The craft beer brewing industry has been booming lately, but OSHA has also been citing employers left and right for these common violations.
1. Permit-Required Space Entry
Companies should inspect and evaluate their workspaces to determine if any spaces are Permit Required Confined Spaces (PRCS). If PRCS are identifies, employers must post warnings for employees.
2. General Duty Clause
OSHA states that employers are responsible for providing a workplace “free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm” under the General Duty Clause. This includes ergonomic hazards which are common in the brewery industry given that workers often have to move or lift heavy kegs, sacks of grains, and other items. Breweries that fail to mitigate the dangers of heavy or improper lifting are frequently cited under the General Duty Clause.
3. Process Safety Management of High Hazardous Chemicals
OSHA has a rule about this too: the Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard (29 CFR 1910.119), which contains requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals. Companies need to not only comply with this standard, but also keep proper paperwork regarding the workplace and its materials.
4. The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
Breweries are spaces for a lot of large, start-up machinery, and workers are often tasked with performing maintenance on brewery equipment. A common OSHA violation in this industry involves “lockout/tagout” (LOTO)—and employees need to be properly trained to work with the machinery. Additionally, companies need to develop, implement, and enforce a LOTO or energy control program.
5. Hazard Communication
We’ve already noted that the brewery industry works with a number of chemicals. But the safe management of these chemicals is not enough—employees need to be made aware of hazardous or dangerous substances and environments. OSHA’s hazard communication regulations govern the manner in which companies label chemical hazards.
6. Eye and Face Protection
Proper PPE is necessary to protect workers, especially in the brewery business. Common PPE items for the industry may include coveralls, gloves, goggles, or full-face masks. OSHA commonly cites breweries for failing to provide PPE to their workers.
Don’t be fooled: the brewery business is not as laid back and fun as it appears (although an industry centered around beer certainly might seem that way). The industry works with many hazardous chemicals and materials, and employers need to uphold OSHA requirements to keep workers safe.
SOURCE: OH&S ONLINE
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