New England Brewery Cited After Workers Death

A New England brewery has been cited by officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA) which alleges close to 15 seriously violations of its workplace health and safety standards.
The investigation leading to these citations was the result of the late-April death of a worker at the company’s location in Portsmouth. The accident happened when he was using a compressed air line to get rid of the liquid that was inside of the plastic keg. It exploded and hit him — killing him.
The inspection was conducted by the Area OSHA Office. It concluded that the explosion was a result of excess air pressure that came from the cleanout line of the keg. The line didn’t have the proper air regulator that would have cut off the air pressure to keep it under 60 PSI. This is the highest amount of air pressure that should be used and is recommended by product manufacturers. As a result of the recent inspection, officials discovered that workers who were designated to clean the lines were exposed to the exact same kinds of dangers while cleaning out the steel kegs.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand that it is critically important that all machinery is used properly on the job. An employer is required to make sure that they know the limitations of all devices and machinery on the job and that employees are properly trained to know this kind of information as well. Because this didn’t happen, the New England brewery was cited for exposing workers to struck-by dangers and also for exceeding the limitation set forth by the manufacturers of the machinery.

“The inability to regulate air pressure when cleaning out kegs exposed employees to a recognized hazard of being struck by debris should the kegs explode due to being overpressurized,” OSHA’s Area Director Rosemarie Ohar said.

Also discovered in the inspection were a number of dangers that were related to confined work spaces, procedures that were incomplete for making sure that machine’s power sources were properly locked out before starting maintenance work on them, for not properly guarding machinery, for not properly storing acetylene and oxygen tanks and for not letting its workers know of specific chromium hazards. Altogether, there were 13 serious violations cited for these various dangers.

With these citations come fines that total close to $65,000. The company has been allotted 15 business days to either pay the penalties, to contest, to comply with the findings and/or meet with a local area director with OSHA.

It’s important that employees take the proper safety precautions when using heavy machinery. Proper safety equipment should be used by all workers in the area. Machinery needs to also be protected. Never should a worker run the risk of injuring themselves when working on heavy machinery properly.

The workers’ compensation attorney here at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers offer free and confidential consultations to those who have been injured on the job. Call (617) 777-7777 today!

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