Poster-Jaime Thissen

Development of Occupational Safety Indicators for Wineries in Selected States

Jaime Thissen, MEIT, MInstP, MS-TSM, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Jaime Thissen is a co-instructor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has been teaching courses in health, safety, project management and sustainability for seven years. He is also a fellow at the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Discuss this presentation with the authors on Thursday, November 11 from noon – 12:30 on the Zoom Live-stream.


The establishment of wineries has become an emerging trend in the United States. This trend is occurring in rural, suburban and even urban areas. However, there is a very limited assessment of health and safety practices in current facilities beyond legally required inspections. The purpose of this study was to determine safety and health hazards and develop a single safety and health numerical score for each participating facility. The primary objective is to reduce occupational health and safety hazards in this emerging field in both the agricultural and biological processing environment. Methodologically, the score was determined by parameters including struck-by, slip, trip and fall hazards, electrical safety and other miscellaneous safety and health factors such as the presence and accessibility of fire extinguishers. Ten wineries in North America participated in this study. Each winery was assigned a region: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Greater Illinois. Key findings noted safety and health issues observed at the wineries included slip and trip hazards, ergonomic concerns and a lack of lighting and marking throughout facilities. The findings indicated that larger facilities tended to perform better due to the presence of tours and better engagement with regulatory agencies. Most scores ranged from six to eight with an average score of 6.6. However, smaller facilities had an advantage due to less space to manage.

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