Field Activities Plan

Preparation of a “Field Activities Plan” can help ensure you meet your responsibilities and obligations under the U of A Off-Campus Activity and Travel Policy and the Occupational Health and and Safety legislation and can also help you proactively plan for a successful field season. 

Worksafe Alberta has created some informative eLearning Programs that will give an overview of the legislation and introduce you to the process needed for identification, assessment and control of hazards in the workplace.  Of particular interest to those in supervisory roles is Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities: an occupational health and safety handbook

To give you a head start, FRO, with input from the Field Research Activities Committee, has created the Field Activities Plan template (Word document) you can utilize as a field safety plan which includes the hazard assessment and control as well as the emergency response plan.  

Prior to preparing your plan, you should assess your risk and therefore, you will want to go to Risk Management Services' travel website to introduce you to the U of A Off-Campus Activity and Travel Policy.

In the spring of 2017, EHS released an E-module for "Creating a Field Activities Plan".  Every UAlberta field researcher should be completing this E-module before they start creating there own.  Please follow these instructions to access the E-module:

Go to
To log in:-
Username: Your CCID
Password: Same password you use to log into Bear Tracks 
Once logged in:-
Scroll to bottom of page until you see the 'Field Research Office' category, here you will find the FAP and Bear e-modules.

There are also instructions on filling out the template. Your FAP should be customized for your particular field location(s) and activities.

Emergency Response Plans (ERP)

Part 7, Section 115 of the OH&S Code specifies that the Employer (University of Alberta) must establish an ERP for responding to emergencies that may require rescue or evacuation. The employer must consult with the workers in establishing such a plan and keep the ERP current.

The Field Activities Plan template above does contain a section for your ERP.  

Your ERP should include the following:

  • the identification of potential emergencies;
  • procedures for dealing with the identified emergencies;
  • the identification of, location of and operational procedures for emergency equipment;
  • the emergency response training requirements;
  • the location and use of emergency facilities;
  • the fire protection requirements;
  • the alarm and emergency communication requirements;
  • the first aid services required;
  • procedures for rescue and evacuation;
  • the designated rescue and evacuation workers.

Hazard Assessment and Control

OH&S Code, Part 2 specifies that the Employer (University of Alberta) must assess a work site and identify existing or potential hazards before work begins at the work site. “An employer “must prepare a report of the results of a hazard assessment and the methods used to control or eliminate the hazards identified.” The report should be dated and repeated at practicable intervals to prevent the development of unsafe/unhealthy condition, particularly as work duties or working conditions change. If practical, affected workers should be included in the hazard assessment and control process.

The Field Activities Plan template referred to above does include a section for the Hazard Assessment and Control.  

A good resource to review before beginning to prepare the Field Activities Plan is Work Safe Alberta interactive tool "Recognizing Workplace Hazards".

FRO has also prepared a tool to help you prepare the Hazard Assessment part of the Field Activities Plan.  For many different commonly-encountered field work hazards, we provide examples of appropriate control measures. These should be customized/modified according to your particular field location(s) and activities and the probability and severity of the identified hazards (e.g., working in an area where bears may occur vs working in known high-quality bear habitat vs trapping bears).  Please go to the Hazard Assessment and Control Tool to help you get a start to identify field hazards. The Hazard and Control Tool will continue to grow with your input and feedback. If at the end of your field research, you do a debriefing, as suggested in the Field Activities Plan template, and share this knowledge and expertise with FRO, we can incorporate suggestions for additions/revisions and make this template and process more helpful.

Examples of “Field Activities Plans”

Please go to this page to find some FAP examples.