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Sharps, walls & floors, clothing


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brc

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 12:22 PM

Hello,

We have got some new questions :helpplease: :

1. About sharps: the production-personnel all have a knife (with a changeable blade) for cutting foil. We found some examples of how to handle these sharps. By using an ID-number on the knife, it is possible to register the knife with the person who uses it. There was also a form to register the change of blades. In our situation, this method appears overdone. We produce different flexible packings for the foods-industry, for instance: bread bag and point bag for candy. The chance that a knife forms a risk appears to be very small. We would like to make a policy which describes that it is not allowed to leave knives on machinery and equipment. We also want to keep a list of persons who have a knife, but not by using an ID-number. When it is necessary to change the blade, one person should be responsible. This person registers the change of the blade and disposes it. When someone loses his knife or breaks it, action should be taken.
Is this enough to control the sharps?

2. We have a new production building. We have special sanitary skirting and the transition between wall and floor is fitted with a sealant with a radius of 0.5 cm to minimise dust and potential contamination. Is this sealant enough, or should we fit the transition between wall and floor with an other layer with a bigger radius?

3. We have an office in the middle of the new production building. There are also offices around the building. We would like tot make a special outlined route in the production so that the office-personnel and visitors can walk to the office in the middle of the production without protective clothing. This route is mapped out in such a way, that the risk of contamination is negligible. Is this allowed, or should any person that enters the production wear protective clothes?

Please share your opinions with me.

Thanks,

Robert



MartLgn

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 02:34 PM

Robert.

Im guessing from your questions that you are preparing for an initial audit to the BRC/IOP standard ?

As a veteran of 3 BRC/IOP audits :lol2: Here's my views.....

1. The level of risk posed by blades should really be determined by the results of your hazard analysis for which you must consider a blade breaking as well as a knife simply finding its way into product, if you determine that the risk from knives is unlikely but would pose a severe risk then the robust system of recorded changes of numbered knives would be wise. I am not sure how you can consider such a system as ''overdone'' in the case of such a potentially serious source of contamination.

2. The most important thing about the wall/floor join is that it prevents dirt accumulation and is easily cleaned, this depends on the types of dirt your operation generates and how dirty the area is likely to become but IMHO 5mm radius seems a little bit small to fulfill this purpose.

3.I think you are to a great extent in the hands of the auditor on this one, if there are no open materials or uncovered finished products adjacent to the walkway then an auditor may be satisfied that the risk of contamination from human traffic is suficiently controlled. However many BRC/IOP accredited companies I am aware of consider the hassle of donning protective clothing to be a small price to pay in order to demonstrate a high level of contamination control.

Some advice I was given before our first BRC/IOP audit that I still consider valuable ....

Do what is right for your company or site, there is no one way to meet the conditions of the standard.

Well thats my two cents worth, be interesting to read what Simon and the others think.

Martin :whistle:


Why put off until tomorrow that which you can avoid doing altogether ?

Simon

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 10:33 AM

Hello Robert, three questions for the price of one eh? :beer:

Blades
I agree with Martin that lost blades present one of the more serious sources of contamination to the consumer. It is very severe but the likelihood of occurrence is relatively low. If you prevent the use of knives with ‘snap off' blades and ban employees from bringing their own knives to work and also have a clear policy of not leaving knives lying around on machinery etc. then the relatively low likelihood is reduced even further - much further. 10 years ago knives and blades were like confetti in packaging production environments, but how many incidents did we hear about then? The Standard isn't specific on how you should control sharps, but you must control them, and the system you describe sounds like a pragmatic way of dealing with this. Make sure blades are locked away in a cupboard and old blades are disposed of in a proper sharps bin.

Floor sealant
I agree with Martin 5mm seems small, but if it works it works. If you have the opportunity to make it bigger at this time why not? It may work better for longer, or it may not. I would ask the contractor. :oops:

A way for senior management and important visitors to get the around hygiene rules
A designated walkway is allowed as long as it is clearly marked e.g. by painting tramlines on the floor and using signage. However, I agree with Martin ‘one rule for all' is the best policy and helps to maintain the camaraderie (wrong word) on the shop floor. Let's us all look silly in our hairnets. :spoton:

Hope this gives you some ideas Robert.

Thanks for two cents Martin it was worth a great deal more. :thumbup:

Cheers,
Simon


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brc

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 12:57 PM

Thanks again! :clap:

We changed the policy for sharps a little by using your recommendations and we think it will do this way.

We discussed the point about the floor sealant with the building committee and they will talk about it with the supplier of the floor. So the radius is probably going to be bigger. :spoton:

We cancelled the plan of making a special designated walkway. We also talked about this point with the building committee and the board and they agreed with the ‘one rule for all'


Martin his question: Im guessing from your questions that you are preparing for an initial audit to the BRC/IOP standard ?

Yes, we are preparing for an audit. We are two students :drunk: (Technology Management) and we got the assignment to develop and implement BRC in a company. It is a very interesting assignment but (of course) the board has no idea how much work it is and they don't want to spend to much money :doh:. So, that makes it a little difficult sometimes. But I think we are not the only ones with that problem. Anyway, we hope to finish our study this summer.

Greetings from Holland. :bye:

Robert & Jaap



Simon

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 02:40 PM

Yes, we are preparing for an audit. We are two students :drunk: (Technology Management) and we got the assignment to develop and implement BRC in a company.

Well I must say I'm very impressed with your understanding of the Standard Robert & Jaap. Not at all bad for a pair of students. :drunk:

Good to have you both around :thumbup:

Regards,
Simon

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