same level of safety induction as other participants, and accept the same obligations in respect to safety and behavior standards.

Administrative Arrangements
 Field Trip Operational Details Form and Risk Assessment

A Field Trip Operational Details form (Appendix 1) and a Hazard Identification and Risk Control form (Appendix 2) must be completed and submitted to the School Safety Officer prior to departure on all field trips, allowing plenty of time for the trip to be properly assessed and approved. ALLOW TIME – AT LEAST 5 WORKING DAYS – TO HAVE YOUR FIELD TRIP OPERATIONAL DETAILS AND RISK ASSESSMENT EVALUATED AND APPROVED. ELEVENTH HOUR SUBMISSIONS MAY BE REJECTED. NO PERMISSION MEANS NO FIELD TRIP

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Acknowledgement of Field Trip Induction form

An Acknowledgement of Field Trip Induction form (Appendix 3) must be completed by each person participating in the field trip. One copy should be lodged with the School Safety Officer, another should be carried on the trip by the Officer-in-charge.

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First Aid

The presence of a person with a current qualification in Senior First Aid is mandatory for remote field work. An appropriate number of suitable first aid kits must be carried on all field trips. A normal first aid kit (Appendix 4) may have to be augmented (Appendix 5) depending 8

on the location and type of field activities. For further information see the JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety, section 7.5. FIRST AID – REMOTE FIELD WORK Remote field work parties must include a qualified first aider. This applies to research, postgraduate and undergraduate field work.

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Communications

Whenever carrying out remote field work, the field party must be equipped with a 2 way communications system suitable for contacting emergency services, should this be required, and for maintaining contact with the authorised officer. Satellite telephones meet these requirements and are available for hire from several sources in Townsville. Details can be obtained from the School Safety Officer. All participants must be instructed in the use of the communication equipment to be used on that trip. Daily call-in schedules, and action to be taken if a call is not received, must be arranged before departure and detailed on the Field Trip Operational Details form. If you are unable to contact your authorised officer, call the JCU gatehouse on 07 4781 5555 and ask them to pass on the message. The Officer-in-charge must consider whether communication between participants whilst in the field is required e.g. if the party splits into smaller groups once on site.

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EPIRB’s (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons)

The University has a number of EPIRB’s for the use of field parties as backup for normal communications, and especially for those who have no other form of communication available to them. These are to be activated only in cases of serious injury or other potentially life-threatening situations. For further information, contact the School Safety Officer. THE AUTHORISED OFFICER MUST BE ADVISED OF THE SAFE RETURN OF THE FIELD PARTY

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Vehicle operations

No person is permitted to drive a JCU vehicle unless his or her driver’s license is currently registered with the JCU Transport Section. No person is permitted to drive a 4 wheel drive vehicle (JCU owned, or hired) unless he or she has completed the JCU 4 wheel drive instruction course and test. Persons qualified to drive 4 wheel drive vehicles must be noted on the Field Trip Operational Details form.

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Accident procedures
ensure the victim is stabilized and made medically comfortable. contact emergency services if warranted giving details of the number of persons injured, the nature of the accident and injuries, and the exact location and/or meeting point. If using a mobile or satellite phone, dial 000. 9

In the event of an accident:

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as soon as free to do so, notify the University.

Accident reports

All accidents involving injury, no matter how minor, must be reported by completing an Accident Report Form. These are in all School first aid kits, and are also available from the School Safety Officer. This is a statutory requirement under the Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Act. ACCIDENT REPORTS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 3 DAYS OF THE RETURN OF THE FIELD PARTY

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HOSPITALISATION

In the event of an accident which results in an overnight stay in a hospital, the Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator MUST BE NOTIFIED WITHIN 24 HOURS (phone (07) 4781 5418 or after hours (07) 4773 3482) This is a Statutory requirement as such accidents must be reported to the Division of Workplace Health and Safety by the Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator within the specified time.

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HAZARD IDENTIFICATION,
RISK ASSESSMENT AND RISK CONTROL
A wide variety of hazards may be encountered during field activities. They may range from hazards posed by poor road conditions en-route to the field site, to dangerous wildlife. The checklist provided in the Hazard Identification and Risk Control form (Appendix 2) may assist in identifying hazards associated with your field work. The risks posed to personnel by identified hazards must be assessed, and appropriate achievable control measures put in place to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.
Using the Hazard Identification and Risk Control form (Appendix 2) (or similar methodology), you must:

list in the table provided the HAZARDS you have identified that are associated with the field activities. briefly describe in the table the risks associated with each hazard. using the risk assessment chart assess, and record in the table the risk presented by that hazard (HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW). address risks with a HIGH rating first. in the table indicate what control measures are being taken to minimize the risk. attach the completed form to the Field Trip Operational Details form and submit both for assessment. prepare and implement the control measures. Control Measures ELIMINATE the hazard. SUBSTITUTE something with a lesser risk e.g. manual handling - substitute a smaller container. ISOLATE the hazard e.g. proper storage of chemicals or firearm. use ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS - provide training, adequate supervision. have available PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT e.g. gloves, safety boots, sunhat, sunscreen. Controls should be selected from as high up on this list as is reasonably practical to maximize effectiveness. In many cases a combination of controls may be necessary to reduce the hazard. Courses in Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment are conducted during the year at Townsville and Cairns campuses. Ask your School Safety Officer, or the Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator for details.

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Field Work Activities
Safe work practices must be established and communicated in a safety induction verbally and in writing to all participants. This includes details of appropriate safety equipment and clothing. All participants must comply with safety directives including:

  

wearing of suitable clothing including footwear. not undertaking activities for which they have not been trained or competency assessed (e.g. tree and rock climbing, abseiling). adopting correct manual handling techniques, especially loading and unloading vehicles.

Students who do not comply with the safety directives shall not be permitted to participate in the activity. NO SUITABLE CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR MEANS NO FIELD TRIP !

Fauna And Flora
Field parties must consider potential hazards from flora and fauna. The Officer-in-charge must adequately brief participants, and the field party must carry appropriate first aid supplies for the area in which they will be working. Crocodiles Crocodiles are very common in most mangrove and estuarine areas in the tropics, and may occur many kilometres upstream in larger rivers. Crocodiles can remain submerged for long periods, and swim slowly without so much as a ripple, even in shallow water, to get within striking distance of their prey. They then lunge with great speed – much faster than a person can escape – to attack and drag their prey back into the water. When working in possible crocodile habitats, do not enter the water, be very vigilant, and do not stand or sit close to the water’s edge. Seek reliable local information if in unfamiliar territory. Snakes Snakes are common and a number of highly venomous species may be encountered. Do not attempt to capture or handle snakes unless you have adequate training and experience. Wear stout boots and long pants. Take care when traversing the work site, look over logs before stepping over. Check carefully before putting hands into hollow logs, between rocks or into thick grass. If lifting logs, sheets of iron etc. do so in such a way that any animal which may be underneath is directed away from, not towards you or other personnel. Use a torch when moving around at night. A summary of first aid for snake bite is provided in Appendix 7. All participants should be familiar with the first aid procedure.
FIRST AID FOR SNAKE BITE MUST BE RENDERED IMMEDIATELY. MEDICAL TREATMENT IS NEEDED URGENTLY.

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Sea snakes Sea snakes may be encountered in intertidal areas. Avoid any contact as most species are dangerous, any bite should be considered life-threatening and treated in the same manner as terrestial venomous snake bites.

Stone fish and Bullrouts These fish are well camouflaged to blend in with rocks. They occur in saltwater habitats and fresh water streams. They have sharp venomous spines which will easily penetrate soft footwear, resulting in intense pain which can lead to shock. Stout footwear should be worn. If envenomated, medical treatment is needed urgently, CPR may be required. First aid for stone fish sting is detailed in Appendix 7.

Cone shells Cone shells lie buried in sand or amongst rocks and coral. They can envenomate through soft footwear, so stout footwear should be worn. If envenomated, medical treatment is needed urgently, EAR may be required. First aid for cone shellfish sting is detailed in Appendix 7.

