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Ops Manager Doesn't Want to Wear GMP Mandated Clothing


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Parkey_Park

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:01 PM

Hey all! 

For my first post, I had a question in regards to wearing smocks and hair/beard nets in production areas. We have a new operations manager who has zero food safety experience and generally doesn't just accept a fair amount of our food safety standards as they are if I can't offer him some sort of practical reasoning. His main area of concern this week is the necessity for management to wear a smock and a hair/beard net after we have finished production during the post-production cleaning and sanitation procedures. 

 

"Honestly, what could go wrong if we don't wear the gear? There's no food in the open and we'll stick to one side of the production floor away from the machinery." Our facility is 50ft x 300ft and all of our equipment is on one side of the room. His proposal is painting a line on the floor that spans the 300 feet and that management can stay on the side of the line opposite the equipment after production without putting on the gear required by our GMPs as he regularly needs to cross the production floor to speak with an operator or manager. 

 

Outside of my reservations of introducing complexity into a relatively simple standard, this manager has had a general disregard for PPE equipment in the past and I just don't trust him to follow the guidelines he's proposed even if I allow what he's asking for. 

 

What leniences can I give them so that I can show that I'm trying to work with them but also what reasons can I give them to justify the need to wear their clothing even when they think it's not necessary? What have you seen or done that might be a good compromise? 



FSQA

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:53 PM

Parkey_Park,

 

I would recommend that you should do a risk assessment. However, based on your following statement, what chemicals are you using to clean/Sanitize?

 

"this week is the necessity for management to wear a smock and a hair/beard net after we have finished production during the post-production cleaning and sanitation procedures. "

 

PPE is for the protection of the employees/operators, so it not only involves Product safety but OSHA requirements too.

 

This is a common issue with many small/medium size companies where Management/Office personnel ignore the regular cGMPs of the facility, like walking in the facility with no PPE or other protocols.



Parkey_Park

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:12 PM

Parkey_Park,

 

I would recommend that you should do a risk assessment. However, based on your following statement, what chemicals are you using to clean/Sanitize?

 

"this week is the necessity for management to wear a smock and a hair/beard net after we have finished production during the post-production cleaning and sanitation procedures. "

 

PPE is for the protection of the employees/operators, so it not only involves Product safety but OSHA requirements too.

 

This is a common issue with many small/medium size companies where Management/Office personnel ignore the regular cGMPs of the facility, like walking in the facility with no PPE or other protocols.

FSQA, 

I misspoke when I said PPE. He just doesn't want to wear a smock nor a hair net. 



MsMars

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:17 PM

Sounds like you potentially have a management commitment issue. There is still a potential to contaminate clean areas/equipment during sanitation and afterward. Get support from upper management, and encourage your ops manager to set an example for every other employee - regardless of the time of day or status of the room.  Every company I've ever worked with/for requires all mandatory PPE while in the room regardless of status (clean/operational/etc.) for the reason stated above.



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Scampi

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:24 PM

He doesn't require any leniency from you. You've been hired to maintain the standard, it is his job to educate himself. You are not making widgets, and he needs to understand the difference.

 

I agree with MsMars, go to his boss and explain the situation if he won't listen to reason. He will set the tone as the operations manager and as such needs to adhere to all company policies (that were probably established before his arrival)

 

Email him this link

cleanroomsuppliesltd.com/blog/hair-contamination-food-industry/

 

To sum the article up..........25% of us carry staph on our hairs........enough, and it will make people sick, if that's not good enough for him then he shouldn't be in that job......operations make the food, QA enforces how it's made up to and including all personnel on the floor 


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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chrcia

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:14 PM

I agree there should be no leniency a standard is a standard. Food safety is not part time or when it is convenient. You could speak to upper management about it saying you are fostering a Food Safety culture within the plant. It is imperative that management lead by example. I have worked in a plant with a similar situation to yours at the moment and the feeling among the production staff was if it is not important to management then why should it be to me. Once the staff adopts this feeling it is a very difficult trend to reverse.



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Scampi

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:20 PM

Parkey Park, do take heart, we've all been in the exactly same situation (or worse!!!)

