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Fieldwork is an integral part of research and teaching, and significant consideration should be given to safety when out in the field.

Divisions and Departments are expected to develop and operate their own health and safety procedures and processes for field activities. These should be appropriate to the types of activities within Divisions, Departments and Schools.

The Field and Off-Campus Activities Policy (PDF)
The Field and Off-Campus Activities Policy aims to provide a safe environment for teaching and research activities conducted 'in the field' and off-campus locations.  It recognises that the best prevention strategy is through planning, preparation, knowledge and management of the hazards.

The Fieldwork and Off-Campus Activities Guidelines (PDF)
The Fieldwork and Off-Campus Activities Guidelines assist staff and postgraduate students in planning, managing and coordinating all fieldwork activities in such a way as to protect the safety of staff members, contractors and students.  This includes field trips organised by any department of the University, such as colleges and Unipol.

The Fieldwork Guidelines for Home and Community-based Research Visits provide an oversight of the hazards associated with working alone in the community setting, and practical steps to manage the hazards.

The Fieldwork Risk Management plan provides a template for fieldwork and can be modified to suit your requirements.

Satellite Communications Devices – Health and Safety Operations

The University's Health and Safety Operations Group have 10 x inReach and 10 x PLB devices available to support departmental fieldwork communications. There is no charge for the use of these devices.

To request one or more devices, complete the GPS device request form at least three working days prior to your intention to enter the field.

In addition to the H&S devices above, a number of University of Otago departments have a range of satellite communications devices. It may be possible to loan one of these devices for your fieldwork.


Please direct enquiries to:

Jane Anderson
Health and Safety Advisor – Operations

Personal Locator Beacons – UNIPOL

UNIPOL have 15+ Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) for hire by members of the University community.

To hire one, take your University ID (student or staff) to UNIPOL during normal opening hours.

The cost is $10 per unit, per hire (1 hire = up to 14 days).

These PLB's are for the exclusive use of the University community and are not available to the general public.


Please direct enquiries to:


Get Home Safe

Get Home Safe (GHS) is a lone worker and field safety monitoring solution. It primarily works by monitoring time.

With GHS, you set a time you will check-in as being OK, either during or at the safe completion of your task or journey. If you do not check-in as planned, Campus Watch is alerted and they initiate follow up procedures within the university, and if necessary, emergency services.

GHS also provides both 'panic' and 'silent or duress' alarm options that users can activate from the field in the event of an emergency. Again, this is monitored by Campus Watch who initiate the immediate emergency response.

GHS operates via a simple app on users' cell phones. Users can also integrate GPS communications devices into GHS when working in areas without cell coverage.

GHS is an ideal safety management tool for those:

  • Teaching or researching off campus, particularly in rural or remote locations
  • Researchers working in participants' home or work environments
  • Lone workers

GHS is an optional Health and Safety management tool that the University of Otago provides to enhance the wellbeing of our staff, students and associates when working in the field.


For more information, contact:

Jane Anderson
Health and Safety Advisor - Operations

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