A.R.P.A.T.

Agenzia Regionale per la Protection Ambientale della Toscana

 

http://www.arpat.toscana.it/

C.E.D.I.F. Technical Sector

Communication Education Documentation Information Training

 

Operational unit for

“Documentation and Information”

 

 

 

"Risk profiles for production sector"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINE PRODUCTION PLANTS

(Wine production)

 

 

in the Florence and Siena area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persons in charge of research procedures: Stefano Beccastrini, Barbara Gobbò.

Authors of research: Giuseppe Banchi, Claudio Nobler, Danila Scala.

With the collaboration of: Mauro Giannelli, Paolo Borghi.

Photography: Claudio Nobler

 

RICERCA FINANZIATA DA:

ISPESL - Istituto Superiore Prevenzione e Sicurezza del Lavoro

 

 

Research updated to 27 March 2002.

 


1.     - GENERAL ON THE SECTOR.

 

This research examines the production sector of wine production plants, i.e. wine production from the grape (wine-making), bottling and packaging.

 

This sector is part of the “Beverages Industry” production sector identified by code 15.9 according to the ISTAT-ATECO ’91 classification.

 

Tab. 1 – Classification ISTAT-ATECO ’91 of the production sector

Beverages industry” (code 15.9).

Code of activity

ISTAT–aTECO ’91

Name of activity

15.91

- Manufacturing of distilled alcoholic beverages.

15.92

- Manufacturing of fermented ethyl alcohol.

15.93.0

- Manufacturing of wine from grapes (not own production).

       15.93.1

- Manufacturing of wines (excluding special wines).

       15.93.2

- Manufacturing of special wines.

15.94

- Production of cider and other wines based on fruit.

15.95

- Production of other fermented non-distilled beverages.

15.96

- Manufacturing of beer.

15.97

- Manufacturing of malt.

15.98

- Production of mineral water and soft drinks.

15.99

- Manufacturing of other alcoholic beverages.

 

Vineyard cultivation and production enterprises (producing wine from grapes of their own production), on the other hand, are identified by the ISTAT-ATECO ’91 code for the classification of the economic activities: 01.13.1 – Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine producing enterprises”. This sector is part of the production sector of the “Cultivation of fruit, fruit with shells, products for the preparation of beverages and spices” (code 01.13).

 

It is important to note that most of the producers registered in the Chamber of Commerce as “Code of activity: 01.13.1 - Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine producing enterprises” do not undertake wine-making themselves, but only cultivation of vineyards and the harvesting of grapes. Nevertheless, the same code of activity is also used for enterprises undertaking winemaking themselves.

 

Research made by the Chamber of Commerce (Unioncamere) in 1999, taken up by A.R.P.A.T. by the S.I.R.A. technical department and developed by the CEDIF technical department, has given the results shown in the following tables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tab. 2 - Number of local units for the cultivation of vineyards and for wine production – Tuscany - 1999.

Code of

activity

Description OF activity

total Local units

Tuscany Region

Number of local units subdivided by province

AR

FI

GR

LI

LU

MS

PI

PO

PT

SI

01.13.1

Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine-producing enterprises

4,219

644

1.436

262

112

165

27

391

39

137

1.005

15.93.0

Manufacturing of wine from grapes

(not own production)

20

-

9

-

-

1

1

1

-

2

6

15.93.1

Manufacturing of wines

(excluding special wines)

115

6

36

8

6

3

-

5

2

6

43

15.93.2

Manufacturing of special wines

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

TOTAL

4,355

650

1.482

270

118

169

28

397

41

145

1,054

Source: - ARPAT processing of Chamber of Commerce data (Unioncamere).

 

Tab. 3 - Number of dependent workers for the cultivation of vineyards and for wine production – Tuscany - 1999.

Code of

Activity

 

Description OF activity

Total

workers

Tuscany Region

Number of dependent workers subdivided by province

AR

FI

GR

LI

LU

MS

PI

PO

PT

SI

01.13.1

Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine-producing enterprises.

2,784

274

777

141

53

93

6

205

25

57

1.153

15.93.0

Manufacturing of wine from grapes

(not own production).

100

-

16

-

-

9

0

9

-

23

43

15.93.1

Manufacturing of wines

(excluding special wines).

744

29

366

31

11

26

-

29

5

20

227

15.93.2

Manufacturing of special wines.

0

-

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

TOTAL

3,628

303

1.159

172

64

128

6

243

30

100

1,423

Source: - ARPAT processing of Chamber of Commerce data (Unioncamere).

 

Tab. 4 – Classification of local units on the basis of the number of employees

“Code of Activity: 15.93.0 - Manufacturing of wine from grapes (not own production)”– Tuscany - 1999.

Code of

Activity

Description OF activity

total

Tuscany Region

Number of local units subdivided by province

AR

FI

GR

LI

LU

MS

PI

PO

PT

SI

15.93.0

Manufacturing of wine from grapes

(not own production).

20

-

9

-

-

1

1

1

-

2

6

Of which:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 0 employees

10

-

7

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

2

With 1-3 employees

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

With 4-10 employees

5

-

2

-

-

1

-

1

-

-

1

With 11-15 employees

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

-

With 31 employees

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Over 31 employees

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Source: - ARPAT processing of Chamber of Commerce data (Unioncamere).

 


Tab. 5 – Classification of local units on the basis of the number of employees

“Code of activity: 15.93.1 - Manufacturing of wines (excluding special wines)”– Tuscany - 1999.

Code of

Activity

Description activity

total

Region

Tuscany

Number of local units subdivided by province

AR

FI

GR

LI

LU

MS

PI

PO

PT

SI

15.93.1

Manufacturing of wines

(excluding special wines)

115

6

36

8

6

3

-

5

2

6

43

Of which:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 0 employees

34

1

8

4

4

1

-

-

1

2

13

With 1-3 employees

36

2

10

-

1

1

-

4

-

2

15

With 4-10 employees

24

2

9

3

1

-

-

-

1

1

7

With 11-15 employees

11

1

3

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

5

With 16-30 employees

7

-

3

-

-

1

-

1

-

-

2

With 31-71 employees

4

-

3

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Over 71 employees

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Source: - ARPAT processing of Chamber of Commerce data (Unioncamere).

 

Tab. 6 – Classification of local units on the basis of the number of employees

“Code of activity: 01.13.1 - Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine-producing enterprises” - Tuscany - 1999.

Code of

Activity

Description activity

total

Tuscany Region

Number of local units subdivided by province

AR

FI

GR

LI

LU

MS

PI

PO

PT

SI

01.13.1

Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine-producing enterprises

4,219

644

1.437

262

112

165

27

391

39

137

1.005

Of which:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 0 employees

2,737

437

986

156

81

107

21

225

26

90

608

With 1-3 employee

1,368

201

418

105

28

54

6

163

12

46

335

With 4-10 employees

92

6

28

1

3

4

-

2

1

1

46

With 11-15 employees

10

-

2

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

7

With 16-30 employees

10

-

2

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

7

With 31-52 employees

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

With 137 employees

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Over 137 employees

-

-

 

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Source: - ARPAT processing of Chamber of Commerce data (Unioncamere).

 


 

With regard to the number of workers it is important to note that the data shown above do not include the owners and partners of local units, or seasonal labourers, who nevertheless have considerable numbers.

With regard to the number of owners and partners of local units, we can consider the number of local units without dependent workers (e.g. farm enterprises registered at the Chamber of Commerce as individual or family firms and other forms of companies). Tables 4, 5 and 6 show that, there are as many as 2.782 local units with zero employees, of which: 

-         n. 2.737 classified as “Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine-producing enterprises (code of activity: 01.13.1)”;

-         n. 10 classified as “Manufacturing of wine from grapes not own production (code of activity: 15.93.0)”;

-         n. 34 classified come “Manufacturing of wines excluding special wines (code of activity: 15.93.1)”;

-         n. 1 classified as “Manufacturing of special wines (code of activity: 15.93.2)”.

There are also many seasonal labourers (especially the period of the grape harvest), many of whom are foreign immigrants.  

 

All this, together with the fact that many enterprises registered in the chamber of Commerce as “Vineyard cultivation and grape and wine-producing enterprises (code of activity: 01.13.1)” undertake their own cultivation and wine-making, makes it hard to estimate the number of workers in Tuscany in the wine-making sector.

 

This survey covers wine production plants (wine production) - excluding the cultivation of vineyards and the grape harvest – with the latter aspect being covered in the risk profile for agriculture.

 

The above tables (Tab. 2 to Tab. 6) show that the Florence and Siena areas are those where this sector is most present, and they have thus been chosen as reference areas for this research.

 

 

Table 7 - Accidents reported and compensated at INAIL in the period 1996-2000.
Production sector “Production of wine (wine production plants)” in Tuscany Region.

Years

Number of

Accidents

Number of fatal accidents

1996

55

0

1997

44

0

1998

48

1

1999

37

0

2000

39

0

Total

223

1

Source: INAIL

 

Table 8 - Occupational diseases reported to INAIL in the period 1996-2000.
Production sector “Production of wine (wine production plants)” in Tuscany Region.

Year

Type of consequence

Code of occupational disease

Type of occupational disease

Number

of cases

1996

PERMANENT

99

UNLISTED DISEASES

1

Source: INAIL

 


2. – GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCESSING CYCLE

 

The main phases del production cycle of the enterprises in the sector may be summarised as follows:

 

Delivery of grapes, weighing, sample taking, analysis of sugar content, unloading, pressing-stem removal, sulphur dioxide treatment, fast fermentation, racking off, pressing sediment, slow fermentation, processing, ageing, treatments and corrections, bottling (removal of bottles from pallets, washing or rinsing of bottles, pasteurisation, filling, corking, incapsulating, labelling, boxing, placing on pallets), other types of packaging (bagging boxes), storage, shipping and delivery, heating plant and steam production, refrigerator plants, mechanical maintenance, decanting and processing of dregs, maintenance and cleaning of wine vats, maintenance and cleaning of rooms.

 


The following figure shows a general block diagram of the production cycle, with particular reference to the production of red wines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

 

ANALYSIS OF RISKS AND SOLUTIONS

 


DELIVERY, WEIGHING, TAKING OF SAMPLE, UNLOADING OF GRAPES, PRESSING-STEM REMOVAL, TRANSPORT OF MUST AND STEMS

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

The grapes may be brought to the wine production plant in various ways; generally on trolleys towed by tractors or on dump trucks, but often also in baskets on board ordinary cars (this case is frequent in wine-making co-operatives to which the grapes harvested are brought by many small producers).

The bottom of the trolleys (or the loading platform of the truck) are sometimes covered with a plastic sheet on which to put the grapes, in order to protect the grapes from soiling and to avoid the loss of grape juice during transport.


When the vehicle loaded with grapes reaches the wine production plant it is weighed in the yard outside the plant. At that time a sample of grapes is taken for the analysis of the sugar content to be made in the laboratory of the plant. Sampling is done manually, or by a small portable screw. In the former case the worker takes a few bunches and places them in a bucket and then presses them with a hand tool to obtain the juice. In the latter case the worker turns the screw, collecting several samples in various points of the load and the juice obtained is collected in a bucket attached laterally to the screw. In both cases, the juice obtained is poured manually the bucket into the analysis instrument, which after a few seconds displays the sugar content. The latter affects the alcoholic content of the wine obtained and may vary according to whether the grapes are dry or wet; therefore, in case of rain the grapes are covered during transport, and in case of rain harvesting should preferably take place after the grapes have had sufficient time to dry.

Fig. 1. Vehicle weighing area with weighbridge and portable screw for the taking of grape sample.

The alcohol in the wine (ethyl alcohol) is the result of the conversion of sugar by the yeast in the grapes. Starting from grapes with high sugar content there will naturally be a higher alcohol content of the wine produced.

Once the analysis is made, the grapes are unloaded in special hopper with a screw on the bottom.

A wine production plant may have several hoppers used for the various types of grapes that may arrive at the plant at the same time (the first distinction is for green and red grapes).

The screw in the hopper pushes the grapes directly into pressing machine (or press-stem remover) according to the type of wine to be produced.

In enterprises with a small production capacity, the set of machinery consisting of the hopper with screw-press-stem remover is also called “gramola (grape processor).

The stem remover has the function of separating the single grapes from the woody part (stems). The latter are temporarily accumulated at the output of the stem remover, while all the rest, i.e. the so-called must (a mass consisting of juice, pulp, peeling and grape seeds) is conveyed to the fermentation vats.

The operation of pressing - stem removal is automatic, and the workers need only occasionally check the proper functioning of the plant.

The stems are removed from the stem remover pneumatically, and in large capacity plants, conveyed through pipes to a collecting point where they are later taken to be sent to their final destination. When the stems taken from the stem remover are accumulated in the yard in front of the plant, they are removed using dump trucks. Otherwise, the stems are dropped into bins.

The processing can change according to the type of wine to be produced:

-         For red wines, pressing (or squeezing) takes place together with stem removal.

-         In the case of new wine, the grapes are not first pressed but inserted directly in the vats (in this cement vats are usually used) and fermentation takes place in the grapes.

