Vermont Farm Safety Project March 24, 2009
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Initiative of the Vermont Dairy Task Force • To work legislatively to reduce claim amounts while still protecting workers • To design and implement a farm safety program to allow farmers to reduce accidents and to emulate programs in others states that provide premium incentives for safety programs
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Legislative Session 2007 • H.522 requires implementation of a pilot safety program for Vermont Dairy Farmers • H.522 requires that Department of Labor, Agency of Agriculture, UVM Extension, Farm Bureau and Green Mountain Federation of Dairy Cooperatives and others all work on this program
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Workers Compensation Premiums • Taking part in this program will not guarantee a reduction in your premium level • Reducing accidents and injuries on the farm can reduce claims and can reduce premiums
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Workers Compensation Premiums • Second prong of the project – working legislatively to change parts of the Workers Compensation Rules or a program of a % off for safety programs - can work to lower premiums – Legislative Work in 2008 • Having good records and safety training on your farm can allow you to bargain with your insurance agent for a lower rate – implementing a safety program and sticking with it can show your agent you are serious about safety and deserve a % off your rate
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Vermont Farm Safety Project Objectives: • Conduct educational programs for farm owners and farm safety managers. • Perform a farm safety check (audit) at participating farms, documenting safety hazards and follow up with a list of recommendations for reducing/eliminating identified hazards. • Work with farm owner and farm safety manager to develop a Safety Plan for the farm that would include employee safety-training. • Conduct a 12 month follow-up to document changes/improvements on the farm.
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Participating Producer Commitment: • Agree to the farm safety check/audit. • Identify a farm “Safety Manager.” • Develop an individualized “Farm Safety Plan” & implement it. • Provide information claims at the beginning of the program and at the end of the program
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Participating Producer Commitment: • Follow through on recommendations for hazard reduction from the checklist. • Conduct monthly on-farm safety training meetings for employees. • Willingness to speak to Vermont Legislators about this program
Vermont Farm Safety Project • UVM Extension & Agency of Agriculture Commitment: • Implement the objectives of the program. • Provide a farm worker training manual for each farm. • Provide training materials for use during the on-farm safety training meetings with employees. • Follow up with each farm; provide assistance with educational program questions, as needed. • Conduct a 6 and 12 month survey of each farm to determine effectiveness of program in reducing farm injuries and illnesses.
Vermont Farm Safety Project • Timeline for the Vermont Farm Safety Project: • Conduct initial farmer/farm safety manager training during Spring 2009. • Farm Safety Plans developed by Farm Safety Manager. • Conduct on-farm Audits during September and October. • Implementation of individual Farm Safety Plan • On-farm monthly training programs begin during the month following the audit. • Follow up September 2009 (6 month) and March 2010 (12 month). • Farmers to meet with Vermont Legislature