"IMBY" Toolkit gives guidelines about creating
a community-based safety workshop. It is designed to include
the "Rhythm of the Seasons" lesson plan, which
can also be found on NASD. The toolkit guidelines are
general, however, and it can be useful for anyone that
wants to develop a community-based teaching event.
document is CIR 1438, one of a series of Florida AgSafe,
a program in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department,
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida. First published
April 2003. Additional copies of this publication are available
at the Florida AgSafe Web site: http://www.flagsafe.ufl.edu.
For the complete range of publications available from the Florida
Cooperative Extension Services, please visit the EDIS Web site:
The authors - Carol J. Lehtola, associate professor and State
Extension Agricultural Safety Specialist, and Charles M. Brown,
Coordinator for Information/Publication Services, Agricultural
and Biological Engineering Department, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida, Gainesville,
IFAS, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is an
equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to
provide research, educational information and other services
only to individuals and institutions that function without regard
to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For
information on obtaining other Extension publications, contact
you county Cooperative Extension Service office.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Christine Taylor,
This publication provides guidance and materials to help implement
a safety workshop using the video "Rhythm of the Seasons: A
Journey Beyond Loss" and the In My Back Yard (IMBY) Home and
Farm Hazard Hunt workbook. These guidelines also can be useful
for developing other safety events.
A specific lesson plan for the IMBY Workshop is provided in
a companion publication, "Rhythm of the Seasons: Planting Seeds
of Safety, Harvesting Grains of Hope - A Lesson Plan for Farm
Safety Audiences" (see the Resources section of this publication).
In this publication, putting the IMBY event together is broken
out into a series of specific tasks:
Task 1 - Putting together a team to develop the event
Task 2 - Identify community resources
Task 3 - Develop community support
Task 4 - Schedule and publicize the event
Task 5 - Conduct the event
Task 6 - Evaluate the effort
In addition to guidelines for each task, a series of forms -
the toolkit - is provided, which organizers can use as given
or customize for specific communities, audiences, or events.
The toolkit includes:
- Key Contact List (who can help and how can they help)
- Kick-Off Meeting
- Suggested Agenda for Kick-Off Meeting
- Marketing and Publicizing the Project
- IMBY Invitation (sample; download at Florida AgSafe Web
- Letter of Invitation for Participants
- Letter of Invitation for Supporters
- Press Release (before event)
- Press Release (after event)
- Participant's Evaluation
- Certificate of Completion (color version available on
Florida AgSafe Web site)
- Follow-up Meeting
The goal of the IMBY activity - as in any educational effort
- is to change people's behaviors. To achieve this, the activity
must accomplish a short list of goals:
- Make people aware that unintentional injuries and deaths
- Give information about the specific nature of the hazards.
- Give information about eliminating hazards.
- Provide a procedure for hazard identification and elimination.
Often, people are not very aware of safety. As long as nothing
"bad" happens to them, they tend to feel that they are safe
enough, but the elements of a hazard that can lead to serious
injury or death might be all around them, waiting to spring
shut like a trap. Agricultural work has many such hazards, but
these hazards are well known from a long history of careful
study. Some of them are obvious, but farmers are used to working
around them and "factor them in" during their work day - perhaps
they feel that certain hazards are just part of the job. Other
hazards are not obvious, and are encountered suddenly when a
worker is thrown into an unfamiliar situation. Obvious or not,
it only makes sense to learn what the hazards of any job or
workplace are and do something about them.
Hazards lead to what are often called accidents, but for purposes
of this publication, the term "incident" will be used. It is
an important choice of terms, because the word "accident" implies
that nothing could have been done to prevent the injury or death...
and nothing could be farther from the truth. The great majority
of farm injuries and deaths can be prevented through the elimination
of hazards and incorporation of better safety practices. More
often than not, incidents are "accidents waiting to happen,"
that is to say that when people think back over the circumstances
of an incident, it becomes clear that somewhere in the chain
of events that led to a death or injury, there was an act of
carelessness or some equipment that should have been repaired
Until someone is injured or killed, farmers, their families
and employees often accept the status quo. But when a community
is shaken by the loss of a hardworking farmer or tragic injuries
to a child in a farm incident, there's a moment when everyone
asks "how did this happen". That's a teachable moment, and it
may not last long. Community energy will soon turn to supporting
the family in their loss or in paying their medical bills, and
the prevention questions, "How did this happen" and "How can
we keep it from happening again," will be replaced by the feelings
of inevitability, "These things happen" and "Life moves on."
