Field crews typically include individuals with varying levels of expertise, however the crew should include a field crew leader with a graduate degree and/or many years of experience implementing field programs. At a minimum, the field crew leader should have basic first aid and CPR training, and ideally other crew members will have also completed first aid training. Efforts should be made to ensure field personnel have additional relevant safety training, particularly for the handling of hazardous materials.
Field crew responsibilities must be clearly established prior to beginning field work through the use of project-specific Field Work Instructions (FWIs). FWIs are prepared by the project manager or field crew leader, and contain detailed information regarding sampling locations, inventory of the samples to be collected, and an inventory of equipment and methods to be used.
FWIs are prepared and discussed prior to initiating field sampling to ensure that the field crew are familiar with the work plan and to address any foreseeable logistical issues. To ensure staff safety, a field safety plan is a mandatory component of the FWI. Prior to initiating fieldwork, potential safety issues, local emergency contacts and necessary safety equipment are identified. A copy of this information is provided to the field crew through the field crew leader(s).
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