Self-assessment helps you determine risks and rewards of on-farm anaerobic digesters
There are rewards for farmers with anaerobic digesters, such as improved neighbor relations and increased farm income. However, there are also health and safety risks associated with having a digester on the farm.
Nellie J. Brown, director of workplace health and safety programs at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, has developed an excellent self-assessment tool that covers the operation and/or maintenance of anaerobic digesters and their related processes. It provides guidance for process and job evaluation with suggestions based on typical potential hazards for farm digester systems and their associated preventive measures.
The self-assessment tool, entitled Conducting a Safety Walk-through on a Farm: Hazards of the Manure Handling System, Anaerobic Digester, and Biogas Handling System (A Self-Assessment Guideline for Farmers), is an important component of theOn-farm Anaerobic Digester Operator Course offered by Michigan State University and Michigan State University Extension.
I strongly recommended that all farms with digesters complete this assessment.