Student Fieldwork Survival Guide or Student Code of Conduct
1. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY LIES WITH THE TEACHER AND THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENT
Fieldwork is an activity involving inherent risks and hazards - e.g. coastal exposure, quarries, river sections, power stations, farms, and some urban areas. Severe and potentially dangerous weather conditions may be encountered and it is the responsibility of each student to be equipped with suitable clothing and to take appropriate action to reduce the risk of accidents (see 4. below). Students are asked to observe sensible standards of behaviour and to conduct themselves with good manners and consideration for others. For certain work students may be required to identify themselves and their place of study. They should bring no disrepute to their school or the Centre. Students are responsible for ensuring that they do not endanger their colleagues or members of the public. In your own interest your school and the Centre should be informed of any existing medical condition or injury which might affect you on a field excursion. Even modest hikes or climbs may be unsuitable if you suffer from certain heart conditions or asthma, high blood pressure, epilepsy, etc. If in doubt consult your own doctor.
2. STAY WITH THE PARTY, EXCEPT BY CLEAR ARRANGEMENT WITH THE TEACHERS
If working away from immediate supervision, students must report any personal injury or illness. They must be sure they can read a map and have full instructions for the day's activities, including the names and grid references of sites. They should note down instructions concerning places of assembly, carry a notebook and pencil along with any medication which they may require. Students should have emergency telephone numbers including a mobile number of a member of staff, and a written address of the hotel.
3. KEEP IN A MINIMUM GROUP SIZE OF FOUR WHEN OUTSIDE OF IMMEDIATE SUPERVISION
If an incident to an individual should occur, two can go to seek assistance, and one remains with the injured party.
4. STUDENTS MUST OBEY ALL INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY STAFF BOTH ORALLY AND IN WRITING
This is vital in the interests of the student and the group. Failure to do so may endanger both.
5. CARE OF AND CONSIDERATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
All students should be familiar with the Country Code. They should protect the natural and human environment - e.g. by avoiding climbing over dry-stone walls, leaving farm gates open etc.. They should avoid leaving litter of any kind - organic or inorganic and particularly anything which could start a fire - cigarette ends or glass, for example.
6. STUDENTS ON FIELDWORK MUST HAVE WITH THEM AND WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHING
This includes anoraks, waterproofs, warm clothing, headgear and sturdy footwear. Jeans are unsuitable for some kinds of fieldwork and are potentially dangerous in exposed situations where you are likely to get wet. Brightly coloured clothing is advised. For fieldwork in the city of Barcelona, appropriateness in personal dress is required. It is the responsibility of the individual to provide appropriate sun-protection cream (see Appendix 1), sunglasses etc. which will be required! Some activities call for special protective clothing. You must wear a safety helmet when visiting mines, building sites and quarries; the Centre requires that you wear a safety helmet when working near cliffs, steep screes or wherever there is the risk of falling debris. The Centre provides and requires that you wear safety goggles (this is also a legal requirement) if using a geological hammer. The use of protective gloves is required when handling unknown substances such as effluent, mineral wastes and slurry. Staff reserve the right to prevent students from undertaking fieldwork when they are not adequately equipped.
7. IN VEHICLES, SAFETY REGULATIONS MUST BE ADHERED TO
When travelling in a coach or minibus, the seats and central aisle should be left free of bags and equipment - this is the law in Spain where coach safety, as in the U.K., is a very topical and emotive issue. Eating and drinking in the vehicle is not allowed for safety reasons. Loose equipment, particularly objects likely to roll under the driver's pedals, must be safely stored.
8. AVOIDING DANGER
Students should avoid, where possible, confrontations with dogs, livestock and wild animals. Students must be especially careful when working near machinery and farm implements. They should avoid touching metal objects discovered in the field. They should not consume water from dubious sources and they should not walk barefoot where glass or other objects could inflict damage (e.g. in streams and on beaches).
9. HEALTH AND IMMUNISATION
It is recommended that students should have a current status of tetanus immunisation. Prior completion of E 111 forms allowing reciprocal medical treatment is required. These forms are available at the Post Office. HIV/Aids presents particular dangers (see Appendix 2).
10. MINIMISING RISKS
Whether working as part of a led group or on self-guided study, students must always work in threes or larger groups. They must also always leave details of their route and schedule with the teacher in charge. Every student engaged in fieldwork should carry emergency contact addresses and telephone numbers. No survey undertaken in Barcelona requires entering people's homes or visiting neighbourhoods where there could be an element of danger. Surveys are conducted in daylight hours only. Give unsupervised dogs a wide berth.
