Craft breweries in Ohio and throughout the country must generally adhere to safety standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, there are some safety standards that breweries have historically had trouble staying in compliance with. For instance, those who are asked to clean silos, mash turns or kettles are typically working in what OSHA would consider to be a confined space.
A confined space is an area that is not designed for a person to spend a significant amount of time in. In some instances, a worker may need a permit to enter or exit a confined space. If a worker doesn’t have the required permit, it could result in a citation. Citations could also be issued if a brewery lacks an atmospheric inspection or emergency rescue plan. Breweries may also be cited if they don’t have a general workplace safety plan.
Generally speaking, a company can be cited for failing to address ergonomic safety issues. In a brewery, this may mean training employees to lift kegs or other heavy objects properly. Personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required when workers are handling hazardous chemicals. In a brewery, employees may use chemicals to clean or sanitize equipment or to accomplish other tasks. Failing to offer PPE to workers could result in an OSHA citation.
Those who are hurt in a workplace accident may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. These benefits might allow injured workers to obtain assistance paying medical bills as well as receive a portion of their lost wages. In some cases, injured workers may be allowed to collect partial benefits after returning to work. An attorney might be able to provide additional details as to how the system may work in a particular worker’s case.