Blue-ringed octopus Blue-ringed octopus occur in all coastal areas. They are normally small and sandy brown in appearance, but display iridescent blue rings and stripes when touched or disturbed. Avoid any contact as the bite, whilst not usually initially painful can be life-threatening. If envenomated, medical treatment is needed urgently, EAR may be required. First aid for blue ringed octopus bite is detailed in Appendix 7.

Jellyfish All jellyfish have stinging capsules and in some species, the stings can be life-threatening. When working in intertidal areas, all parts of the body which may enter the water should be covered. This is especially important during the warmer months (October to May). Jellyfish, including the extremely dangerous box jellyfish can be encountered even in ankle deep water and in the uppermost reaches of mangrove systems. Jellyfish stings require urgent medical treatment, CPR may be required. First aid for jellyfish stings is detailed in Appendix 7. 2 LITRES OF VINEGAR MUST ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE TO FIELD PARTIES WORKING IN MARINE, ESTURINE OR MANGROVE AREAS FOR IMMEDIATE TREATMENT OF JELLYFISH STINGS

Mammals Many mammals are capable of inflicting painful bites. Participants must receive instruction in the handling of animals and use protective gloves when appropriate. Disinfect the bite site thoroughly. Watch for signs of infection. Medical advice should be sought as soon as possible regarding tetanus precautions and risk of zoonotic diseases.

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Bats Bats (fruit bats and microbats) are carriers of lyssavirus, an organism which causes an untreatable terminal disease in humans. Bats must only be handled by staff members, and then only if they have been vaccinated against the disease. Should a participant be scratched or bitten by a bat, no matter how minor the injury may seem, the victim will be immediately conveyed to town for medical attention. The bat must be conveyed to DPI Oonoomba for testing.

Leeches These are common in rainforest areas. To deter leeches, use insect repellant on exposed skin. To remove leeches, touch with a hot match head or cigarette, or apply a little salt.

Insects Ticks attach themselves and engorge blood, becoming partially buried in the skin. They secrete a toxin which can produce a progressive, possibly fatal paralysis in humans. They can also inject infective material which may cause diseases including Lyme disease and Q fever. Ticks are about the size of a pin head initially, but rapidly increase in size. The first indication of a tick’s presence is usually itchiness. Investigate any itches, and when in tick infested areas, a specific daily check should be made. To remove a tick, first kill it by applying kerosene, turpentine, diesel, alcohol or tea tree oil. The victim should feel it releasing, it can then be carefully levered out. Do not squeeze with tweezers as this may cause more poison to be injected. Make sure the head is intact. If the head is left behind and cannot be removed, or any symptoms develop, seek medical advice as serious poisoning may occur. Scorpions, bees, wasps, bull ants and centipedes carry a sting which they inject when disturbed. These can be extremely painful, but rarely serious for the victim. Some indivuals are allergic to honey bee or wasp stings. If an allergy develops, medical treatment is needed urgently, CPR may be required. Spider bites inflicted by red-back, northern funnel-web and whistling spiders may be life threatening. Always watch for spiders and avoid contact. A summary of first aid treatment for bites and stings is provided in Appendix 7. Mosquitoes and sandflies (midges) may carry diseases such as Dengue or Ross River fevers. It is advisable to protect yourself from insect bites by using insect repellants and clothing which covers as much of your body as possible.

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Poisonous plants Poisonous plants may be encountered in any habitats. Do not eat any plant material unless advised that it is safe to do so by a “bush tucker” expert, and then only in small quantities in case of an adverse reaction. Wait-a-while or Lawyer Vine is a climbing palm which gets its common name from the backward facing hooks on the long leafless stems which emerge opposite each leaf. These catch unwary walkers, forcing them to “wait-a-while”. If caught, the best way to release yourself is to stop and back up until the tension on the stem is relieved. The main stem is covered with fine spines which break off in the skin in large numbers if brushed against. If not removed, these can cause a great deal of irritation and may become infected. Watch for wait-a-while at all times in rainforest areas, especially in disturbed areas and along margins. When walking in a group, take care so as not to allow vines and other vegetation to swing back onto the person following you. Stinging trees (“Gympie”) are common in and adjacent to rainforest areas, especially in disturbed areas, along tracks and roadsides and at the edges of clearings. They range from low plants close to the ground, to trees several metres high. The leaves are large, deep green, and heart-shaped. They are relatively few, are held near-horizontally, have a distinctive serrated edge and are commonly eaten with holes. The surface looks soft, but features fine visible hairs which contain poison. Participants need to be able to identify Gympie correctly and take care to avoid any accidental skin contacts. The sting, even when lightly brushed, causes intense pain and later glandular swelling; the fine siliceous spines are hollow and are embedded in the skin. The pain will last for hours, even days. It recurs whenever the affected area is washed, or perspires, for up to a year afterwards. Take extreme care at rainforest margins. Wear long pants, boots and preferably long sleeves. A classic sting scenario is contact when pushing vegetation aside with the back of the hand to pass through understory shrubs when entering or exiting rainforest. Treatment for Stinging Tree stings is detailed in Appendix 7. WAX STRIPS SHOULD BE CARRIED AT ALL TIMES WHEN WORKING IN AREAS WHERE STINGING TREES MAY BE ENCOUNTERED Scrub itch (in forest areas) or black soil itch (in savannah areas) results from the bite of larvae of mites which climb onto warm-blooded animals, including humans, and settle in skin folds or where clothing is tight e.g. around the waist and ankles, and in the groin. The larvae remain attached for several days, resulting in itchy, hard lumps. The mites are most common in grassy areas, and in leaf litter, and seem to be more prevalent when conditions are drier. Avoid sitting on the ground or logs without a ground sheet, use insect repellant around the ankles. Dabbing on Selsun shampoo as soon as symptoms are apparent helps get rid of the irritation sooner. Watch for any sign of infection.

Zoonotic infections Mammals or their parasites may transmit zoonoses including Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, Melioidosis, Q Fever, Scrub Typhus and Toxoplasmosis to handlers via bites or open wounds, eyes, hand to mouth, or from infected soil and water through skin abrasions, inhalation and ingestion. Always use gloves when handling animals, wash hands thoroughly and always wear footwear in the field.

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Camp Site And Camp Requisites
A campsite should be selected so as to be free from hazards such as falling branches, flash flooding, vehicular traffic, dangerous wildlife, and stock. Particular attention must be paid to hygiene, especially with regard to food storage and preparation, and sanitation. Personnel unfamiliar with camping should seek advice from an experienced person or the Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator. If there is no toilet facility, go 100 metres from camp and dig a hole at least 15 cm deep. Activities which commonly lead to accidents are: - cutting up food; take care with sharp knives. - cutting fire wood; use a bow saw for cutting through logs, not an axe. Chain saws should be used only when absolutely necessary, and then only by an experienced operator. - pouring boiling water; use a ladle to decant water for hot drinks, use extreme care when pouring hot water for washing up. Liquefied petroleum gas equipment requires special care: - always transport cylinders in an upright position, outside the passenger compartment and in a well ventilated area. - always immediately investigate any smell of gas in case of leaks. - never leave cylinders in direct sunlight. - never use LP gas equipment in a confined space e.g. a tent. If using a 240 volt generator, remember that contact with a bare conductor will be just as fatal as with mains power. Do not use generators in confined spaces, position so that exhaust fumes are carried away from the camp. A range of camping equipment is available from the Biological Sciences Equipment store.

Swimming And Bathing
Take extreme care in water-holes, creeks and rivers. Most contain logs and rocks, these are often not visible because of turbidity. Many streams are fast flowing. Cases of death or serious injury due to diving into shallow water or onto obstacles are all too common. A lookout should be kept by a responsible person on the bank whenever hazards such as crocodiles, sharks, fast-flowing, deep and/or cold water may exist. NEVER DIVE INTO STREAMS OR WATERHOLES Do not use soaps, shampoos or toothpaste in waterways, do not go to the toilet within 30 metres (further if possible) of a watercourse.

