Queen's University Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy 2019-05
Emergency Procedures (1): • First aid kits will be carried with us at all times (with triangular bandages, various over the counter drugs including benadryl) • Another First aid kits is available at the station. • Land line telephone is available in the lodge. We will rent a satellite phone.
Emergency Procedures (2): • Medical emergencies we will go either to Smiths Falls (about 40 minutes) or Kingston General Hospital (about 45-50 minutes). • We will have a cell phone with us and in some locales signal is available. • Dr. Stephen Lougheed & Dr. Yuxiang Wang are capable for First Aid.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (1)Arduous hikes and long working days • Some field work will require long distances to visit different habitats. Work days can span dawn to dusk and beyond. • Fatigue is a possibility, compromising judgment. • Blisters may result from poor-fitting footwear. • Appropriate footwear is to be worn at all times (avoid sandals, slippers and crocs) • We will rest when needed • Ensure that all participants have appropriate clothing and sufficient water.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (2)Getting lost • The Biology Station is large (>3400 hectares), and embedded within an even larger matrix that is under populated. There is a possibility of getting lost. • Participants will always travel in groups of 2 or more and stick to recognized pathways only. • Participants should always carry a GPS units with extra batteries (make sure to mark starting point). • Refer to the topographical maps.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (3)Insect bites and stings • As we will be doing much work in the field all participants will be exposed to possibility of insect bites or bee or wasp stings. Even participants without history of allergic reaction may react because they have never before been exposed. • At any sign of anaphylaxis we will contact medical facility for immediate evacuation via cell phone where there is signal or land line from the Biology Station lodge. • Always carry benadryl (this may lessen the reaction)
Hazards and Risk Analysis (4)Extreme sun, heat & humidity • Summer temperature can exceed 30C degrees, possibility of dehydration and severe sunburn during some daily activities. • All participants will be required to carry a minimum of 1 litre of water; • Wear brimmed hats; • Use sun block with appropriately high SPF (> 30); • Sun glasses with polarizing lenses are useful;
Hazards and Risk Analysis (5)Roadside activities & possible vehicular accidents • Some course activities occur along roadsides and inattentiveness can lead to accidents with oncoming traffic. • Wear brightly coloured clothing • If operating at night carry head lamps or flash lights. • Exiting from vehicles should be undertaken with care • participants will not leave van until roads are clear of traffic, and will be asked to proceed immediately onto a road shoulder well in from road's edge.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (6)Van and car travel • Many activities will occur well away from station lodge and will require van or automobile travel along gravel roads and secondary highways. Some vehicles driven by others on such back roads travel at inappropriately high speeds that can send up sprays of gravel. • Van travel will occur only with the rated number of passengers and at or below the listed speed limits. • All personnel should wear seat belts for all trips.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (7)Watercraft accidents • Canoes are available for recreational activities. Participants, especially those inexperienced with canoes, may find themselves in difficulty should adverse weather arise. In appropriate action in the extreme may lead to drowning. Motorized watercraft are available but to those who are licensed. • All participants must notify one of the QUBS staff (and including destination). • No participant will be allowed to canoe alone and only groups of participants with at least one experience canoeist will be permitted. • All participants will wear life jackets when in canoes or aluminum boats or barges. • Drinking alcohol and use of watercraft is not allowed • All people using watercraft MUST carry a boat kit (floating rope, flashlight, whistle, and bailing bucket) • Carry an extra oar or paddle in case one breaks or lost.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (8)Ticks and Lyme disease • Ticks are becoming increasingly common at QUBS, including blacklegged ticks which carry the bacterium, Borreliaburgdorferi, which causes Lyme Disease. The first sign of infection is usually a circular rash. Other common symptoms include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. If untreated Lyme disease can cause nervous system disorders, additional skin rashes, arthritis, heart palpitations, and fatigue and general weakness. It is seldom fatal. Note that, as of 2012, about 2/3rd of the ticks in the QUBS area were Eastern Dog Ticks which do not carry Lyme Disease (Bruce Smith, pers. comm.). • Participant should wear long pants with the legs tucked, long-sleeved shirts that fit tightly at the wrist, and closed shoes and avoid sandals. Light-coloured clothing makes ticks more visible.