Monday, July 30, 2012

"Safety on the Farm" — a nightmarish coloring book for kids

"Safety on the Farm" is a 24-page staplebound book that was originally published in the 1970s or early 1980s by the Farm Safety Association of Ontario, Canada.

It is described by the Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council as a "delightful activity book" in which young readers "follow the entertaining farmer character through many mis-adventures during his work."

More than 95,000 copies were distributed throughout the United States, according to this Purdue University web page.

While learning farm safety is of paramount importance, I'm not sure how "delightful" kids have found these coloring pages over the years. I suspect they gave some children nightmares. Here's a sampling of the morbid stuff...

You can check out (and print out) a PDF of the entire activity booklet here.

"Safety on the Farm" reminds me somewhat of a children's version of "Shake Hands with Danger," an amazingly memorable 1970 workplace-safety film. Joan and I first watched it on a DVD called "The Educational Archives, Vol. 4 - On the Job". You can read Schlock Corridor's review of "Shake Hands with Danger" here and, even better, watch the full 23-minute film.

"Shake Hands with Danger," coincidentally, was directed by Herk Harvey, who spent decades as a writer, director and producer of educational and industrial films but is best remembered for his one feature film -- the influential 1962 horror classic "Carnival of Souls." Harvey also appears in the movie, uncredited, as "The Man" — aka the lead ghoul (pictured at right).


  1. The hapless farmer has the same eyes as "the Man"! Now THAT'S scary!

  2. Note the incorrect caption at the bottom of page 8 of the PDF booklet, which I thank you for sharing. These are some crazy coloring book pictures! My favorite is the one you featured that says to check the position of people before starting up machinery. I suppose one can never be too careful. I certainly hope I never suffer such a fate!

  3. "Stop machinery before making adjustments..." is applicable to my great uncle who lost his right arm in a corn picker. A tractor rolled on a steep hill and killed a second family member. My uncle was killed as a child when the horse he was riding bolted out of the barn. Farm life IS dangerous, and that doesn't include the pets that were killed in farm accidents.

  4. Nightmarish indeed! And the book asks kids to draw a picture of a farm accident at the very end ... I'm guessing the kids who got this book also ran out of red crayon.