Health
Persons who participate in remote field work should be reasonably fit and have no existing uncontrolled medical conditions which might give rise to a life threatening situation. Participants should make the Officer-in-charge aware of any medical condition that may require special consideration in planning.

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Transport
An appropriate type of vehicle, suitably equipped, should be used for field work. When working in remote locations, extra tools, spare parts, water, fuel and recovery equipment may be needed.

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Utilities and station wagons

Passengers must not be carried in the cargo space or on the outside of any vehicle. The number of persons that can be legally carried in a vehicle is the seating capacity as given on the vehicle compliance plate and registration certificate. The carrying of passengers in the cargo space of utilities is extremely hazardous and even a low speed incident can result in death or very serious injury. Unsecured passengers in the cargo space of station wagons and “troop carriers” are also at unacceptable risk. Unsecured cargo in such vehicles is a danger to passengers in the event of even a minor accident. Station wagons and “troop carriers” should be used to transport soft baggage only. Heavy, solid equipment should be carried in utilities and trailers. It is an offence to carry baggage in buses, a trailer or separate vehicle must be used. PERSONNEL SHALL NOT BE CARRIED IN THE CARGO SPACE OF UTILITIES AND STATION WAGONS

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Private vehicles

The use of private vehicles on field trips by staff and postgraduate students must be approved in writing by the Head-of-School before departure. Private vehicles owned by undergraduate students are not permitted on a University field trip unless there are extenuating circumstances. A final decision will rest with the Officer-incharge. For further information, see the JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety. Section 7.9.

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Driver’s responsibilities
SMOKING IS NOT PERMITTED IN UNIVERSITY VEHICLES

Personnel driving vehicles must:

  

hold a current, relevant licence for the type of vehicle being operated, and that licence must be registered with the JCU Transport Section. have completed the JCU 4 wheel drive instruction course and test before operating a 4 wheel drive vehicle (JCU owned or hired). comply with all government regulations.

After receiving the vehicle, the driver is responsible for all aspects of preparation and general maintenance of the vehicle and equipment during the trip. When taking delivery of a JCU or hired vehicle, ensure that:

 

you have the jack, jack handle and wheel spanner. Extra tools and spare parts will be required if travelling to remote areas. you are familiar with the vehicles controls, in particular the 4 wheel drive and high and low range controls, free wheeling hubs and winch on 4 wheel drive vehicles. Check that you are able to engage and disengage the front hubs, you may need a pair of pliers.

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         

you know which fuel the vehicle uses, how far it will travel on a full tank of fuel and that you have the fuel card. the fire extinguisher is in place, and its indicator is in the green area.

The following checks should be made before departure, and daily during the trip: Tyres: tread conditions, inflation. Correct inflation is especially important when carrying heavy loads, and in trailer tyres. Don’t forget the spares. Radiator: check coolant level when cold. Do not remove the cap when hot. Engine oil level. Brake and clutch master cylinders: check fluid level. Trailer coupling: check all is secure and safety chains connected. Lights: check correct operation including trailer lights. Battery condition: check electrolyte level, and that mounting and terminals are secure. Load: ensure that your load is secure.

Further information is available from the Officer-in-charge, Vehicle Maintenance and in the 4 wheel drive vehicle training course booklet. A checklist of vehicle spare parts and equipment is provided in Appendix 9. Prior to setting off, check local conditions, particularly in the wet season. If going to an area you are not familiar with, obtain a map and plan your trip. If travelling through very remote areas, find out where fuel is available. Not all towns will have fuel suppliers who accept University fuel cards. Extra fuel, if required, should only be carried in metal jerry cans; make sure that you have a spout, funnel or other suitable means of transferring fuel to the vehicle’s tank. Adequate water must be carried for the personnel and vehicle.



Driving through long grass

Driving a vehicle through long grass presents the driver with a number of hazards: - the flow of air through the radiator may become blocked by grass, causing the motor to overheat. Check the radiator and grill regularly and remove any obstructions. - grass may become packed around the exhaust system, causing a very real risk of fire. Grass may also wrap around the driveshafts, and the axles of vehicles with independent suspensions. This can cause fire due to friction, or may cause mechanical damage to the vehicle. Check under the vehicle regularly and remove any buildup. Immediately investigate unusual noises or smells. KNOW WHERE TO FIND THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER AND HOW TO USE IT



Vehicle recovery

This handbook is not concerned with techniques in recovery or repairs. It should be remembered that in attempting any recovery or repair, new possibly severe risks exist. Proceed with care and attention. Take time to study all aspects of your predicament and plan your tactics.



Changing drivers

When changing drivers, extra care must be taken as it takes time for a new driver to adjust to the vehicle handling and characteristics, and to road conditions. This is recognized as a classic time for accidents to happen.

18

CHANGING DRIVERS? – TAKE EXTRA CARE WHILST BECOMING FAMILIAR WITH THE VEHICLE AND ROAD CONDITIONS



Field work on roadsides

When working on roadsides, it is important not to hinder or distract passing traffic. This becomes a much greater problem when there is a large group with a number of vehicles. When in this situation:

    

try to avoid curves where visibility is restricted. park all the vehicles on the same side of the road. park as far from the road as possible, at least 5 metres from the centre line. make sure your passengers stay on the side of the vehicles away from the road. discourage participants from distracting drivers by standing close to or crossing the roadway when vehicles are approaching. ROADSIDE PARKING - THINK SAFETY, ACT SAFELY AT ALL TIMES

Limits On Driving And Work Time
Drivers travelling alone should not drive more than 2 hours without a break of 20 minutes away from the vehicle. Where driving is shared, it is recommended that drivers change every 2 hours. You should not drive more than 8 hours in 24, or work (including) driving more than 12 hours in 24. Alcohol shall not be consumed nor any non-prescribed or drowsiness inducing drugs taken within 8 hours of or during the period of the journey by any officer undertaking driving duties. For further information, see the JCU Policy for Fieldwork Health and Safety, Section 7.11. YOU MUST NOT DRIVE WITHIN 8 HOURS AFTER CONSUMING ALCOHOL OR DRUGS

Bush Etiquette
When working on private property, it is very important to have permission. It is proper to contact the land owner in advance of the planned visit and explain its purpose. Seek advice on access, and ask if there is any special care you should take or areas which should be avoided (they might be mustering, or have sensitive stock in a particular paddock). Ask about fire risks and preferred camp sites. Pay particular attention to the following:-

   

leave all gates as you find them. Don’t leave a gate open for a following vehicle unless you have a definite arrangement with the driver. Don’t close a gate which is open when you come to it, you could prevent stock from accessing their water supply. don’t drive on property roads when they are affected by rain, the wheel ruts you leave will haunt the landholders until they can afford the time and/or money to repair them. be scrupulous about putting your camp fire out. properly dispose of, or preferably remove ALL rubbish.

Climate And Weather
19

Field personnel should make themselves aware of the climatic conditions and weather events that may be encountered, and obtain current weather forecasts on a regular basis. For much of the year, coastal and near coastal tropical regions experience hot and humid conditions whilst inland regions have hot to very hot days with low humidity. Night temperatures in inland areas can fall to zero during winter. Personnel must be aware of the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.



How to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

keep fully covered (i.e. keep your clothes on), this allows perspiration to evaporate more slowly, giving the maximum cooling effect. wear light coloured clothes as these reflect the sun. Wool and flannelette enhance the body’s cooling by controlling the rate of evaporation of perspiration. ensure you have a high intake of water (more than 1 litre a day in ideal conditions, you may require 4 to 6 litres). Remember to drink before you become thirsty. It is best to drink a little often. avoid activities when unwell, e.g. vomiting or diarrhoea, as these greatly increase your water loss. If you are feeling unwell or suspect you may be becoming dehydrated, tell your first aider or Officer-in-charge. First aid for heat-related conditions is provided in Appendix 6. YOU MUST MAINTAIN ADEQUATE FLUID INTAKE DURING HOT WEATHER

Sunburn Sunburn occurs more quickly in the tropics and can occur even on dull, overcast days. The most dangerous time is between 10 am and 4 pm. During this time, wear protective clothing (no bare shoulders, wear a hat) and apply SPF 15+ sunscreen. If burnt, make sure that you are not exposed to further sun, keep the affected area as cool as possible and maintain fluid intake. If extensive blistering occurs, seek medical attention. Do not break blisters.