It does not necessarily take an incident to get the ball rolling.
Anyone who cares about safety around the farm and home can initiate
a community safety event, but supporters and helpers will be
Supporters and helpers do more than make the event happen, they
are a critical part of community acceptance and involvement
of the activity and its message. Many studies have found that
this community-based approach is the most successful. Studies
have also indicated that people seek safety information from
community businesses and various professionals. The involvement
of these key people will encourage others to participate in
One person probably cannot and should not try to develop and
conduct the workshop on their own. Instead, that person should
find other people who share this concern and form a committee
to develop and deliver the safety event to the community. This
- Decides on its goal (in this case, developing a safety event)
- Identifies the individual tasks that must be done to accomplish
- Divides responsibility for the tasks
- Follow through to complete each task
It is important for committee members to have good communication
through regular meetings (formal or informal) or conversations
as the project develops. If this is the first such event the
committee has put together, it is a good idea to keep the arrangements
fairly simple. Enthusiasm can lead to some elaborate planning,
but stay focused on the goal of delivering a successful safety
There are many organizations in any community that have a vested
interest in the health and well-being of farmers and farm families.
There's the medical community, the business community, the insurance
community, and of course, the farmers themselves. All of these
groups know that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure," but often their professional focus is on the cure, and
they do not become involved with someone's health and safety
until it has already been compromised. Motivation - and a little
organization - is needed to get community members focused on
Community resources can help in all sorts of ways with a safety
event. They can:
- Provide a venue
- Contribute money to defray costs
- Contribute favors, giveaways, prizes, or rewards
- Send participants to the event
- Provide volunteers
- Promote the event
Use the Key Contact List included in the toolkit to identify
individuals and organizations in the community that might have
some interest in the safety event. Do not assume that anyone
is too busy, too important, etc. - you never know until you
ask! It can be surprising who will think the event is a great
idea AND is eager to make a contribution of some kind.
The toolkit contains a sample Letter for Supporters that can
be used as a model. Make up a letter requesting support based
on the one provided. It is very important to follow up on these
letters. Try to follow up with potential supporters by phone.
There might be some negative answers, but there will also be
positive answers. Think of it this way: Calling people makes
it easier for them to say yes.
Making the contacts
The committee members have to get down to real work at this
point. They will have to decide who is going to contact whom
on the Contact List. Let contacts know exactly what the event
will include, and if they are interested, tell them that they
will be contacted again to send a representative to the Kick-Off
When calling contacts about farm safety, it is helpful to remember
that the statistics have already done some of the work. Almost
everyone in a farming community will know someone who has suffered
a severe incident, and therefore will understand the need for
It is important to make clear that the event is not an effort
by one faction of the community to "teach" another faction,
but it is something that the entire community can come together
The Kick-Off Meeting
The Kick-Off meeting is an opportunity for the committee and
other interested persons - volunteers and supporters - to get
together. In the toolkit, there are two forms that pertain to
the Kick-Off Meeting: a schedule form and an agenda.
On the schedule form, several objectives for the Kick-Off Meeting
- Expand awareness of the issues
- Clarify program objectives and procedures
- Provide technical support by introducing resources available
- Provide a social support network of peers and community
- Reinforce information presented in program materials
- Develop sense of program ownership
- Identify effective program marketing strategies
Be sure to invite your resource organizations and businesses
to send representatives. Make them part of the event from the
beginning and let them know how important they are to the effort.
This helps them to develop a feeling of "ownership" of the event,
and helps motivate them in working with the planning.
Keep the meeting moving. There will be a lot of decisions to
make, but remember to get specific about the work that needs
to be done, and get it assigned.
