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Beware Slurry Gases

5 April 2017

Image From HSE

Hydrogen sulphide/slurry gas is one of the biggest causes of death on farms.  The highest concentrations are released when slurry is first mixed so please follow the code completely.

  • Take all of the animals out of the building before the start of mixing.
  • Open all available ventilation to provide a through draught at floor level.
  • Cover any openings into which a person could fall.
  • Take precautions to prevent others, particularly children from entering the shed.
  • Avoid mixing in very still air conditions.
  • Make sure that another adult, who knows what you are doing; stays outside the building and can summon help if needed.
  • Start the mixer and stay out of the building for at least 30 minutes.
  • Because of high gas concentrations, do not stand over any mixing point inside or outside of the building when the mixer is running.
  • Use outside mixing points first and always keep out of the building when the pump is working.
  • Do not stand close to the pump exhaust of a vacuum tanker when it is being loaded.
  • Have tanks emptied before the slurry gets up to within 300 mm of the slats.
  • Avoid naked lights, as the gas mixture is inflammable.
  • Never enter a slurry tank unless you are wearing breathing apparatus with its own air supply and you are connected by harness and lifeline to two people outside.

One reason for the high number of deaths is due to people going into help and dying themselves.  So also think how you can safely rescue anybody who might get into difficulty.

Basil Lowman,

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