Text of Mike Brosnan 09005344 PD + T Research Presentation
Mike Brosnan 09005344 PD + T Research Presentation
Problem Statement I want to improve the safety around slurry pits in order to make a safer environment for farmers to work in by preventing injury and fatality.
Slurry Pit Safety Slurry Pits caused 14% of farm deaths between 2000 - 2009 Drowning and Asphyxiation are the 2 most common causes 21 People have drowned in slurry in the past 10 years One breath of gas can kill 4 Gases: Hydrogen Sulphide Methane Ammonia Carbon Dioxide Agitation is when risk is highest In 2000 2010 30% of child fatalities on farms was caused by drowning in slurry or water Farming has the highest work place fatality rate in both Ireland and UK
Current Solutions Slurry Wizard Slurry Aeration SystemsSlurry Aeration Systems 2 Manhole Covers Standard Gas MasksGuard Rails / Fencing
Leading Products Slurry WizardSlurry Aeration Systems 160 p/kg Comes as Powder Manually added by farmer Helps stop crust forming Adds nutrients 15,000 - 20,000 Approx to install depending on size of tank Run by air compressor Air blown through pipes Causes slurry to bubble and crust to disintegrate No need for further agitation Can be set on timer
Research Methods National Ploughing Championships Site Visit / Observation Surveys Online Forums Browsing the internet
National Ploughing Championships
Companies: Carlow Concrete Tanks HSA IFA FarmWear Naturalbiotics Teagasc ICE Comfort Slat Mats Dairy Power Equipment Main Findings: Found current solutions to Slurry Pit safety FarmWear have no safety equipment directly related to slurry operation Naturalbiotics sell a formula called Slurry Wizard as mentioned previously HSA gave me facts and figures on injuries and fatalities Carlow Concrete Tanks manufacture slurry tanks in a range of sizes Dairy Power manufacture the slurry Aeration systems mentioned previously Teagasc told me about the safety measures they ask farmers to perform but did not know of many products on the market
Site Visit / Observation Videos and more photos available on blog!
Site Visit / Observation Findings: Guard Rails had to be taken down completely for agitation Tractor had to back in at different angles to get uniform agitation Tractor had to reverse right to the very edge of the tank Guarding was put back up for spreading Guarding consisted of old gates and fencing Pit was 8ft deep The pit was both slatted and externally open Agitation was very uneven Slurry consisted of a lot of rain water from previous flooding Scrapers inside the shed pushed waste out under the wall and into the pit Operator had to stand very close to the edge in order to operate the spreader There was a strong odour coming from the slurry even though it consisted of a lot of rainwater Slight crust formed again only a short period after initial agitation
Survey 1.What Kind of Slurry Pit is on your farm? 2.When was your slurry pit installed? 3.What depth is your slurry pit? 4.How often do you agitate? 5.Do you agitate from an internal or external point? 6.Have you installed any self agitating devices? 7.What do you think are the biggest safety risks with slurry? 8.What safety measures are in place with your slurry pit? 9.Do you know anyone that has been affected by a slurry pit incident? 10.Have you ever had to enter a tank to clean or inspect for cracks? I created an online survey on surveymonkey.com which I sent out to people using Facebook and email. I also printed the same survey and handed it out to farmers I know.
Online Forums As part of my research I decided to post in a number of farming forums to get an insight into what farmers were thinking about slurry pit safety Important questions asked: What are the biggest problems in Irish farming What are the most hazardous areas in farming Identify the main problems around slurry pits Suggest some improvements Describe your slurry pit set up Responses: Hay and feed falling into tank through slats Lack of knowledge Alarm systems would be beneficial Upgrading covers is a hassle Slat covers that are on sale arent up to scratch Operating under time constrictions Very hard to agitate evenly throughout the tank boards.ie farmingforums.co.uk forum4farming.com
Research Findings Drowning and Asphyxiation are the 2 main causes of fatality around slurry pits. The build up of gas is mainly due to the formation of a crust at the top of the slurry after a period of time. Hydrogen Sulphide is the most lethal of the gases. It is poisonous. Gases are at there most dangerous within 1 hour of agitation. Tractors have to be very close to the unguarded pit in order to agitate/spread properly. Proper guard railing is not in place around a lot of slurry pits. Gas masks are rarely, if ever, used by farmers. The proportion of farmers with slatted or external tanks is divided relatively evenly. Very few farmers have any self agitating systems in place