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Pennsylvania brewery worker dies from keg explosion injuries

Individuals working at breweries in Pennsylvania may want to make sure their employers are obeying safety regulations. A recent workplace accident took the life of a 26-year-old man working at Redhook Brewery, which is in another state.

Reports indicate that a beer keg had exploded in his face. Emergency workers classified the injuries as traumatic. An official with the local fire department was unsure of how the accident happened.

A spokesman with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that an investigation into the incident has begun. The agency's inspection will allow it to determine what workplace safety standards, if any, the company violated in allowing the accident to happen.

According to OSHA, it is too early to estimate a completion date for the investigation.

A statement issued by Redhook's president of commercial operations indicated that the company is saddened by the tragedy. At the location of the incident, all non-essential operations were shut down -- which included the brewery's pub. According to the statement, the company is doing its best to determine the circumstances of the accident so that it can prevent accidents such as this from happening again.

The victim was from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Condolences from other brewing companies as far away as Great Britain have been expressed. Condolences may not be enough for the victim's family, however. With the craft brewing business experiencing rapid expansion in the last decade, it's likely that safety laws have not caught up with the business yet. But if there were regulations violated, the victim's family could likely seek to hold the brewer accountable.

Source: Portsmouth Patch, "Redhook Employee Killed in Keg Explosion," Robert Cook, Apr. 24, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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