November 21, 2012

Fine lowered against NH brewery in keg explosion death

An employee of Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth was emptying a plastic keg with pressurized air when it blew apart at the seams in April, killing him.

The Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A federal agency has agreed to lower fines against a New Hampshire brewery where an employee was killed in a keg explosion.

Ben Harris of Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth was emptying a plastic keg with pressurized air when it blew apart at the seams in April, killing him.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concluded Redhook was at fault because its equipment for emptying kegs was operating at a pressure that exceeded the maximum threshold recommended by the keg manufacturer.

Redhook's parent company, Craft Brew Alliance, has taken responsibility for failing to install a device that would have regulated the pressure inside the machine.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports in a settlement reached last week, OSHA threw out some violations and lowered the fines from about $63,000 to $44,000.

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