The craft beer industry has become more popular in Florida and around the country as more people explore unique products . However, just because the industry can be an alternative to large multinationals does not mean that the breweries involved do not also face serious workplace safety concerns. There are several common violations of federal workplace safety standards that can frequently be found at craft breweries, and workers can face serious accidents as a result.
One of the most commonly broken workplace safety rules is the guideline surrounding Permit-Required Confined Spaces. Sometimes, brewing equipment like silos and kettles are held in small confined spaces fitted to the equipment. If workers are expected to go into these areas and maintain the machinery, these areas should be inspected. Some of these areas can be potentially dangerous, depending on the need for a quick exit in an emergency or the heat and atmospheric conditions of the space. If the space raises these concerns, breweries can help to reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries by creating a permit system when letting workers into the areas and training them on safety protocols.
In addition, breweries often require a great deal of heavy lifting. Workers may frequently need to carry and move kegs and sacks of grain. It is important that workers have the equipment and training they need to move heavy items safely. This also means making sure that the correct tools are provided to prevent back injuries linked to carrying heavy items.
There are other concerns that can also affect brewery workers, from chemical toxic exposure to dealing with electrical injuries, some of which can carry long-term consequences. Brewery employees who have been injured on the job may consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to pursue the benefits they need.