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Six common OSHA violations in craft beer industry

The craft beer industry is growing in Florida and across other states, but like any other industry, it has its fair share of employers who do not live up to OSHA safety standards. The following are six of the most common OSHA violations that craft breweries are cited with.

First, craft breweries are often violating OSHA's guidelines on entering and working in permit-required confined spaces. Companies are supposed to have a program in place that contains, among other things, an emergency rescue plan and provisions for monitoring atmospheric conditions in the confined space.

Second are violations of the OSHA General Duty Clause. In particular, craft brewery employees can hurt themselves with excessive heavy lifting. Third, some breweries do not safely manage the hazardous chemicals used for cleaning and sanitation, or they fail to provide workers with the right personal protective equipment.

Violations of the lockout/tagout standard are also frequent. This standard is meant to protect workers from the unexpected startup of heavy machinery or release of hazardous energy. Hazard communication is a fifth area where many breweries are failing to uphold OSHA standards. Lastly, breweries can fail to give their workers the proper eye and face protection (gloves, goggles, full face masks etc.) when they are working around hazardous chemicals or boiling water.

Since brewery owners, like all employers in this state, carry workers' compensation insurance, employees of a craft brewery can file a claim after sustaining an injury on the job. Whether employees slipped and fell, suffered an ergonomic injury or developed a condition from the inhalation of hazardous chemicals, the claim could cover all related medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. It could also cover short- or long-term disability leave, if applicable. Victims may want a lawyer to help with a workers' comp claim, though.

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