With the closed period for slurry spreading coming to an end across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the month of January it is a good time to remember the dangers of slurry and take precautions to remain safe.
Mixing slurry has the potential to be the most dangerous of all activities on the farm. Slurry gas is released very quickly and in large quantities as soon as mixing begins. The gas produced is a mixture of a number of gases, the most deadly of which is hydrogen sulphide. Even at low levels hydrogen sulphide can affect your sense of smell so you will not even know that the gas is present. As levels increase you can become confused and have breathing difficulties and above a certain level just one breath of the gas can kill.
The first 30 minutes are the critical period, all sheds should be vacated immediately once mixing starts and remain empty for a least 30 minutes. Planning is key to safety and it is important to consider all of the dangers and potential for accidents. Cover all openings and keep children and animals as far away as possible. Also remember that the 30 minute rule applies when mixing begins and every time you move the pump or change the direction of mixing.
Follow The Slurry Mixing Code
- Keep children away from the area at all times when working with slurry
- If possible, mix on a windy day
- Open all doors
- Take all animals out of the building before starting to mix slurry
- Use outside mixing points first
- If slats are removed, cover exposed areas of the tank beside the pump/mixer to stop anything falling in
- Start the pump/mixer – then get out and stay out of the building for as long as possible – at least 30 minutes
- Any time you have to go into the building try to make sure that another adult knows what you are doing and can get help if necessary
- If you have to re-enter to move the pump or change the direction of the pump, leave the building as soon as this is done – do not go back in for as long as possible – at least another 30 minutes
- Rely on filter type facemasks
- Use gas monitors as a substitute for working safely
- Have naked flames near slurry, as slurry gas mixture is flammable
- Stand close to the exhaust of a vacuum tanker when it is being filled
If you find someone has been overcome during slurry mixing, if possible, stop the pump and get the person to fresh air but do not put yourself at risk in the process. If breathing is weak or stopped, artificial respiration may be effective. Contact the emergency services and seek immediate medical attention.
We value all of our customers here at McCullagh Machinery and hope that this information is useful to you. Please stay safe. To view our range of slurry equipment click HERE