OSHA’s safety standards apply to all industries in Ohio and across the U.S. That even includes the booming and “fun” craft beer industry. Roughly speaking, there are six ways that craft breweries are often violating these standards.
First of all, many breweries have permit-required confined spaces. Lots of employers violate OSHA standards on PRCSs by failing to put up warning signs and by having employers continuously occupy them. Next, craft beer employers often violate the General Duty Clause by leaving workers open to the risk of suffering an ergonomic injury through the lifting of heavy kegs and sacks of grain.
The third common violation is of OSHA’s Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard. One hazardous chemical that some brewery owners fail to handle according to standards is ammonia. Fourth, employers may fail to communicate the hazards that come with using certain chemicals, especially cleaning and sanitation chemicals. Or, they may not provide labels on chemicals and sufficient training to employees.
Hazardous energy can be released or cause machinery to start up, both unexpectedly, which is why OSHA has what’s called the lockout/tagout standard. Many breweries are cited for not living up to this. Lastly, citations are often handed out for failure to give workers the right eye and face protection.
Under workers’ compensation law, employees who are hurt on the job can file for benefits no matter who, if anyone, may have been at fault. However, the process can get complicated if an employer denies payment. A lawyer may help an injured worker mount an appeal to a benefits denial.