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Top Tips for Silage Safety

7-27-17 silage

Safety is a top priority here at the Patz Corporation. We want to ensure that our customers and dealers use proper safety techniques to keep safe.

Silage storage areas are one of several hazardous places on the farm. Silage is the cut up feed ingredients used to feed cattle. It is stored on the farm in a few different ways, silo towers, bunkers, silage bags, and piles.

Today’s blog will focus on silage piles and bunkers, seeing as they can be stacked very high and are not completely contained. A silage bunker is contained with walls usually on 3 sides. Silage piles are not contained. Both of these silage storage types are started with material that is flattened and then layered as the silage gets higher and wider. The pile is built vertically, and flattened down often to keep materials packed tightly.

Never build a silage area higher than what your machinery is capable of reaching. Do not approach the face of the silage unless you are in a vehicle. If you are not, stand 3 times the height of the pile away from the wall, so if there is a down rush of silage, you are far enough away that it won’t reach you. When collecting samples, have someone in a machine unload a section of silage for you a safe distance from the large pile. If standing on top of the silage, remain at least 3 feet from the edge, so if it does fall, you are not taken with it.

Work using the “buddy” system. If something unfortunate does occur, having a person close could prevent or lessen an accident. Be aware of toxic fumes that can sometimes occur with silage piles. If you see orange or brown gases, those are especially toxic – do not approach the silage until they have had time to fully dissipate.

Lastly, never let children around silage areas. Put up signs and have everyone on the farm reinforce this rule.

 

Sources:

“Preventing Silage-Related Injuries and Fatalities Among Farm Workers.” Virginia Tech Dairy Science

Radke, Amanda. “6 Silage Safety Guidelines to Remember.” Beef Magazine

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