If you work on a farm, manure happens. Loading manure onto a trailer would be few workers’ idea of fun, but would it surprise you to know it can also be deadly?
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that a 31-year-old worker was fatally overcome by exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas from the pig manure he was loading onto trailers for use as fertilizer.
Federal investigators determined that the man’s death, which occurred in the Vickery, OH, area, was caused by inhalation of the gas, which is rapidly absorbed by the lungs.
“Symptoms from overexposure to hydrogen sulfide gas can come on rapidly and quickly overcome a worker,” says Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo, OH. “The agriculture industry needs to educate its employees that the foul odors that come with manure spreading are not just unpleasant—they are unsafe and can be deadly. It is imperative that farm workers are protected from inhaling these gases.”
OSHA cited W.E. Soil Enhancement for three serious violations carrying $16,800 in proposed fines. They include failure to:
This compliance center on confined spaces can help you manage several hazards associated with confined spaces, including respiratory hazards.
Share this safety talk handout on hydrogen sulfide exposure hazards. It explains what your workers need to do in the event of a hydrogen sulfide gas leak or incident of exposure to this deadly gas.
Large quantities of Chinese drywall that were brought to the United States have been discovered to be contaminated with hydrogen sulfide. Read more here.