Suds Safety – the Great Beer Flood of 1814

This year marks the bicentennial of the great beer flood of 1814, a process safety breakdown if ever there was one.  the London neighborhood of St. Giles was surprised to find  3,555 barrels of beer bursting from a vat at Henry Meux’s HorseShoe Brewery.

Historians believe eight died in a nearby tenement  as the suds cascaded through the narrow streets.   There is a very interesting recap of the incident and the safety lessons that it offers done by RTS, Reynolds Training Services, a UK-based industrial training company.   One of the most noteworthy things to me was that a company employee said that casks broke on a regular basis and, since there had never been a serious outcome, it wasn’t a cause for concern.   Read their posting here.

When WC Fields was told alcohol would kill him, he uttered the famous words, “Death, where is thy sting.”   Hmmmmm.

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