Farm Safety Check: Manure Gas

Farm Safety Check: Manure Gas


Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable, and extremely hazardous gas. It is produced by the breakdown of animal wastes or manure. It is heavier than air and can collect in both enclosed pits, open air lagoons and low-lying areas such as, ditches, or manholes. Knowing the risks that can occur with manure gas is important for those farms raising animals and for others who may visit your farm.


Take time to protect you, your family and others by incorporating basic principles into your manure management plan and check out additional resources listed below.


The checklist below lists a few ways you can be prepared in case of a farm emergency:

  • Does the storage area have protective fencing and locked gates to prevent anyone not authorized from entering the area?
  • Are warning signs posted around the storage area such as “Danger”, “No Smoking” and “Risk of Drowning”?
  • Is there an emergency plan in place with phone numbers and addresses posted?
  • Has everyone received training about the hazards that exist with manure storage, including the effects of various gases on animals and people, and what to do in an emergency?
  • Is Personal Protective Equipment (harnesses or breathing apparatuses) readily available?
  • Do you ventilate the pit prior to pumping, during pumping and while working near the pit?
  • Do you have a properly working gas monitoring system or device?
  • Do you have at least 2 people present when working near the manure lagoon or pit?

You and/or your employee(s) can download and print a pdf checklist to complete safety checks on your farm.  Keep the completed forms for follow-up, future reference and inspections.



Additional Resources:

Disclaimer: The facts and information listed above are suggestions for your safety, but are in no way a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all actions needed to ensure your safety.