I love a good pairing. Whether it’s a glass of Riesling while nibbling on ricotta and crackers or a good Cabernet with steak, nothing hits the spot better than when you have two things that are meant to go together.
As we gear up for next weekend’s annual CSSE Conference in Niagara Falls, there’s one unlikely pairing on my mind that many people may not think of: wineries and safety. While you might not think these two are a match, the truth is that as the alcoholic beverage industry continues to grow and create jobs, so does the need for safety to ensure that every worker gets home safe at the end of the day.
Aside from the obvious trips and slips that can happen on the wet surfaces of a winery floor, there are a number of other risks that workers can encounter. Let’s discuss:
Working at Heights
Did you know that falling from elevation attributes to 9 per cent of injuries and 21 per cent of total claims costs in the winery industry? Whether it’s for maintenance or part of the wine-making process, working at heights is often part of the day-to-day duties.
How high will you be working? What’s the task at hand? Be sure that you are asking yourself the right questions to determine that you’re using the right ladder or work platform for the job. Between the boilers, vats, tanks and cylinders, it can be a challenge finding a working-at-height solution that’s right for your unique environment. Click here to read our case study on how we were able to help a major Canadian brewery design a custom solution for their facility using LOBO.
Whether it’s exposure to noise or to chemicals, it’s important to identify which hazards you may be encountering in your workplace. From hearing and respiratory protection, to coveralls and protective gloves, you need to ensure that every part of the body that could be exposed to a hazard is covered. See our PPE page to see full details on what’s available to keep you and your workers safe.
When you think of wine production, you probably aren’t thinking about CO2. During the fermentation process, both alcohol and carbon dioxide are produced. Levels of CO2 can often be found in storage tanks, fermentation rooms and barrel cellars. Since CO2 is heavier than air, the hazardous gas gathers in pools in poorly-ventilated areas like at the bottom of tanks and in confined spaces. Because CO2 is undetectable, it’s strongly recommended that routine gas detections are performed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all workers.
In addition to the risk of hazardous gases, entering confined spaces such as vats, tanks, dry wells and pressing equipment can be high-risk if an employee is not properly trained. Establishing proper escape plans and emergency protocol is essential when it comes to maintaining a safe workplace.
While preforming cleaning and maintenance on the equipment mentioned above, it’s vital that you lock out the energy source. Establishing a proper Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) program in your workplace can not only save your workers from serious injuries, but it can be the difference between life and death.
As you gear up for a fun weekend ahead at the CSSE Conference in Ontario’s wine country, be sure to think about all of the things that go into making that great glass of wine. Want to learn more about any of these safety hazards? Visit us at booths 42 and 43, and speak with our safety specialists. While you’re there, be sure to ask about how you can WIN a Brewery & Distillery Tour of Niagara for two!
Safe travels and we look forward to seeing you there.