11. WORK IN THE PYRENEES
The Pyrenees can be subject to dramatic changes in weather conditions. Teachers in charge should be equipped with safety rucksacks containing first aid kit, compass, whistle, torch, survival bags, emergency shelter and extra food - even though the study site may be only a few minutes from the road and vehicle. Participants should move carefully over rough, rocky or vegetation-covered ground avoiding loose boulders: they should never run down steep hills or screes. They should never attempt to cross a bog of any type unless it is unavoidable. The Centre is responsible for assessing the likely weather conditions. Staff from the Centre taking groups into the Pyrenees have undertaken Mountain Leader Training in the U.K..
12. SAFETY IN AND NEAR WATER
Safety lines and safety jackets must be used by students engaged in fieldwork activity in fast-flowing water or in the surf zone when conditions demand. Fast flowing water of knee-height or above is extremely hazardous and students should minimise risks. No river should be crossed that fits this description without the aid of a safety line, life jackets and specific team 'huddling' techniques - and then only in an emergency situation. Weil's Disease constitutes a serious hazard (see Appendix 3). Take special care in crossing drainage channels on salt-marshes where deep mud may be encountered. Remember that drainage channels fill before the general marsh is covered.
13. QUESTIONNAIRE PLANNING
When planning an interview, survey, or similar fieldwork, students should be guided by their teacher in the preparation of questionnaires and interview schedules so as to minimise potential disturbance to interviewees. All questionnaires employed by students, either during led fieldwork or in self-guided work, MUST be reviewed by their teacher before surveying begins.
In all types of social survey work in Barcelona, students should not work unsupervised. Identity cards carried will confirm that the students are engaged on work as part of a Centre programme. In making contact with potential respondents, it is important that they are informed of the individual's status as a student at Barcelona Field Studies Centre. Purposes of the study must be explained, avoiding extravagant claims of its value. It may be necessary to offer reassurance about the confidentiality of a respondent's answers - a pledge which must be honoured.
15. FIRST AID KITS
Centre staff will be carrying a first aid kit (see Appendix 4) on all fieldwork. All field classes organised by the Centre are required to take a first aid kit with them. There will normally be a qualified first-aider in your party. Make sure you know who it is and report any illness or injury occurring during the field trip. Accidents, however minor, should be reported as soon as possible to a member of staff.
16. IN CASE OF ACCIDENT
Don't panic. Assess the situation without endangering your own life or that of others. Don't move the victim. Identify the conditions which might cause immediate death (breathing stopped, heart stopped) or danger (severe internal bleeding, head injury, spinal injury, chest injury, severe shock, unconsciousness). If first aid qualified, give immediate appropriate and adequate treatment. Never leave the victim unattended. If first aid is not available, use the international distress signal. Give six blasts of a whistle, six shouts, six flashes of a torch, six flashes of a mirror, or six waves of a brightly coloured cloth. Pause for one minute. Repeat. If you are in a party of 3 or more, send at least 2 members for help. You should have the following information when going for help (write it down): location of accident, such as map reference, local landmarks, whether in open or on cliffs, gullies, etc., time of accident how many are injured name(s) and sex of victim(s) nature of injuries whether victims are conscious or unconscious whether victim has specific problems (e.g. diabetes) first aid action taken and condition of the rest of the party.
17. FOR ALL STUDENTS UNDERTAKING FIELDWORK ALONE
Permission for individual fieldwork is not normally given and then only by the leader of the college or school party. All of the provisions in this safety guide also apply to independent fieldwork. However, since the nature of individual fieldwork involves an important element of self-reliance and the ability to cope alone, students in this category are necessarily responsible for their own safety in the field, and the following further advice is offered.
(1) Discuss likely safety problems or risks and check equipment with your teacher before departure or start of work.
(2) Plan work carefully, bearing in mind experience and training, the nature of the terrain and the weather. Be careful not to overestimate what can be achieved. Make sure you are conversant with the particular safety and health requirements of the environment in which you are working.
(3) Don't go into the field without leaving a route card (sample included with this guide) and a map showing expected location and time of return. Remember that this route card is only useful if you do not digress from the route given. Never carelessly break arrangements to report your return to local people.
(4) Check weather forecasts. Keep a constant look-out for weather changes. Do not hesitate to turn back if the weather deteriorates. Local weather forecasts are more useful than general forecasts.
(5) Know what to do in an emergency. Carry a first aid kit and some emergency food at all times. A survival bag, whistle, torch, map, compass and watch will be required when in remote areas.
