Please participate with caution and with responsibility. Never put yourselves or others at risk whilst visiting coastal heritage sites and respect your surroundings. Do not make observations or record in unsafe conditions. The SCAPE Trust cannot be held responsible for injury, loss or damage occurring as a result of you visiting and surveying coastal heritage sites. Your use of content on the app and the website and the carrying out of independent site visits and surveys of coastal heritage is done entirely at your own risk. Any content you submit must be respectful and relevant and you are fully responsible for the legality of your contributions.
1. Health and Safety Statement for volunteers
The SCAPE Trust is committed to protecting the health and safety of its volunteers and members of the public arising from our activities. Health and safety is a joint responsibility between us, the SCAPE Trust, you, the Volunteer, and any other person involved. Below we set out in more detail our health and safety procedures.
- We will provide insurance for all participants in training events and fieldwork activities directly organised by us and at which we are present.
- We will provide risk assessments relevant to specific work areas and tasks.
- We will provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from our activities.
- Volunteers will receive guidance, instruction and training appropriate to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of themselves and others when participating in activities organised by the SCAPE Trust.
- The overall responsibility for health and safety rests with Tom Dawson, the SCAPE Trust’s manager.
Responsibilities of Volunteers
- To be aware of the contents of this statement and SCAPE’s guidelines for volunteers for keeping safe at the coast (see Part 2, below).
- To be familiar with any specific project guidelines concerning safety for volunteers.
- To follow risk assessments prepared for activities.
- To carry out activities with regard to the health and safety of others.
- To report any Health and Safety issues, incidents or concerns promptly to The SCAPE Trust.
Please note: SCAPE is not responsible for coastal surveys and site visit activities organised by other groups which should have their own Public Liability Insurance and Risk Assessment procedures. If your group does not have these, we can assist you in getting them if your group organises activities that contribute coastal survey data to SCAPE.
- Volunteers should report to The SCAPE Trust any incident where serious injury occurred or could have occurred, (e.g., Injury that requires that person to be immediately taken to hospital for treatment or injury affecting an individual for more than three days)
- The statement and its application and effectiveness will be reviewed as required to ensure it is appropriate to the activities of SCAPE. It was last reviewed in May 2021.
2. Guidelines for volunteers for keeping safe at the coast
Whether you are alone, or in a group, there are particular dangers to be aware of when working at the coast. Your safety during coastal surveys is paramount, so it is really important that you follow the guidance below.
NEVER put yourself or others at risk when carrying out a coastal survey. If you are unsure or consider the situation unsafe for any reason do not continue with the survey.
Before you venture out
- Download a copy of SCAPE’s model risk assessment for volunteers, read it carefully, and adapt it to include specific conditions about your own survey.
- It is always preferable to carry out a survey with another person or people. However, if you do plan a survey alone, tell someone where you are going, your route and your expected return time – remembering to check in with that person to let them know when you have returned safely.
- ALWAYS check the state of the tide and the weather before you set out. Information on tides and weather is available on the BBC website.
- Take a fully charged mobile phone. Remember that you may not have a signal. In an emergency, the Coastguard can be contacted by dialling 999.
- Do not undertake a survey if you are unfit, unwell, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear.
What to take with you
- Even if you are only planning a short trip, take enough liquid and food to sustain you in the event of an unexpected delay.
- According to the weather, take extra clothes, waterproofs, sun cream, hat, gloves.
- An emergency First Aid Kit.
- Consider taking a large-scale map (e.g., OS Landranger).
In the field
- Ruinous buildings, monuments and structures are common at the coast. NEVER enter or go close to unstable structures and buildings where there is a risk of falling masonry or debris. Take photographs and fill out your survey form from a safe distance.
- NEVER climb up or down unstable coastal sections.
- Beware of unstable cliffs and dunes and do not stand below them.
- Do not stand close to the edge of a cliff, it may be less stable than you think.
- Take great care in the intertidal zone. NEVER venture out onto mudflats or salt marshes if you are not absolutely sure it is safe to do so.
- In areas of shipping and ferries, be aware of the danger of sudden large waves caused by boat wake.
- Take great care on slippery rocks.
- Wear gloves and take care when handling cultural material, especially glass and metalwork.
- Do not touch any containers or drums that may contain hazardous substances, any hazardous rubbish or any unfamiliar objects. Potentially hazardous waste can be reported to your local SEPA office.
- Avoid disturbing wild animals – any injured, stranded or dead animals can be reported to the SSPCA by dialling their animal helpline 0300 099 9999.
3. Responsible access
Many of our sites at risk are on private land. Everyone in Scotland has the right of access to open countryside, including the coast for outdoor recreation and for crossing land, as long as it is done responsibly.
- The Scottish Outdoor Access Code tells you about your rights and responsibilities when enjoying the countryside and coast.
- Please respect fences and signage.
- If there is no obvious right of way or public access to a site, please do not try and get to it. Just tell us in your site survey that the site is not publicly accessible. This information is very useful for management purposes.
- In the case of dangerous structures and buildings, whether they are on private land or not, NEVER attempt to access them. You can still carry out a basic survey and take photographs from a safe distance. This is all really useful information for us.
4. SCAPE Contributor Agreement
Here we set out the terms of our agreement with you about how your submitted content will be used by SCAPE and your rights and responsibilities as contributors. The Contributor accepts this Agreement by creating a User Account and submitting content.
- You must be the owner of, or have permission to use, any material you upload. That means you may only upload images and documents that belong to you or be able to provide evidence that you have permission to share it.
- Your Username will be displayed on our website with your submitted content.
- You, the contributor, retain the intellectual property rights of submitted material created by you.
- But you agree that SCAPE may make your submitted material publicly available on the SCAPE website and app, and in exported databases, and that SCAPE may use your submitted materials in coastal heritage research, and in all forms of public dissemination of the outcomes of the research.
- You agree that new data and information created with your submitted materials will, by default, be subject to Creative Commons (CC0) license, “no rights reserved”. This means that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.
Use of the SCAPE website and app
- The SCAPE Trust seeks to ensure that the information published on our website and app is up to date and accurate. However, the information does not constitute legal or professional advice and The SCAPE Trust cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use. The SCAPE Trust cannot be held responsible for the contents of any pages referenced by an external link.