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How to Control Ear Protection?


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classic

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:47 PM

Our H&S department have identified a need for all to wear ear protection in our production and packing areas.  We have both low risk and high care areas in both departments with separate PPE to comply with BRC requirements.

 

Can anyone offer any advice from their experience in their production facilities of how we can control ear protection.

 

 



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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:49 PM

My suggestion is to get one use, metal detectable, corded ear plugs.  Also have your operators cover their ears with their hairnets to the bottom which will help if an earplug falls out to not have it contaminate any food contact surfaces.


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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:52 PM

We also have ear protection in our production area. Not the loose disposable type but those on a cord / string. They seem to last quite a long time and are audited by the supervisor several times a week. The operatives are all issued with a pair that comes with a plastic storage pot (3M) type and are responsible for their storage in their personal lockers. In the 6+ years we have made it mandatory to wear hearing protection we have never had any packed into our plastic product trays.



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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:54 PM

And as MerleW states - the mobcap should cover all hearing protection and ears.



Mr. Incognito

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:55 PM

Ahhhhh.  I see what you mean there.

 

If you get metal detectable ones you don't have to control them if you have metal detectors because they can't be in your product.

 

Otherwise idk.


Edited by MerleW, 12 December 2013 - 02:56 PM.

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:11 PM

Also operators must put them in prior to hand washing and if they touch them for whatever reason they must hand wash again.


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Posted 23 December 2013 - 03:58 PM

Thank you for the replies.  Obviously anything we use will be metal detectable.  I was thinking more from a micro point of view.  Would staff who move across from low risk to high care areas have to have 2 sets of ear protectors, how would we store them etc.

 

Thanks



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Posted 23 December 2013 - 04:15 PM

Classic,

 

I don't think so.  For microbiological issues as long as they are covered by your hairnets and your staff is washing their hands any time they interact with the ear plugs you should be fine.

 

So the long answer is yes if they are not properly handled they are a microbio risk.  However with proper training, proper hairnet covering, proper hand washing you will mitigate that risk through your GMP program.

 

As for storage I used to store mine right in my locker hanging on the coat hook at the pasta factory I worked in.  Some of the non-disposable ones I've seen came with a holder but then you should require people to clean them every so often.  I like disposable personally then you don't have to store them you can have them in dispensers next to the hairnets and beard nets.

 

Also you can get, as I'm told, a vending machine style piece of equipment that an employee enters their employee number and can have dispensed a hairnet/beard net/ear plug as required and they have a certain allotment they are allowed to remove per day or week.  That way they aren't blowing threw disposable equipment.  Personally I don't like that idea because then they have to see a supervisor if there is a rip in their hairnet or if they need more of something because it fell on the floor or whatnot.

 

I always advocate just getting a new one if there is any question on disposable equipment (and I'm not paying for it :sleazy:  )

 

Just some thoughts and ideas on your topic

 

Merle


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