EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

An inclusive risk assessment tool for travel and fieldwork

Michael Prior-Jones, Jennifer Pinnion, Marc-Alban Millet, Elizabeth Bagshaw, Ake Fagereng, and Rhoda Ballinger
Michael Prior-Jones et al.
  • Cardiff University, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, CARDIFF, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

Travel and fieldwork are integral to the geosciences, and it is usual for students, academics and professionals to need to assess the risks and hazards of a planned trip in advance. In the UK, health and safety law focusses on the idea of a “risk assessment” - a process by which hazards are identified and mitigations are planned to reduce the overall risk of the activity. A recent review of our risk assessment procedures highlighted the need to better consider the needs of a diverse community, including those with “protected characteristics” in UK law. These are defined in the Equality Act 2010 as: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

We present our improved risk assessment forms and suggest some approaches to considering hazards and appropriate mitigations that particularly affect those people with protected characteristics. These include the need to consider how laws and attitudes, such as those towards women, or LGBT+ people, may affect the safety of participants. It is particularly important to address this in the geosciences, where fieldwork is frequently an integral part of teaching and learning activities.

How to cite: Prior-Jones, M., Pinnion, J., Millet, M.-A., Bagshaw, E., Fagereng, A., and Ballinger, R.: An inclusive risk assessment tool for travel and fieldwork, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7678,, 2020

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Display material version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-7678, Miguel Gomez-Heras, 05 May 2020

    Have you tried this outside the educational context?

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Michael Prior-Jones, 05 May 2020

      Thank you for your question. I haven't tried this particular technique outside of education, though I believe it's also very applicable in other sectors. I've previously spent ten years working as an engineer in the commercial sector, and I think it would definitely be worth applying there. The basic concept of risk assessment is very well understood here in the UK, so adding the inclusive criteria to it would not be too challenging to most organisations.