Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) - Carbon dioxide (CO2)


The evaporation or fermentation process for beer or liquor produces CO2 gas. Breathing in high concentrations of CO2 can cause symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion, or loss of consciousness.

Workers may be exposed to high CO2 concentrations when purging tanks or working in areas where CO2 is leaking from cylinders, pipes, or tanks — for example, in fermentation cellars, coolers, filtration and carbonation areas, gas-storage areas, or packing lines.

During fermentation, a 12 hl (10-barrel) batch of average-strength beer produces about 45 kg (100 lb.) of CO2. This amount of CO2 can be hazardous if released inside a small or poorly ventilated area.  As your craft brewery or distillery expands its production capacity, you need to expand your ventilation system to accommodate the increased amount of CO2 produced. The risk of exposure depends on your cellaring practices, production schedule, and space configuration. Grain-dust collectors

Controls Measures

  1. Minimize or reduce the risk of injury by practicing the following technical and informative guidelines:
  2. Install a CO2 observe and monitor to warn workers if CO2 levels get too high.
  3. Train employees/workers on what to do if the monitor sounds an alarm.
  4. Develop and implement an exposure control plan.  You may need help from a qualified occupational hygienist who has the knowledge and experience to do this.
  5. Inspect valves, hoses, and tanks for leaks. Deal with any issues immediately.
  6. Make sure there’s appropriate ventilation before entering a work area. Install fan interlocks, lights, or audible alarms to alert workers when the ventilation system is down.
  7. Have an emergency plan to rescue workers who are overcome by CO2. Specify how you’ll ventilate areas in an emergency. If confined space rescue may be necessary, coordinate with your local fire department or a third-party rescue services supplier.

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