Originally published on www.CraftBrewingBusiness.com
Written by Scott Jimenez & Karl Ockert
Caustic burns on the skin. Splashing in the eyes. Hate to say it, but these accidents do occur in the craft brewing industry. Most — if not all — are preventable. A brewhouse presents many employee safety issues, and with OSHA paying unexpected visits around the country, now is a great time to push brewery safety to the forefront. Here is a look at some best practices that breweries may be able to implement to stay ahead of the game.
1. Post and review SDS Sheets/Safety Data Sheets (formerly known as “Material Safety Data Sheets”)
Ensure this information is not only visible and available for all employees, but also that employees know what they are and where they can be found. In the event of an emergency, the SDS sheets contain crucial information from first aid to spill containment and Personal Protective Equipment. Make it a practice to review with employees on a regular basis or ask your chemical provider for assistance. Zep also offers an SDS site, here.
2. Conduct chemical safety training regularly
OSHA requires this training, and we advise that trainings be held on a quarterly basis as well as with new employee training. This can and should include training on protective gear, proper use of cleaning chemicals, storage and handling. Rely on and ask your suppliers for assistance with this. Your workers compensation insurance may look favorably on this practice — reduced accidents could lead to reduced rates — and it may even be able to help provide the training.
3. Post and train employees on GHS and product warnings
With the new Global Harmonized System (GHS) in place, safety hazards for chemicals are now more readily identifiable. Hazards are now communicated using a Signal Word, Hazard and Precautionary Statement and Pictograms. These are found on labels and SDS sheets.
4. Label and use secondary containers properly
Did you know that OSHA can impose a fine for each unlabeled bottle with chemical product in it? Secondary containers are used to transport any kind of cleaning or sanitizing chemicals around the brewery. These may be anything from plastic jugs to spray bottles. Ensure that any and all vessels that you use to transport chemicals around your brewery carry a Secondary Container Label, which are provided by chemical suppliers. This label identifies what is in that container, so, should an accident occur, someone can relay what solution was involved. Many Secondary Labels are laminated and can easily be attached using a zip tie or an adhesive label. To avoid incidental splashing, be sure to use secondary containers with screwcaps. And do not use the same secondary container to carry different types of chemicals. Have specific containers for caustics, acids and sanitizers. Using the same container for different chemicals may cause a reaction and form a hazard, e.g., bleach and acid make chlorine gas.
5. Use PPE
PPE, or personal protective equipment, is probably the single most important protection each brewery employee can use. Get everyone into the habit of wearing the appropriate personal safety equipment when measuring out or using chemicals, e.g, eye protection, rubber or nitrile gloves, boots or chemically resistant footwear, and aprons or clothing to cover bare skin. Eye protection hanging around your neck or stuck in a pocket will not protect your eyes from a chemical splash!
6. Use proper first aid when incidental chemical contact occurs
Always consult the SDS for immediate first aid guidelines. Incidental caustic contact to skin needs to be neutralized quickly. Some people use beer to neutralize caustic, then rinse off thoroughly with water. For incidental acid, bleach or peroxide contact, rinse with water immediately. For any kind of eye contact with chemicals, irrigate with water and get immediate medical attention. Wearing safety glasses/goggles and gloves at all times when handling any chemical can prevent many of these incidents from happening.
7. Automate dispensing of chemicals
Automating chemical dispensing can greatly reduce and limit exposure of chemicals to employees and ensure the exact chemistry needed for every cleaning job. This increases employee safety while ensuring your chemical costs stay in line. Your chemical supplier should be able to offer you advice and help with dispensing solutions.
8. Take precaution when mixing chemicals by hand
Always mix chemicals to water — NOT water to chemicals! Add the chemicals gradually to avoid causing a dangerous chemical reaction. When mixing caustic powder into water, the starting temperature of the water will start to rise as the chemical is added. Added too quickly, it will boil out. NEVER MIX ACIDS WITH CHLORINE BLEACH as they can create a deadly chlorine gas. Stick to and implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cleaning and chemical use. Do not get creative with mixing chemicals without consulting your chemical supplier.
