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Conducting Hazard Evaluations of On-Farm Anaerobic Digesters & Related Systems


Reduce your operation's risk by conducting a straightforward but effective on-site hazard assessment. Join Nellie J. Brown to explore an efficient safety auditing protocol for assessing the hazards and risks of anaerobic digesters and related systems.

In this webcast we'll outline how to effectively observe and trace the process steps of manure collection, manure transport, blending of digester substrates, anaerobic digestion, solid-liquids separation, liquid effluent storage, and biogas distribution to either electricity generation or combustion. Within this discussion we'll explore the tasks involved for both operations and maintenance with an eye to identify current, missing, and needed control measures, performance and maintenance issues and opportunities, accident/injury/symptom histories, employee observations, and training needs.

In this webcast, Brown will discuss the self-assessment protocol developed for hazard evaluation of anaerobic digesters and their related processes for use by system owners/operators which has been field-tested in eight farm-based digesters in New York State. The protocol was adapted from elements of both traditional job hazard analysis and process hazards analysis techniques, and is intended to overcome the limitations of both methods so that it can be used to provide a basic process evaluation in a one-day site visit. While this approach cannot (by its nature and time constraints) produce the depth of detail possible by conducting a full analysis, it is an efficient tool to provide a comprehensive first cut of significant hazards and risks along with:

  • observations of control measures already in place, missing items, and whether such measures are working, in use, or out-of-service/needing maintenance,
  • valuable information concerning accident/injury/symptom histories, and 
  • employees' observations of their tasks and processes and their opinions concerning their risks (also useful for determining training needs and emphasis).

Join Brown to learn how conducting a basic hazard assessment can be very straightforward and can be done quickly by on-farm digester operators. The result of which can lead to significant risk reduction and improved organization safety and health.

Learning Objectives 
Attendees can expect the discussion and education of the following learning objectives:

  • Describe what is meant by the “hierarchy of controls”
  • Recognize potential confined spaces in their digester and biogas systems
  • List at least three major hazards of digester systems
  • Describe two alternative methods for performing maintenance tasks which avoid confined space entry

* Presentations are scheduled for approximately one hour with a 15-20 minute question and answer session to follow. Presentation may exceed scheduled time. 
* Each state and certification agency has different requirements; it is your responsibility to know what they are. Note that 1 PDH = 0.1 CEU.

On-Demand Webcast
Session: 1 H 30 M
Lectures: 1
Credits: 1 PDH / 0.1 CEU



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