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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Safety: Public Visitor Protection Program
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Public Visitor Protection Program

(adapted from Manual 230 - updated: 12/5/2005)


Visitors to Agency facilities are often exposed to the same hazards as employees. However, due to a lack of familiarity with the facility and its associated operations, they have a higher potential for injury/illness. Before visitors are conducted through a facility, the following actions will be taken by the ranking supervisor or the designated representative of the area to be visited:

Visitors will be briefed on the nature of the operation and on the physical, chemical, radiological, and biological hazards they may be exposed to.  They will be informed of any required action necessary to limit or prevent exposure.  Any additional information related to potential hazards for females of childbearing age (15-45) will also be provided at this time.

Where potential physical, chemical, radiological, or biological hazards exist, the visitors will be escorted at all times to prevent contact/exposure to the hazards.

If protective equipment is required in the area to be visited, it will be provided. Examples are hearing protection, nonprescription eye wear, toe guards, and hard hats.  Refusal of a visitor to utilize required protective equipment is considered reason to deny the visitor entry into the area.

Any incident involving injury/illness or actual harmful exposure to hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials or biological agents will be reported immediately to the operation supervisor who will investigate and, in turn, report it to the AO.

In addition, policies identified in P&P 240.3 "Physical protection, Security and Conduct while on REE Facilities" are also applicable to visitor conduct while on USDA property.

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Last Modified: 3/12/2010
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