Manure handling adds summer safety risks

Summer increases risks for manure storage and handling accidents. A recent report, “Summary of Documented Fatalities in Livestock Manure Storage and Handling Facilities – 1975- 2004,” published in the Journal of Agromedicine, analyzed 77 manure-related fatalities.

The report was authored by Randy Beaver, loss control representative with Nationwide AgriBusiness, West Lafayette, Ind., and William Field, Purdue University professor of ag and biological engineer. It showed more than half of the fatalities involved dairy operations, and 21% involved persons under the age of 16. The largest percentage (34%) of deaths occurred to persons conducting repair or maintenance activities on manure handling equipment, while the second largest group (22%) were attempting to perform a rescue of another person. The most frequently identified cause of death was asphyxiation. The peak period of incidents were during the hottest part of the summer and were often associated with transferring of manure for application to crop ground.

Manure handling safety will be one of the topics addressed at the Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo, July 9, in London, Ohio. For more information, visit, or contact Tami Combs via phone: 614-292-6625, or e-mail: