Your brewery’s workers are your greatest asset.
They are the people who keep the business up and running. Your team allows you to brew beer, to manage your inventory, to serve customers, and to grow the business.
So in 2019, why not make a New Year’s resolution to focus on their safety? After all, safe employees are secure employees… and happy employees. And that can only be good for your brewery.
Although all brewery workers face largely the same safety risk exposures, each business is unique. Your brewery may have a potent “work in enclosed spaces” policy, but have trouble with basic housekeeping—or the other way around. Take a look at the list below, and choose the brewery worker safety tasks that will most benefit your team.
Does your machinery have appropriate guards installed?
During cleaning, repair, servicing, or other work on bottling and labeling machines, are workers protected from the machine unexpectedly starting up? If workers must adjust the machine while in operation, as is sometimes the case, do you have a specific procedure for that case?
Have you evaluated your machines and operations to identify pinch points and other brewery machinery hazards? If yes, have you eliminated or guarded the pinch points to prevent employee contact with them?
Are your employees trained so they understand the reasons for the guards, the brewery machinery hazards that exist, and what injuries might result?
Personal Protective Equipment
Do your workers need PPE to protect their hearing, their eyes, their hands, or anything else? Is your equipment too old or damaged to be effective? Have you trained your workers so that they know the situations when PPE is required, and how to use it properly?
If your brewery utilizes forklifts, make sure you maintain them properly—and they perform well. If there are issues, don’t delay: take care of them swiftly.
You will also want to make sure that the brewery itself allows for safe operation of forklifts. Are your aisles wide enough? Are they cluttered enough that they restrict forklift operation? What if workers need to operate forklifts where other people are walking or working? Do you have policies in place to ensure safe operation?
Perhaps most importantly, be sure you train your team to operate the forklift safely—and to work safely around it.
Disaster and Extreme Weather
Depending on where your brewery is, you face different types of natural disaster risks. Perhaps you get hailstorms every spring, lightning strikes are commonplace, or flood is a regular occurrence. Whatever type of risk you face, make this the year you take steps to prevent damage—and check with your insurance agent to be sure you have the right coverage to recover from an extreme weather incident or natural disaster.
Equally important, be sure your team knows what steps to take if disaster strikes while they’re on the job—or when they’re not.
Behind the Wheel
Perhaps not all of your team travels for the business; not everyone works in distribution, after all, and perhaps not everyone participates in festivals or other beer-related events. But virtually all of your staff drives to get to work—and that means virtually all your staff could use reminders about how to stay safe behind the wheel. You may even want to consider developing a safe driving policy to prevent, for instance, cellphone use while driving.
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.