Cyclones Tropical cyclones are extremely dangerous storms, known elsewhere as hurricanes or typhoons. Wind gusts may reach 240 km/h. They are usually accompanied by very heavy rainfall leading to flooding, and may cause higher than normal tides and tidal surges. The main areas affected are tropical coastal areas, between November and April, but cyclones can strike at any time and in other areas. Tropical cyclone advice bulletins are broadcast by radio and television stations in the cyclone belt:



Cyclone Watch

A cyclone watch is issued if a cyclone or potential cyclone exists and there are strong indications that winds above gale force will affect coastal or island communities within 24 to 48 hours of issue. Cyclone watch messages are renewed every 6 hours.

In the event of a cyclone watch, field parties should consider whether to move to a secure location. No field trips are to begin, nor camping equipment to be taken from the equipment store 20

during this period. All equipment from returning field trips must be secured in the appropriate stores or buildings.



Cyclone Warning

A cyclone warning is issued as soon as gale or stronger winds are expected to affect coastal or islander communities within 24 hours. A warning will identify the communities being threatened and contains the cyclone’s name, its location, intensity, its movements and travelling speed. Communities under threat should take precautions necessary to safeguard their lives and property. Cyclone warning messages are renewed every 3 hours, or more often if under radar surveillance. ALL FIELD ACTIVITIES SHOULD BE TERMINATED IMMEDIATELY AND FIELD PARTIES MOVED TO A SECURE LOCATION. All equipment from returning field trips must be secured in the appropriate stores or buildings. Tropical cyclone advice bulletins indicate the expected severity of the cyclone as a category number. These range from 1 (least severe) to 5 (most severe). Things to remember:  always check the official weather report prior to any field activity.  always follow weather bureau warnings; cyclones don’t always give hours of warning.  the area affected by the destructive winds may extend well out from the center.  never assume that just because you are experiencing calm weather, a cyclone isn’t heading towards you – it is very common to have a period of complete calm before a cyclone.  coastal areas may be affected by abnormal high tidal levels, or even a destructive tidal surge.  extremely heavy rainfall, usually mainly south of the center, will cause flooding, which may isolate you in the field.  if the center passes close to or over you, you may experience a calm “eye”, do not leave your place of shelter as the full force of the winds will very soon return, but from the opposite direction.



Cyclone procedures
Immediately prior to / during a cyclone: - listen to the radio. - keep calm. - seek shelter in the strongest part of the building. - if no building available, seek secure shelter in a depression, but remember that low lying areas may suddenly flood with heavy rain. After a cyclone: - continue to listen to your radio. - do not go outside until advised officially. - do not remain in the open unnecessarily. - watch for fallen power lines and other dangerous situations. - if your communications equipment is functioning, attempt to contact your authorised officer and advise of your situation. - do not attempt to travel home until officially advised to do so.

NEVER DISREGARD A CYCLONE WARNING, OR ANY OTHER WEATHER BUREAU ADVICE 21

Navigation
All field parties should be equipped with appropriate large scale maps, an accurate compass, and if possible, a GPS (global positioning system). Field workers who intend or even possibly may be required to leave established tracks, either in vehicles or on foot should undertake a course in basic navigation. Information is also available in survival guides including “Aids to Survival” and “Stay Alive” (see Appendix 11).

Traverses On Foot
When field workers leave their vehicle or camp to traverse some distance across country, their circumstances change considerably and different safety routines must be respected. A variety of potentially severe risks exist. These include the risk of becoming lost, suffering heat or physical exhaustion, and a range of accidental objective dangers, such as snake bite, falling trees, loose stones on steep ground, severe stinging tree contact etc. There are three basic rules cross-country field workers must observe: 1. never work alone. 2. be scrupulous in leaving details of the planned traverse. Leave a note if the vehicle or camp is being left unattended. Park the vehicle in a conspicuous place. 3. continuously review progress to keep control of the parties known location, judge carefully the time and effort required for the return journey, monitor water and food, and try to perceive new objective risks ahead.



Preparation for a field traverse

The following details should be checked before starting any traverse:  minimum equipment to be carried should include a compass, a map or aerial photographs, a watch, and, if possible, a GPS and spare batteries. A compass should be carried even if a GPS is being used as batteries can fail, satellite contact is sometimes restricted by forest canopy, or the unit itself may be damaged in a fall.  correct starting point on the map.  appropriate clothing for the anticipated terrain and vegetation, including hat and strong, comfortable footwear. Long pants and long sleeved shirts are recommended. Bright colours will be easier to spot should any participant become separated or the party become lost.  careful estimation of the time anticipated for the traverse.  well judged quantities of food and water, sunscreen and repellant.  emergency gear including matches, a knife, and a “bum bag” first aid kit.  shelter and cooking equipment if an overnight traverse.  leaving of notes of intended route and time of return. NEVER ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL CROSS-COUNTRY WITHOUT A COMPASS AND A WATCH For “Procedures When Lost”, see Appendix 8.

22

Firearms
The use of firearms on field trips is subject to the JCU Policy on Firearms – purchase, storage and use (E.3.4, Policy and Procedures manual). See JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety, section 7.13.

23

Other Hazards
Field work may entail the carriage of equipment and substances which may present a variety of hazards. These should be identified and appropriate controls and safe work practices implemented. Mandatory packaging and labeling requirements must be met and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be available for all hazardous substances taken into the field e.g. preserving alcohol and fixatives.



Smoking and Alcohol

It is University policy to provide a smoke-free workplace. Accordingly smoking is prohibited in JCU vehicles and hired vehicles used on field trips and smoking is prohibited in shared places in the field (whether indoors or not). Smokers should take all due care with respect to LP gas, and to any other fire hazards. These may be extreme during the dry season. NO SMOKING IN SHARED OR GROUP ACTIVITY AREAS The field is a workplace, and appropriate standards of workplace behaviour should be maintained. Accordingly alcohol should not be consumed while undertaking field work. Should participants choose to consume alcohol after work, it is the individuals responsibility to ensure that they are not affected by alcohol when next they undertake work. NO PERSON SHALL BE IN CHARGE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE LESS THAN 8 HOURS AFTER CONSUMING ALCOHOL.



Sexual Harassment

The field is a workplace and the same standards of workplace behaviour including the right to work and study in an environment free from personal intimidation and harassment apply as on campus. If a person considers that they are being sexually harassed during a field trip, he or she should bring this to the attention of the Officer-in-charge or another staff member.

24

Appendix 1 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES GROUP

FIELD TRIP OPERATION DETAILS
(NON-BOATING)
Form must be submitted to your School Safety Officer one week prior to departure on terrestrial or marine field trips.

 

School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture School of Tropical Biology

Project Title: Officer in Charge: Position: Staff



UG Student
To


/ /

PG Student



Proposed Dates of Trip: From / /

Location of proposed field work (attached photocopy of map of work areas if available and indicate most likely works areas and camp sites):

Describe purpose of trip and principal work methods to be used:

Have the Hazard Identification and Control form (attached) been completed by the OIC? Yes No




Name Next of Kin Phone

PERSONNEL (include every person on the trip. Attach additional sheet if necessary)

Status
OIC

Status:
L = Leader; B= Bus Driver; D = Driver; D4 = Four-wheel drive driver; S = University Staff; UG = Undergraduate; PG = Postgraduate; V = volunteer; O = other; C = Communications operator; F = First Aider – First Aider is
mandatory for remote area field trips that are in areas where it takes more than a half hour to get medical aid to an ill or injured person.

DEPARTMENTAL SAFETY OFFICER’S FIELD TRIP ASSESMENT Is field trip documentation complete? Yes



No


Yes

Are proposed control measures appropriate for the hazards identified? If No, then what additional control measures are required?



