One of the biggest issues on farms is the safe storage of slurry. There are many hazards associated with slurry, including the risk of falling into an uncovered or unfenced pit or tank. With this hazard in mind, it is vital that farmers ensure all slurry storage areas are fenced appropriately and secure from unauthorised access.
The two main types of fencing most appropriate to protect an open pit are 1. Chain Link Fencing or 2. Welded Mesh Panel System. A fence with a minimum height of 1.8 meters (6 ft) is recommended, but the fence chosen must be suitable for the site location and ultimately provide the highest safety standard.
With the storage of slurry there is a build-up of gases as the matter decomposes. These gases include Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Ammonia (NH3), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4). The release of these gases increase dramatically during the agitating of the slurry in preparation for emptying the tank. It is critical that farmers never enter the tank.
FRS Fencing have the expertise to assess the most appropriate fencing required to safeguard the hazardous slurry area on the farm and offer free competitive quotes to complete the job to the highest standard and can offer a DIY or full contract service.
Farmers must also remember and adhere to control measures and precautions for safe storage and handling of slurry:
- All slurry pits/tanks should be appropriately fenced and locked to prevent unauthorised access.
- Entry into slurry storage tanks should never be allowed. Entry where unavoidable and essential, should only be carried out by trained and competent persons with appropriate breathing apparatus and after testing to ensure oxygen levels are adequate and all other gases such as Hydrogen Sulfide are at safe levels. The person entering must be attached with a safety harness with a watcher at entry point.
- Access to slatted tanks should be via a safety manhole, which can only be accessed and opened by a competent person. Never enter the tank without a full breathing apparatus.
- A safety grid should be in place underneath manholes and chained to prevent them falling into the tank.
- Children must be supervised at all times around farms especially around slurry storage.
- Signage should be in place informing people of the storage of slurry.
- All storage of slurry should be in a well-ventilated area.
- Agitation should only be carried out by a trained and competent person who is aware of all the hazards and understands the danger of the process.
Secure fencing of a pit/tank is vital for effective farm safety practice. Go out today and inspect your fencing and call FRS Fencing to give it an expert maintenance check to ensure it is of a high safety standard. If it not up to scratch get a free quotation from FRS. Following safe slurry storage and handling procedures is paramount.
Contact your local FRS Fencing office by visiting www.frsfencing.ie.