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Brewery Safety Checklist for Smarter Inspections

Brewery health and safety regulations ensure the safety of workers and visitors in the brewery. Use the brewery safety checklist to perform an audit to identify any safety hazards and risks inside the workplace. If an item is a potential health or safety hazard, the manual also indicates a corrective action to address the issue.

What Is the Brewery Safety Manual?

The brewery safety manual is a guide to achieving OSHA compliance and protecting the health and safety of brewery employees.

Employees must have the appropriate protective gear when servicing, repairing, cleaning, or installing brewery machines and equipment. Hazardous energy comes in different forms. Therefore, the control of hazardous energy, known as lockout tag out, is essential for a brewery safety program.

Some dangerous energy found in the brewery are:

  • Steam or water in vessels and piping
  • Electrical and mechanical, like things in bottling lines or mills
  • Chemicals
  • Pressurized gasses
  • Hydraulic and suspended weights

Having a safety program not only protects workers but it readies you for an OSHA inspection. If caught unprepared, you could pay hefty fines, and the operation could stop.

To ensure that you are following the brewery safety manual, you also need a checklist. OSHA has what it calls its inspection priorities, which include:

  • Imminent danger – a situation that can cause serious physical harm or imminent death before the threat is removed.
  • Fatal accidents and catastrophes – OSHA requires employers to notify the agency of work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • Complaints – OSHA encourages workers to request an inspection if they think their lives are in danger from a hazard.
  • Programmed inspections – are regular inspections in specific high-hazard industries or workplaces to support safety and health standards.
  • Follow-up inspections – are done if an employer has corrected violations cited by OSHA in a previous review.

To ensure you are following brewery health and safety regulations, go above and beyond what OSHA requires.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. Common brewery safety violations

2. Passing an OSHA brewery compliance inspection

3. The benefits for digitizing a brewery safety checklist

A large room housing several aluminum fermenting tanks for beer

What Are the Most Common Brewery Safety Violations?

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics stated a 57 per cent increase in nonfatal brewery injuries and accidents since 2010. Here are some of the most common safety violations that happen in breweries:

Confined Space Safety

Brewery workers occasionally clean, service, and perform maintenance inside large brewing machines like grain silos, kettles, fermenters, and more. OSHA has often warned breweries for not providing safe working practices in these confined spaces.

If a confined space poses a hazard to employees, OSHA requires several preventative measures to ensure safety in a confined space.

  • Worker training – employers must provide all the training needed by workers who will work in a permit-required contained area.
  • Written confined space permit program – that identifies and assesses the hazards. It should also carry instructions on how to call rescue and emergency services and test the enclosed area’s atmospheric condition.
  • Entry permits – it should have the entry supervisor’s signature before work can begin.

Ergonomic Injuries

Brewers spend most of their day doing labor-intensive tasks. So it is not surprising that some of the violations cited by OSHA are ergonomically related. According to brewery health and safety regulations, employers must provide a workplace with no hazards that can cause death or serious physical harm. Ergonomic injuries are a hazard because workers are at risk if there’s no action to remove the dangers associated with improper manual handling.

Process Safety Management Violations

Ammonia is an essential substance in brewing because it keeps beer and other supplies cold. However, OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.119 regulation classifies ammonia as a dangerous chemical because of its flammable, toxic, and explosive properties.

Since 2010, OSHA has already called out breweries and flagged them for this violation. Some of the brewery safety manual violations are:

  • Absence of process hazard analysis that complies with the standard
  • No outline of processes for operating and emergency use of refrigerating systems
  • No written procedures and proper employee training in maintaining relevant brewery equipment with a checklist

Lockout/Tagout Violations

Brewing plants occasionally shut down machines and equipment for maintenance or servicing. During this time, workers should follow a lockout/tagout (LO/TO) process to prevent accidents and injuries if the machinery starts up unexpectedly.

The LO/TO used by many breweries are not enough because they are the most common OSHA citations every year. Have a more robust safety procedure by:

  • Understanding the LO/TO program requirements
  • Creating written policies and putting them into action to mitigate hazardous energy.

Hazard Communication Violations

Hazard communication informs employees about the hazards and safety risks in the workplace. It’s crucial when workers are handling chemicals. Yet, OSHA has cited this violation on 50 separate occasions.

Aside from a missing or incomplete hazard communication plan, breweries are also guilty of:

  • Inadequate labeling of chemicals and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Inadequate training in handling and monitoring of chemicals

Personal Protective Equipment

Chemicals, hazardous vapors, and boiling water are just some of the hazards in the brewery. Therefore, employees must wear the proper protective equipment when working in such environments. However, this is another common violation in the brewing industry.

OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(1) requires employees to wear protective equipment covering the eyes and face.

Hands cupping grains in a large pile of wheat

How to Pass the OSHA Compliance Inspection?

The General Safety and Health Program is the backbone of every process and procedure toward OSHA compliance. Here are four critical components of what makes a good safety program:

Management Leadership and Employee Involvement

The commitment employers and employees have with each other is key in creating a safe workplace. Everyone should work together to nurture a culture of safety where:

  • Safety and health are an integral part of the operation.
  • Workers identify safety and health hazard and have an open line of communication with the management to take action against the risks.
  • Managers are visible on the floor and observe employees while they adhere to brewery health and safety regulations.
  • Budget allocations toward health and safety programs.

Worksite Analysis

This component requires you to evaluate your worksite carefully for hazards. You need to anticipate accidents before they happen. This includes identifying obvert and subtle risks.

Internal inspections play an essential role in this process. Determine the schedule and frequency based on the area inspected. Take note, however, that some reviews are OSHA-mandated.

Hazard Prevention and Control

OSHA has a hierarchy for controlling and preventing risks:

  • Elimination or substitution
  • Engineer controls
  • Administrative controls, including work practices
  • Personal protective equipment

These controls are self-explanatory and can be used depending on the severity of the hazard.


Any brewery safety manual is useless without training. This component is inextricably related to each of the key components because, unless managers and workers have no training, the controls created for their safety are useless.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Digital Brewery Safety Checklist?

Running a brewery requires a lot of organization to not only promote a safe working environment for employees while maintaining a net income but to also keep the product safe for consumers to drink. With so many moving parts, it’s easy for employees to miss something critical in their inspections. However, with Lumiform, you never have to wonder if your employees are doing what they’re supposed to because the app gives you complete oversight and control over the inspection process.

Brewery employees will benefit from these various applications:

  • With the super intuitive mobile app, you and your teammates can stay connected with instantaneous alerts every time someone comments, finishes an inspection, or flags an issue. You’ll also be immediately notified if an inspection is overdue.
  • Lumiform saves you time by streamlining the inspection process with digital functions, allowing you to complete your audit of the brewery up to 4x faster than ever before!
  • Receive real-time updates on the brewery’s internal operations with the inspection results automatically bundled into a digital report.
  • Solve problems faster with the app’s analytics section, which allows you to break down the results of your inspections with various filters to find out the root cause of your issue.

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Employee is happy after using a brewery safety manual
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