Office of the Chair and Graduate Chair DPES 2012-1 Field Safety From: William Gough, Chair, DPES Date: February 1, 2012 The recent audit of our department examined the processes in place to insure that our field camps, field courses and field trips are in compliance with university safety protocols. My subsequent review of our practices indicate to me that our researchers and instructors exhibit the highest standard insuring our excursions are done in the safest way possible. The environmental science field camps, for example, exceed the university standard and are an example for other units. However, although we comply with and often exceed the prescribed safety standards, our paperwork needs to reflect this high standard. For all field activities (defined as off-‐campus) we must have students sign waivers and instructors/PIs must fill out a Field Research Safety Planning Record (FRSPR). These are to be submitted to the department (Pat Woodcock is the point person for this) prior to the trip and require the signature of the Chair. Pat has samples of waivers that can be adapted for specific course and research field trips. She also has the FRSPR form. The University protocol (where the FRSPR form is prescribed) is entitled, “University of Toronto Policy for Safety in Field Research” and can be found at http://www.ehs.utoronto.ca/resources/manindex/policies/fieldres.htm If the field research occurs outside of Canada, further protocols come in to play. Please refer to the following to guide your international field work: http://www.cie.utoronto.ca/Safety/Safety-‐Abroad-‐Travel-‐Guide.htm I would like to draw your attention to an area of special concern. Some of our courses take advantage of our proximity to Highland Creek. This Creek due to poor urban planning upstream is subject to flash floods and thus instructors should brief students on this hazard. Although much of Highland Creek is on the UTSC campus, I would ask instructors to go through the same safety protocols as is done for off-‐ campus field work. The Environmental Science technician, Chai Chen, is well versed in the safety issues in doing work at or near Highland Creek and should be consulted.