9. Cover the tank manway during CIP cleaning
When cleaning a tank with recirculation (CIP), make sure the tank manway is positioned to cover the opening. In-swing, manway door gaskets should be taken off and draped with the door swung inside the tank, covering the opening.
10. Burst rinse properly
Burst rinse for best water conservation and most complete rinsing action. Rinse for 30 to 60 seconds, drain and repeat until you get to neutral pH (7-8). Always rinse to a neutral pH. Use litmus paper, a pH meter or use phenolthalein. If it’s purple, keep rinsing.
This is a short list of some best practices in brewhouses today and is by no means comprehensive. If you are not sure where to start, ask your chemical suppliers to provide help and guidance. You do not have to do this on your own. Chemical suppliers will do site visits and can help identify areas to improve the overall safety of a brewery. We all want our breweries to be safe working environments. With state regulators and OSHA looking more closely at the craft brew segment, now is a perfect time to up our game when it comes to brewery safety.
Scott Jimenez is the director of sales at Zep Inc. Karl Ockert is a brewing consultant with Karl Ockert Brewing Services, LLC. For more information about Zep Craft Brewing Solutions, visit www.zepbrew.com.
The Brewers Association (BA) has released a new resource developed by the safety subcommittee. Best Management Practice for Surviving an OSHA Inspection provides helpful information for understanding the process of an on-site inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or an OSHA-Approved State Plan.
The guidelines are designed to lead breweries toward developing a safety program and standard operating procedures (SOPs) that ensure a healthy and safe work environment. The document outlines the role of the brewery representative, a brewery’s rights and responsibilities and includes FAQs related to OSHA regulations and inspections.
“The most basic responsibility of any employer is to provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with the standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act,” adds Matt Stinchfield, the BA’s Safety Ambassador. “Preparing for an OSHA inspection will also elevate your brewery to a higher level of safety awareness and improve worker wellbeing.”
The BA’s safety subcommittee developed this resource in direct response to the concerns of member breweries large and small.
- via Brewers Association
You have a lot of responsibilities running a brewery and have to wear many different hats. Sometimes, keeping safety in mind and reducing risk to the brewery and its employees can go by the wayside. To help, our brewery insurance specialists here at Regnier Insurance put together a free Safety Resources & Best Practices Powerpoint for Breweries which you can download for FREE below (Click Here to Download).
For the easiest, quickest, & most enjoyable insurance quote you've ever experienced, click below:
Original Source: Craft Brewing Business (Written By Chris Crowell)
The fight for quality beer marches on. Craft Brewing Business recently reached out to a couple established craft breweries, including Texas's own Real Ale Brewing (as well as Colorado's Left Hand Brewing) to hear about the composition of their quality assurance (QA) programs. Maybe there is a task or two you’ve been overlooking in your own operation.
Real Ale Brewing
Located in Texas, Real Ale Brewing is in its 19th year and produces around 65,000 to 70,000 barrels (bbls) per year, with all of its distribution contained inside the state of Texas. Thomas Erwin is the brewery’s lab specialist. Here is everything he identified under Real Ale’s QA program:
When Erwin says they perform a “full micro” on all batches, he is looking for anaerobic and aerobic plate counts, sacchromyces wild yeast plate counts and non-sacchromyces wild yeast plate counts. These tests can really save the day.
“We once had the booster heater for the filler go out and therefore the pasteurization of the filler was not at the correct temperature,” Erwin said. “We had already run 600 cases or more by the time we noticed it. The micro revealed a small level of anaerobic contamination so the entire run pre re-pasteurization was held and dumped.”
What should you be doing?
Erwin believes a small brewery should be able to handle everything in that list. The only processes that carry a real price tag are the IBU, SRM and ATP equipment. If he had to boil that list down to the musts:
Package headspace air is really important. Erwin said the constant and intensive monitoring of headspace air and total package oxygen has been maybe their biggest lifesaver. Real Ale checks it with a headspace air tester, which run around $2,000 and are inexpensive to maintain and use.
