Daily Court Reporter - News Alliance targets safety in Ohio’s growing craft brewery industry
Alliance targets safety in Ohio’s growing craft brewery industry
A new partnership is elevating workplace safety in Ohio’s expanding craft brewery industry.
The Ohio Bureau of workers’ Compensation (BWC) is teaming with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Ohio’s craft brewery associations to form the Ohio Craft Brewery Alliance with the goal of raising awareness and developing safety education and training specific to the industry.
“As safety professionals, we must react quickly to meet the needs of employers in emerging industries that are still perfecting processes and learning important safety lessons as they grow,” said Dr. Abe Al-Tarawneh, chief of BWC’s Division of Safety and Industrial Hygiene. “This alliance will help employers in Ohio’s budding craft brewery industry assess their workplaces and correct hazardous conditions that have the potential to cause injury.”
Industry participants include the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and the Brewers Association.
The associations joined BWC and OSHA today at Four String Brewery in Columbus for a signing ceremony. Participants agreed to work together to provide education and support to brewery owners and their employees on safety and health issues specific to craft brewers, such as grain handling, keg filling, chemical exposure, and bottling, canning and delivery.
“In addition to safety challenges common to all manufacturers, breweries face unique risks associated with material handling and difficult working surfaces as well as exposure to scalding liquids and electrical systems in wet areas,” said Matt Stinchfield, safety ambassador for the Brewers Association. “The alliance will unify efforts to support safety in Ohio breweries and we are optimistic it will also reduce injuries and increase business efficiencies."
BWC will connect participating breweries to the array of safety resources and programs available through its Division of Safety & Hygiene and OSHA On-Site Consultation program. The agency’s workplace safety professionals, industrial hygienists and ergonomists help businesses develop and maintain effective safety-management programs – all at no additional charge to the employer.
Stinchfield said the associations will promote safe work practices through outreach to their members, and facilitate training and education at craft breweries across the state.
The craft beer industry is flourishing in Ohio. According to the Ohio Craft Brewer’s Association, Ohio has nearly 300 craft breweries and more under development. The state ranks fifth among the states in craft beer production with more than 15,000 jobs and an economic impact of $2.6 billion.
About the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 242,000 public and private employers. With 1,800 employees and assets of approximately $29 billion, BWC is the largest state-run insurance system in the United States. Our mission is to protect Ohio's workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.
Date Published: October 18, 2018