No



25

Assessed: ……………………..on ……../……/….. Approved: …………………….……..on ……../……/….. School Safety Officer Head of School

As OIC I understand my responsibilities as outlined in the JCU Policy on Field Work. I have undertaken to personally check the safety equipment and safety procedures required for this field trip.
OIC Name ………………………………………….. Signature……………………………..Date …../……/…..

26

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES GROUP

COMMUNICATION DETAILS
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS TO BE USED: (tick)

  

Mobile telephone: Phone Number (…….)……………………………………………………………………. Satellite telephone: Phone Number (…….)………………………………………………………………….. Radio Communication UHF

If radio: Radio type:



VHF

 HF 

27 MHz



Call Sign: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Frequency or channel number:……………………………………………………………………………………….. Radio Schedules (times):………………………………………………………………………………………………. With whom (including address and phone number): …………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …..

 

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) No.:……………………………………………... Other (Describe)………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Pre-trip training/instruction in communication procedures for personnel completed Yes No





How can the field party be contacted in an emergency? ………………………………………….. How often::………………………………………Times:………………………….……………………… JCU Authorised Phone:…………………………………………………. 27 Contact After Officer:…………………………… Hours:…………………….Phone:………………………………………………….

Address: …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Action to be taken if a scheduled contact is not received by the Authorised Officer:…………………..………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Search and rescue shall be initiated if the field party fails to return by ……………….(time) on …………..………………………………….(day and date)
SAFETY EQUIPMENT: Tick safety equipment carried and indicate number where applicable: PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUPMENT



Hat



Clothing



Footwear



Sunscreen



Other

……………………………………….…….

CAMPING  Tents (no. and size) ………………………………………….  Water drums (  Food (for how long) …………………………..……..  First aid kit generator  Compass VEHICLE  Spare tyres  Water (……….lt)  Winch   First aid kit  Tools (vehicles, other)  Radio Spare  GPS  Spare fuel (………lt)  Spare battery parts  GPS  Torch  Cooking Equipment  Lighting Equipment  x lt) Portable

(details)……………………………………………………………………………………….

28

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES GROUP

TRANSPORTATION DETAILS  School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture  School of Tropical Biology
JCU vehicle details:
Registration Number :___________________________________________ Vehicle (make, model, type):__________________________________________________________________

If vehicle is a four-wheel drive, has the driver completed JCU 4WD training course?



Hired vehicle details:
Company Name:_______________________________________________ Vehicle (make, model, type):___________________________________________________________________ Company Phone Number:______________________________________________________________________

Private vehicle details:

This must be approved by your Head of School:

Why is it necessary to use a private vehicle:_____________________________________________________

Vehicle Registration Number:___________________________________________________________________ Current comprehensive insurance policy:

 

Attached complete proof of payment of your insurance policy:

Name of all passengers accompanying you: ________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

TRAVEL REQUISITION NO (If applicable): JCU ________________________________________________

29

Approval of HOD-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DISCLAIMER:

In the event of an accident in your own vehicle whilst on University business, any insurance claim which may arise should be made through your own insurers. This will NOT be a claim against the University insurers. (Mileage allowance covers the cost of maintenance, wear and tear, fuel and insurance costs).
Signature:………………………………………………………… Date:……………………………

30

Appendix 2

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND RISK CONTROL FORM
Personal protective equipment  gloves  goggles  face masks  respirator  harness  helmet Personal  sunburn  heat stress  cold stress  manual handling, lifting  striking and grasping  slips and trips  mental stress  personal security & safety  medical conditions? Camp site  terrain  falling tree branches  flash flooding  safe from wildlife  safe from vehicles  secure from theft, harassment, hostile persons Camp requisites  potable water and food  cooking facilities  LP gas arrangements  electrical power facilities  lighting  noise  privacy  accommodation facilities   hygiene and ablution arrangements smoking and alcohol consumption   with locals with authorised officer

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION The following checklist of hazards and other items to be considered when planning field work. Fieldwork party  size  composition  novice/experienced  fitness  medical conditions Fieldwork activities at the site  urban survey  bushwalking, traverse on foot  abseiling  rock / tree climbing  working at height  sample collecting  underground work, caving  diving (refer to Diving SO)  boating Etiquette requirements  bush etiquette  native etiquette   collecting permits permission to enter private land Fauna & Flora  box jellyfish, etc.  stonefish, etc.  crocodiles, sharks, etc.  wild pigs, cattle etc.  snakes  bats (vaccinations?)  spiders, ticks, leeches etc.      allergens zoonoses handling of small animals handling of large animals harmful plant contacts (sap, stinging hairs)

Tides and Weather  tide data  Met Bureau forecasts  radio broadcasts  cyclone warnings Fire Risks  extinguisher Firearms  safe storage  ammunition Mechanical hazards  vehicles  machinery, equipment in motion  vibration  pressure equipment  generation of dust Radiation hazards  ionizing - sealed / unsealed source  laser  radiofrequency Fire and Explosion  flammable substances  explosives Thermal hazards  cryogenic fluids Electrical  high voltage equipment e.g. electrofisher  240v electrical equipment Chemicals/Hazardous Substances  carcinogens, genotoxins (mutagens, teratogens)  sensitizing agents  corrosive agents  irritants  toxic/harmful substances (poisons)  solvents  MSDS available  dangerous goods transport Urban  urban dogs  hostile, or violent persons Overseas fieldwork  disease  vaccinations  political climate

Transport  vehicles  motor bikes  boats    aircraft driver licensing driver training

First Aid requirements  first aider  kit in transport  portable kit  additional items required? Clothing  hat  shirt,  trousers/overalls  footwear

Navigation  route selection   location determination direction determination

Communication  between participants

31

Other Specify

Complete the Risk Control section of this form overleaf.



32

RISK CONTROL*
One method of evaluating risks is to use a risk assessment chart:

LIKELIHOOD
Fatality Major injuries
Minor injuries

Very likely High High
High

Likely High High
Medium

Unlikely High Medium
Medium

Highly unlikely Medium Medium
Low

Negligible injuries

Medium

Medium

Low

Low

CONSEQUENCE What you should do:
1. List in the following table** the HAZARDS you have identified that are associated with the field activities. 2. Briefly describe in the table the risks associated with each hazard. 3. Using the risk assessment chart assess, and record in the table the risk presented by that hazard (HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW). 4. Address risks with a HIGH rating first. 5. In the table indicate what control measures are being taken to minimize the the risk.

Control Measures  ELIMINATE the hazard  SUBSTITUTE something with a lesser risk eg. manual handling - substitute a smaller container  ISOLATE the hazard eg. proper storage of chemicals or firearm.  Use ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS - provide training, adequate supervision.  Provide PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT eg. gloves, safety boots, sunhat, sunscreen Controls should be selected from as high up on this list as is reasonably practical to maximise effectiveness. In many cases a combination of controls may be necessary to reduce the hazard.
* Safetywise: Self assessing OH&S in the workplace. COMCARE 1997** Guide for Workplace Health and Safety Plans. DTIR WorkplaceHealth & Safety

Description of hazard

Description of risk

Asses sed
Risk
high

Risk Control measures

box jellyfish sting

wading waist deep in sea whilst dragging net (during February)

manual handling - back strain / sprain

lifting field gear in and out from the back of vehicle

medium

wear stinger suit; have 2 litres vinegar with first aid kit; first aider present; assistant briefed on hazard. pack gear into easily lifted containers; team lift heavy items; revise correct lifting technique

33

APPENDIX 3 Acknowledgement of Field Trip Induction
School of …………………………………………………………………………………….. Subject /Project ……………………………………………………………………………… Field Trip dates ……………………………………………………………………………… Destinations …………………………………………………………………………………. I hereby acknowledge that I have been informed of the nature of the field trip specified above and I am aware that participation in field work may require extensive work in remote areas, long, strenuous hikes and/or long periods of time outdoors in tropical conditions recording field data. I accept full responsibility for my own behaviour and actions while on the field trip. I agree to take all reasonable precautions to avoid hazards and I also agree to conform to all reasonable requests by the staff member in charge of the field trip. I understand my obligations to follow safety directives. I am aware that it may be essential for people other than myself to know about conditions which pertain to me, and that any information I provide to the staff member-in-charge of the field trip will be treated with the strictest confidence and not disclosed to anyone without my consent, except in the case of a medical emergency. I am aware that the field trip first aid facilities do not include provision of medications such as analgesics, antihistamines, Ventolin, insulin etc..

