(Photo Source: National Children’s Center for Rural & Agricultural Health and Safety)
Farm and ranch operations continue to diversify by adding activities such as corn mazes, hay rides, and product sales (farm markets, pick your own, etc.). Although these new enterprises create additional revenue for the farm or ranch, these ventures also have their own set of potential safety hazards. The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety developed a comprehensive website that will assist farmers and ranchers with usable information to minimize the risk of injury on their operations.
Click HERE to be directed to the “Integrating Safety into Agritourism” website, which provides an overview of agritourism safety and health. It gives you the option to select specific types of “walkthroughs” based on your operation. The Walkthrough tab on the home screen allows you to click on 11 different topics (animals, hand washing, machinery, etc.) that provide you with specific information about that topic. The walkthroughs use photos to contrast safety concerns and hazards with best practices and guidelines. Review questions and resource information accompany the photos.
Operating a business that involves working with the public can be challenging, and communication is highly essential when it comes to visitors to your farm or ranch. Many of these visitors will have little or no experience with agriculture, so it is important for you to minimize potential hazards and properly communicate information about hazards. Click HERE to be directed to a tutorial about communicating with your guests about hazards. The tutorial will assist you with the planning process and signage prior to and during your event.
The “Resource Section” of the website is a comprehensive list of resources divided into categories that will enable you to reduce the potential risk of injury through the use of proper planning, signage, policies, procedures, and health and safety guidelines. Click HERE to visit the resource page. It is divided into specific topic areas such as animal safety, corn maze safety, hayride safety, etc. Each topic area provides a checklist to use to “walk through” your operation and help you identify safety and health hazards. It also has resources you can use to address these hazards, including signage in both English and Spanish. All resources are free to download and use.