Ask any brewer in the industry about a near-miss they’ve had in the brewhouse and you’ll be met with countless stories, some told as anecdotes, some recounted with tentative trepidation, but most ending with the words, ‘It could have been so much worse!’
For some, unfortunately, near-misses aren’t misses at all: they are fully fledged accidents and incidents, often resulting in life-altering injuries, hospitalisation and debilitation.
In the worse case scenarios, even death.
Health and safety is paramount in the beer business.
Whether you’re a distributor operating a folk-lift truck to take a delivery of badly stacked and strapped kegs, or a brewer making do with that ladder (you know, the one with only 3 wheels) up to the brew kettle (again!), it only takes a moment – a flash – for such an accident to occur.
American brewmaster Teri Fahrendorf knows this all too well. In 1989, she suffered 3rd degree burns on 11% of her body on account of a badly designed brewhouse and lived to tell the tale.
Some of the others, stories as she recounts in this episode, weren’t so fortunate.
This is pivotal listening for all involved in brewing and manual handling; a stark reminder that it’s better to put procedures and practices in place now before it’s too late. While it may be seemingly not urgent, it is of the highest importance.
Happy workers are safe workers. Don’t compromise on your safety on account of beer – it’s not worth it.
For more information on Teri and her work in the American beer industry, visit her website at www.terifahrendorf.com
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