Use these tips to minimize risk at your agritourism attraction:
Identify the risks involved with every activity you offer. Establish rules for planned activities, and, if necessary, modify the activity or equipment to make it safer.
Establish an appropriate business structure. For example, partner with a corporation that will help protect your personal assets.
Obtain proper insurance coverage. Speak to your insurance agent to be sure. If you are already in business and are considering a new activity, notify your insurance agent first to find out if the activity is insurable and at what cost. Ask your agent how you can make the activity safer.
If you are producing and selling a product, for example jams and jellies, obtain the proper liability insurance and certification from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Visit with other operators to ask how they handle liability issues and what insurance agent they use.
Familiarize yourself with current state liability legislation.
Create a participant release and assumption of risk form for visitors.
Develop a safety plan specific to your agritourism operation.
Train employees and ensure your activity has a proper guest-to-employee ratio.
If you are offering a physical activity, you may want your guests to sign a rules and regulations form.
Certify yourself and your staff in CPR.
Participant release and assumption of risk forms should be signed and filed with each visit.
Address animal health issues.
Keeping a good record of incidents is a way to monitor your own safety history and also give yourself information on what you can do to improve safety.
Implement procedures to make sure incidents don’t happen again.
Document and assess the cause of incidents.
Implement a plan of correction so that similar incidents do not occur.
Give a copy of your safety plan to your insurance agent and ask if there are additional measures you should consider.
The safety of your visitors and employees should be a top priority.
Although it may seem impossible to eliminate all potential hazards, maintaining a proactive safety strategy and providing your insurer with documents proving your safety efforts may protect you legally in the long run. Make sure you spend the time necessary with your insurance agent to fully understand the provisions of your insurance policy.