Using Hazardous Equipment in Fieldwork


  1. All equipment should be suitable for the task for which it intended, undamaged, well maintained and inspected by a competent individual.  A competent individual should possess a formal qualification (where this exists) or relevant experience.

  2. Systems should be in place to ensure that equipment remains in good working order during the period of its use in the field, taking into account routine maintenance and availability of replacements.
  3. The impact of the environment (moisture, dust, sand, extremes of temperature etc.) on the performance of equipment should be taken into account.
  4.  Measures should be taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery e.g. physical guards, protective devices etc.
  5. Equipment maintenance regimes should be adequately documented. Where equipment is hired, it should meet the required British or international standards and the maintenance records should be checked before use.
  6. Equipment should be retired at the end of its lifetime in line with manufacturer's guidance and any items that develop faults or sustain damage during the course of the fieldwork trip should be clearly identified as such and taken out of service.
  7. Equipment must be operated safely by competent trained personnel.
  8. Lifting equipment must be properly tested and certificated in accordance with statutory requirements e.g. LOLER
  9. In the case of electrical equipment:

a) Reduced voltage (110 or less) should be employed when equipment is used out of doors.

b) Other protective devices such as residual current or earth leakage should be used where possible.

c) It should be compatible with the local supply.

10.  Firearms and explosives must only be used by competent persons and stored safely and securely. Licenses must be obtained where appropriate.