entering manure storage areas if at all possible!! Many deaths
have occurred when people entered manure storage areas without
proper safety precautions. If you must enter a manure storage
area, the following entry procedures will minimize, but not
eliminate, the risks!
that conditions are of greatest risk when manure is agitated
or moved. Movement and agitation increase the release of dangerous
gases, sometimes several fold. When agitating, pumping, or
moving manure, take precautions to be sure that extra ventilation
is provided to nearby areas (e.g., buildings over or near
the manure storage).
before entering. Test the oxygen level to make sure that
adequate oxygen is available. Also test for hydrogen sulfide,
a particularly toxic gas, to be sure that concentrations
are safe (less than 10 ppm).
additional forced ventilation. Additional ventilation will
increase oxygen and decrease hydrogen sulfide and other
conditions. Oxygen will be consumed while working in a manure
storage area, and additional agitation from working can
increase the toxic gas levels. Monitor conditions while
a safety line. A worker in a confined space or manure storage
area should wear a body harness with a safety line. The
safety line should be held by enough people and/or a winch
so that the worker can be pulled out of the area if a problem
a supplied air respirator. If oxygen levels are below the
safe concentration or gases are present at toxic levels,
use a supplied air respirator. The person using a respirator
should be trained on the use of the mask. It is particularly
important that the mask form a tight seal around the face.
a clear escape path. Make it as easy as possible for the
worker to exit the manure storage area quickly. Don't block
the path with tools or objects.
fire away. Methane gas is a byproduct of manure degradation,
and it is flammable. Keep fire and other ignition sources
such as electrical tools away from the manure storage area.
Test the methane level with an explosion meter.
first aid. Someone on the site should be trained in CPR
and first aid measures.
University of Illinois
Department of Agricultural Engineering
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