OSHA has cited Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC in Houston with one alleged willful and five serious violations for failing to protect workers from exposure to carbon dioxide and other workplace hazards while working in brewery cellars. The October 2012 complaint inspection of the facility on Gellhorn Drive has resulted in a proposed penalty totaling $88,000.
The alleged willful violation was cited for failing to consider the carbon dioxide atmosphere in the brewing cellars to be immediately dangerous to life or health while also failing to identify respiratory hazards. A willful violation is one where an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, or a plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Confined space hazards cited
The serious violations cited include failing to verify that conditions in permit required confined spaces are acceptable throughout the duration of the entry; ensure the entrant can communicate with the permit required confined space attendant as necessary, so that entrants can be monitored in the event an evacuation is needed; ensure each attendant performs no other duty that might interfere with the attendant’s primary duty to monitor and protect the entrant of the permit required confined space; evaluate a prospective rescuer’s ability to respond to a rescue summons in a timely manner; and inform each team or rescue service of the hazards they may confront when called upon to perform a rescue at the site.
Anheuser-Busch, headquartered in St. Louis, employs about 600 workers at its Houston brewery.