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Should smocks be removed by mechanics before entering maintenance shop


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#1 Katy

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:31 PM

We just recently got SQF certified. All out employees wear smocks over their street clothes. They need to remove them prior to leaving the production area. Out Maintenance Manager seems to think that the mechanics do not need to remove their smocks to go in to the maintenance shop unless someone is grinding, or something of that nature. I would appreciate any feed back.



#2 Setanta

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:43 PM

Here is how we do it. When maintenance leaves the production area; they can remove their smock, but any work they do IN production, they need to wear their smocks.

I would definitely suggest that they remove them before entering their shop area.

S


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#3 john123

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

Depending on the module you were graded against, almost every module says something to the effect of:

Protective clothing shall be effectively maintained, stored, laundered and worn so as to protect product from risk of contamination.

We addressed that by including in our SOP that the smocks are not to be worn inside a breakroom or outside the production or storage area. If you require the regular employees to take them off before leaving production, but not mechanics, how to you "effectively" ensure they are not getting contaminated in the maintenance shop? If you can't prove that mechanic's uniform is safe everytime he re-enters the production area, then he should be taking it off just like the other employees.

(and trust me, I feel your pain when it comes to mechanics and clean uniforms.... Oy)




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#4 Setanta

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:08 PM

and trust me, I feel your pain when it comes to mechanics and clean uniforms.... Oy)


Oh as do I....just getting them to wear hairnets vs caps was a pain. :smile:

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#5 Shyguy77

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

Depending on the module you were graded against, almost every module says something to the effect of:

Protective clothing shall be effectively maintained, stored, laundered and worn so as to protect product from risk of contamination.

We addressed that by including in our SOP that the smocks are not to be worn inside a breakroom or outside the production or storage area. If you require the regular employees to take them off before leaving production, but not mechanics, how to you "effectively" ensure they are not getting contaminated in the maintenance shop? If you can't prove that mechanic's uniform is safe everytime he re-enters the production area, then he should be taking it off just like the other employees.

(and trust me, I feel your pain when it comes to mechanics and clean uniforms.... Oy)






I agree with John123.


We've placed racks and hooks in these areas also to help accommodate them.

#6 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

I agree with John123.


We've placed racks and hooks in these areas also to help accommodate them.


I hate "accommodating" maintenance. The group that, as far as I have seen, follow GMP's the least. It is like pulling teeth with them to get them to wash their hands when entering production areas as much as I have tried to create a culture of following GMP's.

They certainly should be removing them. If you want them stored in the room that's your decision however you never know if any grinding, sanding, welding, or whatever they do in the shop that can travel through the air may get onto their uniforms. If that's within your acceptable risk then do that I guess. Personally I would have them do what I have everyone else doing. If everyone else is throwing them away or putting them to a wash basket whenever they leave then maintenance personnel should do the same. Everyone has to understand that GMP's, policies, and procedures must be followed by all to the same expectation within a good GFSI facility.

But then again I'm a purist and I don't like anything that deviates from any written standard and I hate writing in anything that looks like an exception.
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#7 Jim E.

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:26 PM

Interesting issue indeed as I read. We are Low Risk facility. Our employees wear thier smocks to the locker room where they must remove them to use the facilities or enter the lunch room. But I now have a bigger question. Our maintenance personnel do not wear smocks but coveralls... Now how would they be removing them when they enter the maintenacne shop? I have never had a auditor question this in our plant and we just became BRC certified. Is it something I should be concerned about?


Edited by Jim E., 07 March 2013 - 06:27 PM.


#8 Charles.C

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:11 PM

Dear All,

Yes, interesting nitty-gritty. :smile:

My experience in observing a variety of non-SQF certified, Low Risk Production arenas is often similar to previous post.

It would indeed be interesting to see a validated risk assessment for a Low Risk Production area comparing a procedure where production employees remove their over-garments (a) at the exit of the production area as against (b) prior to entering locker rooms / toilet facilities. I don’t recall ever seeing such an evaluation (?) however an honest study would surely give results varying substantially from site-to-site, even if only based on visual features. Perhaps that is one justification for a blanket rule to avoid the difficulty, (similar to jewelry ??). Additionally, IMEX, “Top Management” are extremely reluctant to give up any space within the Production Area to “non-productive” functions, especially if the food safety benefit is not readily demonstrable to them (?).

My guess is that auditors are exercising internal judgement calls (?).

As far as mechanics are concerned, I admire their work courage immensely but as far as food safety goes, a struggle of wills is almost the norm.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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