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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Silo Gas Safety Tips

Dr. Ken Griswold,
 Penn State Extension Educator
As part of the Penn State Cooperative Extension dairy team, Dr. Ken Griswold is no amateur when it comes to working with silos. Last fall, he proved that no matter how much experience you have, no one is immune to safety hazards.

Shortly after working in a silo, Griswold was rushed to the emergency room, coughing up blood and experiencing difficulty breathing. Doctors diagnosed him with silo filler's disease, an illness caused by exposure to silo gases.

After this harrowing experience, Dr. Griswold shared his story and spread the word about silo safety at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting in Madison, WI.

Griswold recommends that no one enter a silo for 21 days after forage is put up. If you absolutely must enter, follow these tips:
  • With doors closed, use a blower to ventilate the silo for a minimum of 30 minutes before entering.
  • Keep the fans running the entire time you're in the silo.
  • Do not enter the silo from the top.
  • If you see or smell gas at any time, get out immediately.
  • Tell someone if you will be working in or around the silo!
Source: Andrea Bloom. "The biggest problem with silage? SAFETY!" Retrieved April 8, 2011 from
**This article was also featured in the April 2011 issue of the Patz LINK Newsletter. Click here to read this and other past LINK Newsletters!

Watch Penn State's Technology Tuesdays Webinar entitled "Silo Safety" to hear Dr. Griswold recount his experience with dangerous silo gases! 

Penn State's Technology Tuesdays Webinar Series features presentations on dairy-related subjects such as safety, energy, weather-related management, animal well-being and & housing. 

September 13th's "Silo Safety" webinar features Dr. Griswold's account as well as other important information on silo gases & confined space entry. If you would like to watch "Silo Safety" and other archived webinars, click here

Register to view upcoming webinars live from your home or office! Click here for Penn State's online registration form.

Further your education for FREE! This Webinar Series also qualifies for SmartStart credits through AgChoice Farm Credit! Visit for details.

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