Agritourism operators should review their safety plans

10/16/2013 11:20:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

corn mazeVicky BoydFall marks high consumer interest in agritourism from hayrides and corn mazes to pumpkin patches and pick-your-own operations.

Not only should farm operators be prepared for the increased traffic but they also should review their safety plans.

“So even something as simple as having hand washing stations, to warning people that there may be uneven ground in the pumpkin patches, to making sure little kids don’t run off, consumers and farmers have to think safety for those who are coming to their farms."

That advice came from Eric Barrett, an Ohio State University Extension educator, in a news release.

He and fellow Extension educators provided these safety tips for agritourism operators:

• Plan hayride and sleigh ride routes so they do not cross public roads or highways.

• Ensure that any tractor pulling a hay wagon weighs more than the gross weight of the heaviest wagon it will tow.

• Tow only one wagon at a time.

• Train workers in first aid and CPR through a local certifying agency.

• Workers should be able to recognize visitors who show signs of weather-related distress or the onset of a possible medical condition and take appropriate action.

• Invite your local fire department to do a site visit to ensure that your operation provides appropriate access for emergency response vehicles.

• Have an emergency response plan with detailed information pertaining to emergency contacts, actions to take during various emergencies such as fires and inclement weather, and location of first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

More information on agriculture safety can be found at

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