Whether your taste runs from a macro-brewed ale to a small batch witbier, brewing is big business in the United States. The science of combining barley, grain, water, and yeast into one recipe has many of us captivated. With the meteoric growth of breweries comes more employees and more occupational accidents, with OSHA noting an increase from 3.7 to 5.8 accidents per 100 workers since 2010. In roughly the same amount of time, OSHA citations swelled from 85 in 2010 to 174 in 2015.
Working with hot chemicals and liquids, confined spaces, sprains, and overexertion can all take a toll on brewery workers, and the industry at large. Federal OSHA fines in the past year alone have totaled over $41,000; at the state level, Minnesota brewers led the pack with $15,760 in fines, followed by Hawaii and California. The lions’ share of these citations is in the process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals, accounting for roughly 33% of the violations from October 2014 to September 2015.
Given these statistics, it’s important to be mindful of the dangers with brewing, and how they’re on the rise so we can curb those numbers, too, and keep brewers and their guests and breweries safe. Additional information on staying safe can be found in this brewery safety infographic, produced by Graphic Products.
Keeping Brewers Safe with Floor Marking, PPE, and Pipe Marking
The company offers many supplies to help brewery workers stay safe including PathFinder floor marking, wayfinding, and safety tape, especially in helping make wet surfaces more secure.
Tread tape can help workers maintain traction on otherwise slick floor surfaces. This infographic points to very specific rules regarding wayfinding for aisles, forklifts, and loading docks.
PPE for the head, eyes, face, body, hands, and feet is helpful in keeping the body safe from hot boiling chemicals and liquids used in the brewing and sanitizing process. PPE should be provided at all times for workers, brewery vendors, and visitors.
Need help figuring out what sort of confined spaces training is needed for brewery staff? Consult our free Best Practice Guide to Confined Spaces.
Don’t forget about marking all the pipes running through breweries!
Graphic Products has breweries’ pipe labeling needs covered with its pipe marking resources to keep everyone safe.
Lockout/Tagout for Bottling Operations
Bottling beer involves complex machinery carrying high voltage and lots of power. When machines are down, making sure they’re locked out and tagged out so no one can turn them on is crucial in keeping workers safe when doing maintenance. A 2013 fatality at a Bacardi bottling plant is a sobering reminder that proper LO/TO procedures could have saved this workers’ life.