Sun, Jul 14, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Fast-growing US craft brewers struggle with worker safety

By M.B. Pell  /  Reuters, NEW YORK

They joined the program, investing millions of dollars in upgrading equipment, developing safety policies and hiring a safety officer, after a 2011 fermentation tank explosion.

The blast did not injure anyone, but was a wake-up call, Long Trail Brewing Co director Jed Nelson said.

There are signs of a shift in the industry’s attitudes, said Dan Drown, an industrial chemical safety consultant who has been working with craft brewers in San Diego for the last five years.

At least 250 people attended a safety lecture at a craft brewing conference in San Diego last year, he said. More companies also are paying for safety training and classes.

“They are maturing,” he said.

The widow, Kim Moynihan, hopes that is true.

“I know it was an accident, but I believe if the employees received proper training, this would not have happened,” she said. “I think they just overlook it.”

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