UCL Department of Geography


Lone/Out of hours working Hazard Tables

Miscellaneous Hazards
RisksAssociated Control Measures
Difficulties in summoning help when required; risk of abuse/attack
  • Where possible work, as a minimum, in pairs.
  • Where possible carry a radio or mobile phone.
  • Leave details of the field site and a work plan (include contact name and address) with colleagues in the department or at home prior to any trip.
  • Specify dates and times of departure and return
  • If your plans change, inform someone as soon as possible.
  • Do not carry valuables or large sums of money unless you need to.
  • Carry a personal alarm (This advice is directed to males as well as females - all are equally vulnerable when alone!)
  • Instigate a "check-in" system with a colleague or supervisor - Phone in at regular intervals. If you do not phone or return at a certain time arrange for suitable action to be taken.
  • Trust your intuition - If you feel scared or uneasy, do not ignore it.
Travelling Alone
RisksAssociated Control Measures
On foot - risks of personal attack/abuse
  • Whenever possible avoid walking alone at night.
  • Keep to busy, well-lit roads.
  • Avoid poorly lit or rarely used underpasses.
  • Walk facing on-coming traffic to avoid kerb-crawlers.
  • Do not use a personal stereo - you will be unable to hear anyone approaching from behind.
  • Plan your journey in advance - tell someone which route you mean to take and the estimated time of arrival at your destination.
  • Walk with confidence and purpose - try not to look as if you are not sure of where you are going.
  • Never look as though you are carrying a lot of money.
  • Dress appropriately - try to fit in without attracting attention.
By Car
  • Make sure the vehicle is in good working order before setting off.
  • Make sure you have change for a telephone in an emergency.
  • Plan your journey in advance - tell someone which route you mean to take and the estimated time of arrival at your destination. If this changes, ensure you inform your contact as soon as you can.
  • Do not leave valuables visible in the car - even when you are in it.
  • Keep bags etc. out of reach of open windows.
  • When parking in daylight, consider what the area will be like after dark.
  • When returning to the vehicle, quickly look around it to make sure there is no one waiting for you.
  • If you are forced to stop by another car, stay in the car, lock the doors and speak through a slightly open window.
  • Make sure you know what to do if the car breaks down. (ie. who to phone; where to phone from etc.)
Staying in Hotels
RisksAssociated Control Measures
Risks to personal safety
  • At the reception, try to avoid letting other people overhear your name and room number.
  • Do not go into other people's rooms unless you know it is absolutely safe.
  • Do not allow people into your room unless you know who they are.
  • If you hear a disturbance, stay in your room and phone for help.