-         For white wines, the grapes are loaded from the hopper with screw into pneumatic presses designed to crush the grapes gently enough to obtain a relatively clean must. The must is separated form peeling and other solid parts of the bunch immediately after pressing. Before starting fermentation, the must is usually fined (see the fining phase).

-         Rosé wines are left in contact with the peeling for very short period (24-36 hours) and then separated and fined come as for white wines.

-         For muscatel wines the stem removal is not conducted.

 

The first pressing results the so-called flower of wine must (from 100 kg of grapes pressed approximately 65-70 kg of flower of wine must are obtained); another 5-10% of liquid must is obtained from subsequent pressing (pressing of sediment); the remaining part consists of solid residue.

 

Generally the press-stem remover is near the fermenting vats into which the must is conveyed directly through a pipe with the use of a fixed pump. Nevertheless, in some enterprises, especially those with a large production of grapes from their own vineyards, there are several press-stem removers in the farms for grape production, and tank trucks are used for the transport of must to the winemaking plant.

In this working phase no waste is produced. The stems are sent for distillation (as is the sediment or lees; see the phase on pressing sediment).

 

 

EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Portable screw for the taking of sample of grapes

This is an electrically powered screw with helicoidal profile, oriented with a mechanical arm, which is mounted on a trolley also having the controls of the machine (Fig. 1). The screw is operated by a button requiring pressing by the operator in order to keep the screw in rotation. This is also due to the fact that the purpose is to take a small amount of grapes.

 

Hopper with screw


This basically consists in a trapezoidal stainless steel container (hopper) on the bottom of which there are one or more electrically powered screws (i.e. helicoidal profile endless screws) (Fig. 2 and 3); the screws turn on their axis and cause the grapes to advance towards the end of the hopper to convey them to the output. In this action also causes light pressing. In some enterprises, there are trapezoidal instead of helicoidal screws, and the bottom of the hopper has a conveyor belt; this allows for the much more delicate conveying of the grapes.

Fig. 2. - Manual unloading of a basket of green grapes in the processor.

 


Stem remover

This basically consists of a stainless steel rotating drum with holds. The holes on the drum are sufficiently large to allow for the easy passage of single grapes, while the stems kept inside the drum and then pumped out. The stem removal takes place by centrifugal force and/or thanks to the action of an axle with paddles.


Fig. 3. Horizontal axis stem remover (seen from above) under the hopper (see the end part where the grapes are pushed into the stem remover); on the right is the spiral staircase to reach the level where the stem remover is located.

 



Fig. 4. Detail of mechanical parts of the stem remover with shield removed for cleaning (seen from above). On the left, the conveyor belt from the bottom of the hopper and on the right the holed steel cylinder of the stem remover.


Fig. 5.  Pneumatic system of stem extraction from the stem remover (above right. the outlet cyclone and under the top the conveyor pipe).

 


Fixed pump

This is generally a large electrically powered piston pump or rotating blade pump.

 

Tank trucks


The tanks are generally made of stainless steel, with a walkway on the top for worker access during the operations of filling or washing.

 


Fig. 6. Tank trucks for the transport of must from grape and wine-producing enterprises to the main wine production plant.

 


RISK FACTORS

 

In this working phase, the following main occupational risks are potentially present:

 

Transit of vehicles

description

The vehicles delivering the grapes pass in yards outside the production plant with the following path: from the entry gate to the weighing station; then to the unloading of grapes in the hopper; then again to the weighing station (to calculate the difference of weight); finally to the exit gate, often the same as the entrance gate (eventually after stopping in a parking area). In the period of the grape harvest traffic of vehicles may be considerable and can involve the risk of workers being run over and the risk of collision between vehicles.

expected harm

Traumatic injuries for being run over by vehicles or collisions of vehicles.

prevention

Installing and using horizontal and vertical signals to mark separate paths for pedestrians and vehicles. Establishing and indicating the speed limit of 5 Km/h. According to the sizes of the yard, assessing whether to establish and indicate one-way paths.

legislative references

-         Art. 8 “Roads, dangerous zones, floors and passages” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions.

 

Falling from above onto moving mechanical parts

description

Working near the hopper, there is the risk of falling in it from above. In order to favour the unloading of grapes, the hopfor thes below floor level.

Falling into the hopper could take place due to loss of balance or slipping during the manual unloading of baskets, or for being hit by vehicles moving near the hopper.

Another possible cause of falling, could be the operation of shaking of the plastic sheet (on the bottom of the dump truck). This operation is necessary for completing the unloading when some bunches of grapes remain on the sheet. In this case the worker who shakes the sheet could be tempted to “climb up” dangerously, for example climbing on the wheels of the truck, or worse, climbing up on the parapet of the hopper.

In case of falling into the hopper the worker can come into contact with the moving parts on the bottom of the machine, which due to their shape are dangerous even when the machine is off.

expected harm

In case of falling from above into the hopper traumatic harm such as contusions and injuries may occur. Falling onto moving parts in operation may lead to fatal consequences.

preventive measures

Prevention can consist in installing fixed parapets of adequate height on the side of the hopper where the unloading of grapes takes place manually from baskets. Where this is not possible, for example on the side of the hopper where the unloading of grapes takes place by tilting the container of the truck, the parapet may be mobile, for example consisting of an electric bar to raise for unloading (Fig. 7) and to lower just after. The mobile parapet, whatever the type, may be combined with an interblocking device to stop the moving parts at the opening of the del parapet and prevent starting until it is closed.

In some enterprises a photocell is also installed (Fig. 8) to block the moving parts in case a worker goes near the hopper. The photocell must be considered as an additional safety device not replacing the mobile parapet, since is it is necessary to first of all avoid the risk of falling from above into the hopper.

If during the unloading of large amounts of grapes, to facilitate the flow, it is necessary to turn on the screw with the parapet raised or with the photocell off, this must be allowed only with the buttons requiring operator pressure, excluding the main control panel. These buttons may be very useful also to operate safely in case of maintenance and cleaning.

Particular attention must be paid when the vehicle reverses to the hopper to reach the correct unloading position. A worker on the ground should supervise this operation, both in order to indicate to the driver who is reversing the distance lacking to the correct position for unloading, and at the same time to verify that there is no other personnel within range. For the shaking of the plastic sheet on the bottom of the truck bed, near the hopper there should be a ladder - with a platform with a parapet and mounted on a trolley for shifting manually – in order to climb up easily and safely. It is important for this operation to be conducted by non-seasonal dependent workers who are suitably informed and trained, while the drivers of the vehicles delivering the grapes must not be admitted to the operating zone.

legislative references

-         Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955 “Regulations for the prevention of accidents”.

-         Leg. Decree 626 of 1994.


 


Fig. 7. Unloading in the hopper with screw of red grapes from a dump truck. Note the plastic sheet on the bottom of the bed, the moving part (screw) on the bottom of the hopper, the bar acting as a mobile parapet to prevent falling persons from falling from above into the hopper.


 


Fig. 8.  Detail of winemaking equipment (in loading phase) equipped with a photocell blocking the movement of the screw in case a worker approaches the running machine.

 

 

Work near moving mechanical parts

 

Portable screw for the taking of samples of grapes

description

The portable screw (Fig. 1) used for the taking of samples of grapes to be analysed can involve accident risks if the moving part is not adequately protected. Although the screw is shielded along the longitudinal part, the end part - immersed in the load of grapes - is left uncovered to take the bunches. This can involve a danger of catching in case of contact with workers’ hands.

The risk is considerably reduced when the operation is conducted by only one worker. In this case, in fact, he controls the screw by the buttons at a distance from the moving part, and cannot come into contact with the latter. The case in which a second worker approaches the screw when it is still turning is different, for example to take the bucket attached laterally to collect the juice.

The mechanical arm of portable screw, during lateral movement, may hit persons who might come within its range of action.

expected harm

Injuries and contusions.

preventive measures

Prevention can consist in protecting the end part of the portable screw with mobile protection leaving it uncovered only during immersion in the load of grapes and automatically goes back to the original position once the screw is extracted.

The operation should in any case be conducted by one worker only, who must be adequately trained. He should verify that the driver of the vehicle delivering the grapes (who may not be an employee of the wine production plant, but rather the employee of a transport firm or a small producer), stays away from the operational area.

 

Stem remover

description

The moving mechanical parts of the stem remover (Figures 3 and 4) can involve the risk of catching and dragging in case of contact with the upper limbs of the worker. During the normal functioning of the machine, the accident risk is extremely low since the machine works automatically without the presence of the worker; the risk is substantially linked to the cleaning and maintenance of the machine.

expected harm

Injuries and contusions.

preventive measures

Prevention can consist in protecting moving mechanical by fixed shields or with interblocking devices to block movement in case of opening of the shield and to prevent start-up as long as the shield is open. If it is necessary to turn on the machine with shields open, for example in case of maintenance or cleaning, this must be allowed only for specialised personnel using controls allowing for advancement by impulse requiring them to press the button and which, once inserted, bypasses the control panel.

legislative references

-         Art. 6 “Duties of workers” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 41 “Protection and safety of machinery”  Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. III, Part III "Transmission and gears" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 68 “Protection of moving parts and zones of operation of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 72 “Blockage of protection devices”  Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 73 “Opening of power supply and unloading of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 76 and 77 "Control devices for starting up of machinery" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 81 "Control with multiple blockage device" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 82 "Blockage of machine stop position" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 233 "Control and operation devices" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. IX "Maintenance and repair" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 4 "Obligations of employers, managers and employees" Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Tit. III “On work equipment” Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 (Machinery Directive).

-         Standards UNI EN 291/2, 291/2, 614/1, 294, 349, 811, 418, 1037, 1088, 574, 982, 983, 1012/1, 1012/2

 

Work near openings in the floor

description

The stem remover is generally below floor level under the hopper; thus there is the risk of falling from above if openings are not adequately protected. Any material that could fall from above could hit the workers

expected harm

Injuries and contusions.

preventive measures

Install a normal parapet with a footguard around opening towards the drop. The access to the steps to go down into the lower area where the stem remover is installed may be protected with a small gate.

The stairs per to go down to the lower floor (generally a spiral staircase) must be permanently foxed, made of slip-proof material (for example metal grill), equipped with a railing and footguard.

legislative references

- Tit. II of Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955 “Regulations for the prevention of accidents”.

- Leg. Decree n. 626 of 1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

Work in raised positions

description

The operations of filling tank trucks and/or wine vats generally involve the need to reach raised positions, with the consequent risk of falling from above. Also for the operations cleaning the tank trucks, the worker goes to the top of them with the risk of falling from above.

expected harm

Traumatic injuries due to falling from above (risk of fatal accident).

prevention

Arranging safe access to raised positions above wine vats with stable and slip-proof steps, parapets, footguards, etc… as required by laws in force.

Access to the upper part of tank trucks must also be safe, for example with a sturdy ladder having stable and slip-proof steps, while the top of the tank should have a slip-proof walkway(for example a metallic grill) with reclinable railing and parapet, which the worker can raise before going to the walkway.

According to the situations PPD may be necessary (slip-proof shoes, harness with retaining system to prevent falling from above).

legislative references

-         Art. 386 “Safety belts”  Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. II “Areas and places for work and passage” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Standards UNI EN 361, 363, 795

-         Annexe IV, part B, sect. II Directive EEC/CEEA/EC n. 57 of 24.06.1992: "Directive of the Council of 24 June 1992 regarding minimum rules for safety and health to implement in temporary or mobile wine producing plants (8th particular directive pursuant to Art. 16, paragraph 1 of Directive 89/391/EEC)."

 

Manual handling of loads

description

In the smaller enterprises or in winemaking co-operatives, when the grapes are brought to the plant in baskets, the operations of collecting these from the vehicle to then be tipped into the hoppers of for the grapes can involve the need to manually lift and carry the full baskets, which may have a weight of several dozen kilograms. In case of falling of a basket during manual handling (for example for breakage of a handle) the workers’ feet may be hit.

expected harm

Muscular-skeletal trouble.

Injuries and contusions to the feet.

prevention

-         Verify that the handles of the baskets are in good conditions and that there is no danger of breakage due to weight when the basket is full.

-         Use smaller baskets to reduce the weight when they are full.

-         Use two workers to handle full.

-         Use mechanical aids for the handling of full baskets.

-         Assess the possibility of mechanising the operation.

-         Wear PPD (safety shoes with metal reinforced tow-guard).

-         Information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Tit. V and Annexe 6 of Leg. Decree n. 626 of 10.09.1994.

-         Standard UNI ISO 938

 

Exposure to noise

description

During the work near pressing, stem removing or wine making machinery the workers may be exposed to noise with equivalent levels that may exceed 85 dB(A). Nevertheless, personal exposure of workers is not generally continuous during the working day and lasts a few days a year.

expected harm

Continuous exposure to medium-high noise levels may cause harm to hearing (hypoacusis due to noise) and/or non-hearing disturbances which may also occur for exposure to levels under those for which regulations require particular preventive measures.

Trouble in communication and job performance may also occur.

preventive measures

Noise assessment is required pursuant to Leg. Decree 277/1991, use machinery that is less noisy and kept in a good state of maintenance.

