locate procedures, they are more likely
to utilize them correctly.
4. Companies should provide training on
lockout/tagout procedures. Training
is especially important as changes
are made to machinery, procedures
and the workforce. A yearly refresher
training course for current employees
also is needed.
Q. On-site audits can be a
good option for ensuring compliance with safety organizations like
OSHA. What should a company
expect from an effective audit?
should go above and
to create a visually
instructive workplace that increases
and food safety. The
most effective audits
prioritize areas of
risk and focus on the
most pressing risk first. By focusing on one
area of regulatory or best practice concern
per audit, the auditor can create an actionable plan and complete a comprehensive
evaluation to help a company mitigate the
risk. Because of the in-depth nature of this
audit approach, companies need to employ
a trained safety professional who understands the corrective measures necessary to
take a company from their current state to
their ideal state.
An effective audit must also emphasize the
involvement of key company stakeholders.
All audits should play a role in a company’s internal change management process
by both engaging the team and energizing
them towards workplace innovation. The
auditor should work with the team to provide a clear path to implement and sustain
the changes recommended from the audit.
This allows the company to bring the out-sourced activity in-house.
This continuous improvement methodology,
emphasizing sustainable internal change
management, is what companies should
expect from a successful audit. Covering
all areas of concern or a general over-
view audit will result in slow workplace
improvement with the risk of missing key
aspects of regulatory and industry best
Q. What are some of the top
plant safety and security measures
that every food company should
have in place?
A. Important safety measures include:
• A Comprehensive Lockout/Tagout
Program: Lockout/tagout is critically
important for food manufacturers to
increase safety and productivity and
reduce down time, fines, accidents
and fatalities. Companies must be sure
they have a complete program that
includes highly visually communicative, machine-specific procedures and
annual employee training.
• Chemical Management and
Knowledge: It’s critical that employees are educated on the chemicals they
handle in the production and cleaning
processes. To improve awareness and
align with OSHA’s updated Hazard
Communication Standard, companies
should update their company policy
and internal chemical inventories,
revise container labeling and material
safety data sheets, and provide training
on these revisions and the HazCom
• A Highly Visually Communicative
Workplace: Safety, lean and instruc-
tional signage throughout a facility
improves both worker safety and
productivity. These visual communi-
cations provide critical information
regarding workplace risks and pro-
cesses. They are most effective when
easily spotted throughout the facility,
especially near equipment, shelving,
floors and doorways.
Important security measures include:
• Access Control: Companies should
have full control and a record log of
who is entering and exiting their facility. This will allow the company to not
only prevent incidents from happening, but also review any incidents that
occur. For a greater level of security, it
is best practice to integrate an access
control system with video security.
• Visitor Management: All facility visitors entering and exiting a facility,
including suppliers, customers and
logistics providers, should be tracked
and attended at all times. Best practice
visitor management includes time-ex-piring badges to clearly indicate if and
when a visitor has stayed past his/her
allocated time duration.
• Employee ID: The best way to ensure
only authorized employees and individuals are within a facility is to mandate a visible picture ID at all times.
This makes it easy to identify those
within the workplace who are not supposed there. ◆