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Confined spaces

confined spaces

Confined spaces like silos, tanks, pits and other enclosed structures present a hazard to farmers and children.

In silos a person can be drawn under moving grain within seconds. To prevent accidents, all ladders should be above child height and fitted with a device to prevent child access. Modern silos will generally be fitted with safety grids to restrict access.

Other confined spaces like water tanks and manure pits can also be dangerous. It’s essential to follow proper safety procedures when you work in any confined space.

Confined spaces on farms are dangerous. Water tanks, silos, wells, vats. manure pits, tunnels and other confined spaces can suffocate a person with fumes or low oxygen levels. Farm workers, children and other people are at risk. People making a rescue attempt can also be in danger. Proper safety procedures are vital, including having a rescue plan and appropriate safety equipment.
Find out more about this topic on Better Health Channel

References used for this topic page

More information:

Job Safe SA
WorkSafe Victoria

Research & reviews:

National Ag Safety Database (US)

Fast facts:

Confined spaces

  • Confined spaces like silos, sewers, manure pits and wells often have low oxygen levels or a build up of vapours.
  • Silos can be particularly dangerous, as people can be suffocated by falling grain or fertiliser.
  • Draw up an emergency rescue plan and have safety equipment (like breathing apparatus) available to conduct a safe rescue if someone becomes trapped.
  • Always make sure someone knows where you are.

Last updated: 5th December, 2016