Farm Safety Management Plan

A Farm Safety Management Plan for Farmers by Dr. Jesse C. LaPrade

Why should my farm have a safety management plan?  

Each farm with one or more paid farm workers should have a farm safety management plan.

All farms with ten or more gainfully employed farm workers are subject to Occupational Safety and Hazard Act regulations. Federal law requires all employers and businesses to provide a safe working environment for those workers.

Any business under OSHA regulations is subject to fines and regulatory action if there are unsafe conditions at any workplace or if any employee has been injured or killed from such circumstances.

This program will accomplish the following:

Reduce farm injuries and fatalities on your farm
Reduce liability of the farm entity such that all workers will have been trained on safe practices on a specific farm and a specified responsible farm worker has been designated to answer any questions about safety at any time, and all pertinent safety rules have been posted at a specified location for all farm workers to review as needed.

Safety rules reduce fatalities and serious injuries if farm workers embrace the rules and the overall concept of safety. The two categories of rules are general and specific.  

General rules apply to all farm workers, while specific rules apply to certain tasks, such as operating a tractor or working in the shop. Some employees will need to heed all the rules, and others assigned to more specialized tasks will only follow the rules that apply to those tasks.

What should my plan include?

All rules for each specific farm must be customized by each farm owner or manager. Each farm has different tasks and performs each task differently. Each farm safety trainer will need to review all rules once or twice annually, deleting those that no longer apply and adding new rules to cover all new ways of doing tasks. This can be modified based on the safety history of that particular farm and the way tasks are currently being performed. The farmer committee suggested that all workers be asked to provide input in making changes in all farm rules and to provide an incentive for them to do so. Some members of the farm safety advisory committee suggested that a Christmas bonus be provided to workers who practiced farm safety and had no serious injury during the year or specified time period. A certificate could be given to all workers who suggested rule changes that were put in place; this indicates that these workers take safety seriously.

Where can I find more information?

You may contact Dr. LaPrade for any farm safety needs:

On his cell at: (334) 707-9534
or by email at

Here are the blank forms that you can use to document your effort and reduce your liability. These forms can be used as they are or as a guideline for creating your own forms.  

Farm Safety Management Plan Form.pdf

Farm Safety Management Plan-2 Form.pdf


Statement of Purpose, "To prevent the loss of life, property, and revenue on above named farm" The Statement of Commitment by the owner or manager of each farm is as follows:

"All employees will be trained on safe use of equipment, proper attire, and proper work environment to reduce risk of fatality and serious injury to all workers on above named farm."
The farm manager, Mr. / Ms., is responsible for training all farm workers about safety on this farm.  See  for help or questions about all safety issues  pertaining to this farm.
Approved by  , Manager or owner of the farm
 or LLC.

Farm Safety Management Plan

Creating your own Farm safety Management Plan for your very own farm operation.

Name of farm:
Date of enactment:
This is an example of what your farm safety management plan document may look like.  Download this presentation
as a PDF and this form will be included to use as your farm safety plan, or you can use this as an example to create your
own specialized plan.

 All newly hired workers, will be trained verbally on farm safety will be given written information of which a copy is on file. This is verified by the trainee's signature on the training form as well as the safety trainers signature.         
Any questions about safety issues on this farm will be handled by the safety trainer.  This is the second document
needed for your farm safety management plan.  The employee training verification document can be downloaded
and used when training new employees and updating current employees on farm safety issues.


You may copy these rules and post them on your farm for all farm workers to review as needed. Also provide them to newly hired workers when they are trained for the first time. It is recommended that this signed form and a copy of written training material provided to the farm worker be clipped together and kept on file, perhaps in a file entitled  "Worker's History" under the heading 'Safety Training.'  You are not alone in this effort!  Dr. LaPrade is committed to helping all  farms reduce fatalities and serious injuries. This web site will also include farm safety training literature updated on a regular basis. Safety never goes out of style or becomes obsolete.


1. Smoke only in designated and / or non-posted areas.

2. Alcoholic beverages and nonprescription drugs are not allowed on the job.

3. Report all on-the-job injuries promptly to the proprietor or designated safety manager.

4. Firearms may be carried only with the proprietors permission.

5. Maintain order in your work area.

6. Report hazardous conditions promptly.

7. Follow all safety precautions at all times.

8. Do not enter confined spaces without a standby person and permission.
9. Know where you can get help, if needed.

10. Horseplay is not allowed on the job.     

11. Always bend your knees when you lift and get help with heavier loads.

12. Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) on jobs requiring it.
13. Hats, long-sleeved shirts and trousers are required for outdoor work.

14. Know where first aid equipment is located.

15. Perform no emergency repairs unless authorized to do so.

16. Wear clothing appropriate for the temperature and weather conditions.

17. Secure all gates and doors properly.

18. Report unusual animal behavior.

19.Secure equipment and get inside during lightning and thunderstorms.

