Safety Resources for Craft Brewers
The craft brewing industry has grown exponentially in the past decade, and with that growth comes an increased risk of workplace hazards. To address the risk, WorkSafeBC has developed new health and safety resources for the craft-brewery industry.
Resources from the British Columbia safety entity include Health and Safety for Craft Breweries and Distilleries, a new guide created with industry input to help brewers identify workplace hazards and develop health and safety programs. It provides ways to manage and eliminate risks commonly found in the craft brewing industry and includes health and safety checklists and answers to frequently asked questions.
The organization has developed a variety of safety resources related to brewing, including industry-specific videos, posters, advisories and web pages. Common workplace hazards in brewing operations include confined spaces, carbon dioxide exposure, noise, overexertion, extreme temperatures and moving parts. From 2008 to 2017, there were 284 accepted time-loss claims for injuries in craft breweries and distilleries in British Columbia. The incidents that most frequently resulted in injury included falls, overexertion, struck-by, repetitive motion and exposure to heat and cold. Workers aged 25-34 accounted for the highest percentage of workers injured.
Although specific rules in these resources refer to Canadian OH&S regulations, the checklists and reports apply equally well to U.S. operations. The booklet and a related forms and checklists publication can be downloaded from the WorkSafeBC site.
Confined Spaces are a Brewery Hazard
Many workplaces contain areas that are considered “confined spaces” because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. OSHA has strict requirements for workers entering confined spaces.