Whether you view brewing beer as an art or a science, or both, there is no denying that the bar and brewery industry can be just as dangerous as many other workplaces. A brewery is filled with specialized equipment and many moving parts that employees have to be aware of to prevent injury. The same can be said for those that work at a bar.
According to a Reuters analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, today’s smaller craft brewers are almost four times as dangerous as larger breweries. From safety issues such as slip and falls to unsecured kegs causing crushing injuries or chemical spills, working in the bar and brewery business can be quite hazardous.
Bar and brewery owners have a responsibility to their workers to promote and maintain a safe environment. However, workers have to do their part, stay alert, and communicate with each other to be as safe as possible. Here are a few safety tips for bar and brewery workers:
- Safety first: If you are working at a brewery or bar, following safety procedures should be done every day. Attend regular safety meetings and keep the lines of communication open.
- Lifting: Lifting heavy cases of alcohol can put a major strain on the body, considering that some cases can weigh anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds. When lifting heavy, it should be done in the proper manner, which is close to the body, between mid-thigh and mid-chest height. Do not bend or twist the spine when lifting, as that will likely lead to injury. Furthermore, do not lift too much in one load, instead, separate the load into smaller loads to make it more manageable.
- Soft tissue injuries: Lifting heavy objects can also cause soft tissue injuries, which are injuries to the muscles, tendons, joints, and tissues. Repeated motions can one especially susceptible to injury. Bartenders who shake and twist constantly can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, while repeated bending and looking down can adversely affect the spine, neck, and shoulders. Even standing or walking for long periods of time can cause soft tissue injuries. Be sure to get proper rest before a shift and allow time for an adequate rest schedule during a shift.
- Slip and falls: With many moving components of the bar and brewery business, slip and falls are quite frequent as well. Make sure to frequently clear the floors of any clutter and debris and communicate to each other of possible hazards, and do not assume everyone spots the hazards. Let others know of your presence to avoid coworkers bumping into each other.
- Broken glass: Broken glass can also cause a slip and fall, as well as cuts and lacerations that could lead to infection. Wear thick gloves if you decide to pick up broken glass and dispose of it in a glass receptacle. Otherwise, clear the area and sweep up the broken glass. If it gets into the ice, even if you think it may be in the ice, the ice must be thrown away. Announce that the ice is contaminated, melt the ice, and then clean out the area.
- Chemical burns: There are many hazardous chemicals as well. Cleaning solvents and sanitizing chemicals are used constantly and can be deadly if ingested, as well as cause skin irritation. Vapors from ethanol can cause fires and can even lead to an explosion. Workers should know the dangers of chemicals and gases.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Bar and Brewery Workers With Their Claims
If you work at a brewery or at a bar and have a workplace injury, contact one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow if you need help with your claim. Call us at (302) 427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Milford, Bear, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.