Redhook Issues Update on Exploding Keg Investigation & Upcoming Tribute Beer

31 May 2012

image


Redhook Brewery released a statement today on the latest details in the keg explosion that killed Ben Harris in late April.  This from Redhook:

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, a tragic accident at the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH claimed the life of Ben Harris, a member of the Redhook Brewery team. Craft Brew Alliance is conducting an internal investigation and is cooperating with OSHA as the organization conducts its own investigation. Although we are still awaiting conclusions from OSHA, we recognize the importance of sharing information about the accident with the brewing industry in hopes of preventing similar accidents. This investigation has been especially difficult because there were no witnesses to the accident. However, based on our investigation and findings thus far, we currently believe that:

  • The plastic keg involved in the accident was delivered to the brewery as part of a delivery of empty keg returns.
  • The plastic keg involved in the accident was not owned by us.
  • It is common for the Redhook Brewery and others in the industry to receive a certain number of other brewers’ kegs as part of deliveries of empty keg returns.
  • CBA does not use plastic kegs.
  • We believe that Ben Harris may have been engaged in performing the process of emptying the keg prior to stacking it on a pallet.
  • As with our own kegs, when we receive kegs that we do not own we often empty them using compressed air and a Sankey tapping device.
  • We empty the kegs in order to increase their stability when stacked on a pallet prior to being returned to their respective owners.
  • For years, this process for emptying kegs has been performed without incident in a substantially identical manner at the Redhook Brewery and all of our other breweries.
  • The explosion split the keg around the middle seam where the two halves were joined.
  • The explosion split the keg into two pieces.
  • The keg was not clearly marked with a manufacturer’s name.
  • We have contacted the company that we believe manufactured the keg.
  • Material portions of OSHA’s investigation and findings will be publicly available after OSHA has completed its investigation.

Unfortunately, we have not yet determined the exact cause of the failure and we do not know definitively what caused the plastic keg to explode. As a result, we have invested in an independent investigator to assess the keg and equipment involved in the accident. Because there were no witnesses, we may not be able to ascertain the exact cause, even after we have completed our investigations.

In the meantime, CBA remains committed to safety at all four of our brewery locations. Our safety manager and local safety coordinators continue to hold monthly on-site meetings with each of our brewing and operations teams. Ongoing training remains a top priority for our team. Additionally, we are making capital investments this year to improve safety as a result of our annual safety audits. We are also retaining outside safety consultants with brewing industry experience to perform safety audits beyond those we had planned prior to this accident. We will continue to work towards improving safety at all brewery locations to ensure that we provide the safest work environment possible for all of our employees.

As our team continues to grieve with the family after losing Ben, we want to thank the craft beer and brewing communities for the continued support and patience during this difficult time. In the coming weeks, our team will brew & release a memorial beer to celebrate Ben’s life and help support his family. More than anything, we hope that the information we’re able to share in the wake of this tragic accident contributes to greater awareness about safety and to safer work environments throughout the industry.

0 comments (click to read or post):

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment...I do moderate them so it may not immediately appear...and please be nice!

Lets Talk Beer!

We've added some tools to encourage interaction. First and foremost, you'll see the Recent Comments section up above. This list displays the most recent comments from individual posts. Feel free to comment on ANY post by clicking on the "comments" link at the bottom of any post, or any link in the Recent Comments section. Comments are moderated, however you can choose to post anonymously.

Please also remember mybeerbuzz is very active on Facebook & Twitter and we DO support RSS feeds for posts and comments.

My NEW Facebook Fan Page Come LIKE it!

WILK Friday BeerBuzz

Advertising

mybeerbuzz.com is not affiliated with any of the advertisers shown above. We run Ads as a way to help offset the costs to run this FREE blog....BUT if you do happen to click on any of these ads (even if you don't buy), we do eventually get a few pennies....literally.

Sponsor mybeerbuzz.com

Creative Commons License
mybeerbuzz.com by mybeerbuzz.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at mybeerbuzz.com.

  © Copyright 2014 mybeerbuzz.com

Back to TOP