In cases of levels of personal exposure exceeding 80 dB(A), the preventive measures set forth in Leg. Decree 277/91 shall be applicable, summarised in the table “Ceiling levels of exposure to noise”, shown in this document in the Chapter “General legislative references”.

legislative references

-         Art. 24 "Noise and vibrations" Pres. Decree n.303 of 19.03.1956.

-         Part IV “Protection of workers against risks of exposure to noise during work” Leg. Decree n.277 of 15.08.1991.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 “Regulation for the implementation of Directives 89/392/EEC, 91/368/EEC, 93/44/EEC and 93/68/EEC concerning the harmonisation of the legislation of Member States for machinery” (Machinery Directive).

 

 

EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

Distilling takes place in a distillation plant, which is generally, is an outside firm. Also the transport of stems by truck and must in tank trucks (where applicable) is contracted to outside enterprises specialised in transport.

 

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Induced vehicle traffic

The vehicles delivering the grapes harvested and the tank trucks delivering the must can lead to considerable induced vehicle traffic especially in some periods of the year corresponding to the grape harvest and the first processing of the grapes.

 

Diffusion of noise

Noise is produced by the vehicles mentioned above, and machinery such as screws, conveyors and pumps. This can cause disturbance to the population that may reside near the plant. Less noisy machinery should be used, and submitted to adequate maintenance; the noisiest machinery should be soundproofed, and placed in the area of the plant furthest from homes, arranging noise-proof barriers where necessary.

 

Spillage of grape juice and must

During the delivery and transfer of grapes and must accidental spillage may occur. The yard in front of the plant should be designed in such a way as to collect rainwater and any spillage, with collection shafts before sending to the treatment plant or external sewer.

 


FAST FERMENTATION, SULPHUR DIOXIDE TREATMENT, PRESSING

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

The must is pumped into containers (wine vats) in which fermentation takes place (therefore these wine vats are also called fermentation vats or simply vats).

Generally this processing takes place on ground level, directly in the open and sometimes under shelters or in rooms.

The must, obtained from the grapes after the initial pressing, is a semi-dense sugary liquid, composed of various substances that were in 5h3 grapes and to be transferred to the wine. It is a living element containing 65-80% water and 15-30% of sugar, mostly fructose and glucose. Most of the latter is then converted into alcohol during fermentation, thanks to the action of yeast. Not all the sugar is converted into alcohol during fermentation; considerable amounts of unfermented sugar are contained in sweet and liqueur wines, but also in small amounts in dry wines.

The yeast consists of complexes of microorganisms that can cause fermentation through the enzymes they produce. Those present naturally in the grapes are able to start the fermentation of the must on their own; nevertheless, to complete or enhance perfect alcoholic fermentation, is normal to add others with different characteristics according to the result required. There are, in fact, thousands of types of yeast, each used for various purposes: some are particularly resistant to alcohol, others to sulphur dioxide, others to the cold, etc. Yeast is likewise fundamental in producing sparkling wines, being added to obtain refermentation that will develop the carbon dioxide producing the bubbles.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) develops naturally in the wine as a consequence of the various processes of fermentation; its presence is evident in spumante and other sparkling wines, but it is also present, in minimum doses, in ordinary wine and serves to balance them, keeping the scent and taste more alive and fresh, as long as fizziness is not excessive. Any external addition of CO2 must be shown on the label.

For the production of the novello or new wine (un particular type of wine ready a few weeks after the grape harvest) the carbonic steeping procedure is used, also called aromatic fermentation due to the fact that a very scented wine is produced. As mentioned in the previous phase, the grapes for this type of production are not pressed in the ordinary way but placed whole into a container (generally of cement enamelled inside). The latter is kept hermetically sealed for 7-20 days at a temperature of approximately 30°C, saturated with carbon dioxide. The CO2 inside the container partly develops naturally from the fermentation of a minimum amount of grape juice running on the bottom (because the grapes on the bottom are crushed by the weight of those above), and partly with external addition from tanks. The ambient saturated with CO2 in the container triggers fermentation in the grapes. In other parole, because of the sealed environment, the permeability of the peeling alters and the steeping takes place even if the bunch is whole. At the end of the periods of carbonic steeping, the entire mass is then pressed and placed in the fermentation vat where, after or three days, the conversion of sugar into alcohol is completed, to be immediately bottled and if possible drunk after not too much time.

In the production of red wines, the action of carbon dioxide in must during the fermentation causes sediment to appear on the surface; in order to optimise the process it must again be immersed and mixed. This takes place by pressing and stirring. In the first case the sediment is pressed under with moving parts that may be incorporated in modern steel vats, or with external tools lowered into vats (this takes place for wooden vats); in the second case, on the other hand, the liquid is pumped from a faucet at the base of the vat and put back in from above on the sediment. Pressing and stirring also have the purpose of airing the must and activating, thanks to the oxygen in the air, the fermentation yeast. Nevertheless, it should be recalled that the air must be properly dosed since excessive contact of the must with the air favours the development of vinegar bacteria and alters the colours, bleaching red wines and darkening whites. This is particularly important for the subsequent phases of ageing of the wine. The pressing and stirring processes, more common in medium or large size vats, are conducted frequently to prevent the surface of the sediment from turning into vinegar and altering the entire mass. Furthermore, in order to avoid excessive oxidation due to contact with the air, when racking the must or the wine afterwards to fill a larger vat, the operation is preceded by placing an inert gas (generally nitrogen) in the vat.

For the preparation of ordinary wines sulphur dioxide (SO2) is often put into the must, mainly to select the yeast present. This operation (called sulphur dioxide treatment or sulphuration) generally takes place immediately after the first pressing of the grapes, but sometimes also later in the fermentation vats, and can regard must and wine. The sulphur dioxide poured into the liquid acts as an antiseptic that prevents the reproduction of unwanted yeast such as apiculatus and other microorganisms, while the yeast required for the fermentation of the must, such as ellipsoideus yeast, are very resistant to this treatment. Besides the sterilisation effect, the sulphur dioxide is sometimes used to dissolve colouring substances and to enhance the increase of the alcohol content of the wine. The sulphur dioxide (SO2) placed in must is spread in two forms: combined with the compounds present in the wine (in particular with glucose, fructose, colouring substances) and free. The balance between the two forms, typical per each wine, is influenced by the temperature. The free fraction decreases over time, not only due to the combinations, but also due to evaporation, oxidation and reduction to hydrogen sulphide. For the quality of the product (the Italian law sets a maximum limit for the presence of SO2 in wine), sulphur dioxide tends to be used in winemaking enterprises only for the real needs of the must as shown by chemical analysis. The entire process of fermentation is, in fact, kept under control by periodical sampling and laboratory analysis.

As mentioned above, the temperature plays a basic role. During alcoholic fermentation heat is produced, but the process can stop only of the temperature rises too much, up to 35-38 °C, and the must is ruined due to so-called mannite fermentation. To avoid this it is necessary to cool the must. The opposite case may also occur, i.e. an excessively low ambient temperature (10°C) may prevent the triggering of fermentation; in this case it is necessary to heat the must.

For these reasons, in modern wine production plants fermentation generally takes place in recipients with controlled temperature, with the possibility of heating or cooling the must.

When the wine experts decide that the right time has arrived, they undertake the operation called racking off, which consists in removing from the fermentation vat the most liquid part of the fermented must (called wine flower), while the solid part is conveyed, by a screw, to pressing (racking off and pressing are further described in the subsequent paragraphs).

Up to racking off the fermentation is also called fast fermentation to distinguish it from slow fermentation that also continues in the subsequent phases of the wine production process.

 

 


EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Decanting pump


This is a mobile pump on wheels that has the function of aspirating the liquid from a container and at the same time putting it into another one. There are various sizes and the larger ones can reach a considerable weight (for example 560 Kg.).

Fig. 9. Medium size decanting pumps.

 

Fermentation vats

These are containers in which the must is fermented. There are various types with the differences regarding material, accessories, capacity, shape and size.

The material of which the most modern fermentation vats are made is stainless steel, while the older ones besides wood, are made of metal enamelled on the outside and painted inside with epoxy paint making the surfaces like glass. There are often fermentation vats in reinforced concrete coated internally with mortar that is in turn covered with tiles or vitrifying paint. There are also fibreglass fermentation vats.

The shape is generally cylindrical, especially for the steel vats, and there are also some with a parallelepiped shape, especially for cement vats. The latter have the advantage of allowing the better use of the space in the production plant.

The vats are equipped with: spouts (generally two) for the decanting of the liquid with pumps and flexible tubes; a lateral door (also called manhole and placed laterally a little above the base of the vat, generally between the two spouts); a lower door (placed base of the vat and generally used for removing the sediment); an upper door (placed at the top of the vat). Sometimes at top of the vat there is also a safety valve for the exit of excess gas when the pressure inside the container rises beyond a certain limit.

The vats may be equipped internally with shaking and/or pressing elements moved by the electric motors or pneumatic systems.

Some fermentation vats are insulated and/or equipped with temperature control systems (heating / cooling) that affect the process of fermentation.

The cooling is sometimes achieved by running cold water over the walls of the vat; for this purpose the top of the vat as a ring of plastic tube with holes, while a gutter is placed all around the base of the vat to collect the water running on the walls. The water collected is then sent to the cooling plant before being circulated again.

Other more modern systems include vats equipped with double walls (airspace) where a cooling or heating liquid runs to control the temperature of the process.

Wooden vats have generally been replaced with steel vats (also cement or other materials mentioned) since they make for easier installation of the accessories mentioned, easier maintenance and compared to wood do not have reductions due to evaporation since their permeability is minimum.

For the wooden vats the cooling / heating of must takes place thanks to hollow metallic plates in which a cooling / heating liquid is circulated.

 


Fig. 10. Plates for the cooling / heating of must during the fermentation in wooden vats.

 

 

 

 


Portable tanks for carbon dioxide

These are steel tanks of the type normally used to contain compressed gas.

 

Portable tanks for nitrogen

These are steel tanks of the type normally used to contain compressed gas.

 

Nitrogen generator

In the larger enterprises, instead of being used in tanks, the nitrogen is produced directly at the plant in the amount and purity required, by a specific continuous generator. In this case the nitrogen is obtained by separation from the other components of the atmosphere (this avoids a series of problems connected with the use of tanks such the replacement of empty with full ones, the use of trolleys, filters, etc.).

According to the volume, the nitrogen generators may have a built-in or external compressor.

 

Portable tanks for sulphur dioxide

Generally compressed sulphur dioxide in steel tanks is used (the pressure is approximately 3 atm at 20°C) from which it is removed in the gaseous state to be used in the sterilization of recipients, or in the liquid state for the sulphurisation of must and wines (in the latter case the tank is kept upside down).

 

Equipment of sulphur dioxide treatment

Small trolleys holding a tank of SO2 (kept upside down) are often used, and a sulphur dioxide meter which is device to ensure the dosing of the correct amount of sulphur dioxide and filled by decanting from the tank. The sulphur dioxide meter basically consists of a cylinder with a part having a transparent wall (generally in resistant glass) showing a graduated scale used to measure the required amount of liquid sulphur dioxide. The connection between the tank of SO2 and the sulphur dioxide meter is through a copper tube. Sulphur dioxide meters are generally equipped with three taps: one opens the SO2, inlet hole; one is an air outlet and the third one for pumping the SO2 into the vats. The capacity of the sulphur dioxide meter generally varies from 2 a 5 Kg. The sulphur dioxide treatment equipment generally includes a metallic rod for injecting sulphur dioxide and other gasses into the tanks, through the special valve. It may be telescopic in order to avoid having to take it apart.

 

Stirring device

The stirring device is equipment used to press down the top formed by the sediment, which tends to rise to the surface of the must in the vats. Generally this is a stainless steel cross element secured to the base of a pneumatically powered piston. The device runs along a monorail attached to the ceiling above the row of vats.

 

Cooling compressors

See the phase “refrigeration system



Fig. 11. Cement vats.


 


Fig. 12. Row of fermentation vats equipped with shakers (note motors on the upper left).


Fig. 13. Nitrogen inlet between the insulated fermentation vats.


 


Fig. 14. Nitrogen generator.


Fig. 15. Top of a stainless steel wine vat, capacity 3,500 hectolitres.


Fig. 16. Base of a stainless steel wine vat, capacity 3,500 hectolitres. Note the manhole, the three spouts and the graduated scale for measuring the amount of wine in the container.


 


Fig. 17. Small trolley for the transport of a tank of nitrogen and a tank of sulphur dioxide.

 


RISK FACTORS

 

Working in high places

description

There are many reasons why the workers climb on top of the vats, of which we can recall the following:

-         During the filling of the vat, for a sight check of the complete filling of the recipient, giving indications to another worker controlling the pump.

-         During the pressing operations, to use the stirring device.

-         During the mixing operations, to check the proper mixing of the top.

-         For possible maintenance to the cooling / heating circuit with water flow.

-         For the introduction / extraction of the cooling / heating plates.

The worker goes to the top of the vat, using a ladder or a fixed metallic structure consisting of stairs and walkways along the top of the vats.

The above operations expose workers to the danger of falling from above (outwards or inside the vat full of must).

