M-22: Is there trouble brewing for craft brewers? Workplace and environmental safety are areas of your business you need to address

D. ROTHENBERGER (1); (1) ZEE Medical Service Company, Reading, PA, U.S.A.

Brewery Safety
Saturday, June 7 - 8:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Level 3, Crystal Room

What was once a small industry has emerged as a major growth element in America. With a 20% jump in 2012 alone, the number of craft breweries is gaining national notice and demand is growing for craft brews. A spotlight has been focused lately on safety issues arising in this emerging industry. The Insurance Journal reports there were nearly four times as many safety violations at craft breweries as at large breweries. All businesses should periodically assess their workplace safety procedures and worker’s comp policies to ensure the safety of their business and, most importantly, their employees. For brewers, risks are everywhere. The industry has grown and expanded so quickly that many craft breweries are finding it challenging to keep up with safety standards, protocols, and practices. From 2003 through 2011, OSHA recorded 547 violations at craft breweries. In contrast, large brewers like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors only had 151 violations during the same period. Officials fined small brewers an aggregate $220,000 for violations ranging from failing to enclose sprockets and chains to not ensuring machinery was disabled when an employee was inside. With the average worker’s comp claim at $35,000, one significant accident could put a growing brewery out of business. The transition from small to serious risk consideration passes quickly. Whether increasing the amount of beer produced, moving into new facilities, or expanding across untapped markets, the compounded exposures of the larger craft brewery do not necessarily correlate to the scale of its growth. Environmental non-compliance is another increasing concern for breweries. The most common areas of defect are industrial wastewater and solid-waste management. With the FDA initiative to impose standards of operation on breweries in 2016, more preparation is needed now to create an atmosphere of understanding. Safety should be the first ingredient—employers that invest in workplace safety and health can expect to reduce fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This will result in cost savings in a variety of areas, such as lowering worker compensation costs and medical expenses, avoiding OSHA penalties, and reducing costs to train replacement employees and conduct accident investigations. In addition, employers often find that changes made to improve workplace safety and health can result in significant improvements to their organization’s productivity and financial performance. Seven steps toward integrating EHS as a business value—everything your organization does involves some level of risk. Shouldn’t an organization’s strategy be driven by risk every day, from both an upside and downside perspective? Or, should risk management be put on the sidelines and only called upon when something goes wrong? The maxim to follow is: “What gets measured gets results.”

Dale Rothenberger and WADDEE, Inc. are recent members to MBAA. Dale has been the driving force in expanding the area of expertise for WADDEE, Inc. in the areas of water technology, food process safety, and workplace safety. With resources available from ZEE Medical Service Company, McKesson Healthcare, and McClain Ozone, we have brought together comprehensive capabilities to address all regulatory, compliance, and workplace needs to MBAA and its member companies. Dale’s formal education combines engineering with business operation and management. He has a proven track record in helping organizations identify needs, determine priorities, and implement actionable programs that are effective while reducing cost and risk—spend a little to gain a lot. Dale has been an author and speaker throughout his career and speaks and publishes on a regular basis.

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