Safety is Important in Breweries of all Sizes

safety is important in breweries of all sizes

As important as it is to have adequate property & liability insurance for your business, it is equally vital to take a proactive approach to safety. A commitment to training and a sound safety program will help keep your employees and patrons safe, and claims costs down.

There is no doubt that you do everything possible to effectively oversee and manage your business, but are you doing all you can to protect your employees and guests? If the answer to that question is no, then you need to focus your efforts on creating a safety conscious culture within your workplace. This is not a job you can effectively tackle on your own; you need to include management to assist with addressing these hazards.

Implement Safe Practices

A recent study by a local workers compensation insurance carrier identified the top 10 culprits of workplace injuries that cause a worker to miss six or more days from work. Same-level slips and falls ranked second on the list (slightly behind overexertion) with direct losses of $7.94 billion. Using a brewery business as an example, management should regularly evaluate the following for safety effectiveness and risks:

  1. Keg Lifting Procedures
  2. Formal floor cleaning procedures and cleaning agents
  3. Drainage in brew-house, food prep and dishwashing areas
  4. Use of floor mats, inspection of curled edges and replacement policy
  5. Placement of walk-off mats at all transition areas in brewery.
  6. Brewery-specific safety checklist

Ensure Patron Safety

Slips and falls inside and outside breweries, brewpubs and other businesses also top the list for high-cost general liability claims. One of the largest hospitality property and casualty claims in 2011 was a result of a guest who tripped over a patio table chain on a dimly lit pathway. Business owners should analyze all of the exposures to their patrons (breweries should especially consider this if tours are offered). For instance, a pub owner should look at all paths their patrons take from the bar stool to the restroom or from table to the patio. Each of these paths should be clearly marked and identified, properly designed and constructed, so that they guide the patron along the safest path of travel. If kids will frequent your establishment, safety is an even bigger responsibility and a great challenge given their adventurous spirit. Elevation changes, such as curbing, stairs, and raised booths, are prime culprits for slips and falls.

Leading the Way

The Safety Program you implement is only as good as the people who manage and regulate it. Safety starts with you, the managers and supervisors must lead by example, every day, not only by establishing effective safety policies, but also by sticking to them.

Homebrewers: Heads Up, Too

Although most of the above information applies to business owners, it’s worth it to note that these same rules can apply to very small operations — even as small as the operation in your garage or kitchen. Lifting, working with chemicals, drainage and slippery spills can be dangerous to homebrewers, too. Observe the proper use of equipment, such as propane burners and CO2 tanks, for example.

To learn more, contact any of us at Propel.

Originally published in Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, January 2013

Jason Jordan

As a classically trained chef and insurance expert in the craft beverage industry, Jason has honed his palate for flavors as well as his skills in risk assessment. And he prides himself on his expertise in delivering the quality of service and knowledge, carefully crafted and tested over time, that his clients expect and deserve.
More about Jason...