Out in the Open: A Field Researcher’s Quick Guide to Safety

FieldBeing a field researcher is easily one of the most interesting professions. Whether you are an archaeologist, a traveling educator, or even a staff member for the national census, being in the field gives you an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective.

There are, however, some downsides to being a field researcher. Certain hazards may get in the way, and it is important that you anticipate them before taking on the assignment. While each filed trip is unique, there is a general approach to addressing particular risks. Read on to learn more:

Before Leaving

Each research group is usually given a written safety plan. This should be on the top of your list, as it contains protocols on how you should deal with specific situations. The plan should contain the itinerary of the trip, the addresses and the contact details of unit officers and partners. The nature of each activity should also be detailed, and it must also include the types of risks you may encounter and the items you need to bring.

While in the Field

When working separately in the field, you should maintain communication with your fellow team members. You may use smartphones or digital or analog radio communicators in case the team is assigned to work somewhere remote. At the end of the day’s work, you must notify other team members if you are returning to the rendezvous place.

Your Travel Kit

Other than clothes, water, and extra canned food, your travel kit should also include first aid items. This kit should have antiseptic, gauze strips, dressings, scissors and safety pins. Sunscreens and insect repellents are essentials, especially if you are surveying an area in broad daylight. Basic medicines include antihistamines and anti-motility pills.

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These are only some of the things that field researchers should put on their list before embarking on the journey. You and your fellow team members should also know how to blend in, especially when conducting the work in a foreign place.