The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, in conjunction with UVM Extension and the Vermont Department of Labor has a program that offers producers the opportunity to strengthen and improve their on-farm safety program In addition to creating safe working environments on farms, the VT Farm Safety program assists with developing and implementing a farm safety plan and provides resources for training employees about safety.
You might feel your farm is a safe place to work. You may even hold employee safety meetings or safety trainings. But if your program isn’t written down – documented – it doesn’t exist from an OSHA and or insurance perspective.
Who should participate?
Is your farm safety program ready for an OSHA inspection? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), any farm that employs 11 or more employees is subject to OSHA regulatory oversight. It’s important to note that while farms that employ 10 or fewer employees are exempt from inspection, they are not exempt from OSHA regulations. Every farm should have a written safety program in place no matter what size they are.
Farms that have an active farm safety plan are in a much stronger position to negotiate with their insurance provider for lower workers’ compensation premiums. The Vermont Farm Safety Program has demonstrated success in lowering workers’ compensation premiums for farmers.
We salute each of the past years program participants. Participating producers voluntarily reduced hazards on their farms and set up ongoing employee safety trainings. Several program participants have received the Governor’s award for ‘Outstanding Safety in the Workplace’.
Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross: “It is important to recognize that farms in Vermont are working hard to create a culture of safety on their farms. This program helps producers develop and or strengthen that culture and create safe working environments on the farm.”
Participating Producer Commitment:
- Pay a $90.00 program registration fee
- Attend the Vermont Farm Safety Program orientation meeting and at least one additional meeting during the program year.
- Agree to a farm safety check/audit on your farm during the month of November
- Follow through on recommendations for “hazard reduction” from the audit
- Identify a farm “Safety Manager”
- Develop an individualized “Farm Safety Plan” & implement it
- Conduct monthly on-farm employee safety trainings
Additional Farm Safety Resources
The Vermont Farm Safety Program is a voluntary program and all information is kept confidential.
If you are interested in taking part in the Vermont Farm Safety Program, please contact:Louise Waterman, VT Agency of Agriculture