At Craft Brewing Business, we take brewery safety seriously and urge our brewer readership to do the same. Part of that is knowing the safety rules and regulations surrounding compressed gas cylinders. Tap systems typically use either compressed CO2, or in some cases Nitrogen, to deliver delicious craft beer. The My Safety Sign Blog highlighted three of the most common CO2 safety oversights, and we urge brewers to take a moment to ensure that they are compliant.
Three of the most common compressed gas cylinder mistakes are: 1) missing identification; 2) transportation and slip, trip and fall hazards; and 3) storage dangers, according to the blog. While the focus of the blog is on construction, these are also issues that craft brewers who run a tasting room, brewpub or just enjoy the fruits of their brewing labors out of the taps should heed. Look no further than the May report of OSHA citing Big Beer’s Anheuser-Busch Co. LLC in Houston with one willful and five serious violations for allegedly failing to protect workers from exposure to carbon dioxide and other workplace hazards as they worked in brewery cellars this past May.
In terms of storing compressed gas, the blog stated:
When the worker was asked what purpose the gas cylinders served, he answered that they are used for the restaurant’s ovens. 29 CFR 1910.253(b)(2)(i) and 1910.253(b)(2)(ii) mandate that compressed gas cylinders should be stored at least 20 feet away from radiators and other sources of heat; we have doubts about this restaurant’s compliance.
Valves can be neglected and left open, and hoses can rupture; since heat travels upwards and the storage space is underground and likely not well ventilated, it sounds like a botched recipe. CGA 3.3.2 outlines that “Cylinder storage areas should be prominently [postered] with the names of the gases to be stored.” This is yet another workplace safety shortcoming. The business owners could’ve done their due diligence and abided by NIOSH’s nifty compressed gas self-inspection checklist.
Be sure to check out the full story for all the safety tips. You can even use #HazardSpotting, a community safety initiative that helps raise awareness about dangerous workplace safety violations, in your social media efforts to raise awareness. Hashtag a couple pictures and the My Safety Sign Blog might just write an article with insight from featured safety professionals based on your submission.