Health & Safety.

Download the H&S document on the Methodology page.

Litter Intelligence surveys: What to do

  • Wear gloves and closed-toe shoes. Gumboots are not recommended.
  • Use eye protection and take care of fingers when malleting in stakes.
  • Pick up rubbish within the survey area and put it into the rubbish sacks.
  • Take survey rubbish back to the audit location. Take care not to mix with general rubbish until the audit is complete.
  • Follow rules around hazardous objects detailed in the section below and also refer to your resource pack for specific instructions on handling sharps, asbestos, and sanitary items.

Safety with rubbish

  • Do not pick up asbestos. See photo provided and refer to Asbestos Awareness sheet.
  • Only adults are to deal with syringes / medical sharps. These are to be put into the sharps container provided in the health and safety backpack.
  • Only adults are to handle hazardous waste, such as fishing hooks and lures, broken glass, sanitary waste (nappies / diapers, condoms, tampons), industrial waste, car batteries etc. See Sanitary Items Handling Procedure in your resource pack for more details.
  • Do not pick up natural / biodegradable waste. Wood, if it has been modified or treated, is to be included in the audit. Be aware of splinters.
  • If any animals / marine creatures are found caught in rubbish, inform DOC as soon as possible on 0800 HOTDOC (0800 362 468). Please do not approach distressed/wild animals.
  • If an item of rubbish is too heavy / large to move, please make a note in the technology platform
( and contact your local council for proper removal.
  • Be careful when sieving rubbish. Wear safety glasses to avoid getting sand in your eyes.
  • Wash and sanitise your hands after clean-up and before eating.

Safety on the coast

  • Always undertake the survey as a team (minimum of two people).
  • Plan to conduct your survey at low tide — tides can rise quickly! For tide times, visit
  • Avoid setting up your survey area in potentially hazardous areas such as muddy, slippery, or extremely uneven terrain or below unstable cliffs.
  • Always look where you are walking when measuring out your survey area with the tape measure.
  • Do not run or attempt to pick up rubbish while moving.
  • Do not enter the water.
  • Do not touch pest-control units / traps.
  • Do not enter fenced or roped-off dune restoration areas and obey all official beach notices.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, don’t continue. Let your survey lead know.
  • If the site is not within cellphone reception, make sure you have another form of communication to call for help if required. This could be:
    • Leaving your intentions (GPS point of your destination and expected return time) with family/ close friends, your Sustainable Coastlines contact or your local police / DOC office.
    • Making sure at least two of your team can drive / walk to the nearest cell-reception area if necessary.
    • Having a satellite phone, two-way radio, or personal locator beacon (PLB). Talk to your Sustainable Coastlines contact who will ensure you have access to a PLB if required. Or visit

Emergency procedures

For injuries and incidents requiring first aid beyond your team’s capability, call 111 immediately. DO NOT MOVE ANYONE with possible spine/neck injury unless they are in further danger.

  • Do not compromise your safety to assist someone else.
  • VHF Channel 16 is monitored by the Coastguard for emergencies.
Use PLBs to contact emergency services when relocation is made too risky / impossible due to terrain or severity of injury. Do not hesitate to set it off if lives are in danger.