 

Since you've had an exemplary past with the company maintaining the certification, and they are on board. hold your ground, but not your tongue. I banned an owner from the production floor once......that made him stand up and listen. 

 

Or if you are feeling tactful, sit him down for an hour and explain your function.......he's obviously not stupid, but maybe ignorant to the risks/and how easy employees will slide backward

 

Best of luck


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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pgasser

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:00 PM

It is important to create a safety culture and in order to do that, you need good manufacturing practices to become habits.  It is much easier to manage processes and practices when the requirements are consistent rather than by exception.  

 

I agree wholeheartedly with Chrcia in that you have a bigger issue in that your Operations Manager is not demonstrating a commitment to food safety.  



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SQFconsultant

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:13 PM

You don't bow down to your ops manager.

 

But you train the person on your GMP's and sanitation procedures.

 

He, just like you and every other employee is required to follow your internals.

 

Period.


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Glenn Oster
 
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FurFarmandFork

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:29 PM

DItto the above, and worth stating that while most of us say "doesn't matter, make him", everyone understands that this isn't a comfortable position, nor one that you should ever have to be in.

 

On the bright side, the solution he presented almost sounds reasonable, if not for the fact that I agree with you that he would subsequently break those rules anyway.

 

For those standards where it's hard to show the food safety smoking gun, I would continue to reiterate that him wearing the gear especially when it's inconvenient helps you enforce the standard with production employees when it IS important. You can also meet him halfway on his "would this really become a problem" argument by reminding him that outbreaks happen because a lot of small circumstances come together, and the more often you "take chances" the more likely this is to happen.

 

My posts covering these topics you may find helpful:

http://furfarmandfor...-until-its-not/

http://furfarmandfor...safety-culture/


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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Parkey_Park

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:59 PM

Thanks, everyone. I feel like the correct direction is to keep standards the same while reemphasizing the importance of management commitment. I really appreciate everyone's responses; it's reduced my stress quite a bit regarding this position! 



redfox

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 03:48 AM

Hello,

 

That's very common to some company. Dilemma to PCQI/Food Safety Manager,  senior management do the "power play'. Just bend a little but don't break. Food safety is food safety. Just follow the standard.

 

regards,

redfox



Gerard H.

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:00 AM

Dear Parky Park,

 

It's very important to respect the hygiene rules outside production hours, to prevent the contamination of your lines with all kinds of foreign bodies:

  • Hairs - People loose on average 100 hairs / day (which is 4 hairs / hour). The head hair cycle is the most important of the human body hair, reason why it's necessary to wear hairnets.
  • All kinds of foreign bodies taken in when walking through the production area without a smock: examples glass & plastic.  

In the case of a complaint from a customer on the subjects above, you need to prove that you did all the necessary to avoid the complaint. In this situation, you can't prove anything.

 

Indeed, lots of work to do, however with the useful comments and tips from the other forum members you stand strong.

 

Good luck!

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



Gerard H.

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:03 AM

Hi again,

 

With "this situation", I mean the situation where people walk in the production zone without any protection or not respecting the basic hygiene rules.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



Parkey_Park

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 02:54 PM

Just an update on this situation for everyone: 

I spoke with my management and we're addressing the commitment issue as I've found here and elsewhere that clothing standards are slightly more strict than what our facility has practiced in the past. Due to me making the standards more strict I first went to the senior management and got their support. with their support, we'll be addressing the issue with the manager together. 

 

Thanks for all of your help! 



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MsMars

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 03:30 PM

Just an update on this situation for everyone: 

I spoke with my management and we're addressing the commitment issue as I've found here and elsewhere that clothing standards are slightly more strict than what our facility has practiced in the past. Due to me making the standards more strict I first went to the senior management and got their support. with their support, we'll be addressing the issue with the manager together. 

 

Thanks for all of your help! 

 

Sounds very promising and great to hear! Good luck!  :thumbup:



Gerard H.

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 02:40 PM

Hi Parkey Park,

 

That's very nice to hear!

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



redfox

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 01:24 AM

Hello,

 

Being consistent in food safety really works...keep up the good work Parkey....

 

regards,

redfox






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