The Brewers Association (BA) — the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers — was awarded a Susan Harwood training program grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Through this grant, the Brewers Association will develop safety training for proper cleaning of draught beer lines. Properly cleaned draught beer lines ensure the consistent quality of a beer’s appearance, aroma and flavor experience.
“While clean beer lines are integral to maintaining the quality of craft beer, understanding how to safely clean these lines is imperative for staff health and safety,” said Chuck Skypeck, technical brewing projects manager, Brewers Association. “We’re honored to receive these funds and to put them to work in the industry as this will improve employee safety wherever draught beer is served.”
The $79,725 grant will fund content development, resource production, training and salary offsets for staff involved in the project. The initial training, made possible by the grant, will feature distance learning modules to enable students to implement safe and effective practices when cleaning draught beer lines, emphasizing hazard assessment, safe work practices, and development of standard operating procedures. Training will be available for free to all craft breweries, draught beer retailers, beer distributors, and draught line cleaning companies in the U.S.
“Great tasting beer on draught is only possible with consistent and effective draught system maintenance and cleaning. The chemicals used to thoroughly clean a draught system are powerful and can be hazardous. We should never have to trade quality for safety or vice versa,” said Bridget Gauntner, Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Subcommittee chair. “Receiving this grant to help educate those that work in the draught beer industry will help further both safety and quality.”
The Susan Harwood Training Grants Program funds grants to nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations and colleges and universities. The grants will provide education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize serious workplace hazards and implement injury prevention measures.
“The Safety Subcommittee and Draught Beer Quality Subcommittee have a long history of working together,” added Chris Bogdanoff, Brewers Association Safety Subcommittee co-chair. “This grant highlights the BA’s commitment to safety and quality and the forthcoming training will be an incredibly valuable resource not only for members, but also for the industry at large.”
“It was really nice to get this fantastic news during a pretty crazy and stressful year,” said Rachel Bell, Brewers Association Safety Subcommittee co-chair. “Sales and service staff frequently get left out of safety discussions, so I’m really looking forward to this collaborative effort that will help us reach a wide audience.”
For more information and resources on draught beer, please visit the Draught Beer Resource Hub on the Brewers Association website. To download a free PDF copy or purchase a hard copy of the Draught Beer Quality Manual, visit here.