…………………………………………………………………. Name (and student number if applicable) please print

…………………………… Signed

Please specify the following: Name, address and phone number of person to be contacted in the event of an accident:

Phone:(

)

The JCU Student Union Student Accident Insurance Scheme covers students for Universityrelated accidents only, not sickness. It includes ambulance transfer, and insurance cover for students on field trips. For further information contact the Union Welfare Office Administration Assistant.

34

Appendix 4

SUGGESTED CONTENTS OF A FIRST AID KIT FOR A SMALL SIZED WORKPLACE
Preference is for all items to be disposable where possible.

CONTENTS

USE/FUNCTION/COMMENTS

adhesive strips (assorted sizes) .................................................. minor wound dressing non-allergenic adhesive tape (e.g. 5m x 2.5cm) .......................... secure dressings, strapping eye pads (e.g. 5 single packs) ..................................................... emergency eye cover triangular bandage (e.g. 2) .......................................................... slings, support. Padding hospital crepe or conforming bandage ......................................... retain dressings (heavier crepe (various sizes e.g. 2.5cm - 10cm) bandages for sprains may also be required) wound/combine dressings (assorted sizes) ................................. bleeding control, cover wound non-adhesive dressings (assorted sizes) .................................... wound dressing safety pins (e.g. packet of 10) ..................................................... secure bandage, slings scissors (e.g. stainless steel sharp/blunt type-12.5cm) ............... cutting dressings, clothing kidney dish ................................................................................... holds dressings, instruments (where reusable, clean and disinfect after use) small dressings bowl .................................................................... holds liquids e.g., antiseptic solutions (where reusable, clean and disinfect after use) gauze squares (e.g. 2 packets) ................................................... wound cleaning forceps/tweezers or needle........................................................... remove foreign bodies e.g., splinters (preferably disposable splinter type - 12.5cm) (where reusable, clean and sterilise after use) disposable latex or vinyl gloves (e.g. box of 10 infection control

sharps disposal container. ........................................................... infection control - disposal purposes sterile saline/wafer ....................................................................... emergency eye wash - irrigating eye (e.g. 1 bottle - 250ml, wounds (once opened contents MUST or single use ampoules - 3Oml) be discarded) resuscitation mask ....................................................................... to be used by qualified personnel for resuscitation purposes antiseptic solution (e.g. 30 ml) ..................................................... pre-measured containers with expiry dates, low use - single packs plastic bags (e.g. 12 medium size) .............................................. waste disposal note pad and pencil ..................................................................... recording the injured or ill person's (and accident report forms) condition and treatment given re-usable ice-pack ....................................................................... for treatment of strains, sprains and bruises

35

Other items suggested for inclusion in a field first aid kit are:  Hydrocolloid wound dressings which are waterproof and can be left on for some days.  Pre-packed sterile dressings for minor cuts, grazes and burns e.g. Cutifilm, Cutiplast, Cutinova, available from chemists shops. Vinegar (2 litres) must be taken on all marine field activities. This includes field work in mangroves and estuaries. All vessels must carry a first aid kit, and in addition 2 litres of vinegar if used for marine operations.

The above contents are suggested for a small workplace (less than 30 workers), where the risk of injury or illness is low. The bracketed numbers are for guidance only and do NOT represent minimum requirements. The actual quantity of particular items and contents of the kit SHOULD be determined by the Risk Assessment for First Aid requirements undertaken for particular field work.

36

Appendix 5

SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF A FIRST AID KIT AND A MAJOR TRAUMA KIT FOR REMOTE LOCATIONS
Type of hazards distance from medical assistance Additional contents heavy smooth crepe roller bandages, 10 cm splint Comments for snakebites (sufficient number for bandaging lower limbs) for snakebites and fractures (to immobilise limit) for box jellyfish stings

vinegar (2 litres)

large burns sheet
thermal/emergency blanket (also for assisting portability) cold water supply and clean sheeting first aid text torch/flashlight note pad and pencil

for covering burn areas
for treatment of shock

for cooling and dressing of burns

emergency reference manual for use at night, attracting attention for recording the injured or ill person's condition, and treatment given treat stinging tree contact treat stinging tree contact treat stinging tree contact

rainforest field work

Hair remover wax strips vinegar EURAX ointment(S2)

Teatree oil

removing ticks

In addition, it may be worthwhile considering a major trauma kit for a remote location: Universal Dressing large (2) Conforming Bandage 15cm (2) Conforming Bandage 10cm (2) Scissors (1) Adhesive Tape 2,5cm (1) Safety Pins (pkt of 6) Non-adherent Burn Dressing Small (1) Thermal Accident Blanket (1) Foil Dressing for Sucking Chest Wounds 10cm x 10cm (1) Combine Pads 9cm x I 0cm (2) Adhesive Plaster Strips (6) Triangular Bandage (1) Eye Pads Sterile (2) disposable Gloves (1 pair)

A Major Trauma Kit is available from St. John Ambulance. Code 6011) The above additional items for including in a first aid kit are guidelines only.

37

Appendix 6

FIRST AID TREATMENT FOR HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE*
HEAT EXHAUSTION
Heat exhaustion is the common form of heat-related illness. It typically occurs after long periods of strenuous exercise or work in a hot environment. Although heat exhaustion is commonly associated with athletes, it also affects field workers, and those who wear heavy clothing in a hot, humid environment. Heat exhaustion is an early indication that the body's temperature-regulating mechanism is becoming overwhelmed. The victim loses fluid through sweating, which decreases the blood volume. Blood flow to the skin increases, reducing blood flow to the vital organs. Because the circulatory system is affected, the person develops mild shock. The symptoms and signs of heat exhaustion include:  normal or below normal skin temperature;  cool, moist, pale skin progressing to red skin;  headache;  nausea;  dizziness and weakness;  exhaustion;  sweating;  rapid,  weak pulse Heat exhaustion in its early stage can usually be reversed with prompt care. Often the victim feels better after resting in a cool place and drinking cool water. If heat exhaustion progresses, however, the victim's condition worsens. The body temperature continues to climb and the victim may vomit and begin to show changes in the level of consciousness.



Care for Heat Exhaustion
1. Encourage the victim to rest lying down with the legs slightly raised. Loosen any tight clothing. 2. If fully conscious, give small drinks of cold water to drink. If the victim is vomiting and unable to take any fluids, arrange for urgent medical treatment.

If unconscious, position the victim on the side and care for the airway, breathing and circulation.

HEAT STROKE
Heat stroke is the least common and most severe heat emergency. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning. Sweating stops because body fluid levels are low. When sweating stops, the body cannot cool itself effectively, and body temperature rapidly rises. It soon reaches a level at which the brain and other vital organs, such as the heart and kidneys, begin to fail. If the body is not cooled, convulsions, unconsciousness and death will result. Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. You must recognise the signs of this heat-related illness and provide care immediately. The signs of heat stroke include:  high body temperature (often as high as 40°C);  red, hot, dry skin;  progressive deterioration in the conscious state;  full, bounding pulse;  rapid, shallow, noisy breathing. Someone with heat stroke may at first have a strong, rapid pulse, as the heart works hard to rid the body of heat by dilating blood vessels and sending more blood to the skin. As consciousness deteriorates, the circulatory system begins to fail and the pulse becomes weak and irregular. Without prompt care, the heat stroke victim will die.



