What updated OSHA standards mean for your facility’s roof and how to protect maintenance workers on your property
Feb 15, 2018
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.
Jul 20, 2017
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.
Nov 10, 2016
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.
Sep 15, 2016
There has been a push to take advantage of the benefits of ammonia while reducing the risks—and it has resulted in an innovative solution: low-charge packaged refrigeration systems that use ammonia and a secondary refrigerant (such as glycol). This allows facilities to reap the benefits of ammonia’s excellent thermodynamic properties while minimizing the charge and risk.
Mar 24, 2016
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.
Final part in our worker safety series
Nov 19, 2015
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.
Make your 'recorded incidents per man hour' work for you
Nov 12, 2015
Worker safety is a critical element in every food plant, regardless of the type of products manufactured. And while creating a safe, ergonomic work environment is a must, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure the safety of your most important asset—your employees.
In a recent Food Engineering article on ergonomic practices, I discussed how a behavior-based approach can enhance your plant’s worker safety. With behavior-based safety training, workers are incentivized to proactively look for potential hazards, creating a safety-oriented workforce.
Takeaways from the Process Cooling webinar
Sep 3, 2015
Recently, Process Cooling hosted a fantastic webinar on ammonia safety, discussing practical advice for industrial refrigeration system operators. As ammonia usage continues to grow with the changing refrigeration landscape, it’s important for all of us to understand ways to keep our plants and personnel safe.
A look through the years as Stellar celebrates its 30th anniversary
Jul 23, 2015
July marks an exciting milestone for Stellar: our 30th anniversary. While we’ve celebrated plenty of remarkable moments over the past three decades, we know we’re not the only ones. Food processing has experienced several turning points of its own, signifying key changes that have molded food manufacturing as we know it today.
PSM from A to Z
Feb 26, 2015
What if I told you that your facility could shorten its process safety management (PSM) audit from four days to four hours? This was a reality for a plant I audited recently—all thanks to its digital PSM program. Digital PSM programs are becoming more widely viewed as a best practice for facility owners, requiring less time and resources for auditing and documentation. In an era where we’re all short on time and resources, I’ve outlined below how a digital PSM program can save you both.