The Master Brewers Association of the Americas, the Brewers Association (BA), and the Colorado Brewers Guild have established an alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region VIII Office, Englewood Area Office, and Denver Area Office, as well as the Colorado On-Site Health & Safety Consultation Program. The alliance will foster a collaborative relationship to provide the brewing industry in Colorado with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help protect the health and safety of their workers.
"This program will reduce and prevent exposure to hazards during brewing, fermenting, packaging, and delivery of beer," said Larry Horwitz, BA Board of Directors member and BA Safety Subcommittee chair. "The alliance advances one of the Brewers Association’s core values: prioritizing safety and the climate to support it."
"With a steady expansion and over 400 breweries in Colorado, safety has risen to the top of almost every one of our brewers' concerns," said Andres Gil Zaldana, Colorado Brewer Guild executive director. "Our breweries recognize that adopting a culture of safety in their taprooms and brewhouses will help prevent and mitigate accidents at all stages of the beer lifecycle. We are excited to partner with the BA, Master Brewers, and OSHA through the alliance to develop industry-specific education and training and provide inspectors in Colorado with insight into our rapidly evolving and diverse brewery marketplace."
Collaboration is important; we do our best work in teams," said Toby Eppard, Master Brewers president. “Our desire to collaborate with OSHA, the BA, and the Colorado Brewers Guild is the very best example of what our community can accomplish. Brewers: the challenge now is to recognize the opportunity to build a climate of safety, enabling your continued success making great beers whilst protecting your best asset—your people."
One of the first Alliance activities that will take place will be a "training" session with Colorado OSHA inspectors at Sleeping Giant Brewery in Denver on April 12, 2019. "Our chance to work face-to-face with Colorado OSHA enforcement agents, and to share what we know about brewery-specific risks, will result in the best outcomes for breweries undergoing inspection," said BA Safety Ambassador Matt Stinchfield. "In the long term, this alliance will drive injury rates downward while increasing regulatory compliance."
Alliances have proved to be valuable tools for both OSHA and alliance participants. The members of this alliance will work together to achieve the following trainings and objectives:
Stinchfield went on to say, "The latest data suggest that brewing is among the safest of the beverage manufacturing industries, but we do not want to stop there. Everyone in our industry feels it personally whenever a brewer is hurt or sickened. The endgame is when workplace injuries are almost unheard of."
The agreement establishing the alliance was signed on March 8, 2019, and will remain in force for two years.