The process of removing manure from below-building storage of swine facilities is a task that requires careful attention to ensure the utmost safety for humans and pigs. Knowing what to expect when handling manure and following recommended removal guidelines can help make this chore safe.
Follow basic steps for improved safety.
- Remove all workers from buildings before beginning manure agitation. Never enter a building or allow workers to remain in buildings or manure storage when agitating manure.
- Place warning signs at all entrances to buildings and manure-storage areas where manure agitation is taking place so people will not enter. Warning tags (shown at right) can be ordered at no charge from the Pork Store on the Checkoff Web site at www.porkstore.pork.org/ producer and click on pork production resources, then pork safety.
- Remove all animals from buildings before beginning manure agitation, if possible.
- If removing animals is not possible, begin agitating manure slowly and gradually increase pump speed while observing animals from outside the building. If signs of animal stress are noted, immediately discontinue agitating the manure.
- Do not enter the building until complete ventilation of the building has occurred – at least 30 minutes while maintaining full ventilation – or unless wearing a properly fitting self-contained breathing unit that you are trained to use.
- Never enter a building or manure storage to rescue a distressed animal or person without wearing a properly fitting self-contained breathing unit that you are trained to use.
- Never enter a manure storage pit or tank unless it is absolutely necessary, and then only if it is well-ventilated and you are wearing a properly fitting self-contained breathing unit that you are trained to use, wearing a properly fitted harness and lifeline and having at least two other people to rescue you in the event of a problem.
- For manure-storage access points, at or below ground-level, install covers or grates in such a way that people or pigs cannot fall into the manure pit/storage.