NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Farm owner and son asphyxiated in manure waste pit - Minnesota, August 11, 1992.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92-29, 1993 Mar; :1-7
After entering one of a pair of adjacent 8 foot deep manure waste pits connected by a tunnel, a 43 year old dairy farm owner and his 23 year old son died from asphyxiation. On the day of the accident, the owner apparently entered the pit when the manure from the second pit failed to flow through the tunnel. The owner removed the steel grate covering the entrance of the pit and placed an aluminum ladder into the pit, descended the ladder and walked a short distance to the tunnel. As he bent over to clear the tunnel, he was overcome and collapsed. His son appeared to have entered the pit to rescue his father, when he, too, was overcome. The son was found later lying over the first victim. They were found dead of asphyxiation several hours later. It was recommended that manure pits be identified as confined spaces and that hazard warning signs be posted at all entrances. It was also recommended that farm employees be instructed never to enter the manure waste system unless absolutely necessary and then only when following a safe entry procedure. Manure waste systems should be installed in such a manner that the need for entry is eliminated. Manure waste systems should be equipped with some type of power ventilation system.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-92-29; Region-5; Agricultural-industry; Animal-husbandry; Oxygen-deficient-atmospheres; Confined-spaces; Waste-disposal-systems
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division