RISKS INVOLVED. I understand that there are certain risks involved, as described below, with participating in the WWOOFer program. I understand that I am advised to consult with a health care provider of my own choosing (and cost) before participating in any activity at the Farm. I also understand I must have personal health insurance to wwoof at the Farm.
(1) Bee stings: Honey bees are generally not aggressive toward people, but are defensive of their hive (family and food stores). The degree of defensiveness can vary greatly from day-to-day and even within the same day, depending on various factors. Such factors include, but are not limited to, whether it is sunny or overcast, the air temperature, the degree of wind, the amount of time the hive is open for inspection; odors of the human body, breath; color and texture of clothing; the degree of sharp, quick movement around the hive; accidental killing or crushing of bees during hive inspection; whether the colony has a functioning queen; whether the colony is being harassed by skunks, raccoons or opossums at night, being invaded by ants or being robbed by other honey bee colonies or wasps; and other factors unique to a honey bee colony at the time of inspection that currently are not known to or ascertainable by the beekeepers.
At some point or another, a wwoofer will be stung as a result of beekeeping activities or other farm activities. Stings always hurt and it is rare that a person will not experience some reaction to a bee sting. Allergic reactions to honey bee stings vary from person to person, and can vary by sting and over time. Most people only have a localized reaction, including one or more of the following: the skin swells and becomes red, hot and painful, and itching also may occur. The severity and duration of such localized reactions vary among individuals and stings, and over time. These reactions may disappear over a few hours or days, but can persist for a week or longer.
Some people have a systemic allergic reaction which is far more serious than a localized reaction. A systemic allergic reaction can be evidenced by emergence of itchy bumps (hives), redness and/or swelling of the skin at points distant from the site of the sting(s). A systemic allergic reaction also may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness. When the most serious of these reactions occurs – anaphylaxis – the person experiences one or more of the following: wheezing, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, fainting, difficulty breathing followed by a drop in blood pressure that can lead to shock and death.
These types of reactions usually occur within minutes of the sting, but can be delayed for up to 24 or more hours after the sting(s).
Mitigation & Prevention: If you want to work with the bees, please wear beekeeping suits and beekeeping gloves to help minimize the potential risks of bee stings while working on a hive. Ensure the zippers of the suit are completely zipped and Velcro flaps secured. Do not remove the bee veil or open the bee suit until you are far away from the site of the bee hives at the Location. Bees can sting through fabric. It is recommended that you wear a light layer of clothing (long sleeve shirt, long pants) for an extra layer of protection under the bee suit. If you do experience any reaction to a sting, please find Jeff, Ketrina or Molly as soon as possible. If the reaction is severe, call 911 immediately. There is an Epipen on the property with the First-Aid Kit if needed.
(2) Lifting: Work at the Farm may involve heavy lifting, including lifting bee hive boxes which can be heavy, up toward 75 lbs each box depending. You will be regularly asked to move feed bags and Hay. Proper body mechanics and lifting techniques are important to help prevent strains and sprains to the back, knees, ankles, shoulders, arms and hands.
Mitigation & Prevention: It is advised that you should review (over the Internet or otherwise) and practice, proper lifting techniques particularly if you do not regularly lift bulky and heavy objects. It also is advised that before lifting activities, you stretch to help minimize potential sprains and strains. You will be responsible for your own lifting techniques and body mechanics. You should decline to do any lifting if you are unsure you can safely handle the weight or use proper lifting techniques or body mechanics.
(3) Burns: While at the Farm, you will be using fire for various reasons (cooking, bonfire, smoking bees). Burns can result directly from contact with the fire or from contact with the exterior surface of a hive smoker which becomes hot.
Mitigation & Prevention: Do not put your hand or fingers into a smoker cylinder or fire pit when attempting to start or refresh a fire. Do not touch the smoker surface. Hold and use the smoker via hand contact with the bellows only.
(4) Cuts/Contusions/Abrasions: While at the Farm, you will come in contact with sharp objects such as pruners, saws, hive tools, broken glass, and rusty nails. These objects can cause cuts, punctures, contusions and abrasions.
Mitigation & Prevention: Hold and use the tools as low down on the tool as you can and as far away from your body as possible. If you do not know how to use a tool, please ask for instructions. Wear gloves and sturdy shoes when working. Get a tetanus shot before you come.
(5) Falling and/or tripping at the site : The site may be uneven and irregular. Twisted and sprained ankles may occur, and other injuries resulting from tripping and/or falling in and around, to and from, the farm.
Mitigation & Prevention: Wear sturdy shoes/boots with adequate ankle support. Pay attention, and watch where you will be walking.
(6) Drowning: The Hood River is on the property. It runs fast and the water is extremely cold, even on hot days. It can be very dangerous especially during the Spring where there is snow run-off from the Mountain.
Mitigation & Prevention: Use of the river is at your own risk.
(7) Animal Bites: There are both wild and domesticated animals who live and visit the property. Most of the domesticated animals (dogs, cats, ducks, geese, goats and rabbits) are friendly. However, anything can set off an animal. Until you know these animals, please use caution. Other wild animals also frequent the farm. These can be snakes, opossums, bear, cougar, bobcats, rodents, and others. Please stay away from these animals as they are unpredictable.
Mitigation & Prevention: Get to know the domestic animals before you fully engage them and stay away from the wild animals the best you can. Get to know what to do if attacked by a specific type of animal.
HEALTH AND SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY. I acknowledge and agree that the Farm nor the Owners, Employees, or Mentors are responsible or otherwise obligated to attend to any injuries, stings or medical needs that may arise during any activity, and I personally assume all risks and responsibility for such injuries, stings and medical needs. Nothing about the fact of this Waiver, or any action taken by the Farm is intended to create a special relationship between any of them and me.
This is not an extensive list and other hazards may exist on the farm. A member of the Farm may, but is not obligated to, take any action if an incident occurs that we consider to be warranted under the circumstances regarding my health and safety. In case of a medical emergency, and what may appear to be a medical emergency, I authorize in advance that any member of the Farm secure for me whatever medical attention and treatment appears to be necessary or prudent including, but not limited to, the summoning of an ambulance or injecting an epipen, and if I am incapacitated and unable to consent, administration of any medication and hospitalization, and I agree that I shall bear all costs for any such medical attention and treatment.
ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AND WAIVER/RELEASE OF LIABILITY. I understand the risks involved in participating in the Wwoofer Program at the Farm, and I hereby assume all risks and responsibilities for my own health and safety, whether or not stated in this Waiver. I have no known or suspected medical reasons, risks or problems that preclude or restrict my participation in the Wwoofer Program, or make my participation at the Farm ill-advised from the standpoint of my personal health and safety given the risks involved. In voluntary consideration for being permitted to participate in the Wwoofer program:
I hereby waive and release the Farm, the owners, the mentors, and employees from any and all liability for any and all loss, bodily injury or damage I may sustain as a result of my participation in the Wwoofer Program including, but not limited to, arising from any bee stings, trips, falls, drowning, animal attacks, medical care I may receive, and any medical treatment decision or recommendation made by the the Farm.
I hereby waive and release the Farm, the owners, the mentors, and employees from and against any and all claims that I may have and assert against any of them for any losses, damages or injuries arising out of, or in connection with, my participation in the Wwoofer program, and I agree to pay all expenses relating to any medical care and treatment I receive resulting from my participation in the Wwoofer program.
COMPLETE AGREEMENT. I have read this Waiver and I understand it. If any provision of this Waiver is held to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, such provision shall be modified so as to make the provision enforceable, and the remaining provisions of this Waiver shall continue in full force and effect. If such modification is not possible, only then shall such invalid or otherwise unenforceable provision be stricken, but only to the extent unenforceable, and the remaining provisions of this Waiver shall continue in full force and effect. This Waiver is my complete and only agreement regarding the subjects covered.
In entering my name below to this Waiver, I am not relying on any representation, statement or promise, oral or written, the Farm, the owners, the mentors, and employees, or any person associated with any of them, except what is expressly stated in this Waiver.