The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and craft brewery associations are teaming up to to form the Ohio Craft Brewery Alliance to improve workplace safety.

The alliance says it will provide education and support specific to craft brewers, such as grain handling, keg filling, chemical exposure, and bottling, canning and delivery.

“In addition to safety challenges common to all manufacturers, breweries face unique risks associated with material handling and difficult working surfaces as well as exposure to scalding liquids and electrical systems in wet areas,” Brewers Association safety ambassador Matt Stinchfield said in a prepared statement. “The alliance will unify efforts to support safety in Ohio breweries and we are optimistic it will also reduce injuries and increase business efficiencies."

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association, the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and Brewers Association will join BWC and OSHA for a signing ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday at Four String Brewing Co.’s production facility at 660 N. Hague Ave. in Columbus.

“As safety professionals, we must react quickly to meet the needs of employers in emerging industries that are still perfecting processes and learning important safety lessons as they grow,” BWC Division of Safety and Industrial Hygiene Chief Abe Al-Tarawneh said in a news release. “This alliance will help employers in Ohio’s budding craft brewery industry assess their workplaces and correct hazardous conditions that have the potential to cause injury.”

The release didn't state how many brewery-related injuries are reported each year in Ohio.

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association noted that there are 278 craft breweries in the state with at least 65 more under development. Ohio ranks fifth among states in craft beer production with the craft beer industry supporting more than 15,000 jobs and an economic impact of $2.6 billion. 

“Brewery safety is of paramount importance to our growing industry,” Ohio Craft Brewers Association Executive Director Mary MacDonald said in a prepared statement “Providing the resources and guidance to ensure a safe working environment for employees is a big part of OCBA’s mission to empower Ohio's independent breweries to sustain and improve their craft.”