When there are walkways (e.g. made of metal grills) above the vats in which the upper inlets of the vats are located, of the latter are left open, the workers may trip and fall (into the vat or outwards). In the case of several vats in a row, there may be several inlets on the floor of the raised walkway, a in a row or raised with respect to the walkway floor.

 

The presence of any asphyxiating (carbon dioxide) or toxic gas (sulphur dioxide) and of alcoholic vapours may aggravate the risk of falling from above.

expected harm

-         Injuries and contusions due to falling from above to the ground.

-         Drowning in case of falling into the vat full of must, especially if the worker has become unconscious due to the presence of asphyxiating gas.

In both cases there is a risk of fatal accident.

preventive measures

The workers who climb to the top of the vats must be able to carry out their work safely; for example, if the operation of pressing is conducted at the top of wooden vats reached by a ladder, the worker must wear a safety belt or harness adequately fixed to the monorail or the ceiling and the ladder must be equipped with suitable hooks to be secured to the upper edge of the vat and of support bases on the floor with reinforcement in slip-proof rubber.


Fig. 18. Pressing device on an overhead monorail with a cross-shaped stirring device and pneumatic movement. The monorail secured to the ceiling runs over the wooden vats. Note that the worker is wearing a safety belt secured to the monorail. The ladder is equipped with suitable hooks to be secured to the upper edge of the vat and support bases on the floor with reinforcement in slip-proof rubber.

 


When the fermentation vats are equipped with a fixed access with steps and walkways, they must be permanently fixed, made of slip-proof material (for example metallic grill), equipped with parapets and footguards.

It is necessary adopt measures to reduce the risk of tripping or falling in the upper inlets of the vats, especially when these are on the floor of walkways; for example, a possible solution could be to make the grilled walkway so that the upper inlet of the vat is on the same level or also a few centimetres lower than the floor level, with a “hatch” hinged to the grill that may be opened to remove the cover of the inlet of the vat and then immediately closed while leaving the inlet itself open. In this way, with the inlet of the vat open or closed, the walkway would always be without openings and obstacles. There may be a smaller hinged hatch (inside the large one) for the easier passage of the tubes used replacements, washing etc…

 


Fig. 19. Steel vat seen from above with the grilled floor of the walkway and the upper inlet open.

The possibility of adopting all the organisational and technological measures for avoiding or reducing the need to conduct work in high places, as in the following examples.

-         Use level indicators which, also from the ground, show the level of filling of the vat; this may be achieved by a transparent plastic tube along the top of the vat next to a graduated scale. The filling of the level indicator tube can take place by a small tap on the base of the vat (the tube is filled with liquid on the basis of the principle of communicating vessels); in case of very high vats, the workers may be supplied with pocket binoculars to make level reading easier.

In the case of vats in the open, the transparent plastic tube may deteriorate easily (especially if the plastic material is rigid and not very resistant to thermal stress due to weather) thus requiring periodical replacement. To facilitate the replacement it is possible to use a flexible plastic tube with the end tied to a cord which, through a winch, may be lowered to the ground, so that while the old tube is removed the new one is inserted, without having to go top of the vat; likewise soft plastic seems to have the advantage of requiring less frequent replacement.

-         Use fermentation vats with their own internal devices for pressing / stirring the must, so that it is not necessary to use the external stirring device placed in the vat from above. This seems to require the replacement of wooden fermentation vats with stainless steel vats; this should have no negative influence on the wine produced since the replacement of wood with stainless steel could regard only the fermentation vats (where the fast fermentation takes place) and not the barrels or casks (where slow fermentation, refining and ageing of the wine take place).

legislative references

-         Art. 386 “Safety belts”, Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. II “Areas and places for work and passage”, Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Standard UNI EN 361 of 30.11.93 “Personal protection devices against falling from above. Body harnesses”. Specifies the requirements, the test methods, the instructions for use, the marking and packaging for the body harnesses. Other types of supports for the body are defined in EN 358. The devices to prevent falling are specified in EN 263.

-         UNI EN 363 of 31.12.93 “Personal protection devices against falling from above. Systems to prevent falling”. Specifies the terminology and general requirements for the systems to prevent falling to act as protection devices against falling from above. It likewise provides examples as how to connect components or groups of components to a system to prevent falling. These examples should allow the purchaser or user to set up all the components correctly and to create a system to prevent falling.

-         UNI EN 795 of 01.05.98 “Protection against falling from above - Anchoring devices - Requirements and tests”. Specifies the requirements, the test methods and the instructions for use and the marking of anchoring devices designed exclusively for use with personal protection devices against falling from above.

-        

Leg. Decree n. 626 of 1994.

Fig. 20. The inside of a fermentation vat in stainless steel equipped with pressing equipment (looking upwards).

 

Exposure to sulphur dioxide

description

The various operations related to the phase of sulphur dioxide treatment described above (storage and handling of SO2 tanks, filling the sulphur dioxide meter, sulphur dioxide treatment of the must) can cause exposure of workers to sulphur dioxide (SO2). This is a gas heavier than air that thus tends to accumulate downwards in poorly ventilated wine production plants.

Once in smaller wine production plants a rubber balloon with sulphur dioxide gas was inflated directly from the tank; the balloon was then left to deflate in the must in order to release the gas. This involved a high risk for the workers since the balloon could break or be dropped with the consequence of being hit by a cloud of sulphur dioxide to cause fainting and fatal risks.

The balloon has now been replaced by the sulphur dioxide meter with considerable reduction of the risk. Nevertheless, also with the sulphur dioxide meter there is still a risk, especially during the filling operation.

estimate

Sampling conducted in previous surveys in some winemaking enterprises have shown ambient values of between 0.011 and 0.16 mg/m3 ; these are rather low when compared with the TLV-TWA = 5.2 mg/m3 and with the TLV-STEL = 13 mg/m3 (TLV values in ACGIH 2000), while the values of personal exposure during the filling of the sulphur dioxide meter and during the sulphur dioxide treatment in the vat range between 0.43 and 52.3 mg/m3 [2]. It should in any case be pointed out that the operation of filling the sulphur dioxide meter is occasional and of short duration.

expected harm

Sulphur dioxide is classified as: T (toxic), R23 (toxic by inhaling), C (corrosive), R34 (causes burns). It is an irritant of moderately high level. The irritating action is due to its conversion into acid upon contact with the damp of ocular and nasal mucous membranes and the skin, then arriving into the respiratory system causing bronchial constriction, with symptoms of asphyxiation for high and/or prolonged exposure.

preventive measures

Particular attention must be paid by the workers during the filling of the sulphur dioxide meter. Before proceeding with this operation, it is always necessary to verify the good state of the tubes used for the transfer, and the taps of the tank and the sulphur dioxide meter.

The workers for filling the sulphur dioxide meter and in sulphur dioxide treatment of must are required to wear adequate PPD such as facemasks with specific filter for SO2 (type A3) for the protection of the respiratory tract and the eyes, gloves, aprons and footwear resistant to corrosion.

The filling of the sulphur dioxide meter should take place outdoors near an emergency shower equipped with eye-washer, which can be immediately used by workers in case of contamination with the dangerous product. The worker in the operation should be watched by another worker who stays at a certain distance while also wearing PPD in order to be able to intervene immediately in case of emergency.

If sulphur dioxide treatment is conducted in fermentation vats placed inside rooms of the plant, the latter must be equipped with suitable airing systems, placing air extractors if possible on the lower parts of the walls.

Once used, the sulphur dioxide meter should be put in a safe place, away from atmospheric agents, far from sources of heat and from possible accidental hitting by workers or vehicles in transit, if possible in a room or locker with lock and key with access reserved to workers and having a suitable sign. All the containers must be equipped with the required labelling.

The workers must be adequately informed and trained on the correct procedure of processing and procedures for managing emergencies and first aid.

It should be assessed whether to replace the sulphur dioxide with other less dangerous anti-fermentation substances [9].

legislative references

-         Royal Decree n. 49 of 09.01.1927 (toxic gas).

-         Pres. Decree 547/1955 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Pres. Decree n. 303/1956 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

Exposure to carbon dioxide

description

The carbon dioxide produced naturally by the fermentation of the must can accumulate in the working environment with consequent decrease of the oxygen in the air. It should be recalled that carbon dioxide has a greater density than air and thus tends to accumulate in low places. This risk is real in situations in which the vats of fermentation are located inside rooms of the plant and poorly ventilated.

Exposure to carbon dioxide may also take place during the operations of pressing with hand-operated tools.

Carbon dioxide is a colourless and odourless gas also found in small amounts in the atmospheric air (approximately 0.035 %); it is not combustible and is easily soluble in water.

expected harm

A worker entering a room where there is a high concentration of carbon dioxide risks fainting and dying of asphyxia, also due to the reduction of oxygen in the air.

Exposures of short duration to levels of concentration of CO2 under 2% (2000 ppm) have not been associated with harmful effects. At higher concentrations effects occur on respiration and the central nervous system.

The inhaling of carbon dioxide at a concentration of 5% causes dyspnoea, tachycardia, perspiration, headache, dizziness, disorientation, distorted sight etc.; in the long term there may be alterations of the acid-base metabolism and of the respiratory and vascular function.

Furthermore, the presence of carbon dioxide can increase the risk of falling from above, for example when the workers are on top of the vats (see the risk factor working in high places). Falling can be on the ground with consequent traumatic injuries, and into the full vat with the risk of drowning in the must.

preventive measures

In enterprises where the fermentation vats are located inside rooms, CO2 detectors should be placed in the significant points of the risk zones, since the gas is odourless. Furthermore, the working areas must be well ventilated. The workers who first enter the plant at the start of the working day to air it, before doing this, must verify the state of the CO2 detectors to ensure their own safety. It may be advisable to connect the CO2 detectors to an automatic ventilation system.

legislative references

-         Pres. Decree 547/1955 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Pres. Decree n. 303/1956 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

Exposure to ethyl alcohol vapours

description

During the operations conducted in this phase the workers may be exposed to ethyl alcohol vapours produced during the fermentation of the must.

Ethyl alcohol is easily volatile and has a characteristic odour recognisable at 1/5 – 1/10 of the concentration provided for in TLV.

expected harm

In the occupation filed there is no evidence of alcoholic intoxication similar to the type produced by drinking, due to exposure by inhaling and of short duration, and also thanks to the characteristic odour recognisable as ethyl alcohol.

In the presence of high concentrations ethyl alcohol vapour there may be a depression of the central nervous system, headache, nausea, somnolence, dizziness, lack of co-ordination and confusion.

Increase of the risk of slipping and falling from above.

preventive measures

Guarantee adequate natural or forced ventilation of the work environment.

Air small rooms before entering.

Information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Pres. Decree 547/1955 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Pres. Decree n. 303/1956 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

Use and storage of tanks containing gas under pressure

description

The tanks containing gas under pressure (sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen) may involve the risk of explosion if the internal pressure grows excessively. This may be caused by the increase of the temperature.

Another risk is the possibility that the tanks may be hit, for example by falling; this can involve the breakage of the valve with consequent detaching and the release of gas from the tank at very high pressure and thus with a strong force.

Furthermore, there is the specific risk of inhaling the gas contained in the tanks (see risk factors “exposure ad sulphur dioxide”, “exposure to nitrogen”, “exposure to carbon dioxide”), besides the fact that skin contact with nitrogen or carbon dioxide can cause cold burns due to their very low temperature.

The nitrogen to be converted into a liquid is cooled at very low temperatures (approximately  – 210 °C) while the CO2 liquefies at the temperature of 0 °C at a pressure of 36-40 atm. (or also 30 °C at a pressure of 77 atm.).

expected harm

In case of explosion of a tank or breakage of a valve, any workers in the vicinity may be hit by metallic parts or the jet of gas at very high pressure with consequent traumatic injuries (risk of fatal accident).

Fainting, asphyxia due to inhaling gas in high concentration.

Lesion from cold burns due to contact with cold gas.

preventive measures

The tanks must be equipped with the required labelling, stored in a specific room, aired and protected from sunlight, far from other inflammable materials or those that may form a high rate of fire. Furthermore, the tanks stored must be secured so that it is impossible for them to fall. The valve must be protected against possible accidental hitting by a steel cap. Particular caution is required in the handling of tanks, for which special trolleys should be used.

The workers must be adequately informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Royal Decree n.147 of 09.01.1927 “Approval of special regulation for the use of toxic gas”.

-         Single Law 1265/34 and Decree of the Min. Health 05.09.94 (Unhealthy Industries).

-         Tit. VIII "Dangerous or harmful materials and products" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. II, Art. 9 “Airing of closed workplaces” and Part II “Defence from harmful agents” of Pres. Decree n.303 of 19.03.1956 “General standards for occupational hygiene”.

-         Art. 3 “General protective measures” of Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Art. 4 "Obligations of employers, managers and employees" Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Tit. IV of Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994 “Use of personal protection devices”.

-         Tit. VII of Leg. Decree n. 626/94 “Protection from cancer-causing agents”, as amended by Leg. Decree n. 66 of 25.02.2000.

-         Pres. Decree n. 336 of 1994 (Occupational diseases).

