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.
Take the following tips into consideration to help keep the children on your farm safe from manure pit dangers:
- 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