The Department of Risk Management and Safety works in partnership with individuals and groups both on and off-campus to assess the risks of farm and field activities in order to ensure that work is performed using proper controls and best safety practices.

UVM's Miller Research and Education Complex (MREC), Horticulture Research and Education Center (HREC) and Morgan Horse Farm come with unique safety hazards unlike those in a typical indoor research lab environment. Additionally, Jericho Research Forest and Proctor Maple Research Center are other off campus facilities where both outdoor and indoor research is conducted.

1. Roles and Responsiblities

Supervisors must keep a roster of personnel who are authorized to work at the farm and basic information about the hazards present. Update this information at a minimum of every 6 months or as hazards or personnel change. Supervisors may designate a Farm Safety Officer to help maintain this registration. 

2. Hazard Identification 

3. Evaluate and Control Hazards

Evaluate how the hazards will be controlled using OSHA's hierarchy of controls. This may include  engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment.

Tools to help with the assessment and documentation include Chemical Use Planning Forms, Standard Operating Procedures, and other types of hazard assessments. Risk Management & Safety, Physical Plant Department (PPD), and the Training & Compliance Office (TCO) are also available to assist.

4. Waste Management & Environmental Protection

Farm workers must determine the appropriate disposal method for all wastes generated on the farm, including hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. Types of hazardous waste may include chemical waste, biological waste, sharps, and universal waste (e.g. CFLs, batteries, ballasts, electronic waste). Types of non-hazardous waste may include uncontaminated waste and broken glass, lab trash, and recyclables.

5. Emergency Response Planning

Each person working on the farm should be trained and prepared to respond to an emergency. Plan ahead to help minimize injury to personnel, damage to equipment and facilities, and reduce the potential for a hazardous release to the environment.

6. Training and Information

Each farm worker must complete training regarding hazardous materials, farm procedures, equipment, the means to control the hazards, and emergency procedures. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all farm personnel receive appropriate training.

7. Farm Oversight

Farm Supervisors are required to complete and document a self-inspection of the farm(s) each month. Supervisors may designate the Farm Safety Officer to help complete the inspection.

Farm Supervisors must create and maintain a Farm Safety Notebook. Store safety documents such as Safety Data Sheets, training records, self-inspection checklists, equipment maintenance records, etc.