When recording a site it is your responsibility to take health and safety precautions. Please note that any issues that may arise as a result of your use of the recording toolkit are not the responsibility of the Council for British Archaeology or its project partners. By registering on our website and using our recording toolkit within your project you are acknowledging that access and health and safety are your responsibility.
Basic Site Safety
- Always tell someone know where you are going, and when you expect to return, before heading out. If you do get delayed, let them know.
- Always work with at least one other person.
- While on site ensure you have a fully charged mobile phone to contact the Emergency Services.
- Never put yourself, or others at risk. If at any time during your field recording you feel unsure or unsafe do not continue.
- Consult on-line sources for advice on local weather conditions before heading out. Weather forecasts are available on the BBC Weather and Met Office websites.
- Apply sunblock on sunny days, and ensure this is reapplied throughout the course of the day.
- If inclement weather sets in it is best to postpone your site visit, and return when the weather is more favourable.
Site Access and Permission
Please remember if you are entering a site on private land, you must seek consent from the owner and/or occupier. Legal requirements vary across the UK with some sites having both public and private access. Please check before your visit.
Having gained landowner consent to access your site prior to conducting your field recording, it is recommended that you observe the Countryside Code. For guidance on the countryside code, go to:
Buildings and Earthworks
- As many of the buildings, structures, and earthworks you will encounter are over 100 years old, it is possible that they will be dilapidated, derelict, or unsafe. Great care should be taken when working near such structures or earthworks.
- When recording, or working close to, a dilapidated, unstable or derelict building you should avoid contact with the structure, using an appropriate recording technique such as photography.
- Do not enter any structures or buildings that you cannot see inside, no matter how safe they appear.
- Even low remains may be prone to movement or collapse if you walk on them, so take care and be sensible about how you approach earthworks and buildings.
Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
Given the nature of sites from the First World War unexploded ordnance (UXO) is a present danger. If you do encounter any objects which you believe to UXO while conducting field recording there are a number of steps to take to ensure your own safety and the safety of others-
- If you do suspect that you have found UXO DO NO TOUCH, disturb or tamper with the object in any way.
- Photograph the object without disturbing it, or write a description of what the object looks like and record its location.
- If possible mark the location of the suspected UXO, without disturbing it, so that it can be found.
- Inform the Police and landowner that a possible UXO has been found. They will contact the authorities to ensure the item is disposed of.
- When working in a coastal environment check the tide times before conducting your site visit. A seven day forecast of the tide times can be found on the BBC website.
- Do not enter mud flats or salt marshes, and take care on slippery rocks.
Download a PDF copy of the Home Front Legacy site safety guide
Before conducting your site recording, you may like to undertake a risk assessment, particularly if you are taking a group of volunteers to a site. An example risk assessment template file in PDF format is provided here: