2019 Farm Safety Week Tip #4
Manure Gas Monitoring:
Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable, and extremely hazardous gas. It is produced by the breakdown of animal waste or manure. It is heavier than air and can collect in both enclosed pits, open air lagoons and low-lying areas such as, ditches, or manholes. When manure has been moved and agitated, it has a greater risk of being toxic.
Knowing the risks that can occur with manure gas is important for those farms raising animals and for others who may visit your farm. Take time to protect you, your family and others by incorporating basic principles into your manure management plan.
Manure Storage and Entering Procedures:
- Avoid entering manure storage areas if at all possible. Always have at least 2 people present when working near the manure lagoon or pit.
- Test the oxygen & hydrogen sulfide in manure lagoon or pit before entering.
- Provide additional forced ventilation into manure lagoon or pit and monitor conditions.
- Use proper PPE when entering a confine space, this includes a manure storage area. Correct PPE is a harness and breathing apparatus.
- Have an Emergency Plan in place that includes an escape plan and keep employees up to date on emergency training.
- Maintain Protective fencing around the lagoon or pit and warning signs around the area posting “Danger”, “No Smoking”, and “Risk of Drowning”.