An electrical contractor ended up severely burned while trying to repair equipment at Trillium Brewing Company’s production facility in Canton, MA.
The independent contractor, who is 36, was hit with “boiling liquid and suffered significant burn injuries on a large portion of his body” just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, said Canton Fire Department Chief Charles Doody. The man was flown by medical helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where he remained in serious but stable condition.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident, Doody said, adding that he anticipates the investigation will be “pretty straightforward.”
“Trillium is a very good company in the community, and they’re very cooperative, and they’ve always done things by the book regulation wise, so I don’t anticipate there’s going to be any prolonged investigation with them,” Doody said. “Probably what you’re going to find out is it’s going to be more in recommendations on how to undertake this repair process, so something like this doesn’t occur again. But I don’t really see this as a negligence-type of thing that Trillium did something terribly wrong. I just don’t believe it to be true.”
The man was working on “some type of vat” that was not operating correctly, Doody said. However, he was unclear on the exact manner of the issue with the equipment.
“It was an unfortunate industrial type of accident, and it didn’t really impact the retail operation or the majority of the brewing operation,” he added. “It was kind of isolated to a smaller piece of equipment in an area adjacent to the tasting room of the facility.”
Trillium released the following statement the day after the incident:
“Yesterday afternoon, a contractor who is a good friend of ours, was working on equipment in the brewery and was injured. Canton Fire and Rescue crews arrived on scene quickly and transported him to the hospital. We appreciate the concern that everyone has shown, and will pass along well wishes for his recovery.”
According to Bureau of Labor statistics, nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in breweries increased between 2011 (160 incidents) and 2015 (390 incidents). The number of nonfatal injuries and incidents peaked at 530 in 2014. In 2016, the most recent year in which data is available, 330 nonfatal injury and illness cases were recorded.