Brewing is a tough, fun, and, although we don’t want to think about it, a dangerous business. Dusts and particles can be flying everywhere, fluids spraying around, and you are working with large mechanical equipment – Things can go wrong very quickly, which is why safety should be a key component to any brewery.
Can Never Be To Safe!
Establishing a strong safety environment and procedure within your brewery isn’t only great for your brewery and employees, but it will create a better craft beer industry in whole.
There are many components to making a stronger safety environment within a brewery, and creating a better ‘Safety-Culture’ (as described in the Brewer Association’s New Brewery Safety issue that was released last year) whether you are a brewery that has been around for years, or just opening your doors, is a critical part of being a strong operational brewery. Remember, Safety first, then comes the fun!
Find your benchmark, aim higher
What are your safety regulations now? What could you do to make your brewery a model for brewery safety? Set a benchmark and aim higher for how safety is addressed, performed, and talked about in your brewery.
- Enforce Cleanliness and Organization
- Designate a brewery safety coordinator
- Ensure your brewery is compliant with state and federal regulations
- Form a safety board
- Create prevention through the design of your facility
- Identify critical employee behavior and create self-responsibility
- Take a trip to other breweries, see what they do and how you can reach that level of safety
- Identify employees who can set the stage of model safety behavior, and influence others to do the same
One Safe Does Not Fit All
For each portion of the brewing process, there are different safety concerns that may need to be addressed. Be sure to walk through each process you perform, and create a procedure on how to do it safely. Make sure the procedures are in a place that all employees can see or read, and make sure people know where they can go to ask for questions or demonstrations. You may have your own safety measures, so just because someone performed something one way somewhere else does not mean they will know how to do the same at your brewery. See someone doing something wrong or right? Ensure to talk to employees about something they should improve on, or something to exemplify so everyone on your teams is on the up and up.
Cleaning, Cleaning, Oh MY!
One area in particular to pay attention to how safety is addressed is cleaning. Numerous areas and equipment of a brewery need to be cleaned, do you know how to do it safely? There are confined spaces, chemicals used, and it can be a matter of life or death (don’t want to be to strict or harsh, but it’s true) if safety measures are not intact before performing any cleaning act. Be sure know how to clean your brewery properly, and safely, so you can keep your brewery chugging along smoothly.
Safety is something quite important, so don’t feel you can take it to seriously. Changing your outlook and behavior in a brewery when it comes to safety can be tough at first, or can cause some confusion, but don’t be afraid to reach out to informative materials or people to ensure you are doing everything you should to keep your brewery safe for all you come in contact with it.
So, go forth and brew safely!
BA: Material Safety Data Sheets – For all your safety regulation needs
Brewery Safety Courses. This is just one, there are more out there, so don’t be afraid to do some research, or hire someone to come to your brewery for safety demonstrations
The New brewer. January/February 2013, Vol.30, No.1. 46-74. Print