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Cross Functional Team for Safety, Food Safety & Quality


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#1 skredsfan

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 06:56 PM

Hi all,

 

It's been a while since i've been on here, but i've got an idea that i'd like to get feedback on, in regards to building a cross functional team at our facility. Currently our facility has a safety team and a food safety/HACCP team that are independent of one another. I'm responsible for our food safety program, and many aspects of our quality system, such as internal audits, doc control, etc. I approached our Safety Manager about the possibility of building and/or combining the two teams together, to form one cross functional team. At the end of the day Safety and Food Safety are about identifying hazards, determining their risk levels, and controlling and/or eliminating them. Why can't this be accomplished simultaneously with one well trained team? Or maybe it already is at some campanies? I even took it a step further in regards to Quality. With the recent publication of the new ISO 9001:2015 Standard and it's emphasis on "risk", I thought we could incorporate a risk based Quality Plan as well. My thought was to build a team, train them to safety, quality, and food safety, and develop plans for all three, with the same risk based approach (identify hazards, risk level determination, control measures). I'd love to get feedback in the form of opinions, suggestions, etc. Is this something that could work? Has anyone done something similiar and have experience with it?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Shane


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#2 Simon

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 08:27 PM

I think it it's a very good idea Shane.  Imagine observing a person setting a machine from a quality, hygiene and food safety point of view (perhaps even lean also) all at the same time.  Such an audit not only saves time and duplication it is of infinitely more value to the business.  We want employees thinking about all of these elements in everything they do...so having a common, systematic approach to assessing them and a team that understands, set standards, monitors and drives improvement in these elements is a good idea.  As long as they do not become a closed shop and share this knowledge to all through training in the what and why in order to gain understanding and buy in throughout the business.  Sounds good. :smile:

 

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Simon


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#3 RMAV

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 09:37 PM

Sounds great and I agree with all Simon said.  Potential disadvantage: the wider the scope of the committee, the more likely details get lost.  Time in meetings increases for the members as well for now they are "focusing" on more elements.  I like the idea of merging, but I also like the idea of one committee looking at safety from every angle, proposing a solution, then forwarding to another committee that looks at food safety from every angle - it's a different set of eyes with a different set of influences (other committee members).  If for nothing else, you have two different echo chambers rather than relying on just one.  Even so, I think your idea would work with well-organized individuals.


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 04:11 AM

Hi skredsfan,

 

Perhaps it's a question of how you define the QA function?.

 

IMO, for Food, "Quality" implies Safety as a Prerequisite.

 

The possibility of yr envisaged combination  may also depend on the nature of what you classify as yr "Safety" team.

 

Some aspects like OSHA may involve a detailed (legal?) knowledge / responsibilities rather external to HACCP type considerations. And QA ?

 

i recall that Martha has made various posts indicating that (OSHA-wise) the capability to wear 2 (or more?) hats exists in USA.

 

In some concerns, I anticipate that QA is already "responsible" for all the activities you mention. And Production also. = Jack of all Trades...... ?


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#5 Simon

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:43 AM

Good points RMAV, I guess it is possible to lose focus or not go into sufficient depth due to time constraints.  In the strengths and weaknesses assessment of such a program these need to be considerations for sure.  Can be mitigated though.


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#6 herdy

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:22 PM

I know this may just be reiterating some of the concerns already mentioned, but I would be slightly concerned that you might lose sight of the importance of the two separately if joined into one committee. My recommendation would be to have to sub-committees that meet separately but for shorter periods of time and then have the subcommittees also meet together so you could incorporate both but also get the input from each side specifically. I would just be wary of beginning to compromise employee safety for food safety or the other way around. Or, even just have them divide out during a meeting into two groups to discuss issues only from an employee safety standpoint or a food safety standpoint. Might be a little too complicated though...


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#7 Mulan1010

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 09:22 PM

I think it is wonderful to have a multi-disciplinary team.  The "other side" I see is that you would have less people involved outside their normal job duties.  I find people are more invested if you can get them involved in "extra curricular" activities.  I liked, RMAV's suggestion to have the different teams but still periodically meet together would be very beneficial as the more support the better.


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#8 Foodsafegal

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 11:13 PM

Hello,

 

I have been a long time lurker on this site, but haven't really posted anything yet, but I thought I would add my own experience.

