I work in a small food manufacturing facility. Our policy is that there are designated "hairnet areas" around food production and packaging. It is overall very well applied by all employees (office workers going through production, floor employees and visitors as well)
We are encountering an issue when it comes to the hairnet policy for our maintenance employees: their argument is that hairnet are a hazard during maintenance work, would get snagged on equipment, and could catch fire when working with sparks.
The maintenance employees have been wearing until now a personnal tight knitcap with a baseball cap over it. I don't think this is alright since we have to rely on employees being diligent and washing the two items themselves. When told that they need to cover their current head covering with a hairnet when around food product (therefore excluding the maintenance shop), they refused, their argument being that hairnet are a hazard during maintenance work, would get snagged on equipment, and could catch fire when working with sparks.
They want to wear a hard hat around food production areas (where we would have required them to wear a hairnet), worn off course over the knit cap. I don't think hard hats are a much cleaner alternative to the knit cap, seeing that they cannot be cleaned often, and do not fill the first purpose of the hairnet, which is to cover all hair and avoid contamination into open product.
Are we being too strict?