-         Standard UNI EN 1964-1:2001 of 31.05.2001 “Portable tanks for gas - Specifications for the design and manufacturing of rechargeable and portable steel tanks without welding, with a capacity in water of between 0.5 litres and 150 litres inclusive - Steel tanks without welding having an Rm value under 1,100 MPa”. Summary: this standard is the official version in Italian of European standard EN 1964-1 (edition January 1999) and takes into account the corrections of July 1999 (AC:1999). The standard specifies the minimum requirements for materials, design, manufacturing and processing, the processes of manufacturing and tests on the manufacturing of rechargeable and portable steel tanks for gas without welding, with a capacity in water of between 0.5 litres and 150 litres, for pressurised, liquid or dissolved gas. The standard applies to steel tanks with Rm value under 1,100 MPa.

-         The director of the management unit for vehicles and transport safety of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, in relation to the Decree of 15 March 2001 concerning the "Maximum charge pressure of tanks of argon, air, nitrogen, krypton, helium, neon and oxygen" which is allowed for transport and use in Italy for these gasses, of tanks with charge pressure of 300 bar and considering the publication of standard UNI EN 1964-1 and the need to limit the total weight total of recipients, also tanks in compound material, has issued the Decree of 18 October 2001 by which: 1) Annexe 1 to the Decree of 15 March 2001 is abrogated; 2) the maximum charge pressure allowed for the aforesaid tanks of compressed gas and for the mixtures of these gasses is 300 bar. For the steel tanks without welding with charge pressure over 250 bar must be designed, built and subjected to approval and initial verification according to the specific UNI standards or European draft laws.

 

Manual handling of loads

description

The decanting pumps (equipped with wheels) are often pushed manually by the workers from one point to another of the wine production plant in order to use them from time to time where necessary. The weight of these pumps varies according to their size and capacity, for example in enterprises in the sector with industrial production using pumps weighing up to 560 Kg.; pushing them manually thus requires a certain physical effort. If there are different levels between the various sections of the plant where the decanting pumps must be used, and the sections are connected by stretches of sloping floor, pushing the pumps along these paths can involve considerably greater physical strength according to the slope of the slide.

Besides the physical effort necessary for shifting the items, there is also the risk of accidents by crushing of feet by the wheels and the risk of being hit if the worker does not manage to hold the pump along the sloping path. The shock may be considerable if the pump, left free to move along the slide, gains speed.

expected harm

Muscular-skeletal trouble.

Traumatic injuries by shock, collision, crushing.

preventive measures

As far as possible, differences in level should be avoided between sectors where the use of decanting pumps is required; where this is not possible, the slope of slides connecting sectors at different levels should be as limited as possible; two workers should push the load, or better, use elevator equipment to reach the different levels.

The wheels of the pumps should be equipped with devices to prevent the catching of feet and a mechanical braking system; for example, there may be brake inserted automatically when the worker releases the lever under the bar used to push the pump (a similar device is used on baggage trolleys commonly used in railway stations).

The workers must be adequately informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Tit. V and Annexe 6 of Leg. Decree n. 626 of 10.09.1994.

-         Standard UNI ISO 938

 

Work outdoors

description

In many enterprises the fermentation vats are installed outdoors, and thus the performance of the operations described above exposes the workers to the weather (sun and heat in the summer months; rain and cold in the winter months).

expected harm

Illness from cold during the cold season.

Excessive fatigue, sunstroke, heat stress during the hot season.

preventive measures

It should be assessed whether to install sheds for the protection of workers from the weather; the workers must have adequate protective clothing available; the work must be organised in order to minimise the exposure times and providing rest pauses in areas with heating/air conditioning. The workers must be informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Art. 378 "Clothing" and Art. 379 "Protective clothing" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Title V "Manual handling of loads", Annexe VI "Reference elements" of Leg. Decree n. 626/1994.

 

Use of electric equipment in damp areas

description

The risk derives mainly from the use of electrically powered pumps and shakers in a work environment that generally is wet due to frequent washing (and for the possible spillage of liquids in processing). The damp environment increases the accident risk in case of direct or indirect accidental contacts with live wires.

Furthermore, power supply cables of portable machinery (e.g. mobile pumps on wheels), can cause accident risks because the workers might trip and fall. The latter risk is increased by the fact that wet floors may be slippery.

expected harm

-         Electrocution due to direct / indirect contact with live wires.

-         Traumatic injuries due to falling.

preventive measures

The electric plant must be adequate for the classification (according to CEI standards) of the danger of the place where it is installed and protected by risks deriving from possible direct / indirect contacts with live wires. Particular attention is required to the insulation standards (IP) of the plant and the type of electric plugs (avoid triple plugs, multiple extensions etc, but use interblocked industrial plugs, with one device for each plug).

Before using electric portable machinery (pumps etc.) the worker must verify the good state of insulation of the electric cables and place them in such a way as to not interfere with the normal passage of the workers and vehicles (in particular the latter can deteriorate the cables if they drive over them). The waterproof connections of the electric panels of machinery must be periodically checked and the workers must report any defects to the head of department. The maintenance of the electric parts must be reserved to specialised personnel, and the information and training of workers is required.

legislative references

-         Law n. 791 of 18.10.1977 "Implementation of Directive of the Council of the European Community (n. 72/23/EEC) regarding guarantees of safety required for electric material required to be used within certain voltage limits".

-         Title VII of Pres. Decree n. 547/1955 "Plant machinery and various equipment"

-         Decree of the Ministry of Industry of 13.03.1987 "Publication of the list summarising harmonised regulations together with the implementation and publication of further (4th group) Italian texts of the corresponding harmonised C.E.I. standards, as in Art. 3 of Law 18 October 1977, n. 791, on the implementation of Directive n. 73/23/EEC regarding safety guarantees of electric material"

-         Decree of the Ministry of Industry 12.02.1996 "Publication of the list summarising harmonised regulations together with the implementation and publication of further (4th group) Italian texts of the corresponding harmonised C.E.I. standards, as in Art. 3 of Law 18 October 1977, n. 791, on the implementation of Directive n. 73/23/EEC regarding safety guarantees of electric material".

-         Leg. Decree n. 626 of 25.11.1996 "Implementation of Directive 93/68/EEC, on EC marking of electric material to be used within certain voltage limits".

-         Leg. Decree n. 277 of 31.07.1997 "Amendments to Leg. Decree 25 November 1996, n. 626 (2), with implementation of Directive 93/68/EEC on EC marking of electric material to be used within certain voltage limits".

-         Decree of the Ministry of Industry of 13.06.1989 "List of organisations and models of seals of compliance, publication of the list summarising harmonised regulations, together with the implementation and publication of further (5th group) Italian texts of the corresponding harmonised C.E.I. standards, as in L. 18 October 1977, n. 791, on the implementation of Directive n. 73/23/EEC, for safety guarantees of electric material".

-         Decree of the Ministry of Industry of 01.03.1989 "Implementation of directive EEC/88/571, on the updating to technical progress of the methods of protection of fire-proof electric material"

-         Art. 5, 6, 7 sect. II; Art. 9 sect. III, of Directive EEC/CEEA/EC n. 656 of 30.11.1989: " Directive of the Council of 30 November 1989 on minimum standards for safety and health for use by workers of personal protection devices (PPD) during work (third special Directive pursuant to Art. 16, paragraph 1 of Directive 89/391/EEC)".

-         Law n. 46 of 05.03.1990 "Regulations for the safety of plant "

-         Ministry Decree n. 322 of 24.6.1991 “Regulations of the services of the Higher Institute for Occupational Prevention and Safety”.

-         Pres. Decree n. 447 of 06.12.1991 “Implementation regulations of L. n.46 of 05.03.1990 for safety of plant”.

-         CEI Standards.

 

 

EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

The running of the nitrogen generator is sometimes entrusted to an external firm, which may own the equipment although it is installed at the wine production plant; in this case the winemaking company pays the consumption of the nitrogen and the leasing of the equipment to the supplier firm dealing with the management and maintenance of the plant.

 

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Release of gas into the atmosphere (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulphur dioxide)

The carbon dioxide deriving from the fermentation of the must, the nitrogen used to prevent the oxidation of the product in case of tanks filled partially, the sulphur dioxide used for sulphur dioxide treatment of the must, are all gasses released into the atmosphere by diffusion (without be being conveyed or filtered).

 

Diffusion of noise

The noise in this working phase derives mainly from the pumps. This can cause disturbance to the population that may reside near the plant. Less noisy machinery should be used, and submitted to adequate maintenance; the noisiest machinery should be soundproofed, and placed in the area of the plant furthest from homes, arranging noise-proof barriers where necessary.

 

 

Spillage of must

In case of accidental breakage of pipes, pumps or tanks accidental spillage may occur. The floor of the plant should be designed in such a way as to allow the collection of liquid with collector shafts before the liquid is sent to the treatment plant or external sewer.

 

 

 

 

 


Fig. 21. Exterior view of the stainless steel fermentation vats. The two lower vats in the foreground are equipped with piston devices for the pressing of the must (note pistons protruding from the upper part of the vats).

 



RACKING OFF

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

After fast fermentation, racking off is performed. It consists removing from the fermentation vat, using a pump, the most liquid part of the must to sent it, after gross filtering, into other wine vats where the ageing of the wine takes place; after the removal of the liquid part, the solid part of the must (sediment, grape stones etc…) remaining in the fermentation vat is removed manually with rakes and shovels and placed in a hopper with screw and pump that conveys the material for pressing (the latter working phase is further described in the next paragraph). In order to complete the extraction of sediment from the vat, one or two workers go inside it through the lateral manhole, while a third worker stays outside to feed the hopper with screw and pump.

 

EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Vibration filter


This is an electrically powered vibration filter, mounted on board a small trolley on wheels. The purpose is to conduct an initial rough filtration of the liquid part of the must taken from vat. The sediment is collected in the upper part of the filter and due to the vibrations fall into an external collection container, from which it may be removed with shovels to be put into larger containers (transportable with forklifts) and/or into the “menestrina”.

Fig. 22. Rough filtration of the liquid part of the must after racking with a vibration filter. The vibrations cause the sediment to advance on the surface of the filter until it falls into a collection container, from which it is then removed with a shovel and placed in the “menestrina” which feeds the sediment press.

Hopper with screw and pump - ““menestrina””

In some enterprises the hopper with screw used for the racking off is fixed and placed on the base of the fermentation vats directly under the lower hatches (a single long hopper serves a row of fermentation vats, or is in the middle of two rows of fermentation vats). In this case the pump conveying the sediment towards the press may be fixed or mobile on wheels to be used also for other decanting.

In other enterprises a smaller machine is used, equipped with wheels, consisting of a hopper, screw and pump in a single body. Inside the hopper, near the screw, there are also other shaking devices which have the function of favouring the conveying of sediment by the screw pushing it into the pump. This machine, called also “menestrina”, is pushed manually from time to time on the base of the fermentation vat being racked off.


Fig. 23. Racking off of vats inside the wine production plant. After removing the liquid part of the must from the vat, the worker uses a rake to remove the sediment remaining in the vat, depositing it in the “menestrina”.

Fig. 24. Detail of previous figure. Note the protection grill for moving parts.


Fig. 25. A worker in the extraction of sediment inside the vat to complete the operation.

 



Fig. 26. Hopper with fixed screw place between two rows of fermentation vats outdoors, used for conveying to the press for the solid part of the must remaining after racking off (protection of the screw removed for maintenance).

 


RISK FACTORS

 

Work near moving mechanical parts

description

The moving parts of the “menestrina” and the screw involve a danger of catching and dragging of the workers’ limbs.

expected harm

Injuries and contusions. Danger of fatal accident.

preventive measures

A possible solution consists in protecting the moving parts by metallic grills. Given the density of the sediment a tight net grill does not seem to be applicable, e.g. of a type not allowing a finger to pass. We can thus adopt a grill which, though allowing the passage of the sediment, does not allow the passage of the hands and is installed in such a way that the distance from moving parts is such that they cannot be touched with the fingers.

If necessary, start the machine with protection removed, for example for operations of cleaning and maintenance, the operation may be conducted by impulse buttons which must be pressed by the worker for operation and which once inserted bypass the control panel. The information and training of workers are fundamental.

legislative references

-         Art. 6 “Duties of workers” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 41 “Protection and safety of machinery”  Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. III, Part III "Transmission and gears" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 68 “Protection of moving parts and zones of operation of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 72 “Blockage of protection devices”  Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 73 “Opening of power supply and unloading of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 76 and 77 "Control devices for starting up of machinery" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 81 "Control with multiple blockage device" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 82 "Blockage of machine stop position" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 233 "Control and operation devices" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. IX "Maintenance and repair" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 4 "Obligations of employers, managers and employees" Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Tit. III “On work equipment” Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 (Machinery Directive).

-         Standards UNI EN 291/2, 291/2, 614/1, 294, 349, 811, 418, 1037, 1088, 574, 982, 983, 1012/1, 1012/2

 

Access and work in closed spaces

description

Entering (and leaving) the vat requires a certain ability and a specific technique (first an arm is put in, then the head, shoulder etc.) since the opening is quite narrow, especially in the older vats. Apprentices who enter a vat for the first time may sometimes may have difficulties in getting out, being able to find the right position. This difficulty may be greater in persons suffering from anxiety or claustrophobia.

expected harm

Stress, claustrophobia attack.

preventive measures

The possibility of using vats with hatches sufficiently large for easy entry / exit by workers should be considered.

