Digital PSM: A Look at Stellar’s Updated NH360 Compliance Software Platform

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Digital PSM: A Sneak Peek at Stellar’s New Compliance Software Platform

When it comes to your facility’s process safety management (PSM), switching from paper to digital is a no-brainer. Using a digital platform saves time, makes document storage more convenient and allows you to have more control during OSHA audits.

We live in an online, digital world where software technologies make our work more efficient. Why should one of the most important elements of your business — the health and safety of your employees — be any different?

Stellar has been a pioneer in the digital PSM market since 1998, and we’re raising the bar.

 

What Refrigerated Warehouses Need to Know About Ammonia Utilization in California

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What Refrigerated Warehouses Need to Know About Ammonia Utilization in California

Source: CalARP Resource Compliance

California has long been an epicenter of food manufacturing in the United States. With more refrigerated warehouses looking to become sustainable in the 2020s, California is primed to be a major market where cold storage facilities transition to natural refrigerants.  

However, “The Golden State” has unique regulations that refrigerated warehouses must follow when updating their systems. Most critically, there are strict regulations on ammonia, which traditionally has been the preferred refrigerant because of its efficiency, low cost and safety when the system is properly designed.  

 

Ammonia Refrigeration: Is Your Machine Room Ventilation Up to Code?

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Ammonia Refrigeration: Is Your Machine Room Ventilation Up to Code?

When it comes to ammonia refrigeration machine rooms, ventilation updates can often be overlooked.

Current and new mechanical codes — International Mechanical Code (IMC) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) — defer to IIAR 2 (and sometimes ASHRAE 15) as the referenced code for ammonia refrigeration systems, including the machine room ventilation.

Just because your ammonia system was designed to code years ago it may not necessarily be code compliant today.

If you have updated your refrigeration system recently, did you update your machine room’s ventilation as well?

 

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)

It’s always a good time to check up on your facility’s safety — but now the stakes are even higher when it comes to safety violations.

Employers across the U.S. have been facing higher penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this year. In January 2019, the federal agency announced it was increasing the maximum penalty for serious and other than serious citations to $13,260 and the maximum for repeat and willful violations to $132,598. 

That means conducting a safety audit is especially critical if you’ve already received citations at any company facility, since a repeat offense could trigger a costly willful violation.

 

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.

 

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.