Manure pits pose a pretty serious threat on farms – to adults and children alike. The problem is many farm workers are unaware of the risks.
In a manure pit, manure undergoes anaerobic digestive fermentation to form fertilizer. That process can generate four potentially dangerous gases:
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Carbon dioxide
Here is where it gets dangerous. The accumulation of those gases within the confined space of a manure pit can produce oxygen deficient, toxic and explosive environments. The poisonous environment can be lethal within minutes.
- Don’t allow children to enter a manure pit or silo.
- Work to reduce the volume of manure in the pits to reduce gas buildup.
- Ensure proper ventilation in manure pits.
- Fit all openings to manure pits with substantial metal grill covers to provide natural ventilation and prevent accidents falls or entries into the pits.
- Provide access to all serviceable parts from the outside.
Photo courtesy of Lancaster Farming