« on: October 27, 2014, 03:08:26 PM »
Here is a message regarding PKA kegs from the Brewers Association:
To date, the Brewers Association (BA) has received reports from 21 breweries of explosive failures involving 47 kegs manufactured by Plastic Kegs of America. These kegs did not "fail safe" but rather created dangerous situations due to fragmentation of the kegs. Tragically one of these incidents in April 2012 resulted in the death of Redhook Brewery employee Ben Harris. To date, BA has not received reports of explosive failure of plastic kegs manufactured by other companies.
While the BA does not have first-hand knowledge of these incidents, or similar incidents in the past, we have been told of explosions involving brand new kegs, kegs being cleaned at pressure levels below the maximum recommended by their manufacturer or kegs that simply exploded while in storage.
The reports we have received have raised serious questions about the safety of these products. Accordingly, in early 2013 BA retained Bilfinger Industrial Services ("BIS") as subject experts to develop keg performance and safety guidelines for use by all US brewing industry stakeholders. BA anticipates that the first set of these guidelines detailing safety parameters and performance expectations of two way, or reusable, kegs will be available by the end of January 2014. The second set of guidelines, detailing safety and performance expectations of one way, or non-returnable, kegs is in development and will follow soon after. Ultimately, both sets (two way and one way) of guidelines will be updated to include quality issues including compatibility of materials and flavor impact on beer.
As an industry trade association, the law limits the ability of BA to force or require brewers to purchase, or not purchase, specific equipment. But the guidelines will provide BA brewery members with a basis to make their own educated and enlightened decisions regarding keg safety and performance when sourcing and purchasing kegs. The guidelines will evolve as flexible living documents, able to respond to rapidly changing technologies as well as the availability of technical information. These guidelines will be available to all US brewing industry stakeholders including all brewers large and small, keg, valve and chemical suppliers, keg cleaning and filling line suppliers, wholesalers and retailers.
The BA continues to collect relevant information from brewers, manufacturers, and others, and we urge you to provide us with any further information you may have that will help us in the continued development of the guidelines or the advancement of keg and brewery safety.
The BA and our third-party subject experts BIS remain engaged with all manufacturers of kegs and keg components.
Please note, any brewer or keg user with first-hand knowledge of keg explosion incidents can also report those incidents to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.