PCRG designs its field projects to ensure the health and safety of all participants. PCRG project staff monitor weather conditions, participant’s physical condition, and other factors and adjust field schedules, tasks, or methods as needed to maximize volunteer safety. However, PCRG is not currently able to provide liability insurance coverage for projects conducted on state, municipal, or private land. Federal agencies provide limited liability coverage for projects conducted on federal land.
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Field archaeology involves physical labor outdoors, including movement in and around open excavation units and across uneven terrain. A variety of hand tools are required for many tasks and some of those tools have cutting edges. While archaeology is not particularly dangerous, the risk of injury is always present. Following these safety precautions can minimize, but not eliminate, the risk of accidents and injury while working. Please read the following information carefully before you take part in archaeological fieldwork.
1. Working outdoors exposes you to the elements. Wear appropriate clothing. For sunny days that includes long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats. Regularly apply sunscreen with a high SPF level. Drink plenty of water or sports beverages to stay well hydrated. Drink fluids before you feel thirsty. Bring enough water bottles for a full day of work (recommended is at least one half gallon although more is always better). If you are not feeling well due to heat or overexertion, please let a staff member know and we will make arrangements for you to take a break. In cold or inclement weather bring appropriate clothing to keep you warm and dry, including adequate raingear and layers of clothing.
2. Sturdy footwear is a necessity. You are required to wear hiking boots on survey and thick-soled shoes for excavation. No open-toed or open-backed shoes will be permitted, except during waterscreening. Going barefoot is never an option.
3. Watch where you walk! Excavation units may be open across the site. Do not walk or stand directly adjacent to excavation units or sit or kneel on the edge of the units while excavating. The ground in those areas can become unstable and collapse. Be vigilant for the strings that delineate the excavation area.
4. Watch out for things like barbed wire and cactus. Be careful where you sit down or put your pack.
5. Watch out for rattlesnakes. If you see a snake, stop, look behind you, and then back up slowly. Do not antagonize the snake or any other wildlife. If a snake attempts to strike you, please let the field director or your crew chief know immediately. If you are bitten, we will seek immediate medical help.
6. Keep all equipment not in use neatly in an unobtrusive area. Trowels and shovels should always be placed with the point facing the ground. Trowels pointing upward may injure your feet. Stepping on a shovel with the blade upturned can cause the handle to level up toward you.
7. A first-aid kit will be available at the site. On survey, your crew chief will carry a small kit. If you are injured—even if it appears to be a minor cut or scrape—please inform the staff and have the injury treated.
8. You will be receiving instruction on how to use all of the equipment on site. If you have questions about the proper use of a piece of excavation equipment, please ask a staff member for clarification.
9. PCRG recommends that you have proper immunizations before excavating. Historical sites in particular yield metal debris that may be sharp and corroded and can transmit tetanus. Having an up-to-date tetanus booster is strongly recommended for volunteers. While immunization against tetanus is good for a ten-year period, many archaeologists have booster shots every five years so the vaccine is most effective.
10. PCRG project participants ordinarily stay in a field camp. Many types of accidents are more likely to occur in camp in the evening than on site during the day. Potential dangers include campfires, kitchen knives and other equipment, and scalding water or food. Please bring a flashlight or headlamp and watch your footing at night.
11. Volunteers are required to fill out an emergency contact form and inform staff of any physical conditions that may impede their full participation in the program. This form also requests the disclosure of information that may be useful for staff to know in the case of an emergency, such as allergies or latent medical conditions you would want emergency personnel to be aware of in your treatment. The information provided will be kept in confidence and information sheets will be destroyed after the fieldwork concludes.
For the safety of everyone on the project, the following items are prohibited:
1. Illegal drugs, including marijuana which is still illegal on federal lands
3. Guests, without prior approval of field staff
4. Radios or iPods can be used at camp or during lunch but not during work hours
Personal Conduct Policy
All PCRG employees, research associates, and volunteers are entitled by law to a respectful workplace. A respectful workplace is one in which an individual is comfortable with being themselves (within the bounds of good grooming and contemporary standards of behavior) and is not the subject of unwanted sexual advances, offensive behavior, or harassment intended to cause emotional harm. PCRG endorses guidelines set by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), and the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) on sexual and other harassment.
PCRG project participants also agree to abide by the relevant elements of SAA’s Principles of Archaeological Ethics and the Colorado Archaeological Society’s Code of Ethics.
