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#1 ebutera

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 05:34 PM

Hello community...

 

I've posted some pretty bizarre topics in the past, but all are based on issues I've experienced (i.e. management wanting to store their RVs with ingredients).

 

This topic is one that I'm sure many companies are starting to experience.  With unemployment ridiculously low, our potential candidate pools have shrunk to almost non-existent.

We have very little option when it comes to who we will hire. 

 

With this shrinking employee pool comes issues like piercings.  In the past I wouldn't consider someone with a face piercing because they generally didn't fit some other criteria for employment.

However, we now need to lower our standards and now the people with face piercings qualify.

 

What have you all done with your GMP policies in regards to dermal piercings?

Yes, dermal piercings are implants, but many of them have stones adhered to the studs.

They are also a potential source for bacterial growth and contamination.

 

I contend that the jewelry policy (ours states only a single plain wedding band and medic alert necklace) would cover any exposed piercings.

The argument I receive from employees with the piercings is that they are implants and cannot be removed except by a "professional" (I assume that means some guy in a van down a dark alley).

Do i fire people who have inadvertently been hired with these piercings?  Do I site this GMP rule as reason not to hire someone?  Can I get away with those things?

 

Any feedback is appreciated.


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#2 Just Bob

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:38 PM

Not an issue I've needed to deal with yet,  but if you need the bodies why not just treat the piercings like a wound?   Your staff might look like a mummy but I would think that would work.  Not sure if you should tell them to pull the piercing out themselves since I guessing it could scar them up pretty good.


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#3 Peaches

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:03 PM

Hi 

We had this issue with the employment pool as well and for awhile we made concessions and allowed the 'permanent' piercing to be covered by a blue metal detectable band aid.  What that turned into was trying to maintain compliance with 300+ employees that all wanted to know why one had to take out their eyebrow piercing but another one could leave in their nose piercing.  We decided as a management team that we needed to stick with our no jewelry policy, retrained our HR staff so they knew what to screen for and not bring on anyone with facial piercings.  Anyone that was brought on prior to us enforcing the rule was allowed to keep wearing the blue band aid.  


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:14 PM

Hello community...

 

I've posted some pretty bizarre topics in the past, but all are based on issues I've experienced (i.e. management wanting to store their RVs with ingredients).

 

This topic is one that I'm sure many companies are starting to experience.  With unemployment ridiculously low, our potential candidate pools have shrunk to almost non-existent.

We have very little option when it comes to who we will hire. 

 

With this shrinking employee pool comes issues like piercings.  In the past I wouldn't consider someone with a face piercing because they generally didn't fit some other criteria for employment.

However, we now need to lower our standards and now the people with face piercings qualify.

 

What have you all done with your GMP policies in regards to dermal piercings?

Yes, dermal piercings are implants, but many of them have stones adhered to the studs.

They are also a potential source for bacterial growth and contamination.

 

I contend that the jewelry policy (ours states only a single plain wedding band and medic alert necklace) would cover any exposed piercings.

The argument I receive from employees with the piercings is that they are implants and cannot be removed except by a "professional" (I assume that means some guy in a van down a dark alley).

Do i fire people who have inadvertently been hired with these piercings?  Do I site this GMP rule as reason not to hire someone?  Can I get away with those things?

 

Any feedback is appreciated.

 

Hi ebutera,

 

IIRC the topic of "facial jewelry" was first discussed here at least 10 years ago.

 

In some locations there are distinct legal factors involved in what actions may be contemplated.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 PieGuy191

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 07:53 PM

Our bakery operation only allows piercings that are not visible i.e. under clothes.  If it can be seen, including the tongue, we do not allow it.  Not all piercing are equal in that some are actual implants that do not have removable pieces or insets while others can be unscrewed and taken apart.  The latter obviously can be a For. Obj. hazard and trying to cover stuff up with bandages doesn't work since when they sweat they fall off.   We just did not want to have to deal with two separate standards for piercings so it is basically a one size fits all policy.   I had the same policy in place at my previous employer which was meat and poultry.