Think in terms of the specific parts of the event and get volunteers
to take responsibility for getting each task done.
Scheduling the Event
Be aware of the intended audience. The event might be less successful
if it is for "everyone" than if there are specific groups that
can be targeted. Having those groups in mind can help in picking
a good time for the event Be aware of other events, such as
holidays or sport, civic, or professional events. Other events
can work for or against the safety event. If the safety event
is at the same time as a big sports event, it might be that
most people will attend that event or stay home and watch it
on television. But other events that are safety or civic related
might make good partners. An event for children might give parents
a couple of hours when they could attend the IMBY workshop.
Surely, the committee is "fired up" about safety, and they want
to get the word out now. But each step leading up to the event
needs to be given proper time. Although the safety event is
important, not everyone will have the same sense of urgency,
and it takes time for the committee to get information, make
decisions, and do the work. All of this is probably being done
by volunteers who have other things going on in their lives.
There needs to be plenty of lead time, as well, to get the word
out through the media.
Marketing and Publicizing the Project
The toolkit contains a form to help you market and publicize
the event. Marketing and publicity are different activities,
but they work hand-in-hand.
Identify Target Audiences
- Those who know how important
the message of the safety event is will want everyone to participate,
so why not invite everyone? Realistically, there will be a limited
budget, limited time, limited volunteers, and limited space.
The event will be more successful if the people who need the
message most and are most interested are there - these people
are your target audiences. In a particular community, maybe
it is farm parents, or homeowners, or farmers, or employers,
or suppliers, and so on. Maybe the event should target several
of these audiences. Sit down with the committee and think through
who the target audiences in their community for this particular
event should be.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
- Once a list of the target
audiences has been made, what is needed is a strategy for reaching
them. Think it through from their point of view: What media
do they tend to use to get information? What media or personalities
do they find most believable? These are marketing questions.
Once they are answered, think about how best to use the media
you've decided on and how to actually get the message to these
people. Those are publicity issues.
Marketing is about who to get the message to and what the message
should be. Publicity is the work of actually getting the message
to the target audiences.
Marketing can help decide what to include in publicity. Is the
main goal to attract farmers to the event? How about businesses
or employers? Many people might be interested in the event if
a local personality is involved in some way. People attend events
for all sorts of reasons. Knowing something about what those
reasons are and making sure they are mentioned in the event
publicity is an important part of marketing.
What are some of these reasons to attend? Sit down with the
committee and discuss what would get their interest and really
encourage them to attend. Write these ideas down as elements
for event publicity. These are good "talking points" as well
if committee members are interviewed by a reporter or want to
write an article for a newsletter or newspaper.
Get the Word Out
- With publicity, the goal is to tell
people about the event. An ad in the local paper or maybe a
message on local television or radio are good ideas. (Note:
Ads usually cost money; it's cheaper to try and get the local
media to do a story about the event.) Recent community incidents
were probably reported through one of these media; since the
media report when there is a problem, it seems only reasonable
that they should report when there is a solution. That is exactly
what the safety event is: it is part of a solution. Many newspapers
and television news broadcasts have a "neighbors" section or
a "good news" section that might be perfect for a story about
a community-sponsored safety event. Keep in mind that media
are very "image" driven, that means they like to have pictures.
If your story comes with some good visuals, it is much more
likely to be covered. For example, if a local youth group is
going to get together to address invitations to the event, call
the local television station and let them know. A little video
footage of happy volunteers working on a worthwhile project
might be just what they are looking for to cap off the evening
The toolkit contains a form to help plan marketing and publicity.
When you've decided on target audiences, think about specific
media that reach that audience; write that under medium on the
form. What does that medium require? A 20-second script, a few
photographs, an interview? What committee member can make it
happen? (It's helpful if someone on the committee has a contact
at the radio station, newspaper, etc.)
Target Individuals with Invitations
- So far, publicity
has been presented in terms of mass media. When the message
gets into the newspaper or onto radio, whoever hears or reads
it gets the message. However, if a list of names exists, as
for a religious or civic group, invitations can be sent directly
to potential event participants. The toolkit contains an Invitation
for Participants, which can be used as a model.