The standards of what is considered offensive have changed frequently over the past several decades, and recognition of behavior as offensive strongly follows age cohorts. Thus, behavior deemed offensive by the affected individual will be investigated to determine if it the incident was (1) repeated or isolated, (2) intended to offend, and (3) an abuse of position or was intended to create a hostile work environment. Some behaviors that are perceived as offensive may be relics of social mores that are no longer considered the social norm, and therefore represent an opportunity for discussion and education on the topic of concern, rather than discipline or dismissal. However, some behaviors, defined below, constitute harassment and will not be tolerated:
Harassment is deliberate and repeated unsolicited verbal comments that are demeaning or derogatory to a particular individual or group and are therefore unwelcomed. Harassment is occurring when: these behaviors have the express or implied intention of isolating or alienating an individual or subgroup from the larger group; differences in attributes such as an individual’s age, ability, race, skin color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, national or regional origin, or religion, are entwined with legitimate and healthy differences of opinion or scientific interpretation; or, such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive professional environment.
Sexual harassment is deliberate or repeated unsolicited verbal comments, gestures or physical contact of a sexual nature which are unwelcomed. Sexual harassment is happening when: submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment, opportunities, or professional advancement; submission to or rejection of such contacts or behavior form the basis of a decision affecting such an individual; or, such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive professional environment.
Some obvious forms of sexual harassment are touching, grabbing, lewd gestures, jokes with a sexual connotation, publicly displayed images of a sexual nature, and any behavior with sexual overtones that is intimidating or offensive to the recipient. Harassment may be written, spoken, or physical. Asking a co-worker for a date is not sexual harassment; but continuing to do so after being told “no” is harassment.
Employees, research associates, and volunteers must tell the harassing person that their behavior is offensive and that they must immediately stop the behavior, and the person who feels that they have been harassed must immediately report all incidents of harassment to their supervisor or project leader. All allegations of sexual harassment will be promptly, fully, and fairly investigated. Investigations will include a member of the same sex as the employee who reported the incident, unless they request otherwise. If no supervisor of the same sex as the harassed employee is available, or the employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person, the employee should report the incident(s) to another supervisor who is available or to a member of the PCRG Board of Directors (listed below). Any supervisor or manager who becomes aware of possible sexual or other unlawful harassment should promptly advise the Research Director or any member of the Board, who will be responsible for ensuring that the matter is dealt with in a timely manner.
Because these matters can be extremely sensitive, PCRG, in compliance with legal restrictions, will attempt to keep employee complaints and all communications, such as interview notes and statements, in strict confidence. Employees, research associates, or volunteers will not suffer any intentional retaliation by the company for reporting confirmed harassment (e.g., demotion, discharge, unnecessary changes in scheduling). All supervisors, department heads, crew chiefs, and members of the Board at PCRG should be aware that sexual harassment is unacceptable conduct and that they are required to make a timely report of incidents and allegations to the appropriate personnel.
If the employee does not want to give details or names, he/she waives PCRG’s legal obligations to investigate. This may result in allegations being left unresolved and involved persons may not be appropriately disciplined and may continue to harass the same or other employees. For this reason, PCRG encourages employees and others only to report harassment that is directed at themselves. Although witnessing behavior between others that appears to be harassment may make some individuals uncomfortable, PCRG cannot investigate harassment unless the object of the harassment institutes a complaint. The individual alleging harassment may be required to explain the nature of the offense during the investigation, if the behavior is not obviously offensive. However, complaints that infringe on the accused’s lawful rights of self-expression, represent abuse of the respectful workplace by attempting to discriminate against co-workers on religious or other grounds, or cannot be quantified or explained specifically may be dismissed. Complaints of harassment are a serious matter with the potential to significantly disrupt the respectful workplace. Those who would use this policy for spiteful, petty, or prejudicial reasons are cautioned that investigation of such complaints may lead to discipline for the accuser(s), if the accusations are determined to lack merit.
If it is determined that sexual harassment has occurred, appropriate remedies for the complaint and disciplinary action against the offender will follow. Anyone engaging in sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or immediate dismissal from the organization, and removal from the field project, camp, or premises.
By entering my name and DOB below I acknowledge that:
I have read and understand PCRG's field project safety guidelines
I understand that PCRG is unable to provide liability coverage for volunteers participating in projects conducted on state, municipal, or private land. Federal agencies provide some liability for projects conducted on federal land. Students who are enrolled in a college course should consult their school for information about liability coverage.
I have read, and agree to abide by PCRG policies as they pertain to safety, personal conduct, and harrassment. I understand that if I fail to follow these policies I could be immediately terminated from the project and asked to leave.
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Check this box only if you DO NOT want photos of yourself to be posted on PCRG social media or website pages.
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