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Are you guys making masks mandatory in office spaces and lunch rooms?

Mask lunch room breakroom office wearing covid-19

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MsMars

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 03:36 PM

No, just use common sense and not over-exaggerate the threats. 

 

I don't know that anyone is over-exaggerating the threat on this thread, just suggesting that if you cannot maintain social distancing and do not have other barriers available, then employees should wear masks.  It shouldn't even be debatable or questionable - it should be COMMON SENSE.



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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 03:48 PM

Clearly, I don't see how quality assurance relates to H&S... 

Except that QAs, unless they are already active in H&S or have food safety responsibility, should fall in line with the prescribed corrective actions of the H&S person(s) without push-back knowing the benefit of risk assessed corrective actions as shown by global authorities i.e. masks being one of the single most effective ways to stop the spread of aerosolized viruses. Also working for the same company with, presumably, the same goals. Otherwise no relation...



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Posted 29 July 2020 - 12:22 PM

Yes, in offices where more than one person is in the office and closer than 6 feet.  This is an important qualification for us because we have some employees sharing an office, but they have managed to separate 6 feet or further away.

 

No, in the breakroom area.  BUT, what we have done is remove chairs and tables to provide separation.  One chair per table and all tables at least 6 feet away from one another.  The only area in breakroom where we had an issue is an area where we have high counters, like a bar, and people can sit across from one another only 3 feet separation.  We have put up plastic dividers in this area.  It took forever to get them in, but I'm glad they did.  I regularly have an employee who sits with a group of 5 or 6 people in this area all right next to one another or right across.  Every time I walked by I had to remind them all to separate...this is a daily occurrence and annoying.  On top of that, one of the persons on our "COVID team" is in that group...and he would talk about the need to do this and that for COVID prevention during our meetings, but then huddle up next to people with no mask at all.  He still does it...at least have the gonads to say you don't really see it as an issue and only follow the practices when senior management is around.  C'est la vie...



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 12:43 PM

Yes, in offices where more than one person is in the office and closer than 6 feet.  This is an important qualification for us because we have some employees sharing an office, but they have managed to separate 6 feet or further away.

 

No, in the breakroom area.  BUT, what we have done is remove chairs and tables to provide separation.  One chair per table and all tables at least 6 feet away from one another.  The only area in breakroom where we had an issue is an area where we have high counters, like a bar, and people can sit across from one another only 3 feet separation.  We have put up plastic dividers in this area.  It took forever to get them in, but I'm glad they did.  I regularly have an employee who sits with a group of 5 or 6 people in this area all right next to one another or right across.  Every time I walked by I had to remind them all to separate...this is a daily occurrence and annoying.  On top of that, one of the persons on our "COVID team" is in that group...and he would talk about the need to do this and that for COVID prevention during our meetings, but then huddle up next to people with no mask at all.  He still does it...at least have the gonads to say you don't really see it as an issue and only follow the practices when senior management is around.  C'est la vie...

That person is no qualified to be on the COVID-19 response team. He needs to be removed then disciplined for failure to follow policy. We finally had to take corrective action with a couple of employees that didn't believe masks were of any benefit (to them) and refused to wear them over their nose and mouth, usually around their chin area. Since the last uptick in infection rate and hammering from local, state and federal sources mandating mask wearing, we have had almost no issues among all employees. I guess it wasn't worth losing their job over?



Ryan M.

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 02:25 PM

That person is no qualified to be on the COVID-19 response team. He needs to be removed then disciplined for failure to follow policy. We finally had to take corrective action with a couple of employees that didn't believe masks were of any benefit (to them) and refused to wear them over their nose and mouth, usually around their chin area. Since the last uptick in infection rate and hammering from local, state and federal sources mandating mask wearing, we have had almost no issues among all employees. I guess it wasn't worth losing their job over?