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (8)Ticks and Lyme disease • Insect repellents containing DEET may help repel ticks. • After being in the field it is wise to do a careful self-inspection for attached ticks. Prompt removal of attached ticks reduces the transmission of the Lyme disease causing bacterium. • Carefully remove attached ticks using tweezers. Be sure to remove the entire tick including the mouth parts. This is best done using special tick-removal forceps not standard tweezers (several pairs of these are available in the First Aid Kits at QUBS). After removing ticks, wash the bite site with soap and water or disinfect the area with alcohol or antiseptic. • Please notify a TA or professor if you notice attached ticks • Should symptoms arise, or you notice that an engorged tick that has been attached for over 48 hours, please notify a healthcare provider.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (9)Poison ivy • Posion ivy is common plant at QUBS and can be found in forest. forest edges, fields, fence rows, and roadsides. All parts of poison ivy (leaves, stems, roots) contain a poisonous substance (urushiol) which typically causes inflammation, frequently with blisters and extreme itchiness. • People working in the field should learn to identify the plant (see the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs web site). • Long pants and long-sleeved shirts can help minimize exposure, although cloths should be washed with detergent to remove When possible one should walk through along cleared pathways. • If in contact with poison ivy, one should gently wash the area with cool water and soap as soon as possible. Calamine lotion may help reduce itchiness.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (10)Black Bears • Black bears have been sighted at QUBS, albeit very rarely (see the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Fact Sheet). Black bears can cause injury or death but in the main are timid. • To reduce the probability of contact with bears, one can make noise when walking through wooded areas. This will alert bears to your presence. Be aware of your surroundings and do not wear music headphones in the field. • Watch for signs of bear activity, like tracks, claw marks on trees, flipped-over rocks, or fresh bear scat. Field workers should not leave gear unattended (especially if there is food in it). If food is to be left behind behind, it should be hung it in a tree. • If a bear is seen, back away slowly back away and change direction to avoid contact with the bear. Do not run. Do not linger around the bear or try to approach it.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (11)Lightening • If you see a thunder storm approaching and have time to react/move, avoid elevated locales, tall, isolated trees, metal fences, and water. If you can see lightning or hear thunder, and if delay between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder is less than 30 seconds then you are in danger according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Enclosed vehicle generally provide good shelter from lightning. The majority if individuals struck by lightening survive, although some 10% may not so the risk is real. • Plan: If you are with an individual who has been struck by lightning, immediate first aid is imperative. Individuals who have been struck by lightning do not carry a charge. If you are within cell phone range then call 911 immediately. Start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and if the victim has no pulse, begin cardiac compressions. If the weather is cold and wet situations it is wise to put a boundary layer between the victim and the ground to reduce the probability of hypothermia. If you are in a watercraft and can see a storm approaching, go immediately go to shore. Do not go out onto the water if there is a storm approaching.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (12)Rough, sometimes steep terrain • Possibility of twisted or broken ankles or falls causing other injuries. • Stick to well-marked trails. Wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots with good ankle support) and always travel in groups of 3 or more so that should accident occur notification and evacuation is possible.
Hazards and Risk Analysis (13)Swimming and diving accidents • Rocky shores and undetected underwater rocks can lead to spinal and other injuries. • Currents can be swift and dangerous in the shoreline we are travelling to. • Consequences could be dire and include loss of life . • Research activities on the shore of the lakes and rivers will be under the close supervision. • Swimming will only be permitted in group in calm weather in recommended area. • We will make sure to assign an on shore life-guarding person during swimming activities. • Diving is not allowed
Hazards and Risk Analysis (14)Extreme inclement weather • Occasional downpours might cause some discomfort and perhaps chills should weather turn cool. Possibility of thunderstorms and lightning. While unlikely, lightening strikes have obvious hazardrepercussions. • In extreme weather we will avoid going out at all. Again participants will work only in groups typically with a TA or course teacher so that immediate evacuation is possible. All participants should have appropriate clothing (e.g. rain jacket, hat, warm clothing).