Originally Posted by ChrisKennedy
Kegs are supposed to have a fail point, usually on the bottom, that will give before any sort of huge, dangerous explosion happens. This is terrible news, and I hope Redhook makes public what went wrong so that all the breweries out there can make sure this horrible event can't happen to them.
I work at a local brewery and occasionally have to do the same kind of work this young man was doing. I'll be following this story for a while, because I want to know the exact circumstances behind it, to help protect my coworkers and myself from any similar event.
I've never read or seen evidence that sankey kegs have safety blow out points, but I could be wrong. The few kegs i've seen that had been blown out by internal pressure were ruptured on top. In one case the rip in the steel was not even along the weld. This is the first case I've seen of an American brewery worker being killed in this fashion. Now that OSHA is involved, I wouldn't doubt if we see some kind of poppet added into future keg designs. A change I would welcome.
All that said, and this is NOT to claim that stainless is exempt from causing this type of accident, I see that the offending keg was plastic. This jibes a little better with the reports that the keg broke into two parts, which I had a difficult time visualizing with a stainless keg.http://www.wmur.com/r/30960036/detail.html
My prayers are with the family and loved ones who have been left behind. And with my fellow brewers and all touched by this at Red Hook.