Caring for Heat-Stroke

38

When any symptoms and signs of sudden illness develop and you suspect the illness is caused by overexposure to heat, follow these general care steps immediately:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Stop the person from continuing any activity. Cool the body. Give cool, clear fluids if the victim is fully conscious. Minimise shock. Seek urgent medical care.

When you recognise heat-related illness in its early stages, you can usually reverse it. Remove the victim from the hot environment and give the victim frequent drinks of cool water. Moving the victim out of the sun or away from the heat allows the body's own temperature-regulating mechanism to recover, cooling the body more quickly. Remember, it is important that the victim be persuaded to stop all activity as the person may be beyond the point of making a rational decision. Loosen any tight clothing and remove clothing soaked with perspiration. Apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets, to the skin and fan the victim to increase evaporation. Continue cooling the victim until the body temperature fails to 38°C. If the victim is conscious, drinking cool water slowly will help replenish the vital fluids lost through sweating. The victim is likely to be nauseated, and water is less likely than other fluids to cause vomiting and is more quickly absorbed into the body from the stomach. Do not let the victim drink too quickly. Give half a glass (100ml) about every 15 minutes. Let the victim rest in a comfortable position, and watch carefully for changes in the victim's condition. A victim of heat-related illness should not resume normal activities the same day.



When to seek medical attention.

Refusing water, vomiting and changes in the victim's conscious state are signs that the victim's condition is worsening. Call an ambulance immediately or in an isolated area transport the victim to a medical facility immediately. If the person vomits, stop giving fluids and position the victim on the side. Make sure the airway is clear. Monitor the airway, breathing and circulation and check vital signs. Keep the victim lying down and continue to cool the body. A change in the conscious state is the first reliable sign that a victim's condition is deteriorating. If you observe changes in the conscious state, cool the body by any means available. Soak towels or sheets and apply them to the victim's body. If you have ice packs or cold packs, place them on each of the victim's wrists and ankles, on the groin, in each armpit and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels. Do not apply rubbing alcohol, which closes the skin's pores and prevents heat loss. Maintain an open airway and monitor the airway, breathing and circulation. Immersing the victim in cool water is not a good idea because doing so may cause additional problems, including abnormal heart rhythms. A person with heat stroke may experience respiratory or cardiac arrest. Be prepared to give EAR or CPR. Summary of first aid treatment for heat-related illness
        

Monitor the victim's condition for signs of deterioration. Loosen tight clothing. Remove perspiration-soaked clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths to skin, and fan the victim. Monitor the condition carefully. Call an ambulance, or in an isolated area transport the victim to a medical facility immediately. Cool the body by any means available: wet towels or sheets or ice packs to armpits and/or groins. Monitor the Airway, Breathing, Circulation Be prepared to perform EAR or CPR.

* Australian Red Cross. First Aid. Responding to Emergencies. (Queensland Ambulance Service) 1995.

39

Appendix 7

BASIC FIRST AID FOR BITES AND STINGS
Field workers should familarise themselves with the full account of first aid for these injuries as provided in the publication Australian Red Cross, First Aid, Responding to Emergencies (Queensland Ambulance Service) 1995.

PRESSURE IMMOBILISATION TECHNIQUE
This is the most common method of treating many bites and stings. It is effective because the pressure over the bite area slows the rate at which venom enters the circulation, thus reducing the toxic effects of the poison. This method should not be used for bites and stings of red-backed spiders, bees, wasps, ants, ticks and venomous fish spines unless the victim has a known allergy to the venom.
  

  

Apply firm pressure over the bite site, using your hand if necessary. Apply a crepe roller bandage to maintain pressure over the area of the bite. For a bite on the leg or arm, use a second crepe bandage starting at the fingertips or toes and working upwards to cover as much of the limb as possible. The bandages should not be so tight as to cut of circulation below them. Immobilise the limb with splint. Do not allow the victim to stand or walk. Check for signs of impaired circulation below the bandaging (discolouration, coldness, numbness). If necessary, loosen the bandage to allow blood flow. Do not remove the compression bandage. The patient should be handed over to skilled medical personnel with bandages and splints in place.

Name
SCORPIONS, CENTIPEDES, BULLANTS,BEES, WASPS    

Signs/symptoms
pain at the bite site swelling and redness around the site in the case of honey bees, a barb lodged in the skin allergic reactions including itching, rash, swollen eyelids, respiratory distress, altered conscious state pain at the site that spreads to a red, swollen, sweating, hot area nausea, vomiting and stomach pain heavy sweating swollen glands in the groin or armpits

Recommended First Aid
1. For a bee sting, remove the barb quickly by scraping sideways with a fingernail. 2. Apply a cold compress or ice pack for pain relief. 3. Keep the injured part elevated and supported to reduce swelling. 4. Monitor breathing and circulation in case of an allergic reaction.

RED-BACK SPIDERS

   

1. Use an ice pack to lessen the pain. 2. Continually monitor the victim’s breathing and circulation. 3. Call an ambulance immediately or in a remote area transport the victim to a medical facility immediately.

40



pain away from the bite site

Name
SNAKES (including sea snakes)        

Signs/symptoms
single or paired puncture marks nausea, vomiting headache altered conscious state double vision or blurred vision problems with speaking and/or swallowing respiratory distress or cardiac arrest clotting defects

Recommended First Aid
1. Use the pressure immobilisation technique for a bite on a limb. If no compression bandage is available, or the bite is not on a limb, direct compression over the bite site with the hand should be used. 2. Continually monitor the airway, breathing and circulation and be prepared to give EAR or CPR if needed. 3. Keep the victim calm, reassured and at total rest. 4. Call an ambulance, or in an isolated area transport the victim to a medical facility immediately. If possible, advise the facility that you are coming. Antivenom is available for most poisonous snake bites. 5. DO NOT wash the bite. DO NOT cut the bite or try to drain or suck out the venom. DO NOT apply a tourniquet. 1. Use the pressure immobilisation technique if the bite is on a limb. 2. Continually monitor breathing and circulation and be prepared to give EAR or CPR if required. 3. Keep the victim calm, reassured and at rest. 4. Call an ambulance immediately or in a remote area transport the victim to a medical facility immediately. 1. To reduce pain, plunge the envenomated part into comfortably hot (not boiling) water (gauged by the rescuer, not the patient). 2. DO NOT apply compression immobilisation technique. 3. Apply EAR or CPR as required. 4. Seek skilled medical help.

NORTHERN FUNNELWEB AND WHISTLING SPIDERS

      

pain, but little other reaction in the bite area heavy sweating heavy production of saliva; tingling about the mouth stomach pain altered conscious state, possibly progressing to unconsciousness twitching of muscles respiratory distress, possibly leading to respiratory arrest immediate excruciating pain in the local area swelling, an open wound and discolouration at the site panic or irrational behaviour

STONEFISH, BULLROUTSAND STINGRAYS

  

41

Name
JELLYFISH (including Box Jellyfish)          

Signs/symptoms
instant and severe pain (often a burning sensation) sting marks on the victim / tentacles adhered to the victim localised muscle cramps breathing difficulties/painful breathing lower back pain anxiety nausea/vomiting headaches convulsions respiratory arrest

Recommended First Aid
1. Prevent the victim from rubbing the stung area. 2. Keep the victim calm, at rest and reassured. 3. Douse the stung area with vinegar. 4. Apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in cloth to relieve local pain. 5. For stings of Irukundji and box jellyfish, use the pressure immobilisation technique (as above) after applying vinegar. 6. Monitor the victims airway, breathing and circulation and call an ambulance or in an isolated area, transport the victim to a medical facility immediately. There is an antivenom for box jellyfish stings. 7. Be prepared to give EAR or CPR if needed, and continue until help is available. Sometimes this may be for several hours, but there is still a chance of complete recovery. 1. Keep the victim calm, reassured and at rest. 2. Use the pressure immobilisation technique for the bite area. 3. Call an ambulance, or in an isolated area transport the victim to a medical facility immediately. 4. Continually monitor airway, breathing and circulation and be prepared to give EAR. The venom may cause the muscle of respiration to cease functioning, although the heart will continue to beat if EAR is given.

