Complete the hosted research document found in the flow chart (refer to appendix 1 of the CoP). Emergency contact information should be lodged with your department and, if the visit involves foreign travel, Occupational Health and FCO and other security advice obtained and followed.
If the visit includes involvement in hazardous research activity, then assurance must be obtained from the host institution that appropriate health and safety arrangements, including risk assessment, training and PPE are available for the visit. There may also be additional risk assessment and licences required if there is an intention to bring research samples from the host institution back to Imperial College.
If no risk assessments or safety induction processes are available from the host then the traveller will have to conduct their own risk assessments for the work. This might include not only the FW1 offsite work risk assessment but also COSHH, Bio1 and assessments for ionising radiation.
Case study- Vehicle breakdown and robbery
An Imperial College public health research team were embedded within a government run health programme in Burkina Faso. A Convoy of Government vehicles including two ICL vehicles were traveling across the open countryside when one of the government vehicles got a puncture which delayed the convoy. A village elder offered accommodation for the night as he said the roads were not safe in the evening or after dark. The offer was rejected by the Government official leading the convoy. Further along the road a road block was seen and the convoy attempted to turn around but was fired on with small arms. Valuables including computers containing research data were taken. A local warlord extracted a tax on the road in the evenings of market day. He was not pleased that someone was trying to avoid payment.
The risk assessment did not take account of the nature of the hosted relationship and assumed that the hosts were managing most of the detail regarding travel and movement. There was no provision for Imperial participants to opt out of any decisions made by the group. There was no emergency plan for ICL.
The problem with being embedded in someone else's project is that you may be dragged along with their decisions, good and bad. This should be considered in the risk assessment, and clear actions on foreseeable events such as mechanical failures established before setting off.