Seasonal celebrations fit well into a brewery or taproom’s convivial atmosphere. Help your patrons create happy memories by providing safe holiday displays and being extra mindful of safety around customers and staff during end-of-year festivities.
Decorations and Lighting
Strings of lights and other electric decorations can cause circuit overloads and tripping hazards. Hanging these items up high often requires a ladder, which presents falling hazards. Consult your local fire marshal or building safety office for jurisdiction-specific rules regarding lighting and decorations.
Keep in mind the following when adorning the brewery or taproom with holiday lights:
- Use commercial grade lighting and low combustibility decorations
- Check the instructions for how many strings can be run in series per outlet
- Fix displays firmly to building surfaces
- Avoid tripping hazards by securely placing cords
- Follow safe ladder procedures and use the right ladder for the job
Additional Resources on Electrical and Ladder Safety
- 5 Steps for Preventing Ladder Injuries in the Brewery
- Reaching to Safety: Use Extension Cords Properly
- Outdoor Holiday Decorating Safety
Festive Product Displays
Stacking 50 kegs into the shape of a Christmas tree or constructing wooden pallets into a giant burning elf might sound like a good idea, if only for about two seconds. Think these ideas through carefully and avoid displays that could fall, that someone could fall from, or that would otherwise be unsafe due to motion, gravity, electricity, or combustibility. Also, rethink any displays that could be easily vandalized after hours.
Keep an eye on the weather forecasts. Have a plan in place before inclement weather impacts the safety of employees getting to and from work. The safety of staff is more important than the production schedule.
Stay diligent about walking surfaces around your facility. Indoor and outdoor areas can become slippery. Have shovels, mops, deicing salt, and other supplies on hand to manage hazardous precipitation. Consider entryway mats and warning signs. When customers leave your business, remind them to be careful on the sidewalk or street.
Additional Resources on Inclement Weather
- Brewers Association (BA) Emergency Preparedness and Natural Disasters: Severe Weather
- Toolbox Talks: Snow Shoveling Safety
Customer and Employee Wellbeing
During the fall and winter months drinks can be stronger, and the number of people drinking can be greater. Make sure all staff know your business’s policies and privileges regarding alcohol liability, cut-off procedures, safe rides, and after-shift consumption. Identify and resolve customer problems early, before they escalate. Think carefully about promotions and serving size to allow lively celebrating while limiting overindulgence.
Additional Resources on Responsible Serving
- The Brewpubs Committee’s Guide to Great Service Series
- Handbook Policy Template: On-Premise Alcohol Consumption
Some people feel more stressed or anxious during the holidays, and that can include brewery staff if they are overworked or feel undervalued. Commit to regular pre-shift huddles to discuss the day’s activities and expectations. Encourage staff and leadership to watch out for each member of the crew.
Additional Resources on Customer and Employee Wellbeing
- Taproom Staff Employee Health & Safety Playlist
- Mental Health in the Brewing Industry Guide
- Webinar: Mental Health and Substance Abuse
As the year wraps up and our focus switches from work towards relaxing and celebrating, keep these seasonal safety topics top of mind to ensure the winter months are injury-free and safe for everyone. This holiday season, reference SafeStart’s The 12 Toolbox Talks of Holiday Safety for a framework of safety huddles to hold with brewery front-of-house and production staff. Happy holidays, everyone!