Safety and hygiene are of utmost importance in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. To ensure compliance with current regulations and standards, it is crucial to regularly review your facility. Otherwise, audits can become a source of stress if your facility is not in order. Conducting your own audits can help you stay on top of any issues that may be flagged in a formal review process. Below are some common pitfalls to watch out for and prepare against:
1. Slips and Trip Hazards
Injury prevention should be a top priority for any food and beverage manufacturing facility. Slips and trips are one of the most common types of accidents in the workplace, and they can be especially dangerous in an environment where spills and wet surfaces are common. To mitigate this risk, it’s crucial to keep floors clean and dry, and to ensure that any worn or damaged flooring is promptly repaired or replaced. Sufficient drainage and slip-resistant flooring can also be installed to provide an extra layer of protection. Another thing to consider installing is safety barriers and line marking to define walkway boundaries and protect against potential hazards.
2. Chemical Hazards
Chemicals are a crucial part of most food and beverage processes but can be hazardous if not used correctly. One key step is to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff members who handle hazardous substances. This can include gloves, goggles, aprons, and respiratory protection. In addition to PPE, it’s important to establish designated areas for donning and doffing protective gear. Gowning rooms or changing areas equipped with sinks, soap, and paper towels can help prevent cross-contamination and ensure that employees handle PPE safely.
3. Airborne Contaminants
A robust cleaning and sanitization schedule is essential, but it may not be enough to address the risks posed by airborne contaminants. Facilities should also pay attention to any cracks or crevices in their infrastructure, as they can become potential breeding grounds for pathogens and cause particles to become airborne when pressure cleaned. To mitigate this risk, consider installing antimicrobial floors like our unique SteriFloor solution. This technology is incorporated into every layer of the flooring to maximize antimicrobial activity and prevent the spread of bacteria. Additionally, coving and chequer plate paneling can help to eliminate additional risks for bacterial spread and potential losses to your facility.
4. Malfunctioning equipment
Malfunctioning equipment can lead to contamination and create health and safety hazards for workers. Therefore, it is important to implement a preventive maintenance schedule and promptly address any equipment issues that arise. By doing so, you can ensure that your facility remains compliant with regulatory standards and reduces the likelihood of product recalls, customer complaints, and damage to your brand reputation.