Micro sampling on fermenters, brite tanks and packaged product are also fairly cheap to perform, but good aseptic technique and sterile containers are a must.
Sensory panels will require some work up front in terms of training, but after that they cost very little, and they can provide some extremely important data. Breweries cannot just go by taste off the line as the taste could possibly fall apart once the beer is out in the world.
“Quality assurance is a brewery’s best ‘insurance policy,’” Erwin said. “A lot of QA tasks are very cheap and just require a clean space and someone with some time. Of course, a small brewery shouldn’t run out and jump into gas chromatography and total package analyzers, but they should spend enough so that they can really trust the data they get from a QA program.”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL CRAFT BREWING BUSINESS ARTICLE
The Craft Brewer's Guild Annual Meeting is THIS weekend @ 8th Wonder Brewing & Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston. As Guild Allied Trade Members as well as sponsors of the event, we just wanted to let you know that we look forward to meeting all of you & are excited about the event! If you have any brewery insurance related questions, or if you just wanna chat, feel free to stop on by our booth. We will be giving away the above framed Texas Brewery 24" x 36" print (See if you can find your brewery!), so stop by our booth, leave a business card, and enter to win! See y'all this weekend!
by Abby Quillen (originally found on www.custommade.com)
Accidents Happen. Here's How You Report Them.
Accidents happen. They are unavoidable. When they do occur, it is important to document the facts, circumstances and get contact information from witnesses whenever an employee or customer is injured at your brewery. It is also important to establish reporting procedures and notification guidelines to alert the manager or owner. The procedures should include follow up contact with the injured person. We've created an Accident Reporting Form for Wineries & Breweries to utilize, which you can download for FREE below.
Interested in potential savings? How about new coverages? Request a FREE insurance quote, simply by completing our Quote Application Forms located below (Shouldn't take more than 15 min to complete) and e-mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you.
Winery Insurance Quote Application Form
Brewery Insurance Quote Application Form
Workers' Compensation Agreement for Independent Contractors & Interns
During the holidays, many wineries & breweries utilize independent contractors (Form 1099) and interns to help with special events. If these individuals are paid or compensated in any way (i.e. financial, food or product), the owner has responsibilities to these individuals. One of the most misunderstood coverage is workers’ compensation. What if they have an accident? Can you as an owner be held liable for injuries to these individuals? The answer is “YES!”
Here are some examples to consider:
It is important to establish the terms of all relationships up front. Having independent contractors and interns sign an agreement stating you will not provide them with Workers' Comp coverage will mitigate potential problems for you and the business. We've developed an Agreement Form for Independent Contractors and one for Interns, which you can download below. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or at 512-448-9928.
We found this wonderful article on distribution contracts for breweries over at www.craftbrewingbusiness.com written by Candace L. Moon of The Craft Beer Attorney, APC. We have re-blogged it for you below. Enjoy.
Original Source: Craft Brewing Business
Contracts are a fact of life. You sign them as an individual and that will hold true for your brewery the more you grow and expand. That being said, when it comes time to distribute, there are unique considerations required before signing the dotted line.
Distribution contracts have a special set of laws that govern what can and cannot be agreed to, the history of which can be traced to anti-monopolistic policies. Many brewers, unaware of the special waters they are treading, treat distribution contracts like any other contract. Unsurprisingly, distributors are also frequently as uninformed about what these special rules are, and it shows in the contracts they draft. This is a recipe for disaster down the road as breweries wish to adjust the distribution plans for their growing business.
Ending a contractThe most pressing issue usually is how breweries can end a contract with a distributor. A number of states have adopted cause-only rules. At the most basic level, the rule says you cannot end a contractual relationship with a distributor without “good cause.” Some states go even further and define what good cause means, while others allow individual parties to contract those meanings for themselves.
