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Daily Routine for a QA and Safety Manager


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#1 Bdls

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:36 PM

Hi everybody,

 

I am a new QA and safety manager and I do not know how to plan my daily tasks in my company. Could someone share their hourly routine or plan in a common work day? I would like to have an example to create my own schedule. Thank you!

 


Edited by Beatrizdls, 09 May 2019 - 03:38 PM.


#2 MsMars

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:44 PM

What industry are you in? I think it depends on your responsibilities and what kind of support personnel you have. There are many resources out there on how to prioritize tasks and schedule your own work day. LinkedIn and Mind Tools have a bunch of professional development webinars.  Hopefully your company's HR department can get you some training too if you're new to being in a managerial role. 

 

I started as a Quality Manager nearly nine months ago and I still don't have a "set" daily routine.  :dunno:  So much of being in a leadership position in manufacturing is just taking what the day brings to you. 



#3 zanorias

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:56 PM

It will depend largely on many factors. Could you provide some more information i.e:

What kind of manufacture operation do you have?

"safety manager" food safety? Are you taking over from a previous food safety manager?

What other staff are currently in the department?

 

I'm a QA by title but have taken on several other things, but it's hard do describe a "typical" day as it depends what's going on in the factory, if any auditors turn up, customer requests etc. As an extreme example, I'm currently 13 hours into shift whilst the BRC auditor is finishing off upstairs with my TM. Requirements will also largely control what needs doing and differ from one company to the next, i.e. some of my jobs involve clauses from BRC or UK/EU legal requirements, which won't be the same as a US company with SQF for instance.



#4 Bdls

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:56 PM

Thanks so much for you answer. I am working in the dairy industry and I am the only one in the Quality department (the company is very small), that's way I am a little bit lost... I would like to have a basic routine although I know it depends on the day. I will review LinkedIn and Mind Tools.

Thanks again.



#5 zanorias

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:59 PM

Thanks so much for you answer. I am working in the dairy industry and I am the only one in the Quality department (the company is very small), that's way I am a little bit lost... I would like to have a basic routine although I know it depends on the day. I will review LinkedIn and Mind Tools.

Thanks again.

 

If you are new to food safety/quality I would definitely ask the company to invest in some food safety training and legislative requirements as a minimum. It will pay off in the long run!



#6 CVBC

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:14 PM

I know what your going through.  I'm a year into being a Food Safety & Safety Director at a small bean elevator and I'm still working on my routine.  Most mornings I come in when an idea of what I want to work on but than the day happens and things change.  Plan sometime to do research on improving your current safety systems, and improving your knowledge.  I've found the more I educate myself the more I come up with areas we can improve on.  Also having a list of the weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks helps.   



#7 tsebring

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:08 PM

I don't know if any of this will help, but I would:

 

1.) Understand what, if any, third party audit schemes you participate in.  When are you audited last and when is the next one due?  Is the version going to be the same as last year?  Read the previous few years' results to learn from.

 

2.) What are the prevailing federal regulations you fall under?  FSMA and/or something else?  If FSMA, which rule(s)?  Start reading up on those.

 

3.) What does your existing food safety management system look like there?  (aka read what's already in place)

 

4.) Educate yourself through industry certification programs (will be mandatory depending upon #1 & #2) and the ever dangerous google.com.  Some of the possible trainings include: HACCP, PCQI (for FSMA), GMP training (Cornell has an online program), and your audit scheme (not required, but is often helpful).  Sign up for (and read) email newsletters from industry sources, academia, etc.  Google what you don't understand.  

 

5.) Hit the floor, watch carefully and ask 10-million questions.  Why, how, who, when, etc.  Take any flow charts or your HACCP analysis with you and compare that to what you see.  I like to read what's in place, ask management about the processes, then ask the workers on the line.  See if you note any disconnects between what is written, what management believes occurs, what the workers say happens and what you actually see occurring.  Your job, in part, is to close that gap (and there is always a gap).

 

6.) Trust, but verify.  People sometimes have their own agendas and might hide things from you.  

 

7.) Understand what are your biggest potential food safety risks are and try and understand them first.  Water is always on that list if its used anywhere in the facility by the way.

 

If you are signing off on things, go through the forms carefully.  What do the readings refer to?  Are they correct?  Dig down till you understand it.  

 

You'll need to garner enough background and knowledge for everything to start to make sense.  Expect it to take some time...  

 

Good luck,

Todd



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:47 PM

Thanks so much for you answer. I am working in the dairy industry and I am the only one in the Quality department (the company is very small), that's way I am a little bit lost... I would like to have a basic routine although I know it depends on the day. I will review LinkedIn and Mind Tools.

Thanks again.

 

"Dairy Industry" is somewhat  wide scope.

 

Any meaningful suggestion will probably need to know some work details. Maybe that's what you need to lay things out also ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 Bdls

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:27 PM

Thanks so much for all the answers. It is a cheese factory and I am in charge of the Quality department (only person right now). I know the question is very general and it is difficult to find a perfect routine in this position because things happen along the day and need to be fixed... so I am going to reformulate my doubt in a more general way: if someone asks me to describe my typical day (in an interview for example), I would like to be able to answer this question with details and organized tasks. This is an example, but I think it could be the starting point?



#10 Timwoodbag

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:02 PM

I personally do some checks around the factory everyday, maybe 30 minutes total?  Humidity, Nitrogen Impurity log, etc.  And the Pre-Op, takes maybe 1 hour total? Everything else is delegated so I have time to improve, retrain, relearn, educate, monitor, prepare for audit, etc.  Every single day is different.



#11 Gerard H.

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:42 PM

Dear Bdls,

Many tasks have their origin in certification schemes. In the case, there isn't anyone in place, I would buy a scheme, one which is widely used in your branch. Be sure to choose for a GFSI recognized one.

By implementing the scheme in your factory, you're doing a very valuable job. At the same time you will construct your daily routine.

The same could be done for the safety aspects of the operation.

Kind regards,

Gerard Heerkens



#12 Bdls

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:53 PM

Thanks Timwoodbag and Gerard H, I think both answers solve my doubt.



#13 HokeyPokey

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:21 PM

I am in my two year in an Dairy Plant.  My background is a meat plant.  Overall I have over 12 years in the Food Safety Quality Control.  I learned that everyday going to be differ.  You need to be audit ready at all times.  I am learning each and everyday about something new.  One of my goals is What can I do to make my program better today.  

 

 



#14 GMO

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 04:21 AM

It's difficult to set a daily routine and you obviously need to plan in auditing throughout the year but one thing I'd recommend is to find out if there is a daily operations meeting and go to it (or suggest they start one).

This way you will show you are part of the team but also get to hear what's going on and have a forum to raise anything you want to.



#15 Ryan M.

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 03:22 PM

Excellent advice here from tsebring.

 

The only thing I will add to this is download and read the current version of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, version 2017.  This is your bible for the US dairy industry.  The 2019 version will come out sometime in 2020.  New versions are published every 2 years.

 

https://www.fda.gov/...114169/download

 

A cheese plant is a bit unique because you can have your State Inspector coming in for the pasteurizer and plant inspections, along with the FDA, and check ratings.  What's nice about this industry is the regulatory inspectors are generally really knowledgeable of equipment and processes.  Learn from them while they are at your facility.  Let them know you are new to the position and want to learn...any guidance they can provide you will be grateful to have.  You probably also have the USDA coming in every so often, depending on your products and if you export your cheese out of the US.

 

Spend as much time as possible on the floor tracing the flow from raw material receipts through shipping.  Watch, observe, take pictures and notes and ask lots and lots of questions of the floor personnel.  My favorite question to ask is, "Why do we do that?" or "Why do we do it this way?" or "Is that the way we always do it?"  You'll get some interesting and different answers from personnel and it'll help you understand the process and what's going on the floor.  It also helps you investigate food safety / quality issues and customer complaints.

 

I don't know if any of this will help, but I would:

 

1.) Understand what, if any, third party audit schemes you participate in.  When are you audited last and when is the next one due?  Is the version going to be the same as last year?  Read the previous few years' results to learn from.

 

2.) What are the prevailing federal regulations you fall under?  FSMA and/or something else?  If FSMA, which rule(s)?  Start reading up on those.

 

3.) What does your existing food safety management system look like there?  (aka read what's already in place)

 

4.) Educate yourself through industry certification programs (will be mandatory depending upon #1 & #2) and the ever dangerous google.com.  Some of the possible trainings include: HACCP, PCQI (for FSMA), GMP training (Cornell has an online program), and your audit scheme (not required, but is often helpful).  Sign up for (and read) email newsletters from industry sources, academia, etc.  Google what you don't understand.  

 

5.) Hit the floor, watch carefully and ask 10-million questions.  Why, how, who, when, etc.  Take any flow charts or your HACCP analysis with you and compare that to what you see.  I like to read what's in place, ask management about the processes, then ask the workers on the line.  See if you note any disconnects between what is written, what management believes occurs, what the workers say happens and what you actually see occurring.  Your job, in part, is to close that gap (and there is always a gap).

 

6.) Trust, but verify.  People sometimes have their own agendas and might hide things from you.  

 

7.) Understand what are your biggest potential food safety risks are and try and understand them first.  Water is always on that list if its used anywhere in the facility by the way.

 

If you are signing off on things, go through the forms carefully.  What do the readings refer to?  Are they correct?  Dig down till you understand it.  

 

You'll need to garner enough background and knowledge for everything to start to make sense.  Expect it to take some time...  

 

Good luck,

Todd






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