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Safety Alert

Methane Exposure - August 2012

In early August 2012, a farmer moving manure around the farm was exposed to methane gas.

WorkSafeBC will be investigating the incident and the potential for harm to workers who handle or distribute manure.

All cows and other ruminants produce potent greenhouse methane gas and there is always a potential safety problem for workers, depending on their proximity to the manure fumes and the temperatures in the area they are working. This has been, and likely will continue to be, a known hazard when working with animals on a farm. Workers need to be reminded that methane gas is odourless and colourless, and that inhaling too much of it can result in suffocation due to insufficient oxygen.

Safe work procedures and best practices should be considered when working with or near manure. Personal Protective Equipment may be an appropriate option.

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