Farm Safety Plans

Katelyn Walley, Business Management Specialist and Team Leader
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

June 11, 2020

One More Reminder, because it's REALLY IMPORTANT, Farm Safety Plan is REQUIRED

In order to protect the health and safety of your employees & farm, and from a legal risk management/liability perspective, be sure to complete your Farm Safety Plan ASAP. I know the sun is shining, the cows need to be milked, and sitting in front of a computer is the last thing you want to do right now - BUT this is a requirement regardless of your farm's size, employee numbers, production area, etc.

  • While you don't have to submit the plan to any agency, you do have to have it available for review at a moment's notice AND need to be following all of the protocols and steps you outline in your plan regularly. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! TRAIN EVERYONE! COMPLETE YOUR PLAN!
  • Recently, there was a webinar presentation of Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crop farm specific guidance/resources from Cornell Cooperative Extension, for which the recording has been posted.
  • Additional farm specific guidance/verbiage is available for you to download and edit here. NYS Ag and Markets also released their Interim Guidance specific for farms.
  • If you have questions, need guidance, want help accessing any of the resources, please don't hesitate to give me a call at 716-640-0522 or email kaw249@cornell.edu.

A note on reducing your farm's business risk and reducing the potential of a lawsuit: We're already seeing lawsuits pop up across the country from business customers, vendors, and employees related to COVID-19 exposure. To protect your farm, be sure to get your safety plan in place and follow it. You should also check in with your farm's liability insurance coverage provider to have clarification on what will and won't be covered.

A note on employee health screenings: Businesses are required to do health screenings of all employees. If your local health department provides specific guidance, you should follow and implement that. Otherwise, the CDC/NYS Ag and Markets guidelines are requiring:

  • A screening at the beginning of every employee's shift and another if the shift goes past 12 hours.
  • Asking 3 questions (Experiencing COVID symptoms, positive COVID-19 test, contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case).
  • Temperature check - over 100.0 degrees F (BUT employers may ask employees to self-check at home if needed).

You don't need to document specific answers/temperatures from these health screenings, based on NYS/CDC guidance. You could only note if the employee passed/failed, and any actions taken. If you do provide a written self-certification, or keep screening data, you may need to consider that checking employee temperatures qualifies as a medical exam, which changes how records need to be kept. More information is available on the resources linked above. 




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Upcoming Events

2024 Aurora Farm Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

August 1, 2024
Aurora, NY

The annual Cornell Field Crop Research Field Day will be Thursday, August 1 at the Musgrave Research Farm, Aurora, N.Y. The program features walking and hay wagon tours in the morning and afternoon. 

View 2024 Aurora Farm Field Day Details

2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm

August 19, 2024 : 2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm
Cropseyville, NY

Join us for a free field day to explore broiler production, processing, and finances. Zack and Annie Metzger will be our hosts. They have run this 200 year-old small diversified farm for 8 years. They process their poultry in a 20C kitchen, where they produce value-added products like sausage and dehydrated chicken feet.

View 2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm Details

2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm

August 20, 2024 : 2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm
Mountaindale, NY

Join us for a free field day to explore broiler production, processing, and finances. Brett and Sara Budde will be our hosts. They raise slow-growth organic broilers on their diversified farm in large flocks on woodland pasture. Their birds are processed into whole birds, parts, and chicken sausage.

View 2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm Details

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