Taking steps to protect workers in craft brewingPublished on: October 10, 2018
New guide available to help you identify workplace hazards and develop health and safety programs.
In the past ten years, the B.C. craft beer industry has nearly tripled in size, from 54 to 145 breweries, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Good brewers know what steps to take to protect the quality of beer from common risk factors — poor sanitation, incorrect temperatures, or the introduction of the wrong yeast. But what steps can you take to protect the health and safety of your workers and yourself?
With rapid growth in a new industry, the risk for workplace hazards increases and the need to focus on health and safety becomes a priority. Many breweries are smaller businesses, where owners and employees may lack specific training on how to manage health and safety issues.
Health and Safety for Craft Breweries and Distilleries is a new guide created with industry input and expertise to help you to identify workplace hazards and develop health and safety programs. It provides ways to manage and eliminate the risks commonly found the in the craft brewing industry and includes summaries of requirements, health and safety checklists, and answers to frequently asked questions. It also lists additional resources to help you and your workers stay safe in the workplace.
Most common causes of injuries
There’s a lot going on in a brewery, from the mash tun to the bottling line. The majority of injuries are caused by:
- Overexertion, including sprains and strains, due to heavy lifting and repetitive motion
- Carbon dioxide exposure – a particular risk in confined spaces
- Physical hazards such as temperature extremes, pressurized equipment, and moving parts
Why should I invest in workplace health and safety?
As an employer, you have an obligation under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to ensure the health and safety of your workers. This includes establishing a health and safety program, providing training and personal protective equipment, and identifying risks and taking steps to reduce or eliminate them. Committing to health and safety is a great way to motivate and retain good workers. And simply put, providing a safe workplace is good for business, too.
Download the following resources that will help you identify common hazards and develop a health and safety program for your brewery.
- Health and Safety for Craft Breweries and Distilleries (booket). Printed copy available for purchase from the WorkSafeBC Bookstore.
- Confined spaces in craft breweries (poster)
- Hazards of Confined Spaces (booklet)
- CO2 Exposure in Craft Brewing (risk advisory)
- Hazards and exposures – Noise