Safety tips to consider when working in a brewery

 July 21, 2020     UFG Insurance    Business  Read Time: 5 min
Brewery safety tips

There’s both beautiful art and intricate scientific process behind crafting the perfect beer. When you bring that process to a large-scale operation, there are plenty of opportunities for it to go awry—especially as it relates to employee safety. 

Here are some safety tips to maintain your brewery and prevent injury in the workplace.

Protect your physical health

Depending on packaging, a case of beer can be anywhere between 30 to 50 pounds. An empty keg is only 30 pounds, but when it’s full of your freshly brewed beer, it’s 160 pounds! When your employees are busy moving heavy weight like that every day, it’s important to make sure they’re protecting themselves.
You can lift the most with the least amount of effort in the “power zone,” according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This power zone is where arms can lift the most: close to the body, between mid-thigh and mid-chest height.

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When lifting heavy objects, it’s best to avoid bending or twisting to not put strain on the back. Instead you should keep your spine aligned through the neck to reduce the risk of back injury.

Don’t lift too much in one load for the sake of saving time. Whenever possible, separate items out into lighter, more manageable loads. 

OSHA also recommends giving employees regular breaks and rotating tasks to give their muscles adequate time to rest and not exposing them to the same activity for too long. Some tasks can affect the body differently:

  • Repeatedly bending can affect the lower back.
  • Reaching of placing items that require you to pull your elbows away from the body can affect shoulders.
  • Grabbing, squeezing, turning or finger strikes can affect the hand, wrist and elbow.
  • Looking down repeatedly for a long time can affect the neck, head and shoulders.
  • Standing for a long time can affect the legs, feet and back. 

Take care in proper housekeeping

Through good housekeeping and pre-planning, OSHA recommends making sure any heavy items are easily accessible. Leave enough space on shelves for employees to comfortably grab heavy items. Sacrificing some shelf space could mean preventing an injury. 

When moving large, heavy products from one place to another, have employees make sure their path is clear before lifting anything. That means clearing floor space of any potential slipping hazards like discarded paper, power cords or stray bottles and letting other employees know to stay out of the way while the product is being moved.
In the case a bottle is broken, keep a separate broom to sweep glass. This helps to keep glass shards stuck in the broom from getting spread around.

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Not all products can be moved with just manpower alone. Having clear signage and markings on the ground to separate areas for forklifts and employees can help increase safety on site. For areas where both employees and forklifts will be operating, have signage to make that readily apparent to anyone entering the vicinity.

You may be able to optimize housekeeping practices by periodically reevaluating your cleaning process and layout. What may work for a few months might not as your business continues to grow and evolve. 

While there’s always a chance for an accident to occur, hopefully some of these tips can help prevent them and keep employees safe on the job. For the things you can’t prevent, like leakages, spoilage or tank collapse, contact a UFG Insurance agent today to learn more about our insurance products to better protect your investment.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.