When workers are inside vats they must be always assisted and checked by another person outside. Workers suffering from anxiety or claustrophobia should not be forced by the employer, manager or supervisor to do this task.

Information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Art. 2087 del Civil Code.

-         Leg. Decree 626 of 1994.

 

Exposure to carbon dioxide

description

The carbon dioxide produced during fermentation can remain inside the vat also after the removal of the must. This represents a danger when the worker goes inside the vat. The danger is aggravated by the fact that, when the first symptoms occur, workers may no longer be able to get out of the vat and also another worker inside the vat may have difficulties in assisting the ill person.

expected harm

Fainting, asphyxia, death.

preventive measures

Before a worker enters a vat it is necessary to censure that there is breathable air inside. Portable oxygen meters may be used for this purpose. Before entering vat it is necessary to air it for a sufficient time, opening all the hatches (upper, lateral and bottom). Airing of the vat may be enhanced by the use of portable fans, for example specially arranged to be installed on the hatches of the vats. When workers are inside vats they must be always assisted and checked by another person outside. The information and training of workers on the specific risks, correct work procedures and on the techniques of first aid and revival are fundamental

legislative references

-         Art. 236 "Work in pipes, channels, recipients and similar in which there may be toxic or asphyxiating gas and vapour" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Pres. Decree 303 of 1956.

-         Leg. Decree 626 of 1994.

 

Exposure to noise

description

During this processing the noise derives mainly from the vibration filter, pumps and moving parts of screws and “menestrine”.

expected harm

Continuous exposure to medium-high noise levels may cause damage to hearing (hypoacusis due to noise) and/or non-hearing disturbances which may also occur by exposure to levels lower than those for which regulations require particular preventive measures.

Trouble in communication and job performance may also occur.

preventive measures

Noise assessment is required pursuant to Leg. Decree 277/1991, use machinery that is less noisy and kept in a good state of maintenance.

In cases of levels of personal exposure exceeding 80 dB(A), the preventive measures set forth in Leg. Decree 277/91 shall be applicable, summarised in the table “Ceiling levels of exposure to noise”, shown in this document in the Chapter “General legislative references”.

legislative references

-         Art. 24 "Noise and vibrations" Pres. Decree n.303 of 19.03.1956.

-         Part IV “Protection of workers against risks of exposure to noise during work” Leg. Decree n.277 of 15.08.1991.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 “Regulation for the implementation of Directives 89/392/EEC, 91/368/EEC, 93/44/EEC and 93/68/EEC concerning the harmonisation of the legislation of Member States for machinery” (Machinery Directive).

 

Posture, repetitive movements and uncomfortable work

description

The operation of removing the sediment from the fermentation vat, as also shown in the photographs in this paragraph, may require workers to assume unusual postures and perform repetitive movements.

expected harm

Muscular-skeletal trouble.

preventive measures

Ergonomic design of machinery and plant, correct organisation of work, rest pauses, information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Leg. Decree 626 of 1994.

-         Standard ISO/CD 11226 of 21.12.2000 "Ergonomics - Assessment of working postures".

 

Work outdoors

See the phase on fast fermentation.

 

 

EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

Generally this working phase is not contracted.

 

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Spillage of must

During this operation accidental spillage of must may occur. In order to avoid pouring into drains, the floor should be shaped in such a way as to collect spilt liquid in collection shafts.

 

 


PRESSING SEDIMENT

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

The phase of pressing the sediment is also called “crushing. After racking off the sediment (peeling and seeds) is pressed with a special press that has the function of extracting residual juice. The pressed sediment, after removal from the machine, is sent to the distillery (generally an outside firm) where grappa is produced.

The workers oversee the functioning of the press, and at the end of the operation they undertake cleaning (sometimes the press is equipped with automatic washing devices, but for complete cleaning workers in any case get inside the machine).

 

EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Press sediment

The machine consists basically of a cylinder with an almost horizontal axis, with internal parts designed for pressing.

The press is fed with sediment at one end of the cylinder, where there is an attachment for the corrugated flexible tube through which the sediment is pumped.

At the end of pressing, the sediment is removed from the machine. Generally with an electric control, the hatch on the side of the cylinder is opened, after turning the cylinder to the unloading position, i.e. so that the hatch is below and the sediment can fall onto a conveyor belt sending it to a recipient.


In order to assist the unloading of the sediment from the lower part through a conveyor belt and to improve the collection by gravity of the liquid in a hopper placed under the press, the latter generally is installed above the floor (approximately one metre). In order to reach the upper part of the press (this it is necessary for maintenance and cleaning), there are walkways along the press with access by ladders.

Fig. 27. Press for sediment. Note the pile of sediment at the outlet of the machine and the hopper placed under the press for collecting the liquid.



Fig. 28. Press for sediment (similar to the previous one). Note the protection grill on the rotating part.

Fig. 29. Collection of liquid from the lower part of the press for sediment.


Fig. 30. Lower part of the press for sediment in the unloading position with shield equipped with interblocking device removed for washing.

 


RISK FACTORS

 

Work near moving mechanical parts

description

The cylinder of the press for sediment, when rotating, can involve a danger of catching and dragging for the limbs of workers who might be near the machine, with the risk that a limb can be caught between the fixed part supporting the cylinder and the mobile part (the cylinder itself). This risk is present both in the upper part of the machine in the operational area (walkway along the press), and in the lower part of the machine where the workers have access for washing; this operation sometimes requires the removal of the protection shields.

The conveyor belt that removes the pressed sediment and conveys it to a recipient may involve the danger of catching and dragging if a worker is nearby.

expected harm

Traumatic injuries (injuries and contusions).

preventive measures

When workers go into the press for the complete cleaning, before entering, they must take the key of the control panel on which there must be a sign as to cleaning under way, so that it is impossible for another worker to start the machine. The person working inside the press must be constantly assisted by another worker outside.

The dangerous parts of conveyor belts must be protected with fixed shields in order to avoid risks of catching and dragging.

Information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Art. 6 “Duties of workers” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 41 “Protection and safety of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. III, Part III "Transmission and gears" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 68 “Protection of moving parts and zones of operation of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 72 “Blockage of protection devices” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 73 “Opening of power supply and unloading of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 76 and 77 "Control devices for starting up of machinery" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 81 "Control with multiple blockage device" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 82 "Blockage of machine stop position" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 233 "Control and operation devices" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. IX "Maintenance and repair" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 4 "Obligations of employers, managers and employees" Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Tit. III “On work equipment” Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 (Machinery Directive).

-         Standards UNI EN 291/2, 291/2, 614/1, 294, 349, 811, 418, 1037, 1088, 574, 982, 983, 1012/1, 1012/2.

 

Exposure to noise

description

The noise in this working phase derives mainly from the press, the pump conveying the sediment to press and the conveyor belt conveying the pressed sediment to the collection point.

expected harm

Continuous exposure to medium-high noise levels may cause damage to hearing (hypoacusis due to noise) and/or non-hearing disturbances which may also occur by exposure to levels lower than those for which regulations require particular preventive measures.

Trouble in communication and job performance may also occur.

preventive measures

Noise assessment is required pursuant to Leg. Decree 277/1991, use machinery that is less noisy and kept in a good state of maintenance.

In cases of levels of personal exposure exceeding 80 dB(A), the preventive measures set forth in Leg. Decree 277/91 shall be applicable, summarised in the table “Ceiling levels of exposure to noise”, shown in this document in the Chapter “General legislative references”.

legislative references

-         Art. 24 "Noise and vibrations" Pres. Decree n.303 of 19.03.1956.

-         Part IV “Protection of workers against risks of exposure to noise during work” Leg. Decree n.277 of 15.08.1991.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 “Regulation for the implementation of Directives 89/392/EEC, 91/368/EEC, 93/44/EEC and 93/68/EEC concerning the harmonisation of the legislation of Member States for machinery” (Machinery Directive).

 

 

EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

This working phase generally is not contracted.

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Diffusion of noise

The noise in this phase derives mainly from the pump and press. This may cause disturbance to the population living near the production plant. Use machinery that is less noisy and kept in a good state of maintenance, and placed in an area of the plant as far as possible from housing. Sometimes noise-proof barriers may be installed.

 

Production of processing waste

The pressed sediment leaves the wine production cycle. Normally it is accumulated outside in temporary deposit and then sent to a distillery for the production of grappa.

 


SLOW FERMENTATION, REFINING AND AGEING

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

Slow fermentation is the processing of the wine to optimise its organo-electric characteristics and also its conservation, and takes place in wine vats called barrels or casks.

In some enterprises there is no distinction between vats (described in the phase on fast fermentation) and barrels since the same container for all the operations. Nevertheless, although the steel (or cement or fibreglass) vats are suited for fast fermentation and for the conservation of the wine because they are not permeable, this same characteristic prevents the process of slow oxidation and esterification characterising old wines, and therefore wooden barrels are generally used for ageing.

The wood may release many of its ingredients into the wine, including tannin, aromatic aldehydes and non-phenol odorous substances; this leads to the refinement of the organo-electric qualities and the maturing of the colour, as well as the modification of the tannin content of the wine.

The wood used for the wine vats is generally oak (especially the Quercus type), but sometimes wild chestnut and acacia is also used. These types of wood are compact but porous, and it is easy enough to purify them.

The release of substances from the wood into the wine is influenced by the characteristics of the wine placed in the barrel, as well as the type of wood and its curing (a delicate operation involving a short burning of the wood to "fix" the aromatic and extractive substances to be released into the wine). Another aspect to be taken into consideration is the size of the barrel. The larger it is, the less the contact with the wine (and thus less exchange of properties). This is the reason for the increasing use of ageing of the wine in small barrels called barriques. For the higher quality wines barriques are used only once or twice, after which they are sold to producers of other less high quality wines, who reuse them for a certain number of times until the wood of the barrel has practically no more substances to release to the wine.


Fig. 31. Barrels of the barrique type in an old wine cellar.

 



Not all wines are aged in wood. As we have said, a wine aged in a barrel acquires particular aromas deriving from the wood, which if properly dosed improve the flavour; otherwise they may also be unpleasant. Many wines are refined in wine cement vats or iron vats vitrified internally, or stainless steel vats.


Fig. 32. Overview of the inside of a wine production plant with stainless steel vats.

 


The operations of slow fermentation, refining and ageing generally take place inside rooms of the wine production plant.

 

 

EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Barrels

The barrel is a wooden recipient, with an irregular cylindrical shape, formed by curved boards held together by circular metallic rings and closed on the two ends by circular pieces of wood.

The barrels may be of different capacities.

A barrique of 225 litres weighs approximately 70 Kg empty and approximately 300 Kg. full.

Both barrels and barriques may be stacked on one another.

 

RISK FACTORS

 

Manual handling of loads

description

The empty barriques are generally handled by two workers, stacked and filled / emptied at the site. In case of falling of a barrel during manual handling, the workers may be hit on the lower limbs.

In case of falling (and possible rolling) of barrels from a stack the workers may be hit.

 

expected harm

Injuries and contusions (also serious or fatal) in case of being hit by barrels falling from a stack.

Injuries and contusions to lower limbs in case of falling of heavy items handled manually.

Manual lifting and transport of loads can cause muscular-skeletal trouble.

preventive measures

The stacking of barrels must be conducted correctly in order to avoid the risk of falling and rolling. The operation of stacking the barrels must conducted safely by expert personnel.

The work must be organised in order to minimise the handling requirements, and use as much as possible mechanical devices for the handling and/or transport of loads with two workers.

The workers must wear PPD (safety shoes equipped with metal-reinforced toe guard) and be adequately informed and trained.

It is necessary to protect in particular some categories of workers such as women, adolescents, women workers who are pregnant, having a newborn baby or in nursing periods, assessing which type of work is incompatible.

legislative references

-         Title V "Manual handling of loads" and Annexe VI "Reference elements" of Leg. Decree n. 626/1994.

-         Law n. 653 of 26.04.1934 "Protection of work of women and children".

-         Law n. 977 of 17.10.1967 "Protection of work of children and adolescents".

-         Law n. 1204 of 30.12.1971 "Protection of working mothers".

-         Pres. Decree n. 1026 of 25.11.1976 "Regulations for the execution of Law 30 December 1971, n. 1204, on the protection of working mother".

-         Leg. Decree n. 645 of 25.11.1996 "Implementation of Directive 92/85/EEC concerning the improvement of the occupational safety and health women workers who are pregnant, having a new-born baby or in nursing periods ".

