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Hog Farm Precautions

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Protect yourself from disease and on-the-job injury

From farrowing to grow finishing, hog farming is a messy business. In addition to the dangers all farmers face, like dealing with animals, operating heavy machinery, loud noise exposure and heavy lifting, you have special concerns unique to hog farm employees.

There are three common risks associated with working at a hog farm.

Respiratory Problems

One-quarter of all hog farm workers have one or more documented respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis, asthma-like wheezing and chest tightness. The most common culprit is dust from feed, dried manure and pig skin cells.

Manure Gas Exposure

Large pits more than two feet deep have the potential to rapidly release a dangerous gas when disturbed. Picture the release that occurs when you shake a bottle of champagne and remove the cork; that’s how pent-up gas comes out of manure pits.

Accidental Needlesticks

Chemicals in needles meant for animals can be extremely dangerous to humans.

How to Protect Yourself
  • Always use the required personal protective equipment (PPE) when working.
  • Wear a respirator or dust mask when necessary, and make sure it fits properly.
  • Do not enter a confined or hazardous space without authorization or while you are alone.
  • Never remove needle caps with your mouth.
  • Do not re-cap needles when it is not part of a medical procedure or protocol.
  • Do not dispose of needles in the regular trash bin.
  • If manure is disturbed, exit the facility and stay out for at least 30 minutes.

Hog farming is a lot of work, but as long as you follow the proper safety recommendations, you’ll be happy as a pig in mud!


Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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