Fairs Year-round Information     /     June 2K19    /    June is National Safety Month!

Urban Legend Disproved!
Oh, yeah, they really do work:   R elease and Waiver of Liability Agreement forms.

Be Safe. Be Kind:
Sometimes safety starts with a kind word or action.
A Requirement that Bears Repeating:
Double check that your fair's exhibitor entry forms include the required liability release language, that your fair is covered by Animal Exhibitor Group Insurance or that your exhibitors' are protected by the Special Events program.  

Take a Behind-the-Scenes Fair Exhibit Department Tour:
You're invited to learn what makes the exhibits at these fairs so popular. RSVP!  

Monthly Reminders:
+ Help CFSA Help You: Send your Fairgrounds'  June Contract Logs to CFSA.
+ Progress Reports: Keep your fair's Risk Control specialist in the loop about  Pre-Fair Inspection Report repairs, improvements and plans of action.  
Hazardous Activity Waiver Forms:
Contrary to Urban Legend, They Can Hold Up in Court   
CFSA's waiver forms are available in English and Spanish
At one time or another, most of us who have had to sign a waiver of liability to participate in an activity have probably thought, "Sure, I'll sign that waiver, it doesn't really matter. I know it doesn't mean anything." Maybe you've also heard similar comments from fair goers as they sign a waiver before participating in an activity. 
According to Mark Stone, CFSA's General Liability Claims manager, "The common belief that these waivers mean nothing and that they are not enforceable is really a myth. Under some circumstances, a court will find waivers unenforceable, but in California, a signed waiver is a very powerful tool used to get lawsuits dismissed." 
Fairs participating in CFSA's General Liability pool program are required to make sure Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement forms are provided and signed before allowing a participant to take part in a hazardous activity. CFSA's General Liability pool program provides  protection for participant liability as long as the fair makes a good faith effort to obtain a participant liability waiver when events involve, for example, athletic teams; equestrian, motorized or rodeo events; mechanical bulls; and other hazardous activities taking place on a fairgrounds. By signing a participant waiver, the participant is agreeing to assume any and all risks of bodily injury, including death or property damage that may arise out of the hazardous nature of the event or activity in which they are about to participate. Participants who are minors must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver on their behalf.
Whether it's your fair that is sponsoring the hazardous event, an event promoter sponsoring a hazardous event on your fairgrounds, or an attraction/ride owner/operator taking part in an  event on your fairgrounds, your fair and/or all vendor or promoters under a rental agreement with your fairgrounds must provide release waivers to everyone participating in the activity.   

This waiver, whether provided by CFSA or the vendor/promoter's insurance company should include language that will not only protect your fair should an accident take place, but that also alerts participants that there is some risk involved in what they or their children are about to do. And yes, w aivers can be enforced by the courts. Recently, in a lawsuit from an incident that resulted in a woman's death, a signed waiver was used by CFSA to get the lawsuit against a pool program member fairgrounds dismissed.  While waivers may not preclude the filing of a lawsuit, they can be a valuable tool used to get your fair dismissed from the lawsuit. In order to use this tool though, your fair needs to have hazardous event participants sign a waiver before they are allowed to take part in the activity. 

Need copies of the Release Waiver? Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement forms that meet CFSA's insurance requirements are available from the CFSA website: From the home page, www.cfsa.org, go to: Self Insurance > General Liability > General Liability Forms. The form is available in both English and Spanish.
Please note: Signed waiver forms for fair-sponsored events/activities must be kept on file at your fair for at least three years (they may be needed in the event of a claim or lawsuit).
If you have any questions regarding participant liability, indemnification language or the use of waiver forms, please contact Mario Castagnola, CFSA's risk analyst at 916/263-6145.

Be Safe. Be Kind.
And Never Underestimate the Power of Compassion.
By Becky Bailey-Findley, executive director, CFSA   

June is National Safety Month and CFSA is focusing on important tips and information related to fairgrounds and workplace safety for our fair guests and for fair employees. This is the ideal time to talk about a safety tool we all have readily available - it doesn't cost much and can have dramatic impact on our fair guests and fellow employees -  kindness .
Kindness is an invaluable currency in our increasingly interconnected world. It has profound effects on our bodies and health, and like glue, it holds people together. It helps create community, something we need for our own staff and for the communities we serve.

Here's what we know:  Stress impacts us physically:
  • It increases blood pressure. 
  • Damages the cardiovascular system. 
  • Can make people unhappy. 
  • Suppresses the immune system. 
  • Tenses the nervous system. 
  • Increases inflammation. 
  • Can trigger depression. 

Fair time may be fun time, but it also has moments of stress for our staff:

  • Meeting hard deadlines.
  • Working with little to no resources.
  • Dealing with angry exhibitors or vendors.
  • Accidents, interruptions, failures.
  • Being on the receiving end of complaints and challenges.
  • Unrealistic expectations from guests, board members, government.
So, how can we keep our staff safe from stressors or the impact of stress? Kindness. It's an antidote to stress.
What Kindness does to our bodies:
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Protects the cardiovascular system.
  • Makes people happy.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Relaxes the nervous system.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Can be an antidote to depression.
Being kind to our employees matters. In turn, they will be kind to our guests. Showing kindness impacts our bodies physically and it makes us happier.
American author Henry James put it another way, "Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." Everything else is commentary.
The Roseto Effect :
Roseto is a town on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. There was a national census in the 1960s and given the typically high rates of heart disease in the U.S., it found that not one single person in Roseto under the age of 45 had ever died of a heart attack. This was contrary to the rest of the U.S. communities.
After much investigation, it turned out that the seeming immunity to heart disease was a consequence of:
©      A strong sense of community.
©      Positive social contact.
©      Sharing.
©      People looking out for and helping each other - being kind.
Isn't this what fairs are all about? Providing that sense of a protective community, kindness and positive social interaction?
Chris Abani, a Nigerian dissident, author and storyteller says, "What I've come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft and almost invisible acts of compassion, everyday acts of compassion."
Be safe. Create a safe environment for your employees and guests. Show kindness.
Reference:  The Little Book of Kindness , by Dr. David Hamilton.

General Liability Pool Participants:
Does Your Fair's Exhibitor Entry Form Include the Required Liability Release Language? It is for Your Fair's "Safety."

To help ensure that all CFSA pool member fairs are adequately indemnified from any losses connected to livestock and/or other exhibitor participation at your fair, CFSA fully endorses  the entry form liability release language included in the 2019 State Rules for California Fairs publication, Section II Eligibility, Item 16, issued by the California Department of Food & Agriculture. In fact, this liability release language is required on all livestock and/or other exhibit/exhibitor entry forms used by fairs participating in CFSA's General Liability Pool program (effective January 1, 2015):
"The exhibitor agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Fair, the county and the state of California from and against any liability, claim, loss or expense (including reasonable attorneys' fees) arising out of any injury or damage, which is caused by, arises from or is in any way connected with participation in the program or event, excepting only that caused by the sole active negligence of the Fair. The Fair Management shall not be responsible for accidents or losses that may occur to any of the exhibitors or exhibits at the Fair. The exhibitor (or parent or guardian of a minor) is responsible for any injury or damage resulting from the exhibitor's participation in the program or event. This includes any injury to others or to the exhibitor or to the exhibitor's property."
For your exhibitors' safety: The CFSA general liability pool no longer covers claims resulting from an exhibit animal. The liability belongs to the animal owner unless your fair purchases Animal Exhibitor Group Insurance coverage, which is explained in the next article.  If your fair is not purchasing the group coverage, as a courtesy, please let your exhibitors know so that they can purchase coverage through the CFSA Special Events program (code 451), if they so choose. This individual coverage covers large animal exhibitors and all other large- and small-animal exhibitors in their family.  

CFSA's Animal Exhibitor Group Insurance Coverage

If your fair requires animal exhibitors to have general liability coverage, consider the benefits of providing them with Animal Exhibitor Group Insurance available through CFSA. 
Providing the coverage saves time - your fair doesn't have to collect insurance certificates from every exhibitor. And it cuts down on paperwork. Whether you are covering five or 555 FFA, 4-H, Grange and/or independent exhibitors, only one Special Events receipt needs to be generated. Plus, it's a great community-spirit gesture!

By providing the coverage, you've ensured that the animal's owner and family are covered, as is your fair in the event that an exhibited animal injures a fair visitor or damages someone's property,  And, if there's an incident and your fair is a member of the General Liability Pool program, your General liability loss history (and annual fee) isn't affected. 

For more information about this coverage, please contact Mario Castagnola, CFSA risk analyst, at 916/263-6145 or mcastagnola@cfsa.org.

Show and tell! You're invited!
Behind-the-Scenes Fair Exhibit Department Tours:
Four fairs are putting their exhibit departments on display  

This summer, the Marin County Fair, the Orange County Fair, the Nevada County Fair and the Monterey County Fair are hosting behind-the-scenes exhibit department tours at their fairgrounds. You are invited to attend this great opportunity to learn and share ideas, tips and techniques. 

Community exhibits are what make fairs so unique in a world teeming with events and this is your chance to see first-hand how these four fairs work to make their exhibit areas stand out.
Please RSVP, below, to join us. More information will be sent out as dates approach.
Please share this information with your fair's board members and staff! Everyone is invited!
Questions? Please contact Sarah Pelle, Resource Coordinator at CDFA's Fairs & Expositions Branch. You can reach her at Sarah.Pelle@cdfa.ca.gov, or 916/900-5368.

 ~ Please join us in thanking these four host fairs for opening their doors to all of us! ~

Remember to Send a Copy of Your Fairgrounds' Monthly Contract Log to CFSA by the 15th of Every Month

Has your fairgrounds sent its June contract log to CFSA yet? If you have, thank you for helping us help you keep claims costs down! If you haven't, please do so as soon as you can -ideally by the 15th of each month.  Doing so gives Mario Castagnola, CFSA's risk analyst,  ample time to review your log and to get back to you if there are any questions. Fax your contract logs to: 916/263-6159, Atten. Mario or email them to Mario at:  mcastagnola@cfsa.org.


Keep Your CFSA Risk Control Specialist in the Loop with Post Facility Inspection Updates

After you have repaired, adjusted or developed a plan of action for any problematic areas identified in your fairgrounds' Pre-fair Inspection Report, remember to send a copy of the updated correction sheet to your Risk Control specialist.  (The correction sheet is attached to your Pre-fair Inspection Report.) 

Have questions about your fairgrounds' report or not sure where to begin? Contact your fair's Risk Control specialist or Tom Amberson, Risk Department manager, at 916/263-6180 or tamberson@cfsa.org.      

Thank you for reading the  fyi newsletter. If there is something we can do to make  fyi more valuable to you, or if you have a fair photo we can use in the newsletter's banner, please  let us know: mthurber@cfsa.org.