-         Leg. Decree n. 151 of 26.3.2001 "Single Law for the protection and support of maternity and paternity pursuant to Law n. 53 of 8.3.2000

 

Exposure at unfavourable microclimate

description

The room or cellar where are the wooden barrels are kept is characterised by particular conditions of temperature and humidity in order to better conserve the product. These microclimatic conditions are generally different from those ideal for the workers. This risk factor is nevertheless mitigated by the fact that these areas only occasionally become work areas.

expected harm

Disturbance and illness from cold.

preventive measures

Work in areas with an unfavourable microclimate must be organised in order to reduce times of exposure to the minimum, providing for pauses in rooms with suitable heating for the well-being of workers. The latter must have adequate protective clothing available and be informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Art. 378 "Clothing" and Art. 379 "Protective clothing" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Pres. Decree n. 303/1956 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

 

 

Use of ladders

description

The barrels are often placed on top of each other in a pyramid shape, also thanks to special supports placed between the barrels in order to allow the stable support of a third barrel on top of the two on which the support is placed. Ladders are sometimes used to reach the highest barrels.

expected harm

Injuries and contusions due to falling from above.

preventive measures

In order to reduce the risk of falling the ladders should be equipped with systems allowing for the securing of a barrel on top or for stacking barrels. If it is necessary to conduct work at heights, ladders equipped with walkways with parapet and foot guards should be used; handling may be made easier by wheels. The steps of the ladders must be slip-proof, for example grilled. The workers must wear adequate footwear and be informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Art. 18, 20, 21, 22, 25 part III; Art. 16, 17 part II; Title II Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27 April 1955.

-         Art. 7 part I, Tit. II Pres. Decree n. 303 of 19 March 1956

-         Art. 5, Tit. II Decree of the Ministry of Labour of 12.09.1959

-         Annexe I, Art. 12, 13 Directive EEC/CEEA/EC n. 654 of 30.11.1989

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Standard UNI-EN n. 131-1, 131-2 of 30.04.1994 (see 6.1.39)

 


Fig. 33. Ladder on wheels with walkway and parapet. The ladder is secured with a hook to the structure on which the top barrel is placed, in order to prevent the risk of the ladder falling over.

 

 

 


EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

Generally this working phase is not contracted, since it is a vital phase of the production process.

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Production processing waste

The barrels used several times and which are no longer able to release substances to the wine are sent to plants for the production of less high quality wines or sent for demolition and disposal.

 

 


TREATMENT AND CORRECTION OF WINE

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

The main treatments and corrections conducted on wines before these are packaged and sold are as follows: refermentation, centrifuging, fining and demetallisation, filtering, deodorising and decolouring, increase of colour, correction of total acidity, correction of tannin content, correction of alcoholic content.

Refermentation

Refermentation consists in providing additional alcoholic fermentation, generally for the following cases: to eliminate defects and diseases; to make sweet wines drier; to restore freshness and tone; to prepare sparkling wines.

Centrifuging

Centrifuging is generally performed on new wines intended for immediate consumption. It has the advantage of allowing for the elimination of almost all the bacteria (wines from bad grapes) and to make the wine almost finished from the commercial point of view a very short time after racking off. The must may be centrifuged in order to stop the fermentation at various stages, to obtain sweet wines. In order to treat cloudy wines, super centrifuges are required. This is machinery providing a centrifugal force of approximately 100,000 times the force of gravity.

Centrifuging in enology cannot substitute either fining treatment or filtering, but it is undoubtedly a valid complementary method for the artificial stabilisation of the wine.

Fining

Fining is conducted on table wines to give them a clean, clear appearance. The French call the process collage. As a matter of fact, a colloidal substance is added opposite to the one causing cloudiness in wine. The two substances (the wine and the added colloidal substance), having an opposite charge, are mutually attracted and flocculate (i.e. combine) and precipitate to the bottom of the container. The deposit is then separated from the wine by decanting and filtering. In wine there are colloids with a positive charge and colloid with a negative one. It is thus necessary to find colloid of the opposite charge to remove them. Colloids with a positive charge are flocculates from bentonite, or kaolin, colloidal silica or tannin. In order to remove colloids with a negative charge (tannin), protein type colloids are used: fish glue, potassium caseinate, albumin, gelatine, defibrinated ox-blood and also a type of colloidal silica with a positive charge. Gum Arabic is suited to preventing any type of colloidal cloudiness, since it surrounds each particle (micelles) of colloid and prevents mutual attraction, thus their flocculation and deposit. Gum Arabic is said to act as a colloid protector.

Filtering

Filtering generally has the purpose of obtaining various degrees of clearness, eliminating the solid particles dispersed in the wine. The filters can act by sifting (retaining the substances lager than those of the pores of the filter); by adsorption (retaining the substances of the wine having and electric charge opposite to that of the filter); by depth retention (retention of even the smallest particles in the pores of the filter, since they are trapped in the channels formed by the weave of the filter fibres). In order to increase the filtering capacity, obtain a constant flow and favour the removal of the deposit and the reactivation of the filter, auxiliary filtering products are used. These are chemically inert substances (which thus do not react with wine) such as fossil flour, pearlite, cotton, and cellulose.

There are three basic filtering stages in the cycle of preparing wine for bottling: one is conducted immediately after initial filtering with filters with fossil flour, sometimes replaced by fast centrifuging; second filtering is conducted after cooling, also generally conducted with filters with fossil flour on wine at a temperature of around 0°C; the last one, with small corrections to enhance the stabilisation of the wine. This third filtering is conducted to obtain the finishing and absolute clearness.

Fossil flour is an inorganic material in the forma of powder, with approximately consisting of silica dioxide and derived from the mass of fossil skeletons of microscopic algae (diatoms). Fossil flour for enological use is obtained industrially with suitable purification treatments and is whitish or yellowish in colour. There are various types on the market, more or less fine, in order to satisfy all needs. Fossil flour has a mainly sifting action, but is also valuable for its adsorption effect for some colloidal substances. Before using it is mixed with a little wine and poured into a dosing device from which it is then poured, through a graduated tap, into the flow of wine entering the filter. The dosing device allows for the continuous renewal of the filtering layer, delaying its action to the utmost. It is calculated that in order to start filtering and form the first layer on the diaphragms, from 0.5 to 1 kg of fossil flower/m2 of filter area is required, while for each hectolitre of wine to be filtered, after mixing is completed, 50 - 100 gr is sufficient.


Fig. 34. Storeroom for fossil flour.

Besides the different technologies, there are also various filtering methods. The type to remove lees is practiced on young wines rich in clouding substances. Flood filtering is suited for clearing large amounts of wine. The "polishing" process makes the wine very clear, using filter layers consisting of cellulose sheets; it is generally applied to wine that has already been flood filtered with fossil flour.

Finally, sterilising or microporous filtering has the purpose of eliminating from the wine all the microorganisms retained by the tiny pores of the lower filter with sizes as small as 1 micron.

Recent techniques include ultrafiltering and tangent filtering, by which the coarser substances, often responsible for defects in wine, are retained.

 

 

 

EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Centrifuge

This is a high-speed hermetic centrifuge made of stainless steel, which has the purpose of separating the impurities from the wine thanks to their different specific weight and the action of the centrifugal force. It basically consists of an electric motor with high number of rpm transmitting the rotation to a vertical axis holding the recipient and metallic separator disks that perform the subdivision of the liquid involved into thin layers.


The machine is generally equipped with an automatic washing system in counterflow. Periodically, it is nevertheless necessary to take it apart for complete cleaning.

Fig.  35. Centrifuge for cleaning the wine.

 


Fossil flour filter

This is a filter for wine using fossil flour, which is placed in the device in a lateral tank, mixed with the wine with mixing components, and sent to form the filtering layer inside the main cylinder.

 


Fig.  36. Fossil flour filter.

 

 


Drum type fossil flour filter

This basically consists of a drum rotating on a horizontal axis, on the walls of which the filtering layer of fossil flour is supported by fabric with micro-pores. The machine is equipped on one side with a tray for loading the fossil flour, and on the other with an angular scraping blade on the cylinder for removing the residue from the outside surface of the filter, making it fall into a screw that conveys it away.

 

 


Fig.  37. Drum type fossil flour filter (seen from the side for loading the fossil flour).

 


RISK FACTORS

 

Exposure to dust

description

According to the products used, the filters may contain free crystalline silica.

expected harm

Disturbance to the respiratory tract, pneumoconiosis due to mixed dust.

preventive measures

The main preventive measures are as follows:

-         Obtain from the supplier the safety sheet of the products and assess the replacement of the more dangerous products with less dangerous ones.

-         Keep the cover of the mixer closed during the mixing operation in order to avoid useless dispersion of the fossil flour in the work environment;

-         Instrument measurement of personal exposure to dust;

-         The workers must wear PPD such as glasses and dust mask with filters type P3, and be adequately informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Pres. Decree n. 303/1956 and subsequent amendments and additions

-         Pres. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

Exposure to noise

description

In the filtering section the Leq equivalent noise level may exceed 90 dB(A).

expected harm

Continuous exposure to medium-high noise levels may cause damage to hearing (hypoacusis due to noise) and/or non-hearing disturbances which may also occur by exposure to levels lower than those for which regulations require particular preventive measures.

Trouble in communication and job performance may also occur.

preventive measures

The noisiest machinery must be placed in a special room, separated from the other working areas and equipped with soundproof – sound-absorbent panels, in order to reduce the direct and indirect exposure of workers.

Assessment of noise pursuant to Leg. Decree 277/1991 is required, with the use of less noisy machinery kept good state of maintenance.

In cases of levels of personal exposure exceeding 80 dB(A), the preventive measures set forth in Leg. Decree 277/91 shall be applicable, summarised in the table “Ceiling levels of exposure to noise”, shown in this document in the Chapter “General legislative references”.

legislative references

-         Art. 24 "Noise and vibrations" Pres. Decree n.303 of 19.03.1956.

-         Part IV “Protection of workers against risks of exposure to noise during work” Leg. Decree n.277 of 15.08.1991.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 “Regulation for the implementation of Directives 89/392/EEC, 91/368/EEC, 93/44/EEC and 93/68/EEC concerning the harmonisation of the legislation of Member States for machinery” (Machinery Directive).


Fig. 38. Acoustic separation of the room where noisy machinery is installed.

 

 


Work near moving mechanical parts

 

Drum filter

description

The screw conveying the residue to the output of the drum filter, and the transmission of power to the screw and the rotating drum, involve a risk for the worker at the machine of catching and dragging of upper limbs.

expected harm

Traumatic injuries.

preventive measures

The screw must be protected against possible accidental contacts and/or catching and dragging of upper limbs (possible by sleeves of clothing). The protection may consist of metallic grills that are sufficiently wide to allow the passage of the filtered material, but at the same time small enough to prevent access to the moving part. The machine must have an emergency stopping device, usable, for example, by pressing a wire along the drum. Nevertheless, this device may NOT be considered as replacing protection on the screw.

The parts transmitting movement must be protected with fixed shields or provided with an interblocking device, which prevents the opening of shields with the machine operating and does not allow the start-up of the machine until the protection has been replaced.

In particular, in cases of maintenance in which the start-up of the machine with protection removed, buttons requiring worker pressure may be used, with impulse advancement which, once inserted, bypasses the main control panel of the machine. This operation must be conducted exclusively by specially trained personnel.

 


Fig. 39. Fossil flour drum filter. The machine is seen from the side for the unloading of residue, which is scraped with the angular blade along the rotating filter cylinder, and then falls into the screw which conveys it to the output of the machine. The fixed protection consisting of a metallic grill to prevent accidental contacts with the screw has been temporarily removed for maintenance. The worker stands in front of the machine and using the handwheel in front brings the blade close to the drum. Note the emergency stop device (red emergency button), which can also be triggered by pressing the wire strung along the cylinder (this device does not replace the protection on the screw). The centrifuge can be seen in the background.

 


Mixer of the fossil flour filter

description

The mixing parts can involve the risk of catching and dragging.

expected harm

Traumatic injuries.

preventive measures

Protect the moving parts with fixed shields or using an interblocking device; in any case, sight inspection is necessary during the functioning of the machine, to ensure that moving parts cannot be reached through the fixed protection grill or due to the interblocking device.

 

Centrifuge

description

The centrifuge for cleaning the wine may expose the workers to accident risks if the cover is opened when the internal rotating part is still moving. Besides the spraying of the wine that may hit the workers, there may be flying metallic parts from inside the centrifuge which, although bolted, may have loosened due to vibrations. Finally, there is the possibility of accidental contacts with moving parts with the risk of catching and dragging.

expected harm

Spraying, traumatic injuries.

preventive measures

-         The cover of the centrifuge must be equipped with an interblocking device, which prevents the opening with the machine moving and does not allow start-up of the machine until the cover has been closed again.

-         Information and training of workers.


 


Fig.  40. Detail of the interblocking device on the cover of the centrifuge for cleaning the wine.

 

legislative references

-         Art. 6 “Duties of workers” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 41 “Protection and safety of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. III, Part III "Transmission and gears" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 68 “Protection of moving parts and zones of operation of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 72 “Blockage of protection devices” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 73 “Opening of power supply and unloading of machinery” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 76 and 77 "Control devices for starting up of machinery" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 81 "Control with multiple blockage device" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 82 "Blockage of machine stop position" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 233 "Control and operation devices" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. IX "Maintenance and repair" Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 4 "Obligations of employers, managers and employees" Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Tit. III “On work equipment” Leg. Decree n. 626 of 19.09.1994.

-         Pres. Decree n.459 of 24.07.1996 (Machinery Directive).

