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Fieldwork Guidance

Please find a link to the Universities Safety and Health Association Fieldword and Travel Guidance Document. 

USHA Safety in Fieldword Guide

  1. Please note an important difference that a UCC reader / intended user must allow for in any proposed transposition of USHA fieldwork guidance into a local School/ Department field work code is an acknowledgment to the USHA and the provisions of the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs current fieldwork guidlines at A risk assessment form is available here: Work related travel RA Oct 2023.
  2. Additionally all references to the UK must be removed as must all references to UK legislation titles. As Irish safety legislation is the relevant legislation that applies  in the Republic of Ireland, only the SHWW Act 2005 should be referenced. [UK legislation references may not be retained.] . Note: the UK and Ireland operate under the same overall Eu member state occupational health and safety framework , hence the duty to employees would be similar but enacted differently within different member states.
  3. The Irish Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act legislation is occupational health sand safety legislation that applies to all employers and employed persons. Its purpose is to proactively protect the health and safety of employees involved in discharging their employment related activities and those who may somehow be impacted by work undertaken by employed persons - all subject to the as far as is resaonably practicable test.
  4. UCC as an employer and Academic departments/ staff as the employee representative have a statutory duty, AFARP, to protect all third parties from the impact of work which a UCC school/department, or person employed by them undertake at a place of work (SHWW Act duty).
  5. Under the SHWW Act, a place of work is where an employee undertakes work, whether it is within or outside of UCC - hence fieldwork undertaken by UCC staff at each and every places where the work is undertaken falls within the definition - whether UCC  controls the environment or not. Thus UCC staff fieldwork activities must be risk assessed and controlled by their Head of School/Department, irrespective of location.
  6. Under the SHWW Act- students at a university are not employees of the university, whilst undergoing a course of study at the University. ( This provision was inserted in the 1989 Act at the behest of the educational sector).
  7. Normal General Common law duties of care still apply to students and to employees. These must be applied by all Heads of School/Department planning and undertaken field work activities.
  8. As students are not employees they are not covered by the Safety health and work Legislation in the same manner as employees of UCC. Hence a statutory duty to treat students as employees under occupational health and safety law does not arise, in relation to their student activities whilst studying at UCC. ( Note: this would be a key difference in the USHA code as presented)

Health & Safety Office

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5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork