Slurry gas is a mixture of gases, including the extremely poisonous hydrogen sulphide.
Even a low concentration of hydrogen sulphide can knock out your sense of smell, so you won’t even know it’s there.
At higher concentrations you will quickly find it harder to breathe and become confused - and at certain concentrations, just one breath can kill.
When mixing slurry you should:
- keep children away from the area at all times
- if possible, mix on a windy day
- open all doors and windows
- take all animals out of the building before starting
- use outside mixing points first
- if slats are removed, cover exposed areas of the tank beside the pump/ mixer to stop anything falling in
- after starting the pump/ mixer, get out and stay out of the building for as long as possible - at least 30 minutes
- make sure that another adult knows what you are doing, stays outside and can get help if neede if you have to go into the building
- if you have to re-enter the building to move the pump or change the direction of the pump, leave 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 facemasks
- never use gas monitors as a substitute for working safely
- never allow naked flames near slurry, as the gas mixture is flammable
- never stand close to the exhaust of a vacuum tanker when it is being filled
Find out more about working safely with slurry, contact the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) helpline on 0800 0320 121 or find useful information at the following link:
The advice is clear: stop, think and stay safe when working with slurry.