So what happens if you terminate a distribution contract without good cause? Under most state laws, the terminated distributor must be paid the fair market value of the distribution rights in relation to your particular brewery, including any goodwill that accompanies the relationship.If you are allowed to define what good cause can mean in the contract, then just about anything you want (and can convince the other party to agree to) is fair game. Simply write out a list of things that will constitute good cause in the contract, and that list will be binding. If you do not define good cause, then the fallback standard is usually impractically high, and your relationship with that distributor is generally not over until the distributor decides that it is.
Popular choices when defining good cause include: failure to pay within a certain time period, failure to maintain minimum orders, and failure to meet minimum shipping and handling requirements.
As an aside, it is worth noting that, as with all contracts, there are limits to what can be agreed upon. For example, every contract drafted within the United States is subject to the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. While the discussion of what that entails could be an entire article in itself, for now, know that everyone is legally bound to act honestly and fairly in his or her contracts. In a similar vein, some of the states that allow parties to define good cause for themselves restrict what can be agreed to even more tightly than good faith and fair dealing.
A handful of states require that good cause must be limited only to what is considered commercially reasonable. Commercially reasonable is a moving target, but courts have looked to a variety of factors in the past when attempting to pin it down. One of the more popular approaches is consistency is contracting. In other words, your contract in one state might be compared to your other distribution contracts to see if the standards being applied are reasonably consistent. If you manage to negotiate better-than-usual terms in your distribution contracts, courts examining the contract may want to see that these terms were achieved in exchange for something of equal value. A matter of quid pro quo, so to speak. Some states go so far as to mandate that similar distributors be treated similarly; this is generally referred to as anti-discrimination or non-discrimination.
Terminating without good causeSo what happens if you terminate a distribution contract without good cause? Under most state laws, the terminated distributor must be paid the fair market value of the distribution rights in relation to your particular brewery, including any goodwill that accompanies the relationship. Like good cause, some states dictate what is the fair market value and some allow the parties to decide for themselves.
Regardless, the means of calculating this fair market value needs to be spelled out in the distribution contract so that there is no confusion (or litigation) later on.
When allowed to define the value, different breweries have used different methods. One of the most popular approaches involves matching the profit for a certain number of months preceding the termination with a multiplier. How many months will of course vary based on the size of your brewery and the extent of distribution. Explicitly negotiate this with the distributor and include it, labeled as such, within the contract.
Other special considerations include specific notice requirements when attempting to terminate the contract, the distributor’s right to cure any deficiency in the relationship, exclusivity requirements for particular territories, and anti-waiver provisions.
Anti-waiver provisions accomplish several things. First, they void any out-of-state forum selection clause that the distribution contract has. Generally, parties can choose the law of any state they like regardless of where the parties are located or where the transactions are taking place. Certain states have decided that the regulation of alcohol distribution within its borders is so important that its own laws will govern irrespective of what the parties would prefer. Hence, distribution contracts in California, for example, will always be governed by California law, even if the parties agreed to use Colorado law instead. Note that many distributors are unaware of these rules and actually purport to waive this particular rule (sometimes explicitly, sometimes accidentally). Just know that, regardless of what the contract says when you sign it, if you are in an anti-waiver state, then that state’s laws will apply.
Not every provision mentioned above applies in every state. Some states have very simple distribution laws; some states have very complex distribution laws. This is an area fraught with potential litigation pitfalls, so it is important to consult an attorney before signing the contract. You may very well be spending the rest of your brewery’s life with this distribution company, for better or for worse, so be sure to put all of your cards on the table before you walk down the aisle together in commercial matrimony.
Candace L. Moon is a San Diego-based attorney who has spent the last four years dedicating her law practice to the craft beer industry. She has worked with over 100 craft breweries and craft breweries-in-planning nationwide, handling business entity formation, alcoholic beverage law, contract review, trademark law, as well as other legal needs. Her clients range from Green Flash and Drake’s to Jamil Zainasheff’s Heretic Brewing. Moon’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Virginia and her juris doctorate is from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif. She has been a member of the California State Bar since 2008 and the Brewer’s Association since 2009. Contact her at Candace@craftbeerattorney.com; her website, www.CraftBeerAttorney.com; or her Twitter account,CraftBeerAttny.