 

Agreed.  I've informed HR who is leading the COVID team about managers and other leaders not following policy in practice.  I didn't specifically call anyone out, but HR really didn't do much about it.  I've even had discussions with this person about their role and how their actions affect everyone else since he is a leader in the plant.  He just shined me off...and he is that kind of person, "Yes, agreed." and then goes and does the opposite.  Infuriating...but not much else I can do.  That's always been the main issue at our facility...leadership not following policies and it bleeds down to all personnel.  Then a few months later upper management / executive is asking, "WHAT HAPPENED?"  It makes me chuckle....but also infuriates me because come around the time of SQF everyone is doing what they should be doing.



Setanta

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 02:28 PM

Agreed.  I've informed HR who is leading the COVID team about managers and other leaders not following policy in practice.  I didn't specifically call anyone out, but HR really didn't do much about it.  I've even had discussions with this person about their role and how their actions affect everyone else since he is a leader in the plant.  He just shined me off...and he is that kind of person, "Yes, agreed." and then goes and does the opposite.  Infuriating...but not much else I can do.  That's always been the main issue at our facility...leadership not following policies and it bleeds down to all personnel.  Then a few months later upper management / executive is asking, "WHAT HAPPENED?"  It makes me chuckle....but also infuriates me because come around the time of SQF everyone is doing what they should be doing.

 

 

RELATABLE CONTENT!!!! 


-Setanta         

 

 

 


Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 02:32 PM

You might want to inform the owners / upper management that it is a major breakdown of the system (intentionally vague). when they ask what and why make sure they know that SQF, BRC etc. will be focusing a good deal of their efforts on proving or disproving your Food Safety Culture. If leaders are not fostering that culture it shows a breakdown. When you do internal audits, do you note these issues and bring them up and enter them in the minutes of your Management Review sessions? Risking losing your certification based on a couple of leaders actions (or lack thereof) might help them understand the importance of continuity?



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Ryan M.

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 02:33 PM

RELATABLE CONTENT!!!! 

 

Tell me about it....in our last SQF in May our plant was in dire shape beforehand.  But, we magically somehow fixed and cleaned up everything including personnel GMP's.  I asked the managers of each department why can we do this for SQF, but not everyday?  What is holding us back?  They had no answer....and this was in a meeting with VP of Ops.  Everyone just glazed over it, including my boss.  It is like...HELLO people?  Earth to you guys....something ain't clicking here and this big elephant in the room will just stay there.



TimG

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 02:49 PM

Tell me about it....in our last SQF in May our plant was in dire shape beforehand.  But, we magically somehow fixed and cleaned up everything including personnel GMP's.  I asked the managers of each department why can we do this for SQF, but not everyday?  What is holding us back?  They had no answer....and this was in a meeting with VP of Ops.  Everyone just glazed over it, including my boss.  It is like...HELLO people?  Earth to you guys....something ain't clicking here and this big elephant in the room will just stay there.

Not to get too far off topic, but our company has started holding global quality meetings with all of our location quality heads. The 3 of us from the U.S. voice these exact same concerns, but the quality guys from Netherlands and China don't seem to have those issues at all. It's been a bit eye-opening, and not in a good way. 



Ryan M.

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 05:54 PM

Not to get too far off topic, but our company has started holding global quality meetings with all of our location quality heads. The 3 of us from the U.S. voice these exact same concerns, but the quality guys from Netherlands and China don't seem to have those issues at all. It's been a bit eye-opening, and not in a good way. 

 

Culture...all about culture.  In those countries the idea of "freedom" and "liberty" does not extend as far as it does in the US.  Even though there are freedoms and liberties in those countries, it is not ingrained as it is in the US.  I'll also say that with each new generation there seems to be less and less attention paid to "authority".  How, or why, that has come to be I have no idea. 

 

It gets very tiring trying to explain to personnel why doors need to be kept closed to a food packaging room.  I've boiled it down to, "Do you want to have flies in our product?"  This seems to get the message across more quickly.



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Posted 14 August 2020 - 02:50 PM

Masks are mandatory in all areas of the site including office areas.  Of course that being said when in your office they can be removed while you are alone.  In the lunchroom area we have installed barriers at all lunch tables and restricted the number of people at each table to 2.  In process areas if you can maintain 6ft of separation the mask is not required to be worn, just tight confines.

