MBAA Podcast: In a Blink of an Eye (Caustic eye injury in a brewery)

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The MBAA (Master Brewers Association of the Americas) just released a brand new podcast called “In a Blink of an Eye”.  On the pod is a brewer who was blinded by caustic when a weld on a caustic line broke.  He was blind for three months not knowing if his eyesight would return.  Learn about how it happened, what he did, and the steps the brewery has taken to prevent injuries like these from occurring again.  It’s only about 35 minutes long.  Definitely worth a listen.



OSHA plans to launch the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) August 1st



Yes, the time has come.  Under the new OSHA recordkeeping rules, employers must submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) to OSHA electronically by December 1, 2017.  

Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.  Most breweries are considered manufacturing with the NAICS code 312120 and therefore would be required to report if they have 20 employees or greater.  Please check the NAICS code for your establishment with the OSHA chart to see if your facility is required to report.

The Injury Tracking Application should be available using this link August 1st.  OSHA states establishments of 20-249 employees should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete the electronic form.


Pressing the Reset Button on Safety


Happy Brew Year!!!  How’s your safety program going?  The beginning of the year is a great time to sit down and really think about safety.  Studies have shown for every $1 invested in safety the return is $3.  So if your brewery hasn’t already taken safety seriously, now is the time to review your safety programs not just for OSHA compliance but to increase profitability of the brewery going forward.

Where to start?  There are great resources and expertise out there.  The Masters Brewers Association of Americas (MBAA) has a library of safety program templates, safety tool box talks (from forktrucks to alcohol consumption), and a “ask a safety team Q & A”.  The Brewers Association has publications on best management practices (BMPs) for Confined Spaces, Personal Protective Equipment, and Powered Industrial Trucks.  As well as a FREE online task specific safety videos (highly recommended).

For more info go to:

MBAA Brewery Safety:

Brewers Association Safety:

Cheers to safety in 2017!

Why Breweries Should Call OSHA

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Call OSHA?  What?  Yes!  I tell all breweries starting out to call OSHA.  OSHA offers free and confidential on-site consultation in all states across the country for small businesses.  On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.    However,  businesses are required to correct serious job safety and health hazards which is agreed upon prior to consultation.

Using OSHA’s consultation service lowers injury and illness rates, ultimately saving both employers and employees.  So go ahead and pick up the phone.

10 Hour OSHA General Industry Class at World Brewing Conference 2016

Going to the World Brewing Congress in Denver this year?   A 10 hour General Industry safety class is being offered as a pre-conference course set up by the MBAA safety committee.   Subjects covered will be Intro to OSHA, Walking and Working Surfaces, Life Safety, Health and Safety, Personal Protective Equipment, Noise, Forklifts, Ergonomics, and Hazardous Materials.  The course will have a brewery focus.  The attendees will received a 10 hour General Industry OSHA card at the end of the course.

Breweries on Display: Think Safety


I had an interesting conversation with fellow colleagues the other day about safety compliance being on display at breweries.  Many breweries welcome the community into their facilities to educate folks about the operation and their products which is something you don’t see in other industries.  Some tap rooms are located in the middle of the facility or the brewery can be seen behind a clear wall, also as a form of making a connection with the community.  At the same time, breweries run the risk of being viewed by regulators at any given time.

Here are some compliance issues found at breweries and are very easy fixes:

Issue #1:   Cylinders are not properly chained and fire extinguisher is blocked.

Issue #2:  Far left spray bottle is not labeled.

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Issue #3:  Fire extinguisher is blocked

Issue #4: Ensure proper stacking overhead (sorry for the headshot in the pic (:)




Breweries regardless of size need to be on top of safety more now than ever with their popularity.   The community connection is what I love about this industry and I never want that to go away.