20. Be particularly alert during tornado season.


1. Make sure electrical power tools are grounded properly.

2. Inspect power cords for safety and serviceability prior to use.

3. Attempt no electrical repair unless you are qualified to do so.

4. Use the plug, not the cord, to unplug electrical equipment.

5. Know the location and proper use of electrical disconnects (breakers).

6.  Keep equipment well away from overhead power lines.
7.  Use non-conducting ladders when working near electrical energy sources (power lines and transformers, etc.) .

8. Tag faulty electrical tools and place them in the repair basket.

9. Make sure of proper clearances when moving machinery under power lines.

10. If equipment, such as an elevator, has to be raised near power lines, get someone to serve as spotter.

11. Use no electrical power tools while standing in mud or water.

12. If unsure about electrical safety, ASK.


1. Post “NO SMOKING” signs in fire sensitive areas.

2. Keep all signs visible and in good repair.

3. Keep vegetation away from fire-sensitive areas such as fuel tanks and buildings.

4. Ensure that flammable materials are labeled as such.

5. Keep flammable liquids in approved containers during transport or storage.

6. Do not allow combustible trash to accumulate.

7. Make sure fire fighting devices are fully charged and conveniently located.   

8. Never fill vehicles tanks so that they run over.

9. Use care to keep combustible materials from getting on your clothes.

10. Stop engines before refueling.

11. Store oxygen and acetylene tanks separately and in a secured, upright position.

12. Keep safety caps in place on tanks until use.

13. Have fire protection available when welding or cutting.

14. If unsure about fire safety, ASK.


1. Use the proper serviceable tool for the job.

2. Use no cheater bars/pipes on wrenches.

3. Use the proper size wrench/socket if available; adjustable wrenches are secondary tools.

4. Never remove safety guards/shields from power tools.  

5. Do not use a power tool you are unfamiliar with, or one on which you have not been trained on.  

6. Rather than use unserviceable tools, place them in the repair basket and inform the proprietor of your action.

7. Use only serviceable ladders and inspect each before use.

8. Never lay a tool on the ground while in the field: it will be lost.

9. Keep power tools out of the path of vehicles.

10. Wear eye protection when grinding, sharpening or cutting.
11. If unsure about the use of a tool, ASK.


1. Operate no equipment unless you have been trained or had experience with it.

2. Allow NO ONE to ride on equipment you are operating at any time for any reason.

3. Make sure equipment is stopped before attempting to clean, unclog, service, or repair.

4. Keep all guards in place.

5. Read and follow equipment manuals.

6. Always use the equipment manual or lubrication order when servicing equipment.

7. Lower all attachments before working on a machine.

8. Use safety blocks or jacks when suspending parts of machinery; using jack alone is unsafe.

9. Perform a safety check before using equipment.

10. Use care when mounting or dismounting equipment.

11. Check onboard fire fighting devices, if so equipped.

12. Use extreme care when operating around ditches and embankments.

13. Make sure rollover protection structures (ROPS) are properly secured.
       Aftermarket ROPS can be purchased by going to this link.

14. Use the operator seat belt when ROPS are present, but not if ROPS are not present.

15.  Check behind vehicles before backing.

16. Use the safety cage when changing tires on machinery.

17. Before you leave equipment, shut it down and lower all ground engaged devices.

18. Do not wear loose or ragged clothing near rotating shafts or gear trains.

19. Modify equipment only with the manufacturers approval.

20. Use extreme care when moving equipment on public roads.

21. Keep machinery off of public roads at night, unless it is lighted in accordance with state law.

22. Be watchful and maintain full control when entering a public roadway or when entering or leaving a field through gates.

23. Make no sudden turns while operating in road gear, and stay on the traveled portion of the roadway.

24. If you have questions about machinery safety, ASK.


1. Remember that animals may be friendly, but they are extremely strong, and they spook much easier at night than in the daytime.

2. When with animals, stay out of corners and areas from which escape is difficult.

3. Bulls that are friendly can be very unpredictable when cows are in heat

4. Be wary of newly acquired livestock.

5. Make sure all stock enclosures are in good repair.

6. Be sure to close gates securely.

7. Always report unusual animal behavior that could signal illness.

8. Request veterinary assistance for sick livestock.

9. Remove dead livestock as soon as possible.

10. Handle vaccines and medicines with care.

11. Work cattle with two people when possible.

12. If you are not sure about anything dealing with livestock, Ask.


1. Collect, store and refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which are shipped with most chemical compounds.

2. Make sure all employees who handle chemicals read the appropriate MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) Before using.

3. Read warning labels on containers and do not remove them.

4. Wear recommended PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when handling or applying agricultural chemicals and Pesticides.

5. Be mindful of wind direction when preparing and applying chemicals, so that people and animals are not exposed.

6. Inventory leftover chemicals yearly and dispose of unwanted pesticides properly.

7. Notify mutual aid neighbors when you are about to use chemicals.

8. Avoid windy days when applying agricultural chemicals.

9. If you have questions about toxic materials safety, ASK.

10. Keep all pesticides in their original containers and store them in locked and approved storage facilities.

11. Never store animal vaccines or medicines in the family refrigerator.

12. Dispose of veterinary items properly.