It's a scenario every livestock operator with a manure pit fears. However, everyone in a farming operation must know what to do if someone is found unconscious in a manure pit.
Multiple deaths are common in manure pit incidents. People often attempt rescues without proper equipment and become victims, too.
Make sure everyone in the operation, especially young family members, know about the dangers of manure pit systems. The following precautions must be taken:
Maintain a fence around open pits and keep the gate locked at all times.
Post warning signs around manure pits and enclosed livestock facilities about the possibility of a contaminated atmosphere.
If someone is found unconscious in or near a manure storage facility, do not attempt a rescue. Contact an ambulance or local emergency medical service immediately. The caller should provide as many details as possible so that technicians bring proper equipment.
Stay out of manure pits unless absolutely necessary. If work must be done inside the pit, allow only experienced and trained people to do it.
For more information, contact your field agricultural engineer or county extension office. A new SAFE FARM publication, Manure Storage Poses Invisible Risks, Pm-1518k, also is available.
This news release was distributed by Iowa State University Extension as part of the Safe Farm Program. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Distribution date: November 1993.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More