OSHA Cites Craft Brewer After Fatal Keg Explosion

A worker died in April 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H., when a plastic keg exploded as he was using a compressed air line to purge liquid from it.

OSHA announced its Concord Area Office has cited Portland, Ore.-based Craft Brew Alliance Inc. for 14 allegedly serious violations and proposed $63,500 in fines in connection with the April 24 death of an employee at the company's Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H. He was using a compressed air line to purge liquid from the interior of a plastic keg when the keg exploded and fatally struck him, according to the agency's news release.

An investigation by the Area Office found the line lacked an air regulator that would have limited its air pressure to less than 60 PSI, which is the maximum air pressure limit recommended by keg manufacturers, according to OSHA, which said in this case, other employees who used the cleanout line were exposed to the same hazard while cleaning steel kegs.

One serious violation related to exposing employees to struck-by hazards by exceeding manufacturers' recommended air pressure maximum while cleaning out kegs. "The inability to regulate air pressure when cleaning out kegs exposed employees to a recognized hazard of being struck by debris should the kegs explode due to being overpressurized," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "One means of correcting this hazard, among others, and preventing future deaths or injuries is to install an air pressure regulator on the keg cleanout line so that the air pressure does not exceed manufacturers' recommended maximum."

Thirteen additional serious violations involve deficiencies in procedures for working in a confined space, incomplete procedures for locking out machines' power sources before performing maintenance, unguarded machinery, improper storage of oxygen and acetylene tanks, and failing to inform welders of chromium hazards.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue