California Industrial Hygiene Services, Inc.

We hope this information is useful to your winery. We suggest developing a checklist from this information and performing an inspection to identify your liabilities and areas for improvement. The results of the inspection can then be used to develop an action list, establish priorities, and identify topics for discussion with supervisors and employees. Of course, we would appreciate your consideration should you choose to use an independent consultant. We can work with the company at various levels of involvement ranging from addressing specific items or areas to supplementing, or serving as, the health and safety staff on an on-going basis.The following information is compiled from 100 winery inspections performed between August, 1996 and May, 2000 by Cal/OSHA. The regulations cited most frequently are listed below, beginning with the most frequently cited violation. The regulations referenced in this article can be viewed in their entirety on the Cal/OSHA website at Select "Regulations" from the horizontal menu near the top of the page and perform a search for the topic of interest.

  1. Section 5144: "Respiratory Protection".
    This section governs the selection and use of all respirator types from disposable dust masks to self contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs). The most frequently cited item within this section is the failure to develop and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures and elements.
  2. Section 5157: "Permit-Required Confined Spaces".
    In general terms, a permit-required confined space meets the definition of "confined space" and also has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere or any other recognized serious safety or health hazard. Fermentation tanks which contain organic material are an example of permit-required confined spaces since the contents will continue to ferment and produce carbon dioxide thereby posing an asphyxiation hazard to employees who enter the tank to clean it out or perform other maintenance tasks. Sumps, hoppers, silos, and other confined spaces must be evaluated to determine whether they meet the definition of "permit-required".

    The most frequently cited items within this section relate to deficiencies in preparing the space properly prior to entry. In particular, the absence of testing to evaluate the atmosphere in the space with a calibrated direct-reading instrument prior to entry is a common violation. Another frequently cited item is the lack of a written permit space program that complies with the regulations and outlines the policies and procedures pertaining to confined space entry at the facility.
  3. Section 3203: "Injury and Illness Prevention Program".
    Every employer is required to establish, implement, and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). The basic, required elements of the IIPP are defined within the regulation. The absence of the written program or the inadequacy of the program are cited most frequently. This is followed by inadequate documentation of periodic inspections and employee training which are required elements of an IIPP.

    The IIPP is synonymous with health and safety program and is considered the cornerstone of the Cal/OSHA regulations. The IIPP establishes the policies and procedures for the implementation of an effective safety program by the facility. The inspector will almost always ask to see a copy of the company IIPP during their visit.
  4. Section 5162: "Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment".
    The most frequently cited element of this section is the absence or inadequacy of an emergency eyewash. An emergency eyewash is required whenever the eyes of an employee may come into contact with a substance which can cause corrosion, severe irritation, or permanent tissue damage. Some examples of locations where eyewashes may be required are charging stations for forklift lead acid batteries and areas where corrosive substances such as sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide are used.

    The eyewash must be plumbed or self-contained and meet certain criteria as defined by ANSI Z358.1-1981 (American National Standards Institute specifications). Water hoses, sink faucets, or showers are not acceptable eyewash facilities. The eyewash must operate "hands free" once it is activated and supply adequate flow for at least 15 minutes. Personal, hand-held eyewashes which meet the requirements of the ANSI standard may support a plumbed or self-contained unit but must not be used instead of them.
  5. Section 461: "Permits to Operate Air Tanks".
    This section requires a permit to operate compressed air tanks. The permit must be posted under glass in a conspicuous place near the tank or in a waterproof container secured to the unit.

    Any tank that has a volume of 1.5 cubic feet or less and is equipped with a safety valve which opens when the pressure reaches 150 psi does not require a permit but must comply with the other requirements pertaining to air tanks such as construction.

    Tanks must be inspected by a qualified inspector. Most companies contact Cal/OSHA and pay a fee for the inspection and the permit. Insurance companies are another source of qualified inspectors.
  6. Section 5194: "Hazard Communication".
    This section requires employers to provide employees information about the hazardous substances to which they may be exposed. This is often referred to as the "Right to Know" regulation. The regulation requires a written hazard communication program outlining the facility’s policies and procedures regarding how this will be achieved. The employer must use material safety data sheets (MSDSs), appropriate labels and other forms of warning, and training to insure employees receive the required information.

    Employers are most frequently cited for not having an adequate written program or for not fully implementing their written program.
  7. Section 4002: "Moving Parts of Machinery or Equipment".
    This section is cited when moving parts of machinery are not properly guarded. All machines or parts of machines which "create hazardous revolving, reciprocating, running, shearing, punching, pressing, squeezing, drawing, cutting, rolling, mixing or similar action, including pinch points and sheer points, not guarded by the frame of the machine or by location" must be guarded. Crushing areas, conveyors, and bottling lines are examples of areas which must be evaluated to insure adequate guards are installed. The equipment in maintenance shops such as grinders, saws, etc. should also be periodically inspected to insure adequate guards are in place.
  8. Section 2500.8: "Flexible Cords" and Other Miscellaneous Electrical Hazards.
    Actually, if all citations which are related to electrical hazards were considered together, this is the number one cited hazard in wineries. The section most frequently cited pertains to the use of flexible cords including extension cords. Flexible cords cannot be used in lieu of fixed wiring in a location. In other words, a flexible cord cannot be used to provide electricity to a piece of equipment when an electical outlet or other permanent modification should be made to accommodate the equipment.

    There are certain exceptions to this rule. One is for portable equipment, such as hand tools, which are regularly moved from place to place. This is enforced rather strictly and the fact that equipment or a machine could be moved, or is occassionally moved, does not meet this exception. Pedestal grinders and other shop equipment such as table saws, refrigerators, overhead light fixtures, etc., which are used primarily at a specific location are not considered portable.

    Also, extension cords must not be attached to building surfaces, cannot be "daisy-chained", and cannot be strung through doors, windows, or over or through walls.

    Other commonly cited items are the failure to maintain suitable access and working space around electrical equipment such as circuit breakers, shut-offs, switches, control panels, etc. (Section 2340.16) and the failure to guard energized parts of electrical equipment operating at 50 volts or more against accidental contact (Section 2340.17). Guarding usually consists of an approved cabinet or enclosure.
  9. Section 3210: "Guardrails at Elevated Locations".
    Wineries have been cited for not installing guardrails on the open sides of work locations more than 30 inches above the floor, ground, or surrounding working areas. Examples of areas that may be overlooked and require guarding include platforms or other elevated locations which are accessed for maintenance or storage.

    A standard guardrail consists of a top rail, midrail, and posts. A toe board must be installed if falling tools or materials would create a hazard to employees working below. The vertical height of the guardrail must be 42 to 45 inches measured from the upper surface of the top rail. The guardrails must support 20 pounds per linear foot applied either horizontally or vertically downward on the rail.
  10. Section 3314: "Cleaning, Repairing, Servicing and Adjusting Prime Movers, Machinery and Equipment".
    This section pertains to "lockout/tagout" of machinery when performing maintenance or servicing equipment. This includes activities such as removing a jammed object. Crushing and bottling machinery and conveyors are examples of equipment which may require lockout/tagout procedures. When working in a confined space, equipment which allows the flow of water or material into the space must be locked out to prevent inadvertant engulfment or other injury to the entrants.

    The regulation requires that machinery be stopped and the power source de-energized or disengaged, and, if necessary, the moveable parts must be mechanically blocked or locked out to prevent movement during the work. A written energy control procedure must be developed and utilized. Employees must receive training on the procedures and the employer must perform periodic inspections to make sure the procedures are utilized.