person inside the building. Though a SPA
isn’t required by law, we’ve found it’s a
consistent recordkeeping method that
helps improve accountability.
5. Data and information backup
technology – Any emergency could
potentially wipe out vital data or company
information. It’s necessary to devise a
method for backing up that information to
At Stellar, we use a digital process
safety management (PSM) system that
involves cloud-based solutions to collect
and monitor compliance data. An all-in-one
system such as this has provisions for off-site data backup, which is crucial during
OSHA requires that every worksite
administer a safety orientation. However,
constantly reinforcing initial training is
necessary to ensure employees are fully
aware of safety measures. Doing so will
contribute to creating a comprehensive
EAP: it can be effective only if it’s
thoroughly and consistently communicated.
Conduct periodic training sessions and
devise a method to reiterate important
Many construction workers do not
have experience working in a food plant.
They must be aware of dangers specific
to food processing equipment, such as
refrigeration systems utilizing ammonia.
Ensure they have a working understanding
of how the plant’s critical processes work
and what dangers there are in working
with and around them.
On Stellar construction projects, for
example, we post a summarized version
of the emergency action plan inside
every construction site trailer to ensure
personnel is always in-the-know when it
comes to safety. Food plant owners can
take similar action by posting a shortened
version of their EAP on the walls of each
plant area. A thorough summary should
include recognized hazards, high-level
emergency procedures and evacuation
How to Build a Project-
Construction projects involving external
partners — design-builders, vendors or
other contractors — create additional risks
in an already complex work environment.
During renovations or additions, it’s crucial
that everyone involved is on the same page
regarding safety measures.
However, design-builders have their own
emergency action plans, which may cause
discrepancies. To avoid complicating safety
procedures, establish an agreed-upon EAP
before the project begins.
Ensure plans are streamlined by holding
• The plant’s safety manager
• The plant’s general manager
• The plant’s safety representative
• The design-builder’s project manager
• The design-builder’s site superintendent
• The design-builder’s safety director
These meetings will help create a
project-specific EAP with needed input
from both food plant management and
the outside contractor. Without a
mutually understood EAP, it becomes
unclear how to safely handle a dangerous
For example, a renovation project
may interrupt a food plant’s established
evacuation routes. It’s crucial to identify
construction areas and how to adjust
evacuation routes accordingly. If this is
not done, food plant workers may be
evacuating into a separate dangerous
environment, rather than to safety.
Update and Communicate
Everyone working in the facility —
employees, guests and vendors — must
be on the same page at all times when
it comes to emergency procedures. But
before you begin teaching your EAP, you
must ensure it isn’t lacking vital information
for any potential emergency; it will do more
harm than good when disaster strikes.
Review your EAP periodically to ensure it
goes above and beyond the bare minimum,
and remains up to date in accordance to
any changes your food plant undergoes.
To learn more about how to build the
best possible emergency action plan,
feel free to email Christopher Bunch at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Stellar’s safety
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