Cool fact: British Columbia’s craft beer community has grown close to 190 breweries throughout the province, according to the BC Craft Brewers Guild. Not a cool fact: From 2008 to 2017, there were 284 accepted time-loss claims for injuries in craft breweries and distilleries in British Columbia. According to WorkSafe BC (the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia), the types of incidents most frequently cited were falls, overexertion, struck-by, repetitive motion and exposure to heat and cold. Workers aged 25 to 34 accounted for the highest percentage of workers injured.
To help educate and reduce these accidents, WorkSafe BC is helping craft breweries install or perfect their health and safety programs. The organization just published a new guide, posters and a video featuring Red Truck Beer Co.’s approach to safety. Red Truck is a brand that has locations in Vancouver, B.C., Fort Collins, Colo., and soon (in 2019) Denver. While it is Canadian based, Red Truck Red purchased the building and equipment at Fort Collins Brewery and Tavern in 2017, which was one of the 20 largest beer makers in Colorado at one time. Last year, Red Truck and WorkSafe BC released the video above.
Now, the organization is offering two new craft-brewery-specific posters designed for employers to display at the worksite, and they can work for any brewery anywhere. One is focused on carbon dioxide in alcoholic beverage manufacturing, and it details the risks of carbon dioxide exposure, myths, symptoms and how to prevent an exposure. The other is focused on confined spaces in craft breweries, and it illustrates examples of confined spaces in craft breweries, a list of hazards present in confined spaces and useful tips when working in and around them. From the WorkSafe BC website:
“Craft-beer brewing is a complex process that involves multiple stages of production,” says Megan Martin, WorkSafeBC manager, Industry and Labour Services. “We know brewers and distillers spend a lot of time and effort focusing on the quality of their products, and we want to make sure they produce them safely.”
Since 2017, as part of WorkSafeBC’s Confined Space Initiative, WorkSafeBC prevention officers have inspected 91 craft-brewery locations and issued 177 orders related to regulatory-compliance violations around confined spaces.
Safety is not an option, and these posters and the video above do a great job of keeping the topic top of mind.