Electrical safety is always a big deal. But when you own a brewery, many special conditions don’t exist in other businesses. That’s why an industrial electrician experienced in breweries is the only person you should have working on your electrical system.
Electrical Safety is a Primary Concern in Breweries for Three Big Reasons
You Need to Protect People
Whether they are your employees, contractors, or customers, every person who sets foot on your property is your responsibility. You need to do everything in your power to make sure that your business is as safe as possible. Electrical safety is a massive part of that.
If someone gets injured in your brewery, costs associated with that injury could include:
- Medical treatment
- Physical therapy
- Mental therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost career
- The effect on their family
An Employee Injury has a Domino Effect
If an employee is injured badly enough, they may need a family member to care for them during their recovery. That means lost wages for the family member, as well.
Employees who don’t feel safe in their place of employment will look for somewhere else to work. In the brewery industry, this is a problem because you want continuity in your production to prevent irregularities in the product.
Electricity Damages human Cells
A GFCI will go off at 5 mA, but you will feel the shock between 2-10 mA! It is the current that causes the injury, not the actual voltage. And current passing through the body depends on the resistance. Most injuries occur at 1000 ohms for wet, intact skin, but they can happen with as little resistance as 500 ohms. Broken skin lowers your resistance—this includes contact dermatitis, which is common in the brewery industry.
- Every year an average of 4,000 workers in the U.S. sustain non-disabling electrical contact injuries.
- An average of 3,600 U.S. workers receive disabling electrical contact injuries each year.
- One worker dies every day in the workplace due to electrocution.
- Electrocutions are the fourth leading cause of traumatic occupational death.
- Each year, over 2,000 workers go to burn centers with electrical burns.
Electricity is serious stuff! Arc flash is not a shock.
You Want to Minimize Damage to Equipment
When the voltage is high, the amperage is lower. It does no more work than a motor with lower voltage.
Advantages of lower voltage:
- Lower cost
- Smaller lines
- Less current in the circuit in the event of a problem
Damaged equipment means costs associated with repairs or replacement. It also results in lost production time, all of which adds up to less gross revenue than you anticipate—and need.
You Must Comply with Safety Regulation Standards
OSHA can lock your doors. If they see something is wrong, they can tell you that you must shut down until you remedy the problem. That’s going to end up costing you a lot of money in lost revenue, not to mention the lost wages it will cost your employees. You’ve worked hard to build your business, but non-compliance can easily dismantle it.
You are Responsible for the Safety of Contractors
Remember to follow the guidelines as an NFPA 70e Host and Contract Employer. These guidelines are there for everyone’s benefit. They are all based on good communication.
- The host employer must communicate any known hazards to the contractor as well as any information the contractor needs to assess. Provide electrical schematic drawings, information on questionable or faulty circuits, circuit voltage and amperage, and ensure that everything is appropriately identified and labeled.
- The contractor trains their employees on electrical safety and communicates any hazards that were identified by the host.
- Any new hazards found by the contractor must be reported to the host, and the meeting should be documented.
Hire the Right Electrician
Residential electricians don’t understand the same things that industrial electricians do. You should never hire a residential electrician to do electrical work in your brewery. Landmark Electric is experienced in the electrical needs of breweries. Contact us for your electrical needs!