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Communication radios in production

Are they a micro risk??

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#1 SpursGirl

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 03:03 PM

Hi

 

Hope everyone is well and happy!

 

I am hoping I can get your advice/experiences on the use of radios in production areas.......

 

We have a large number of hand held radio units in place in our production unit - they are used for communication betweeen departments during the production day. The units are issued daily from the production office (not located in the production area) to members of the production team, engineering team, QA team and warehouse team and then returned to the production office at the end of the shift.

 

During the time of issue the radios are carried all over the factory including non production areas such as maintenance area, warehouse, offices and lunch room. I have seen people outside in the smoking area with the radios (so that they are contactable during breaks?) and although I have not specifically seen it potentially radios could travel into the toilet areas! In addition I have seen the radios left laying on tables, lines, pallets and even on product casess and raw material buckets.

 

We monitor and check the radios for damage as a FB risk but it occurs to me that there is a micro risk associated with using the radios. Given the travel of the radios and the handling of the radios should I have a cleaning procedure for the radios?

 

I am thinking of swabing the radios to understand if/what counts exist and then potentially set up a cleaning procedure with sanitizer wipes.

 

If anyone out there has already got a system in place could oyu just advise what you use to clean the radios with and how often you clean them.

 

Many thanks,

 

Sarah



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 04:55 PM

Honestly?...

 

In all 3 plants I've worked in we used radios to varying extent.  My first one everyone was required to carry one around in case of an accident or incident and nobody was around (large pasta plant).  My second one it was mostly area leads and management.  This one is the same as the 2nd one a few people have them but we have a very small workforce.

 

We never swabbed them as far as I know.  You could do it for reference if you want but I'd suggest not doing it unless someone has been dinged about it.  I've never had an auditor even ask about it.


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#3 SpursGirl

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:04 PM

Hi merle -

 

The reason I am asking is that we are having an ongoing issue with yeast contamination in our products and I have as yet been unable to pinpoint the source of the yeast.

 

It then suddenly occured to me that the radios are constantly being handled and in contact with the face and nice moist breath....possibly a harbourage for yeast?? The the operatives are frequently handling the radios and do not wash their hands after handling them.....possible vector for contamination??

 

It was just a thought and I wonderred whether anyone else had had similar issues/thoughts before and whether they had implemented any actions.

 

sarah



#4 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:10 PM

Ahhhh... well that could change things.

 

I guess it could be possible.  Swab them for yeast/mold and see what you get. 

 

I would clean them with just alcohol wipes or some other cleaning wipe and then swab it again and see if you get a change.  Clean the body, cord (as good as you can), and mouthpiece if you have the connected microphone type.


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#5 SpursGirl

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:26 PM

That was my thought process......swab, check results, wipe with sanitizer wipe and then swab again after a daily shift usage to see how contaminated they get to determine cleaning schedule (daily v weekly).

 

At the moment I am willing to try anything to get to the bottom of our yeast issue - I have swabbed and tested everything else in the factory so the radios are the only thing left to check!

 

It will be a good learning for us all if it turns out to be a factor in the contamination issue.






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