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#6 cbillingsley

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:00 PM

ebutera, are you asking about normal piercings? i.e. - nose, lip, brow, ear, etc.? Reviewing the question and subsequent replies, it seems the main issue is everyone's understanding of what a dermal piercing or "dermal implant" is. Now if you're talking about a lip ring or something similar, it does not take a professional to remove that type of jewelry. The main ball is simply unscrewed from the opposite, threaded end and the piercing is slipped out. Nose piercings are even easier to remove - they just slip right out, pull and twist. A dermal implant is like a piercing, yes, except for the fact that it has been implanted under the skin and unlike a regular piecing, poses no risk of just falling out. They typically have a studded end that attaches to the implanted base by threading on (think a nut screwing onto a bolt). The end stud being the main chance of falling off, I would possibly insert an addendum into your GMPs stating that "dermal IMPLANTS (not piercings), being surgically implanted jewelry and difficult to remove, are allowed in GMP areas provided that the studded/jeweled end is removed."

 

I know that there are stigmas regarding individuals with tattoos and/or piercings, but allowing bias to limit your potential employment pool is hurting you as much as the person seeking employment. If a person is made aware during the interview process that piercings are not allowed in production areas due to food safety concerns, I'm sure they'd be willing to make some concessions if they really want a job. And don't assume that piercings and tattoos are performed in back-alley establishments, either. I've personally been to numerous tattoo parlors (just last week, I took my eleven-year old daughter to one to get her ears pierced) and I've more reason to question the cleanliness of most food manufacturing facilities than any establishment I've ever been in that does tattoos or piercings.

 

Regards,

Chris


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#7 Parkz58

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:11 PM

I agree with cbillingsley - I have many friends with dermal piercings (very different from other piercings, and depending on the style, are either impossible or very difficult to remove, as noted above), and I have been to numerous piercing/tattoo shops...and without exception, they are cleaner than clean, and would make many food plants look pale in comparison.

 

Like it or not, tattoos and piercings are becoming more and more common...you'd likely be surprised at the number of people you know who have them, but keep them hidden.  Yes, in my opinion, that's the smarter choice - to not have anything that you can't easily hide or take out for business purposes...but more and more people today are rejecting the idea of hiding that aspect of themselves.  I'll stop there, rather than go into a discourse on social norms, LOL.

 

All that to say, it's something we're all going to have to deal with one way or another.  It would be wise to research the legalities of potentially discriminating in your hiring practices before you make that a policy...I honestly don't know what the laws are regarding such issues, so I won't pretend to...but like anything else, knowing is half the battle, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

In the event that you do hire people who have such piercings, or other body modifications, you need to clearly delineate your expectations.  Be sure to base them on food science, and not on prejudice...it can be really hard to know the difference sometimes when we're in the heat of the moment, and the fact that the two sometimes overlap makes it even more confusing.  I suggest creating a team - get a few management-level people who know law/food safety/sanitation, but also get a few "floor workers" who see the personal impact of such things.  Let them work out a plan together - you might be pleasantly surprised at the results, and even moreso by the increased compliance that comes with the rest of the floor workers knowing that you valued their opinions enough to include them in the decision-making process!

 

Good luck - let us know how it all works out!

 

Brian


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#8 ebutera

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

I appreciate everyone's feedback.  I want to clarify a point... I may have come off as prejudiced against people with tattoos or piercings, but I certainly am not.  I have a full sleeve myself and had face piercings until I went into the food industry.  I am a button down professional who does not hide my personal expression and body art.

I do know that not all tattoo or piercing shops are "back alley," but so many people say the dermal was "surgically implanted."  This of course is not accurate.  Anyone with a county issued license can do this legally and anyone can do it illegally.

That is my reason for not taking the "it can't fall out" argument.  Yes, maybe the majority of them are professionally done, but as we all know there is also a portion that are done at a party where everyone is drunk.

My point in not hiring people with piercings was not that people with piercings are bad people.  It was that the people with piercings that i have interviewed have had other things that would disqualify them from the job.  It may just be a coincidence.

I will have to check with my legal team, but i believe I will write the policy to state no exposed body jewelry of any kind is allowed on the plant floor.

 

That leads me to a second question on a similar thought.  More and more people are showing up with rhinestones on their eye glasses.  How do you control that potential foreign body contamination?


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#9 CMHeywood

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 10:08 PM

As mentioned above, it is more of a foreign material contamination (physical contamination) issue.  You don't want pieces of jewelry falling into your product.


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#10 Ryan M.

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:21 PM

Interesting discussion.  Haven't come across this yet in any facility I've been to.  I don't know about unemployment being very low....perhaps, capable candidates that are not employed is the more accurate term.  :)


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