Manure gases are released when storage pits are agitated. These manure pits often lack ventilation, making it deadly for farmers who enter these confined spaces. As many as 200 gases can be formed in manure pits, used to store raw manure by farmers. The gases that raise safety concerns include methane, hydrogen sulphide and ammonia.
Methane gas is lighter than air, making it accumulate in the upper areas of a confined space. On the other hand, hydrogen sulphide gas accumulates at the bottom of the manure pit. At a concentration of 100 parts per million, hydrogen sulphide gas can cause eye and nose irritation. However at higher concentrations, it can adversely impact your respiratory capacity. This is why it’s essential to invest in suitable gas monitoring equipment like H2S monitors.
Hydrogen Sulphide Gas Can Prove To Be Fatal
At higher concentrations, hydrogen sulphide gas can be fatal. Workers can get overcome by these toxic gases, when they’re not equipped with the right protective equipment. This can make an escape difficult, especially, when you’re working in a confined space.
Colleen Kottke said in a recent article:
“Hydrogen sulfide acts quickly on the respiratory and central nervous systems. At a high enough level just one breath of the gas can be enough,” Skjolaas said. “In the last 14 months there have been four deaths from manure gas including a father and son from Bloomer, WI.”
Four Gas Unit Recommended To Check Safety In Confined Spaces
The multiple number of gases present in confined spaces increases the danger for workers. Investing in a four gas unit makes business sense, as it will help you detect the presence of multiple toxic gases. These gas monitoring equipment will also be helpful in checking confined spaces for the presence of toxic gases before entry.
Chris Kick said in a recent article:
“One way farmers can know if their confined space is safe, she said, is by using a monitoring unit. These units can be purchased for $600-$1,200, and are small enough they can fit onto your belt, or onto a stick, if you need to measure the gasses in a confined space before entering.
Jepsen recommends ordering a four-gas unit that is designed to measure methane, hydrogen sulfide, oxygen and carbon monoxide. Although carbon monoxide is not likely to be found in your manure pit, you can use it in other places on the farm, such as in a garage or machinery shed.”
When these toxic gases build up within confined spaces, it displaces oxygen in the confined space, leading to safety concerns. This is why it’s a good idea to practice caution when entering these confined spaces and use gas monitoring equipment to check for the presence of toxic gases, before making an entry.