 

Also this all relates to personnel health of our staff rather than food safety. And knock on wood we have had no confirmed cases in our facility while other in the area have had some issues.  These likely occurred outside the plants operation of course.



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Posted 25 November 2020 - 03:41 PM

We made masks mandatory at the end of March for every person entering our BUILDING. A lot of whining and reports of dizziness from lack of oxygen :rolleyes: and the like. We posted as much information as we could from various national and international health organizations regarding masks and it quieted down a bit. Once our state and recently the county we are in made it mandatory, we started getting the "We've been doing this for 3 months, they're way behind!" and "I'm glad we started when we did!" comments which was somewhat gratifying. We have had a couple of employees test positive from contact outside of the company and after they worked a few days here then showed symptoms, but all tests as a result of contact with those people here have all been negative (about 45 tests out of a workforce of about 75). I'll take the heat on all measures to help protect them with the knowledge that it's best for our employees and their family and friends. All of the measures we've taken have proven to be effective in preventing the spread within our facility. And yes, all office staff wear their masks at all times except the ones with private offices while in their offices alone. Partial enforcement of preventive measures are ineffective. If GFSI measures have taught us anything it's that preventive measures must be applied consistently and continuously. I truly hope this event helps everyone globally (especially Americans) realize that our actions can have a profound impact, including death, on everyone around us and understand the necessity to act based on that knowledge and not just for the next year or so but for a lifetime and raise future generations to understand it also.

 

Curious, did you add your mask requirements to any food safety policies to make enforcement easier or more consistent? We also have mask requirements for all staff in the majority of the building, but we struggle to get all employees to wear masks correctly.

Not like we've been doing this since March...



Hustoskl

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 03:46 PM

Culture...all about culture.  In those countries the idea of "freedom" and "liberty" does not extend as far as it does in the US.  Even though there are freedoms and liberties in those countries, it is not ingrained as it is in the US.  I'll also say that with each new generation there seems to be less and less attention paid to "authority".  How, or why, that has come to be I have no idea. 

 

It gets very tiring trying to explain to personnel why doors need to be kept closed to a food packaging room.  I've boiled it down to, "Do you want to have flies in our product?"  This seems to get the message across more quickly.

 

And here I was, thinking I was the only one having these conversations with staff. Thank you.



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Posted 25 November 2020 - 05:00 PM

We have plexiglass across our lunchroom tables. 4 people were table, each one divided by plexiglass. This satisfied our health inspector. 



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Posted 25 November 2020 - 06:45 PM

Curious, did you add your mask requirements to any food safety policies to make enforcement easier or more consistent? We also have mask requirements for all staff in the majority of the building, but we struggle to get all employees to wear masks correctly.

Not like we've been doing this since March...

 

We have poster's around the facility similar to below (from the CDC). We also have a few repeat offenders. When they see me or others that will say something, they automatically cover their nose again without us saying anything. Usually it's the ones who wear glasses.

 

how-NOT-to-wear-mask.jpg


Edited by kfromNE, 25 November 2020 - 06:45 PM.


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Spidey

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 07:32 PM

In my state, the initial requirement for manufacturers was social distancing OR masks.  Since social distancing is not an issue in our facility, we opted for social distancing.  On Friday, our state came out with new requirements that mandate masks.  My facility just goes with the state requirements because they are quite specific and leave no grey area.



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kfromNE

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 08:01 PM

Curious, did you add your mask requirements to any food safety policies to make enforcement easier or more consistent? We also have mask requirements for all staff in the majority of the building, but we struggle to get all employees to wear masks correctly.

Not like we've been doing this since March...

I forgot to answer the first part. We added it to our GMP policy - personnel. That way when we can finally get rid of them - all I have to do is erase a few lines and update the date. See below is what was added. (Our corporate company also came out with a policy that was more little detail oriented). We didn't go into detail on the masks. If updates were made (like banning the ones with air valves) - we sent out notice to our employees.

 

(Temporary CGMP)Clean face coverings must be worn to work. No face covering with studs, sequins, garment decoration and/or in any other form that could be a food contaminant. All coverings should be cleanable or single use.

See attached document: Corporate Document



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