 

We are a relatively small operation and only have one real safety compliance person. This means that a  team approach to safety is needed. Since my QA team is already constantly out there auditing for food safety issues, much of safety is rolled in to our GMP audits.  We check that safety guards are up and emergency stops are working during pre-op, safety equipment is being used such as non-slip shoes, eye protection, and cut gloves. Fork lift safety is being followed (using horns, no speeding), employees are not running or horse playing ect... Non-compliances are reported to their supervisors and safety compliance. All supervisors are required to monitor safety issues and report to safety compliance and maintenance if it is an issue for maintenance to fix. The bulk of the legal OSHA requirements still fall within the safety compliance persons responsibility to ensure that we are following the rules, but we do incorporate many of the things that need to be audited for OSHA into our overall facility audit. Members from all teams, QA, maintenance, operations, and sanitation, all have a representative during these audits. This helps convey the idea that both safety and food safety are everyone's responsibility, not just one department. (Yes, QA and safety do still have to push to get other departments to participate, but because were are consistent, they seem to get the point and senior management is really supportive).


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#9 Simon

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 06:05 AM

Hello,

 

I have been a long time lurker on this site, but haven't really posted anything yet, but I thought I would add my own experience.

 

We are a relatively small operation and only have one real safety compliance person. This means that a  team approach to safety is needed. Since my QA team is already constantly out there auditing for food safety issues, much of safety is rolled in to our GMP audits.  We check that safety guards are up and emergency stops are working during pre-op, safety equipment is being used such as non-slip shoes, eye protection, and cut gloves. Fork lift safety is being followed (using horns, no speeding), employees are not running or horse playing ect... Non-compliances are reported to their supervisors and safety compliance. All supervisors are required to monitor safety issues and report to safety compliance and maintenance if it is an issue for maintenance to fix. The bulk of the legal OSHA requirements still fall within the safety compliance persons responsibility to ensure that we are following the rules, but we do incorporate many of the things that need to be audited for OSHA into our overall facility audit. Members from all teams, QA, maintenance, operations, and sanitation, all have a representative during these audits. This helps convey the idea that both safety and food safety are everyone's responsibility, not just one department. (Yes, QA and safety do still have to push to get other departments to participate, but because were are consistent, they seem to get the point and senior management is really supportive).

 

It depends on the size and complexity of your business and the people you have on exactly how you gear up, but this discussion has changed my initial opinion about centralizing and having one team...I agree it is better to spread the load with multiple focused teams.  Within that audits can also look at other things e.g. a GMP audit can still look at some key H & S controls etc.

 

Thanks for your input Foodsafegal.

 

Regards,

Simon


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#10 Danny James

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 06:13 PM

On the Topic of the week " Cross Functional  Team for " Safety, Food Safety and Quality", the interrelationship between these areas in essence defines Quality in its totality.

 

JM Juran made a distinction between. these areas, all as a part of Quality , in terms of Criticality, Personal Safety being the most critical.

 

I developed an Integrate Management System for Quality for the Seprod Group ( IMS/Q/S).

The IMS/Q/S , is structured with the ISO 9001 Management System for Quality ,as the base ,with  an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) System ,a Food Safety Management System ( FSMS) and Good Laboratory Practices (ISO 17025), integrated into the appropriate Element of the ISO 9001 Management System.

 

I expect these standards to become one in the near future as the Components of An Integrated Management System for Quality..

I am sure Juran would approve.

 

If you relate these functional areas of Quality to the logical point of focus and application "the Job", you will concede that these are all key requirements that must be established and maintained  in the execution of the operational aspects of a "Job."

 

The job has become multi skilled, and requires a basic understanding of each of these requirements for effective Operator Control.

I hope the professionals for these respective areas will consider it prudent to collaborate under a common theme of “Risk Management” and establish a Team that provides the guide for meeting the respective requirements, a structured “ On The Job Training ( OTJT) programme “ as well as support Risk Assessment and Audit of the Job and the process, to enable continuous improvement.

 

There is a logical Interrelationship between these  areas, that defines the System and the deliverables between the various areas, with Personal Safety as the driver.

 

Hope you find this contentious enough to discuss, too often these critical requirements are compromised for other purpose.  

 

Danny James


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