Health & Safety during Survey Work

Volunteer Responsibility

Volunteers are under no obligation to participate or continue with a survey or scheme. Volunteers are responsible for their own health and safety and should not put themselves in a position that could place them, or others, in danger. You should never undertake a survey if you have any concerns about your own or others’ health and safety. If you have any such concerns, you should stop the survey and contact Research Team. You are under no obligation to visit a particular site.

 

Insurance

Birdwatch Ireland, N.A.R.G.C and B.T.O will carry insurance for third party loss, damage or injury and will be able to provide Public Liability insurance certificate. Their members will be able to show landowners that request to see written confirmation. Volunteers that are not affiliated with these organisations are not insured. A certificate of insurance for landowners is available on request. This insurance does not however cover loss, damage or injury to volunteers and their helpers who should make their own arrangements as they see fit.

 

Access Permission

Permission must always be obtained from the relevant landowners to enter any private land before commencing the survey work. Do not continue survey work if access permission is denied or later evoked. A letter confirming your participation in the survey can be provided on request.

 

Health and Safety

It is advisable to carry a mobile phone, which may be useful in case of an emergency. Please note that mobile phones may not work in some remote areas and will only work if you are conscious and capable of operating them.

Please always inform a responsible person of your intended whereabouts before commencing survey work. This should include: date and time of departure, method of transportation to the site, proposed itinerary, expected time of leaving the site and return to base, and vehicle identification details. The person to whom these details are given should be told who to contact if you do not return and what time to raise the alarm. If possible, do not work alone.

When working in woodland, it is appropriate to wear footwear with good ankle support and to carry warm and waterproof clothing. Carry a map and a compass and know how to use them. Immediately abandon the survey in bad weather.

Do not cross potentially hazardous sites, such as quarries, ravines, and railway lines. Do not attempt to climb steep slopes, walls or fences. Please heed warning signs and do not enter private land that has been deliberately obstructed by fencing or barbed wire.

As the survey is conducted at sunset, it will continue into dusk and low light levels. All volunteers should carry a torch and spare batteries. Be extra vigilant when walking on roads and wear something bright and reflective. Take care to park sensibly, preferably off road and do not block entrances.  If possible, do not work alone.

If you have any concerns about your personal safety, cease survey work immediately.