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Presented By: Earth and Environmental Sciences

Smith Lecture - Dr. Kurt Burmeister, Sacramento State

A process-based approach to safe & effective field activities

Field safety is a process and must be built around a systematic approach to identifying risk and using data to building appropriate prevention and mitigation strategies. Unfortunately, many university programs are currently relying upon field safety approaches that are based on generic checklists and informed by anecdotal tall tales that derail efforts to support safe operations for students, faculty, and staff in uncontrolled environments. Indeed, without a data-driven Field Safety Ratio comparing the actual range of risks effecting participants (based on incidents and near misses) and the amount of incident-free time spent in the field (total person hours), it is impossible to effectively prioritize resources and maximize safety. Together, we will use scenario-based discussions to explore the process of data informed field safety within the context of building better understandings of (1) your program’s Spectrum of Liability, (2) the real underlying reasons why accidents happen, (3) what your Duty or Care actually is, and (4) ways to kickstart safer operations with your students.

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