18. HOTEL RULES
We would appreciate you complying with the following rules for the convenience and comfort of the rest of the guests staying at the hotel. It is important to respect their needs for a peaceful and relaxing stay.
- Dress appropriately inside the hotel (for example with shirt and shoes).
- Please dry yourself before entering the hotel after swimming or showering.
- Please do not slam doors or behave noisily in the hotel corridors.
- It is forbidden to jump or climb from one balcony to another.
- The hotel pool is open for the use of guests between 10.00 and 20.00; please do not use it outside these hours.
- Please dispose of litter in the bins provided.
- After using the beach, please clean yourself and your belongings of sand before entering the hotel.
- No ball games are allowed in the vicinity of the hotel.
- Please report any problems or damage in your hotel room immediately to reception to avoid any misunderstanding.
- Please look after the hotel facilities and report any damage immediately to hotel reception.
- External telephone calls can be made through the two telephones available at reception; the room telephones should not be used for this purpose.
- Please keep to the hotel restaurant eating hours.
- The Hotel Victoria does not allow food and drink purchased elsewhere to be consumed on the premises.
- The gymnasium in the Hotel Victoria should not be used by students.
If in doubt please ask at reception; the receptionist speaks English and will be pleased to assist in any way possible.
Thank you for your kind co-operation.
APPENDIX: HEALTH HAZARDS AND ADVICE
Over-exposure to natural sunlight can cause skin cancer (melanoma). Skin types are divided into six categories according to how they react to sunlight: 1. never tans, always burns 2. tans with difficulty, burns easily 3. tans easily, burns rarely 4. always tans, never burns 5. genetically brown skin 6. genetically black skin. The risk of skin cancer varies with skin type, being greatest for type 1 and least for type 6. If a student has skin types 1 or 2, they must wear protective clothing or use sunscreen cream. Cloud cover does not much diminish, while blue sky and reflection from snow or water greatly increases, exposure to UV radiation. The risk of developing skin cancer is a long-delayed hazard of sunburn.
(Human Immune Deficiency Virus: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) HIV is not easily spread. People may become HIV positive in a number of ways, including:- (a) Penetrative sexual contact - through semen and vaginal fluids. (b) Intravenous drug use. (c) By receiving contaminated blood products (all Spanish blood donations are screened for the virus). (d) Unprotected handling of blood spillage. Students should minimise risks to themselves by, for instance, not engaging in unprotected sexual activity.
3. WElL'S DISEASE (LEPTOSPIROSIS)
This disease is usually contracted from water in canals, stagnant pools, landfill sites and bodies of slow-moving water which have been contaminated with urine from infected rats. Domestic animals, cattle and pigs can also pass on this disease. Treat any still or slow moving water as suspect and ensure that all cuts and abrasions are adequately covered with waterproof dressings. Avoid contact with water known or suspected to be infested with rats.
These are now very common throughout the year, with only February and March being relatively bug-free. Barcelona mosquitoes are large, difficult to hunt down and their bite can cause a severe allergic reaction for some people. Cover arms and legs in the evening, use repellant and burn a mosquito coil whilst asleep. These can be purchased in England and used in Spain with an approved plug adaptor.
See What to Bring?
5. FIRST-AID KITS - CHECK LIST AND BRIEF FIRST AID INSTRUCTIONS
First-aid boxes or bags should be made of suitable material and designed to protect the contents, as far as possible, from damp and dust. Boxes or containers should be clearly identified as first-aid containers: the marking used should be a white cross on a green background. First-aid boxes or bags will contain a card giving general first-aid guidance and should contain only the following items and nothing else:
(a) 6 x individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings;
(b) 1 x sterile eye pads, with attachment, No. 16;
(c) triangular bandages: (1) 2 x calico 90cm x 127cm; (ii) 1 x sterile non-woven suitable for covering serious wounds;
(d) safety pins;
(e) a selection of sterile unmedicated wound dressings, which should include at least the following:
medium sized sterile unmedicated dressings (approx. 10cm x 8cm) - large sterile unmedicated dressings
(approx. 13cm x 9cm) - extra large sterile unmedicated dressings (approx. 28cm x 17.5cm);
(f) crepe bandages: (i) 7.5cm x 4.5m (ii) 10.0cm x 4.5m;
(g) 1 x pack sterile absorbent gauze;
(h) 1 x reel micropore tape;
(i) 6 x individually wrapped moist cleansing wipes;
(j) 1 x pair round ended scissors.
(k) 2 pairs of latex gloves
For field trips where groups are taking part in separate activities, there must be one kit for each group.
See also: Geological fieldwork risk assessments