The Food Facility Safety Double Standard: Keeping Your Maintenance Crew as Safe as Your Product

What updated OSHA standards mean for your facility’s roof and how to protect maintenance workers on your property

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The Facility Safety Double Standard: Is the Outside of Your Building as Safe as the Inside?

There’s a prevalent double standard when it comes to food facility safety management. Think about the measures taken when a visitor enters a food plant production area: You have to dress out, walk through a foot bath, take off jewelry, wear a smock. All of these precautions are designed to keep your product safe — but what about your maintenance crew?

It’s not uncommon to see safety standards and attention to cleanliness become more relaxed in maintenance areas or on the roof of a food plant. Food safety precautions get a lot of attention because owners (rightfully) fear product contamination and highly publicized recalls, but what about the risks outside your building? One maintenance or construction accident can do just as much damage in negative publicity and lawsuits as a product recall.

 

7 PSM Audit Violations and How to Avoid Them

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Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit

Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit

 

Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance audits are specific and comprehensive, focusing on 14 elements of OSHA’s PSM Standards. A well-planned and organized audit process — including cross-trained personnel, audit checklists and self-audits — can help ensure a successful outcome.

 

15 Common Ammonia Safety Issues Your Refrigeration Personnel Can Control (And Correct)

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15 Common Ammonia Safety Issues Your Refrigeration Personnel Can Control (And Correct)

More changes are coming to the food and beverage industry as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to crack down on ammonia safety.

The EPA has launched a three-year, nationwide enforcement and compliance initiative focused on reducing the risks of chemical releases from facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use ammonia as a refrigerant.

 

How to Prevent a Dust Explosion at Your Food Processing Plant

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How to Prevent a Dust Explosion at Your Food Processing Plant

Dust explosions have been linked to numerous fatal accidents in the United States. Between 1980 and 2012, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigated more than 280 combustible dust incidents that killed 141 people and injured 767 others.

Food manufacturing plants are among the most susceptible to these incidents, especially those in the baking segment that use a lot of flour and sugar. Of course, protecting your facility and employees is paramount, but the risk factors aren’t always obvious. Before we look at how to proactively protect your facility, let’s examine how these disasters can happen.

 

6 Food Safety Areas to Examine During Operational Facility Improvements

Ensure construction doesn’t put your food manufacturing plant at risk

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6 Key Areas to Maintain Food Safety During Facility Retrofits

Many food plants operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in some capacity. Without proper planning, quality control, good manufacturing practices (GMP) and sanitation procedures, an around-the-clock operation is a high-risk candidate for food safety dangers. In this type of environment, how are essential retrofits and renovations accomplished without compromising daily operations, food safety and personnel safety?

 

How to Design Your Food Plant for Worker Safety

4 preventative design measures to ensure personnel safety

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How to Design Your Food Plant for Worker Safety

Today, firms are “[designing] safety for each worker into every phase of every building project.” We’re addressing worker safety from the start—at the facility design phase—strategically designing plants with safety at the forefront. We call this “sustainable safety”: a strategy that unifies design and construction teams with owners and managers to identify potential hazards and integrate employee safety through design, products, services and educational programs.

 

5 Keys to Forming a Comprehensive Food Plant Emergency Action Plan

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green emergency exit sign in public building

Your food processing facility’s commitment to safety starts with being prepared. How do you prepared to be… prepared? With your food plant’s emergency action plan (EAP): a required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) document that defines employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. While emergency action plans that meet minimum requirements may include emergency information and procedures, they still may not contain enough detail to ensure the safest response to dangerous situations. Your plan must be comprehensive, eliminating all confusion and hesitancy in case of an emergency. A non-comprehensive plan — one lacking extensive instruction or failing to address each emergency — may add confusion to the situation.

 

What Food Processors Should Know About 2 New FSMA Final Rules

Reviewing the FDA's newest food safety rules for food processors

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What Food Processors Should Know About 2 New FSMA Final Rules

The FDA recently released new final Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. These rules are the result of amendments made to the original proposals, based on comments and criticisms in public forums. Below are important details of two rules. You can find a full explanation of each new rule here.

 

How to Prevent and Mitigate Combustible Dust Explosions in Food Plants

Key takeaways from the Food Processing webinar

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How to Prevent and Mitigate Combustible Dust Explosions in Food Plants

Though it can appear harmless and be overlooked entirely, combustible dust is extremely dangerous in food processing facilities. Any solid material composed of distinct particles can present a fire hazard according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

 

Three Reasons to Consider a Behavior-based Approach to Worker Safety

Final part in our worker safety series

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Three Reasons to Consider a Behavior-based Approach to Worker Safety

In last week’s post, I introduced you to the behavior-based approach to worker safety. While ergonomic design and regulatory compliance remain critical to worker safety, behavior-based safety strategies incentivize employees to take ownership of their own safety. Employees proactively identify potential hazards, helping prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

Below, I outline in more detail three reasons you should integrate a behavior-based approach into your food plant’s worker safety practices.