Invitations can be helpful to mobilize groups that wish to help.
Groups need specific projects, and one way they can help is
to photocopy, address and distribute invitations. For example,
a youth group at a church may want to have a get-together to
sign and address invitations to the rest of the members of the
church. Invitations can be effective when used within a group
because people are more likely to take an interest in something
if people they know and feel they have something in common with
are already interested.
When people become aware of how preventable most farm injuries
or deaths are, they will probably wonder "why doesn't somebody
do something about this?" The facts about preventable injury
and death can cause anger and indignation. Those are appropriate
feelings when lives are being needlessly damaged or lost. However,
these feelings may not be the most productive for motivating
people to attend your event.
As justified as anger or outrage may be, other people may associate
these expressions with bad feelings or guilt. People usually
do not want to feel bad and instinctively withdraw from messages
that make them feel that way. Also, when the subject is death
or injury, many people do not want to think about the possibility
of these things happening. It may seem childish to some, but
many people do not like to think about something they wish will
The point is to channel energy about this important subject
into positive expressions. Talk about solutions. Help people
feel that the event empowers them to make a positive change
in their lives and in the lives of the people around them. Safety
is more than preventing death and injury, it is also about taking
a positive, proactive approach to life. Having a safety attitude
does not mean worrying more, it means being more aware and taking
appropriate precautions. That should allow people to worry less.
Messages about death and injury should be appropriately serious,
but when they are too emotional, people can feel manipulated
and turn off the message. If they do not want the message, surely
they will not attend the event to hear more of the same.
The centerpiece of the IMBY workshop is a video in which something
very sad happens - a child dies. In the video, viewers are brought
face-to-face with the mother of this child. Many viewers will
be moved to tears. However, the video does not end with a tragic
loss and anguish. The video takes the viewer through the recovery
experience as well. The video is not a lecture about grief;
the idea is to point the way to recovery and finding purpose
and meaning in life again after a great loss.
Adults probably already realize that preventable death and injury
are sad, tragic events, but many people will retreat to a position
of "what can we do?" What people may not realize is that "preventable"
means just that - there is something they can do.
This happens all the time... someone prepares a great ad for
the local paper about an event and they forget to include the
time or place. When preparing publicity, ask other committee
members to review the details of ads, articles, talking points,
If the committee had unlimited funds, it could do all sorts
of publicity, fly in celebrities, etc., but usually committees
for safety events are working with small budgets, so it is very
important to identify potentially free or low cost forms of
advertising. Photocopy a flier and post them in the windows
of businesses where the people who would be most interested
in the event will see them. Businesses, religious groups, civic
groups - all these are possibilities.
A common way for organizations to inform the press about activities
is through press releases. A press release is a "heads up" for
news organizations. The idea of a press release is to entice
a news organization into doing a story about an interesting
local event. It invites them to contact the organization for
more information. Press releases are often distributed by fax,
but mail or hand delivery work just as well. Send your press
release to every media representative you can think of - local
newspapers, television and radio stations, local magazines,
weeklies, etc. Try to send it to a specific staff person if
possible, and preferably, someone who has a definite interest
in your event.
The toolkit contains two press releases. The first one goes
out before the event to let the press know that it is going
to happen, and the second goes out after the event to let the
press know that the event happened and what its successes were.
If might be that the event doesn't capture someone's imagination
before it takes place, but an interesting event can create "buzz",
and media may be more interested in it after it has created
some interest. This follow-up press release is another way to
get out the message.
A lesson plan for the workshop itself is contained in a separate
publication titled "Rhythm of the Seasons: Planting Seeds of
Safety, Harvesting Grains of Hope - A Lesson Plan for Farm Safety
Audiences." See the Resources section of this publication.
The toolkit provides two forms that may be useful at the conclusion
of the event. People may make verbal comments about the event,
but it is helpful if they evaluate the safety event on a simple
form. It is not necessary to try to get lengthy answers. The
Evaluation Form provided encourages participants to give quick
impressions of the event they have just experienced. Compiling
these evaluations can be very informative and probably very
encouraging. Having evaluations is more helpful generally than
committee members comparing impressions.
