Help & Support

Power NI proudly supports the Farm Safety Partnership in Northern Ireland

Slurry season brings renewed risk to farmers

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is reminding farmers of the simple safety measures needed to stay safe when working with slurry.

The mixing of slurry comes with many risks as it produces a dangerous mixture of gases, including methane, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and the extremely poisonous gas, hydrogen sulphide.

The advice to farmers is to follow the slurry mixing code:

  • keep children away from the area at all times
  • if possible, mix on a windy day
  • open all doors
  • take all animals out of the building before starting to mix slurry
  • use outside mixing points first
  • if slats are removed, cover exposed areas of the tank beside the pump/mixer to stop anything falling in
  • start the pump/mixer – then get out and stay out of the building for as long as possible - at least 30 minutes
  • any time you have to go into the building try to make sure that another adult knows what you are doing and can get help if necessary
  • if you have to re-enter to move the pump or change the direction of the pump, leave the building as soon as this is done – do not go back in for as long as possible – at least another 30 minutes

Never:

  • rely on filter type face masks
  • use gas monitors as a substitute for working safely
  • have naked flames near slurry, as slurry gas mixture is flammable
  • stand close to the exhaust of a vacuum tanker when it is being filled

For more information about working safely with slurry or general farming health and safety issues visit the farm safety topic page on the HSENI website.