Farm Pond Safety

Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training


To become aware of the dangers associated with farm ponds.

Trainer's Note:

Everyone with access to a farm pond should know how to swim and how to give artificial respiration. Water safety information can be attained through local extension services and the American Red Cross. Consider providing swimming lessons for those who cannot swim. Water safety education should be offered to employees and family members. Teach this module at the pond where demonstrations by qualified rescue professionals can easily take place.


A farm pond is used to control soil erosion and flooding and to provide water for recreational purposes, livestock, irrigation, fire protection, and fish production. In most cases, it is recommended that ponds be fenced in with posted "KEEP OUT" signs. A drowning is more likely to occur when protective barriers are absent. It is the farmer's responsibility to ensure that the farm pond is as safe as possible.

Accidents can be prevented and lives saved by warning signs. Mark dangerous areas. Farm ponds used for swimming should have a secure rescue post near the water. The post should be painted yellow and be equipped with a buoy and reaching pole. The buoy should be attached to a piece of nylon rope long enough to reach across the pond. On the opposite side attach a thin, lightweight 12' to 14' pole for reaching. If a swimmer is in trouble remember to use the reaching pole first. Throw the buoy as a second attempt. A rescuer should only enter the water as a last resort! Attach a notice of the location of the nearest phone and the local emergency number on the post.

Rules for Farm Pond Safety

  • When children are swimming an adult should be present.
  • Never swim alone, Even the best swimmers get into trouble.
  • General water safety education should be arranged for all pond users.
  • Piers and boat landings should be well built and securely braced.
  • Rescue equipment (reaching pole, rope, buoy) should be readily available.
  • Water should be approved by local health department.
  • Fence the pond and lock the gate.
  • Keep the recreational area free of debris.
  • Mark deep and/or unsafe swimming areas with floats.
  • Air mattress and inner tubes can be hazards.
If boating on the farm pond:
  • Ensure that the boat is safe and in good condition.
  • Never overload the boat. Even a good quality boat can sink.
  • Have a life preserver on board for each person on board.
  • Follow all approved water safety rules.
Review the Following Points
  • Offer general water safety education to all employees.
  • Place warning signs around the pond and if possible, install a fence.
  • Know how to give artificial respiration.
  • Never swim alone. Even good swimmers can drown.
  • Install a rescue post.
Farm Pond Safety Quiz

True or False

1. Good swimmers are always safe.
2. All farm ponds have safe, clean water for swimming.
3. General water safety education should be arranged for pond users.
4. All farm ponds should have a rescue post installed for safety.
5. The farm pond is an important part of many Ohio farms.

Answer Key
1. F, 2. F, 3. T, 4. T, 5. T.

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