Welcome to the Whalen Brewery Insurance Program Brewery Safety
Library. We are committed to helping all breweries and brewpubs
achieve high safety standards, and we offer this library of information
- free of charge.
The purpose of this library is to help owners, brewers, and managers
of microbreweries and brewpubs achieve higher levels of safety
and loss control in order to:
employee morale, productivity and retention.
the risk of injuries.
the risk of insurance claims, work stoppages and regulatory
provides detailed information about brewery safety, environmental
management, and alcohol liability loss control.
is this library important to microbreweries and brewpubs?
like to think about it, but the risk of accidents is very real,
which is why safety is
important. Understanding the risks and following a sound safety
program will help microbreweries and brewpubs avoid events such
case, boiling hot water splashed down the legs of a brewer
and into her boots, requiring extensive treatment and cosmetic
|| A brewer
was operating the grain mill with the belt housing removed.
He was distracted momentarily and his long hair got tangled
in the flying belts and pulleys.
got caught in his cylindrical bottle filler and his head was
smashed into the capper.
brewer's assistant removed a hose from the bottom of the whirlpool
just after filling it from the kettle. He hadn't closed the
valve. Boiling hot wort hit him in the shins causing third
|| A fermenter
became overpressurized and didn't have a functioning relief
valve. The tank exploded, taking out the back wall of the
patron at a microbrewery snuck into the back of the brewery
and was found attempting to walk on a rolling CO2 cylinder
much like a log roller.
on a gas-fired kettle failed because it was splashed by a
boil over. Instead of replacing the unit, the manager required
that the furnace be lit by first turning on the gas, sticking
a hand beneath the kettle, and lighting the gas with a barbecue
lighter. Once, when not acting fast enough, the flashover
caused the brewer to singe hair on his face and arms. The
shock from the explosion sent insulating bricks flying from
around the kettle.
was wearing sandals and shorts in the brewery and splashed
himself in the instep of the feet with caustic cleaner.
the most common safety concerns for breweries and brewpubs?
The most common
types of safety and loss control issues that breweries and brewpubs
face are as follows:
Compensation and Safety Issues
compensation claims among breweries are caused by lacerations,
impaling, pinch injuries, falls, thermal burns, eye damage, back
injuries, foot and hand injuries and chemical burns.
compared to other manufacturing injuries, there have been relatively
few deaths in breweries. However, fatalities have been caused
by confined space asphyxiation and mechanical trauma from material
The main concern
is that patrons of a brewpub or microbrewery taproom will consume
an excessive quantity of beer or other alcoholic beverage and
cause damage to themselves, other people and/or property. The
damage can occur on the premises, but more often occurs after
the patron has left the establishment.
In some cases,
a patron has arrived with an already elevated blood alcohol content
after drinking elsewhere. Servers may think the customer has had
a reasonable amount of drinks, but in fact, the customer is seriously
intoxicated. Training in recognition of customers who could pose
an alcohol liability risk is very important for breweries.
A person who
has consumed too much alcohol and done damage to people or property
may attempt to make a claim against the brewerys insurance
on the premise that the brewery staff served the party too much
alcohol. By the time such a lawsuit is filed, witnesses for the
brewery may have forgotten the individual or moved on to another
job. It is important to implement strategies to help prevent such
that do not serve beer are not necessarily insulated from liquor
liability claims. They can be named in lawsuits if someone becomes
intoxicated by consuming their product obtained at a bar or liquor
store. This is especially the case for beers with higher alcohol
non-compliance is an increasing concern for breweries. The most
common areas of defect are industrial wastewater and solid waste
management. For larger operations, hazardous waste management
may also be a concern.
It is important
for microbreweries and brewpubs to stay up to date with municipal,
county and state laws and regulations regarding industrial wastewater,
solid waste and hazardous waste management. For example, in some
jurisdictions, the wastewater does not require permitting, while
in others, strict permit requirements must be met, periodic sampling
conducted, and fines are levied for failure to stay within allowable