The Department of Environmental Health & Safety works in partnership with individuals and groups both on and off-campus to assess the risks of farm and field activities in order to ensure that work is performed using proper controls and best safety practices.

Safety for Field Trips and Outdoor Research

Outdoor Hazards

Field Work/Trip Guidelines

These guidelines are for trips involving overnight stays, unusual hazards, or physical risks.

  1. Develop a detailed schedule and plan for field activities using the Health and Safety Plan Template. Meet with all participants ahead of time to familiarize them with goals, expectations, and risks.
  2. If any field activities require special skills, be sure to provide and document any necessary orientation and training provided to the participants.
  3. Consider hazards specific to the activity as well as generic field hazards (see the Outdoor Hazards section, above)
  4. Have each participant complete the Acknowledgement of Risk form (DOC). The trip leader keeps a completed copy of this form for each participant.
  5. Maintain a list of names and emergency contacts of all participants that includes a list of participants' medical conditions which might require emergency care or special treatment (from completed Acknowledgement of Risk Form). A copy of the list of the emergency contact names should also remain with the department administrative office, along with a copy of the itinerary and locations.
  6. Bring a cell phone and first aid kit. Make sure the area you are going has cell service!
  7. If going to a remote area, consider having radios or other methods to reach emergency personnel.It is recommended that someone in the group be trained in First Aid and/or CPR.

Report all incidents of injury to the UVM Department of Risk Management.


Try to arrange group transportation using a UVM owned or leased vehicle. Use of personal staff or faculty vehicles will make those employees primarily responsible if any accident should occur. Students who elect not to travel with the group should complete an Alternative Transportation waiver (PDF).

All drivers must have a current UVM driver certification status. The certification process requires a Motor Vehicle Record check and two online trainings and can take up to 30 days. Apply to become a UVM certified driver.


Review the Farm Safety Program for specific outdoor research locations

UVM's Miller Research and Education Complex (MREC), Horticulture Research and Education Center (HREC) and Morgan Horse Farm come with unique safety hazards unlike those in a typical indoor research lab environment. Additionally, Jericho Research Forest and Proctor Maple Research Center are other off campus facilities where both outdoor and indoor research is conducted.

Click the button below to review farm safety topics.

Farm Safety