CONE SHELLFISH AND BLUE-RINGED OCTOPUS

  

relatively painless bite numbness of the tongue and lips progressive muscle weakness which can lead to respiratory arrest within 30 minutes

42

Name
STINGING TREE CONTACT
   

Signs/symptoms
Immediate severe pain Redness and swelling Enlarged glands Pain may lead to shock

Recommended First Aid
1. Apply wax strips to the affected area. Carefully pull off the strip (as per instructions) or plastic skin to remove the plant hairs. Repeat this treatment (using a new strip each time) until most of the hairs are removed. If wax strips or plastic skin are not available use adhesive plaster or tape, or carefully shave the affected area. It is important to remove as many hairs as possible as soon as possible. 2. Wash the area with tepid water to remove any remaining wax and dry. 3. The application of vinegar after removal of the hairs may reduce the painful reaction in some cases. 4. Badly stung victims may exhibit signs of shock arising from the severe pain experienced. Treat the victim for shock first, then treat the affected area. 5. The application of EURAX cream may further reduce the effects of a stinging tree contact. Eurax cream (an S2 item) should be carried in First Aid kits, so that victims can administer it to themselves if they wish to. *Hair remover wax strips (e.g. Mariana wax strips, Nair Easiwax) are available from chemist shops and supermarkets. They are ready to use immediately, no heating is required. The wax is water soluble.

43

Appendix 8

WHAT TO DO WHEN LOST
The following information is taken from Stay Alive - a handbook on survival Chapter 6, Dunlevy, 1981.
        

If you do get lost, don’t panic - sit down and think Examine your map if you have one - can you recognize any landmarks? What was the last one you saw? Get out your sketch map. Compare the two. Is the map in error? If not ask yourself whether you have drifted to the right or left, or whether you have passed your objective Did you walk around an obstacle and fail to take account of it? Do you have a record of the distance you have travelled? Try to reconstruct the course you took since the last known landmark Climb a tree or hill and look around.

If you are really lost,  Stay where you are  Try to make yourself and your camp easily visible  Brightly coloured garments, groundsheet or coloured plastic may help, so may signals in the sand, if there is sand  Light a fire and keep it smoking  Be prepared to signal to rescuers - remember if there is a search for you it may be conducted by ground and air (see diagrams below)  Conserve your water, your food and energy  Do not blunder about  Should you decide to walk out, leave plenty of evidence that you were there and  Indicate where you are going next, and the physical condition of members of the party

44

Appendix 9

CHECKLIST OF VEHICLE SPARE PARTS AND EQUIPMENT THAT MAY BE REQUIRED ON A REMOTE AREA FIELD TRIP
Items currently provided by the JCU vehicle maintenance section are indicated* Other items, if available, may be provided on request, or may have to be provided by the School. Please refer to the OIC Vehicle Maintenance section in the first instance.

ITEMS FOR BOTH PETROL & DIESEL ENGINES

    

Electrical circuit tester Engine oil Transmission oil Distilled water Water - enough to fill radiator in addition to drinking water

LUBRICANTS ETC.

             

Drive belts (e.g. fan & power steering belts etc.) Radiator and heater hoses Oil filter Fuel filter Brake fluid Wire Fuses and fusible link Globes Oil seals for input/output shafts Wheel bearings Tyres and tubes Valves for tubes Tyre/tube patches, glue etc. Spare wheel*

MISCELLANEOUS REPAIR ITEMS

TOOLS

              

Wheel brace / spanner * Comprehensive tool kit (with all necessary size sockets and spanners) Jack (standard)* and base plate Jumper leads Tyre pump Tyre pressure gauge Tyre levers Rubber mallet Spare tube Tube patch kit Hacksaw and blades G Clamp Drill - hand or 12 volt and set of drill bits Soldering iron (12 volt) and solder Wire brush

              

Aero start Spare nuts bolts washers etc. Gasket cement PVC fuel hose Contact cement Silicone adhesive Araldite, Plastibond etc. Radiator stop leak fencing wire Dewatering fluid (e.g. CRC) Duct or Gaffers tape Self amalgamating tape Insulation tape

RECOVERY. EQUIPMENT

       

High lift jack Leather gloves Snatch strap Rope Winch* (standard equipment, JCU 4-WD) Shovel Snatch block Shackles*

45

OPTIONAL ITEMS TO CONSIDER OTHER ESSENTIAL ITEMS

        

Vehicle Handbook * Maps and compass First-aid kit Fire extinguisher* Knife (pocket or sheath) trouble lamp Workshop manual Survival book Survival kit

      

Portable warning signs Wheel chains Jerry cans * CB Radio Pick Radiator blind or tarpaulin Flares

46

Appendix 10

LIST OF RELEVANT FORMS AND CONTACTS All forms are located online: http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/bsg/resources.html
FORM
*Field Trip Operational Details *Hazard ID and Risk Control *Acknowledgement of Field Trip Induction Travel Request (when claiming expenses) Transport Requisition (Vehicle Bookings)

LOCATION
Online Online Online

SUBMIT TO
School Safety Officer School Safety Officer School Safety Officer

Bio Science Finance Office

Bio Science Finance Office

Online

Transport Office

Approval for non-JCU passenger in JCU vehicle Approval to garage JCU vehicle at home overnight Equipment Store Bookings Accident Report Applications for Permits (DOE, Nat Resources etc) First Aid Kit Booking

Online

Transport Office

Online

Transport Office

Equipment Store First Aid Kits, Safety Officer Online

Equipment Store School Safety Officer Respective Authority

Equipment Store

Janice Cran

47

Appendix 11

BIBLIOGRAPHY AND USEFUL SOURCES OF INFORMATION
 Fauna and Flora
Toxic Plants and Animals – a guide for Australia. Covacevich, J, Davie, P, and Peam, J (eds). Qld Museum.1987



First Aid
Australian First Aid, Volumes 1 and 2. St John Ambulance, 1998 Remote Area First Aid. St. John Ambulance. 1991 (out of print) Australian Red Cross First Aid, Responding to Emergencies. 1995 (reprinted 1997)



General Field Work and Survival
Australian Bushcraft. Graves, R. Revised edition. Dymocks Publishing. 1984 th Aids to Survival. Western Australian Police Academy. 17 edition. 1998 Four Wheel Drive Training Course Notes. University of Western Australia. Map Reading Handbook. Emergency Services, Tasmania. rd Stay Alive. Dunleavy, M. AGPS Canberra. 3 ed. 1981



JCU Publications
JCU Policy for Field Work Health and Safety. Central Services Office, Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator. 1998

Field Safety Handbook for Marine Biologists. Marine Biology Department and WH&S. JCU. 1998
Fieldwork on Land. Doak, G.B. and Stevenson, P.J. (eds). JCU. 1991

48

Appendix 12

FIELD WORK - ESSENTIAL INDUCTION ELEMENTS
All personnel undertaking particular field trip / work for the first time shall be given a safety induction by the officer-in-charge. Undergraduate students shall be provided with this information verbally , and in writing e.g. as part of class notes or a copy of the relevant field safety handbook. The induction shall include  an overview of the parts of the University Policy for Field Work Health and Safety relevant to the particular field work, or reference to the relevant field safety handbook;  information on the nature and objectives of the field work;  safety obligations of personnel;  information on suitable clothing and behaviour;  identified hazards including heat -related illnesses;  the risks associated with the hazards, and the proposed control measures;  where to access first aid facilities and who is the first aider on the project;  instruction in the safe operation of any equipment to be used;  instruction the correct use and maintenance of any personal protective equipment to be used;  reporting accidents and illnesses;  communications procedures;  when-lost procedures;  emergency procedures.

49

Compiled in 1999 by the School of Tropical Biology and the Workplace Health and Safety Section (Central Services Office), James Cook University, QLD 4811, Australia. Text compiled by Rob Gegg. Designed and typeset by Orpha Bellwood. The comments and contributions of L. Winsor and S. Francis are gratefully acknowledged.

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