An explosion at a Pennsylvania brewery on Oct. 18 injured two workers and could have caused asbestos to enter the air. Fortunately, the immediate injuries were minor, but though firefighters said the atmosphere where the explosion happened was clean, it is always concerning to hear of the possibility of workers being exposed to asbestos.
The incident occurred in the boiler room of the Samuel Adams brewery in Lehigh County. According to a spokeswoman from the Boston Beer Company, which brews Samuel Adams beer, the explosion happened as employees were starting one of the boilers shortly before noon. One worker suffered a bump on the head and another sustained irritation to the eyes.
Though the boiler room is a freestanding building at the brewery, workers throughout the facility were evacuated and production was shut down. Emergency responders quickly arrived and treated the injured workers.
It does not appear that the explosion triggered a fire at the brewery. However, the building did contain asbestos that was used to wrap pipes. An environmental monitoring expert entered the boiler room to test the air. Based on that assessment, the fire marshal rated the air clean. He also declared the building’s structure to be safe. Normal business resumed soon after.
Hopefully, the company will do everything possible to make sure that asbestos has not entered the boiler room’s atmosphere. An article about the incident does not mention if officials had determined how the boiler blew — if, for example, an equipment failure was to blame.
Source: WFMZ-TV, “2 people injured in small explosion at Samuel Adams brewery in Lehigh County,” Oct. 18, 2012
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