Common Safety Violations Cited at Breweries

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Popular beer brands have had to compete with smaller craft breweries growing in popularity over the past decade. However, for the employees who work at these smaller breweries, the safety standards have not always been up to par. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many craft breweries have been cited for several health and safety violations. These violations can create an unsafe work environment and jeopardize the safety of the employees who work there.

Failure to Maintain Safe Practices Associated with Confined Spaces

 Brewing equipment, such as fermenters, silos, mash tuns, and kettles, must be cleaned and serviced regularly. These small, cramped spaces can pose safety hazards when they are not properly maintained. To improve compliance and worker safety, employers should take the following steps:

  • Inspect workplaces and seek permits for spaces that are Permit Required Confined Spaces (PRCS)
  • Post warning signs so that workers know that they are potentially dangerous
  • Maintain a written permit-required space program, which should include monitoring the atmospheric conditions of the space and establishing an emergency rescue plan
  • Ensure that employees are properly trained on how to enter the PRCS
  • Provide employees with an entry permit before doing any work in the PRCS

Violation of General Duty Clause

The General Duty Clause states that a workplace must be free of hazards that are likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities. Employers can avoid these violations by doing the following:

  • Train workers on the proper lifting techniques
  • Make sure workers have access to the appropriate tools and equipment, and provide necessary training for each
  • Create work schedules based on the type of work that needs to be done

Violations of the Process Safety Management Standard

Violations of the Process Safety Management Standard involve the use of highly hazardous chemicals, including highly corrosive and flammable chemicals. Businesses in violation of this put employees at extreme risk. Proper practices include:

  • Conducting a process hazard analysis to identify, evaluate, and control hazardous chemicals in the workplace
  • Creating a safety protocol for operating and maintaining refrigeration systems
  • Installing a fixed gas detection device in the event of a gas leak

Lockout/Tagout Violations

These violations occur when machinery or equipment is not appropriately disabled. Recommended practices include:

  • Employers should develop and enforce an effective lockout-tagout program.
  • Assign a worker to disable and disconnect machinery and perform regular maintenance.

Hazard Communication Violations

These violations occur when employers fail to properly label hazardous chemicals. Employers should take the following precautions:

  • Develop a hazard communication plan
  • Label chemicals and include safety data sheets
  • Train employees on the proper handling of hazardous chemicals

OSHA also cites employers who do not provide the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Brewery Workers

If you work at a brewery and were injured on the job, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will help you navigate the claims process and secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.