-         Standards UNI EN 291/2, 291/2, 614/1, 294, 349, 811, 418, 1037, 1088, 574, 982, 983, 1012/1, 1012/2

 

Manual handling of loads

description

The raw materials used for filtering (fossil flour, etc.) come to the plant in sacks that are placed in the storeroom, from which they are then taken for manual feeding of filters.

expected harm

Muscular-skeletal trouble.

preventive measures

Request to the supplier sacks of smaller size (and thus smaller weight).

Use aids for handling, or use two workers to handle sacks.

Information and training of workers, with particular attention to using correct postures during handling.

legislative references

-         Leg. Decree 626 of 1994.

-         Standard ISO/CD 11226 of 21.12.2000 "Ergonomics - Assessment of working postures".

 

 

EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

Generally this phase is not contracted.

 

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Wastewater

The wastewater deriving from the washing of equipment, containing residues of wine, fossil flour and detergent products, can involve a risk of water pollution, and thus before being released into bodies of water they must undergo purification treatment.

 

Production of processing waste

The fossil flour recovered from the filters is sent to the distillery.

 


 


Fig. 41. Recovery of fossil flour after the filtering of the wine.

 


CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE OF WINE VATS

 

DESCRIPTION OF PHASE

Before reusing a vat which has not been used for some time or at the end of its use, it is washed with a solution of sodium hydroxide (also called caustic soda, NaOH). Generally the caustic soda used for the washing is diluted as follows: 5 litres of NaOH every 100 litres of water.

The solution of caustic soda is sometimes prepared in the plant by the workers, or ready for use products in solution are used.

The diluted solution of caustic soda is brought near the wine vats in mobile containers on wheels, equipped with a pump and a nozzle on a hose. The worker places the nozzle into the vat from the lower hatch in semi-open position, spraying the liquid on the walls and the bottom.

Rinsing takes place with water with a hose put in by a worker through the upper hatch.

The wastewater flows out through outlets located on the bottom of the vat and/or is taken by hoses connected to aspiration pumps.

 


Fig. 42. Washing stainless steel wine vats. See the worker on top of the vat and the outflow of dirty water from the bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

 

Mobile washing equipment

These are containers of washing products equipped with an electric pump and a metallic nozzle connected to a hose, placed on a hand-pushed trolley with wheels.

 

 

RISK FACTORS

 

Work in closed spaces with the possible presence of asphyxiating gas

description

During access inside wine vats where nitrogen has been inserted to make the atmosphere inert in order to avoid the oxidation of the product in partially filled tanks (see also the description in the phase of fast fermentation), the workers may be exposed to nitrogen remaining in the container after the emptying of the liquid.

Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-combustible gas, not very soluble in water and in alcohol, relatively inert at ordinary temperatures. It forms approximately 78% in volume of the earth’s atmosphere. Nitrogen cooled to a very low temperature (approximately –210 °C) is transformed into a liquid.

Carbon dioxide developing during fermentation may also remain in the vat. Carbon dioxide is a colourless and odourless gas found in small amounts in the free state in the air (approximately 30 litres every 100 m3 of air); it is not combustible and is easily soluble in water.

expected harm

Nitrogen gas, like carbon dioxide, may cause asphyxia in high concentrations in the air.

preventive measures

Guarantee adequate natural or forced ventilation of the work environment.

Air closed spaces before entering. Special fans may be used for this purpose.

In case of doubt on the presence of nitrogen in high concentrations in closed areas, the percentage of oxygen in the air should be measured before entry. Portable oxygen meters may be used for this purpose.

Information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Pres. Decree n.303 of 19.03.1956.

-         Tit. VI, Part III "Pools, channels, pipes, tanks, recipients, silos", Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. VI, Part I, Art. 235 "Openings for entry into recipients", Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Tit. VI, Part I, Art. 236 "Work in pipes, channels, recipients, and similar in which there may be toxic or asphyxiating gas and vapour", Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 

Use of solutions based on caustic soda

description

During the preparation and use of washing solutions based on caustic soda, the workers may be exposed to contact on the skin or be hit by splashes with possible contacts on the skin or in the eyes. Lack of adequate labelling of recipients can enhance risks of contacts and/or accidental swallowing.

expected harm

Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, NaOH) is classified as follows.

-         In concentration greater than or equal to 5%: C (corrosive), R35 (causes serious burns);

-         In concentration between 2% and 5%: C (corrosive), R34 (causes burns);

-         In concentration between 0.5% and 2%: Xi (irritating), R36/38 (irritating for the eyes and skin).

Sodium hydroxide and its aqueous solutions are caustic for the skin and mucous membranes. The seriousness of the injuries depends on the amount used, the concentration of the solution and the time of contact. On the skin a solution of 25 – 50 % causes a sensation of irritation after approximately 3 minutes; with solutions at 4 % this occurs after many hours. If not removed from the skin, it can cause serious burns with deep ulcers [10].

Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) in a concentrated solution is corrosive for all tissues, causes very serious burns (the greatest risk of contact is generally the skin and the eyes); inhaling of powder or concentrated solutions causes serious injury to the respiratory tract (intense irritation of nose and throat, chemical pneumonia and pulmonary oedema); swallowing: serious injury with danger of death. In other production sectors in Tuscany fatal accidents have occurred due to the accidental swallowing of toxic products.

preventive measures

-         Use specific dosing pumps to facilitate the safe preparation of solutions;

-         All the containers (also those eventually used for decanting) must be equipped with the required labelling and the pipes must comply with rules on colour;

-         Use of safety tanks (for example with double walls) and/or separate containment basins in order to avoid possible spillage and allow the recovery or neutralisation of the products; implement all possible measures to avoid spillage and dripping of concentrated products, for example eventual transfer of dangerous products into small containers must take place safely without any possibility of dripping, and the containers must comply with safety standards (waterproof, with cap equipped with closing spring, labelling);

-         Arrange and implement written procedures for working in safety;

-         The workers must wear PPD such as visors, gloves, boots slip-proof soles resistant to the type of product used, aprons (the latter must be long enough to cover the upper edge of the boots, in order to prevent entry of liquid into footwear).

-         Assess the possibility of automating the preparation / dilution / use of closed cycle washing solutions;

-         It is fundamental for the person in charge of company safety to examine the safety sheets of the products used and which the supplier is required to deliver to the firm using them;

-         Information and training of workers.

legislative references

-         Tit. II, Part II, Art. 18 “Defence from harmful substances”, Pres. Decree n. 303 of 19.03.1956 “General standards for occupational hygiene”.

-         Tit. VIII "Dangerous or harmful materials and products", Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Leg. Decree n. 52 of 03.02.1997 “Implementation of Directive 92/32/EEC concerning classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances”.

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 04.04.1997 “Implementation of Art. 25, paragraphs 1 and 2, of Leg. Decree n. 52 of 03.02.1997, concerning classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances, with regard to the safety information sheet”.

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 28.04.1997 “Implementation of Art. 37, paragraphs 1 and 2, of Leg. Decree n. 52 of 03.02.1997, concerning classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances”.

-         Leg. Decree n. 90 of 25.02.1998 “Amendments to Leg. Decree n. 52/1997”

-         Leg. Decree n. 285 of 16.07.1998 "Implementation of Community directives for classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations, pursuant to Art. 38 of Law n. 128 of 24.04.1998".

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 01.09.1998 “Regulations on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances to implement Directive 97/69/EC”.

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 07.07.1999 “Regulations on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances to implement Directive 98/73/EC”.

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 10.04.2000 “Implementation of Directives 98/73/EC and 98/98/EC containing respectively the 24th and 25th updating to Directive 67/548/EEC”.

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 30.10.2000 “Correction to Decree of the Ministry of Health of 10.04.2000 for the implementation of Directive 98/98/EC of the Commission of 15.12.1998 and corrections to Directives 98/73/EC and 98/98/EC of the Commission containing respectively the 24th and 25th updating to technical progress of Directive 67 /548/EEC of the Council concerning the harmonisation of legislative, regulatory and administrative rules on classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances”.

-         Decree of the Ministry of Health of 26.01.2001 “Regulations on classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances 24th and 25th updating to 2000/32/EC”.

 

Transit on floors that are slippery and occupied by tubes and cables

description

In all the areas of the wine making plant, especially the production areas, the floor tends to be constantly wet, causing the risk of falling due to slipping. This risk is also increased by the daily use of washing solutions for the cleaning of wine vats and floors.

The risk is increased by the fact that the floors are often occupied by flexible tubes for the decanting of wine with pumps, rubber hoses for washing with water, electric cables for power supply to portable equipment, “menestrine”, vibration filters, etc., and all this involves the risk for the workers of tripping and falling.

expected harm

Traumatic injuries from falling on the floor due to slipping or tripping.

preventive measures

-         Floors made of slip-proof material with tiles being mounted with a wide space in order to allow the better outflow of the liquid, eventually with grills and/or with adequate slope and systems for collecting the liquid that falls on the floor;

-         Wearing footwear with slip-proof soles; particular mention should be made of the widespread use of rubber boots among workers in wine production plants, also when carrying out tasks for which these are not strictly necessary. This habit is not recommendable since it prevents perspiration and consequently dampens feet, making infection likely; thus the use of rubber boots should be limited to those cases in which they are strictly necessary to avoid getting wet, and footwear should be changed as soon as the operation is completed;

-         Correct arrangement of tubes and cables in order to block transit as little as possible;

-         Correct organisation of work and putting material and equipment away immediately after use;

-         Providing special supports along the walls of the plant to keep the tubes used to transfer wine raised above floor level; this also the hygiene of these tubes and their natural drying after washing.

legislative references

-         Art. 8 “Transit paths, dangerous zones, floors and passages” Pres. Decree n. 547 of 27.04.1955.

-         Art. 7, para. 2 and para. 4 "Floors" Pres. Decree n. 303 of 19.03.1956.

-         Standards British Ceramic Research Association

-         Standards DIN 51098

-         Leg. Decree n. 626/1994 and subsequent amendments and additions

 


Manual handling of loads

description

The manual moving and pushing of mobile washing equipment can involve a certain physical effort by the workers. If there are different levels between the various sections of the plant and the sections are connected by stretches of sloping floor, pushing the washing equipment along these paths can involve considerably greater physical effort (see also the description of the risk factor on manual handling of decanting pumps, shown in the phase on fermentation).

expected harm

Muscular-skeletal trouble.

Traumatic injuries for hitting, being hit, crushing.

preventive measures

As far as possible, differences in level should be avoided between sectors where the use of decanting pumps is required; where this is not possible, the slope of slides connecting sectors at different levels should be as limited as possible; two workers should push the load, or better, use elevator equipment to reach the different levels.

The wheels of the pumps should be equipped with devices to prevent the catching of feet and a mechanical braking system; for example, there may be brake inserted automatically when the worker releases the lever under the bar used to push the pump (a similar device is used on baggage trolleys commonly used in railway stations).

The workers must be adequately informed and trained.

legislative references

-         Tit. V and Annexe 6 of Leg. Decree n. 626 of 10.09.1994.

-         Standard UNI ISO 938

 

Electric installations in rooms subject to water spray

description

The operations of washing by spraying water can involve the risk of short-circuits and indirect contacts with live wires.

expected harm

Electrocution.

preventive measures

The electrical equipment and plant must be suitable for the place where it is installed, in particular the electric panels and control panels for machinery must be watertight.

legislative references

-         Law n. 791 of 18.10.1977 "Implementation of the Directive of the Council of the European Community (n. 72/23/EEC) regarding safety guarantees required for the electric material to be used within some limits of voltage".

-         Title VII of Pres. Decree n. 547/1955 "Plant machinery and various equipment"

-         Decree of the Ministry of Industry of 13.03.1987 "Publication of the list summarising harmonised regulations together with the implementation and publication of further (4th group) Italian texts of the corresponding harmonised C.E.I. standards, as in Art. 3 of Law 18 October 1977, n. 791, on the implementation of Directive n. 73/23/EEC regarding safety guarantees of electric material"

-         Decree of the Ministry of Industry 12.02.1996 "Publication of the list summarising harmonised regulations together with the implementation and publication of further (4th group) Italian texts of the corresponding harmonised C.E.I. standards, as in Art. 3 of Law 18 October 1977, n. 791, on the implementation of Directive n. 73/23/EEC regarding safety guarantees of electric material".

-         Leg. Decree n. 626 of 25.11.1996 "Implementation of Directive 93/68/EEC, on EC marking of electric material to be used within certain voltage limits".

-         Law n. 46 of 05.03.1990 "Regulations for the safety of plant "

-         CEI standards.

 

 

EXTERNAL CONTRACTING

This phase generally is not contracted.

 

 

EXTERNAL IMPACT

 

Wastewater

The wastewater deriving from the washing of equipment, containing residues of wine, fossil flour and detergent products, can involve a risk of water pollution, and thus before being released into bodies of water they must undergo purification treatment.

 

Accidental spillage of chemical products

The accidental spillage of the chemical products used for cleaning – sanification can cause environmental pollution. It is necessary to implement all possible measures designed to contain any of the spillage as described above for occupational risk factors.

Furthermore, the yards in front of plants should be designed in such a way as to allow the collection of rainwater so that, especially in case of spillage of chemical products on plant yards, the liquid can be sent for neutralisation / purification before being released into bodies of water.

 

 


CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE OF ROOMS