Livestock Facility Maintenance

Your farm animal facilities require as much attention as your machinery and grounds. A nonworking closure or faulty heating unit could cause employee injury or property loss. Use this checklist to inspect your animal facility operation for potential hazards.

  • Regularly check pens, gates, chutes, and lot fences to ensure that they are in good condition. 
  • Close gates and doors after use.
  • Do not allow children to play in or around barns, pens, and feedlots.
  • Equip feeding, grinding, material-handling, and other equipment with proper guards. Require the use of guards during operation.
  • Keep loading troughs on augers, and cover elevators and conveyors with grating.
  • Keep walking surfaces clear of manure, snow, mud, and spilled grain.
  • Protect outside ramps and steps from rain or spilled water, and roughen milking parlor steps and walkways.
  • Check confinement housing vents and fans to make sure they are clear and working correctly.
  • Properly support brooding lamps, and keep them at least 18 inches away from combustible litter.
  • Keep portable heaters in good condition, and place them a safe distance from combustibles.
  • When entering or working around underground manure storage areas, take precautions to avoid breathing poisonous gases. Cover manure pits with sturdy grates. Make sure manure pits and tanks are thoroughly ventilated before permitting anyone to enter. 
  • If dangerous gas is present, require anyone who enters to use a supplied-air or self-contained breathing device.
  • Regularly check the temperature of newly stored hay.
  • Make sure that electric water heaters are properly installed and grounded and that permanent heating units are properly installed and vented.
  • Check heaters for defects to minimize the risk of fire and carbon monoxide hazards. If heating units are powered by LP gas or oil, make sure the tanks are properly installed and solidly supported.
  • Protect heating lines, valves, etc., against damage.
  • Keep barn chemicals (e.g., pest sprays, disinfectants, medications) in their original containers, and store them out of the reach of children.

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The illustrations, instructions, and principles in this material are general in scope and, to the best of our knowledge, current at the time of publication. No attempt has been made to interpret any referenced codes, standards, or regulations nor to identify all potential risks or requirements.