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Protective clothing- self care


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FRAZA

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 04:33 PM

All,



A collegue of mine allows self care of work wear and needs some advice on compliance to the new standard in particular
clause no. 6.5.8 which states " employees must be provided with suitable means to safely transport washed garments from home to the workplace" & there should be a defined process for measuring the effectiveness of this
Do any of you allow self care and if so under what conditions? They currently ask all personnel on site to sign an agreement document so they understand the risks.

Thanks in advance

Fauzia



Simon

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:10 PM

All,



A collegue of mine allows self care of work wear and needs some advice on compliance to the new standard in particular
clause no. 6.5.8 which states " employees must be provided with suitable means to safely transport washed garments from home to the workplace" & there should be a defined process for measuring the effectiveness of this
Do any of you allow self care and if so under what conditions? They currently ask all personnel on site to sign an agreement document so they understand the risks.

Thanks in advance

Fauzia

It may help to post the agreement if you can. Maybe then we can help to compile a sensible policy together.

Regards,
Simon

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Simon

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:51 AM

Just looking at the standard section 6.5.8 I agree 'suitable means of safe transport' is a strange one. Maybe a bag, perhaps see through. Maybe there could be two bags for each employee; one clearly labelled dirty and one labelled clean to help with segregation. See though so that you can easily audit or check cleanliness, which will deal with point three. Don't forget to record checks for evidence and also so that you can identify any trends.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Simon


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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:06 PM

Just looking at the standard section 6.5.8 I agree 'suitable means of safe transport' is a strange one. Maybe a bag, perhaps see through. Maybe there could be two bags for each employee; one clearly labelled dirty and one labelled clean to help with segregation. See though so that you can easily audit or check cleanliness, which will deal with point three. Don't forget to record checks for evidence and also so that you can identify any trends.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Simon



You could do as Tesco suggests and randomly swab washed clothes to see if are clean!


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Posted 20 October 2008 - 09:45 AM

I agree, clauses like this are confusing at first, but they also are a great chance to find a simple solution to the problem, it one exists.Basically these clauses mean: 'Do what you deem necessary, but be sure you can explain to the auditor, why the measures you have taken are adequate.'

A risk assessment for the cleaning of protective clothing (much to the tune of: ' What will happen/go wrong, if...?') should provide enough insight into the requirements of the company to enable a working (and easy to implement) policy to be drawn up.

So: Risk assessment: Protective clothes after use are dirty and contaminated and must not come in contact with clean garments. The policy should state: 'Dirty garments must not be carried in the container for clean clothes.'
Environmental sources of contamination may render protective clothing unfit for use, so container must protect clothing from environmental influences (unsealed plastic bag is not suited, sealed plastic bag might be ok).
If container needs to be re-usable, it has to be washable itself, made from sturdy material that is suited to protect from external influences ...
It is important to emphasize that carriers must not be used for prolonged storage of clothing to prevent outgrowth of bacterial spores and growth of spoilage organisms due to residual moisture that may be present in garments.

Generally:
IMHO, the biggest problem in home-care for protective clothing is the fact that cleaning standards can not be effectively monitored (private premises can not be audited for compliance, of course). How can you be sure, your employees do not decide to wash their protective garments together with their underwear and dirty towels (both usually washed hot >60ºC) to save time and energy or to fill the machine?

Swabbing of washed clothing is a valid way of detecting contamination on protective clothing. Depending on the scale of the organisation, this can become very cost-intensive. The biggest drawback of this method is, however, that results are not readily available, so who will tell you that the clothes the employee wears are clean before the test results are in? What about swabing frequencies? Does every batch of every employee have to be swabbed or is a sampling plan (randomised sample every day or every week) enough to generate the safety-level that is required? This seems to be a never ending story.

I advocate a managed laundry service, be it in house or sourced-out, to avoid uncontrollable risks. Any suitably trained professional cleaner can provide this service. By controlling the laundering process and by centrailsing transportation of cleaned clothes, a lot of potential problems can be avoided.

Regards,

Matt


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Charles.C

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 02:14 PM

Dear Matt,

Very eloquent post :thumbup: I agree with yr reservations.

But another Risk Assessment ! :thumbdown: Due Diligence is the name of the game all right. BRC should introduce a global version for banks and get rich. :whistle:
(alternatively, an approved, $1(or less), generic, 1 page, risk assessment procedure might be useful. :smile: )

Truth is that this issue is a real oldie and difficult to globally satisfy. The classic defect is to watch the workers going to the outside canteen at mid-day in their nice, clean uniforms (or even the inside canteen if one wishes to be exact). Interesting to know how many companies allow workers to take uniforms off-site. I imagine that where RTE products are involved, result is very low, otherwise probably the opposite ? Certainly creates interesting credibility-check situation for auditors though. ;)

Maybe time to switch to IFS since approved by GFSI. My guess they are less demanding.?

I also wonder if BRC realise that they are effectively promoting ISO 22000 ?

Rgds / Charles.C


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Posted 23 October 2008 - 04:20 AM

THANK U .


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