Evaluations are also helpful as a formal way of showing that
the event was well received and had a positive impact. That
kind of proof will be very useful when you need support for
your next event. Quotes taken from the evaluations can be useful
in follow-up publicity.
The toolkit also contains a Certificate of Completion. Use the
certificate as is or use it as a model. Some committees make
arrangements for these certificates to be ready for participants
as they leave, but others send the certificates to the participants
in the days after the event. The certificate can be significant
to some people, for others it represents appreciation for their
attendance. It is like a thank-you note, and reminds people
that the event was a positive and beneficial experience. If
people post the certificate - on a refrigerator at home or in
a workplace - it then becomes a form of publicity for family
members, friends, and coworkers. (A color version of the certificate
is available on the Florida AgSafe Web site.)
Last but not least, the toolkit contains an agenda for the follow-up
meeting. Have this meeting as soon after the event as possible,
while everyone's experience is fresh. The follow-up meeting
is very important.
The follow-up meeting is a chance for committee members to discuss
with one another what they have accomplished, ask specific questions
of resource people, develop further action plans specific to
their community, evaluate what they have learned and changed,
make recommendations for what they would do differently in presenting
a similar program, and recognize and reward accomplishments.
The follow-up meeting could be designed to be either just a
follow-up for the committee itself - or as the suggestions below
indicate - it could be for the program participants several
weeks or months after the event. If the follow-up meeting includes
participants, use it as an opportunity for people to report
on what they have accomplished from their IMBY list of action
items. If hazards were corrected as part of a group project
or program, for example, 4-H, the follow-up could be held at
one of their regularly scheduled meetings.
The follow-up meeting is also a good opportunity for the committee
members to relax together and celebrate their accomplishment.
Everyone has worked to produce a successful event. Bringing
this information to your community is a major success in itself.
Here are some other ideas for the follow-up meeting:
Your Next Event?
- A meal could be included, perhaps coordinated through
a local commodity organization or other sponsoring group.
- A guest speaker could summarize changes people have made
and provide ideas to other participants.
- Awards or incentive packages could be provided to those
who correct a certain number of hazardous items.
The day after the event is over will be a time to think about
all the good that was accomplished through the group's efforts.
Committee members will probably share with each other as they
hear reports from others about the difference the event made
in the participant's daily lives.
Conversation may soon turn from the recent past to the future.
Putting on one event often gives ideas, inspiration and motivation
to do another one. One event leads to another and soon a continuing
community safety program is in place.
Businesses and organizations that supported this event will
probably be willing to help with others, as long as there is
enough time between events - all these groups have other obligations,
as well as the work they do.
At the follow-up meeting, ask your committee members when they
think the next event should be. Perhaps put on another IMBY
workshop for a different group of people, or find some materials
to create a special safety workshop for your community. There
are plenty of materials and safety specialists available to
give additional guidance. Contact the local county Extension
office or public health agency for a referral.
All any community needs to be safer and healthier is a few concerned
individuals to get the ball rolling.
Additional copies of this publication and other materials for
the IMBY Home and Farm Hazard Hunt Workshop are available over
the World Wide Web at Florida AgSafe, the Web site of the Florida
Agricultural Safety Program, <www.flagsafe.ufl.edu
- Rhythm of the Seasons: Planting Seeds of Safety, Harvesting
Grains of Hope - A Lesson Plan for Farm Safety Audiences.
- Rhythm of the Seasons: Planting Seeds of Safety, Harvesting
Grains of Hope - A PowerPoint Presentation to accompany
the Lesson Plan
Download PDF version of Key
Download PDF version of Kick-Off
Download PDF version of Suggested
Agenda for Kick-Off Meeting
Download PDF version of Marketing
and Publicizing the Event
Download PDF version of Invitation
Download PDF version of Letter
of Invitation for Participants
Download PDF version of Letter
of Invitation for Supporters
Download PDF version of Press
Release (before event)
Download PDF version of Press
Release (after event)
Download PDF version of Participant's
Download PDF version of Certificate
Download PDF version of Follow-up
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.