WorkSafeBC Adds Safety Resources for Craft Brewery Industry

WorkSafeBC has posted a new guide, posters, and a video addressing hazards specific to craft-brewing and distilling processes, including carbon dioxide and confined spaces.

WorkSafeBC announced the addition of new safety and health resources for British Columbia’s craft-brewery industry to help reduce injuries and accidents. The craft brewing industry has tripled in size during the last 10 years, expanding from 54 employers to more than 160, and the agency pointed out that rapid growth of a new industry can result in an increased risk of workplace hazards.

There were 284 accepted time-loss claims for injuries in craft breweries and distilleries between 2008 and 2017. The kind of incidents most frequently resulting in injury included falls, overexertion, struck-by, repetitive motion, and exposure to heat and cold. Workers between the ages of 25 and 34 accounted for the highest percentage of injured workers.

"Craft-beer brewing is a complex process that involves multiple stages of production," said 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."

To help brewery and distillery employers with their safety and health programs, WorkSafeBC has published a new guide, posters, and a video addressing hazards specific to craft-brewing and distilling processes, including carbon dioxide and confined spaces.

Two of the new resources specific to the craft brewery industry are posters designed to be displayed in the workplace: Carbon dioxide in alcoholic beverage manufacturing and Confined spaces in Craft Breweries.

The new educational resources are part of WorkSafeBC's efforts to protect craft brewery workers. Since 2017, as part of the agency's Confined Space Initiative, WorkSafeBC prevention officers have inspected 91 craft-brewery locations and issued 177 orders related to regulatory compliance violations related to confined spaces.

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